19. Patriot Alert 14: Our Profane Countenance On The Mutilation Of Our Currency In Nigeria.

The three keywords Profane, Countenance, and Mutilation will be defined in the context of this blog episode for better clarity on the subject title and content.

Profane: Grossly disrespectful toward what is held to be sacred. Countenance: The appearance conveyed by a person’s face. Mutilation: A damage that causes disfigurement or that deprives an important member part.

Every nation on earth is defined by a currency which is simply the local money used in a country. The currency notes of most countries in the world bear images of prominent heroes or heroines peculiar to that country; it may also bear significant landmarks or other respectable illustrations which define a collectively accepted symbol of high esteem to the particular nation. In certain instances, the currency of a nation is defined by paper notes and coins.

This blog episode focuses on our handling of the currency notes in Nigeria.

It must be mentioned that the value of a currency note is not determined by any of its physical design features, but rather by other financial mechanics which are beyond the scope of this blog. Suffice it to say that the value of a currency note does not and should not necessarily denote the weight of respect with handling, therefore the attribute of value is not key to this discussion. A single unit of the British Pound note or US Dollar or EU Euros deserves the respect of twenty units of the equivalent currency note.

Decency and respect for the accepted symbol of illustration on a currency note demands a handling of equivalent standard regardless the value inscribed on the note. A secondary yet important rationale bordering on hygiene is another reason for a recommended dignified handling of currency notes. A wallet is the recommended personal mobile housing for currency notes and should be strictly dedicated to this purpose. Experience has shown that any other alternative to the wallet will only guarantee a shorter life span for the currency note.

It is also expedient to point out that currency notes are not printed for free, and a cost must be incurred to generate any single currency note. This means that the frequency of recycling currency notes is dependent on the manner of handling of the notes by the citizens of any nation. A higher recycle frequency connotes more expense on the government institution which bears the burden of funding the recycle process.

Evidently, there are very good reasons why currency notes are handled with pride and care in progressive countries of the world.

The story of the handling currency notes in our dear country Nigeria should not be different. However, there is very little respect for the revered national images and symbols which dot the landscape of all our currency notes.

Some of our currency notes include the now extinct 1 Naira note which had the image of Herbert Macaulay; a noble gentleman considered the founder of Nigerian Nationalism.  The 5 Naira note bears the image of the revered Sir Abubarkar Tafawa Balewa; the first Prime Minister of our great country. The 10 Naira note bears the image of Dr. Alvan Ikoku; a renowned Educationist, Activist, Statesman, and Politician. The 100 Naira note holds the image of Chief Obafemi Awolowo foremost nationalist and statesman who played a prominent role in our pursuit of Independence. Our 200 Naira note has the kind stare of Sir Ahmadu Bello; the great Premier of the Northern Region who also held the renowned title of the Sardauna of Sokoto. The 500 Naira note bears the gentle face of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe the first Executive President of Nigeria.

Our collective handling of our currency notes in Nigeria does not show any iota of respect to the noble figures mentioned in the paragraph above. Their selfless achievements are far more than most of us can dream in a lifetime. Our handling of our currency notes denotes a complete disregard of our sense of national belonging to our country. Our character in this regard underlines a disgraceful stench which bears no single Patriotic undertone.

At social functions, a majority of us proudly trample our currency notes underfoot, in the name of celebrating with money. A very strange culture which leaves the naira assaulted with all manner of unhygienic debris as picked up by our footwear. The same naira notes are usually handled with our hands which may eventually end up in plates of food at the same function. This is a very disgusting trend which leaves a lot of questions regarding our decency as a people.

My imagination cannot comprehend any Briton of rational mind trampling on the British pound with the image of Queen Elizabeth II boldly printed on it. Ironically, it is also certainly correct to assume that the majority of Nigerians, who are guilty of this weird act which presumably typifies affluence, will not drop and dance on top of picture images of treasured relatives.

For the sake of brevity, the illustrations above are enough to buttress the point that with most of us, the noble currency of our great country can be likened to a worthless piece of bare paper. On a daily basis, our currency continues to endure all forms of unimaginable abuse by citizens of the Nigerian nation and no one is held in penal accountability.

There is every need to change the current narrative to something more dignifying and more in line with the tenets of the Creed of A Nigerian Patriot. There is a strong reason to remind ourselves that our currency is a financial extension of the face of our great country Nigeria.

Finally it may help to remind ourselves that assuming it were possible for our past Heroes and Leaders to see our inglorious actions through their faces printed on our currency notes, they would be awfully upset with every single one of us for this brazen act of disrespect; our repayment to them for giving us an Independent Nigerian nation.

Arise O Compatriots…

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