Way back in time, the game of football was officiated by a single Center Referee and two Assistant Referees. This was until the evolution of the V.A.R (Video Assistant Referee) technology introduced untold sanity into officiating the game. The V.A.R is a background crew of Referees who attend to the game through the Center Referee from a Control Center. The end result is a game with little or no margin for officiating errors.
The inference drawn from the illustration above highlights the powerful efficiency achieved, whenever a majority is involved in any action within a system. Recall that a centipede would naturally navigate in the direction of motion of a majority of its several tiny legs.
The same logic applies to the issue of national security in any nation. A majority of the citizens must be patriotic enough to display a zero tolerance for anything which as much as whispers the profile of criminal action.
In advanced nations of the world this truth is very evident. Certain instances of actions against criminal intent are initiated by the patriotic civilian populace who escalate emergency calls to ‘911’ as it is observed with the United States as an example. The reason for this trigger is that the collection of very efficient security outfits in such nations cannot do it alone. The strength of their success lies with the collective patriotic actions of the majority of the Citizens.
Our case in Nigeria ought to follow this logically sound norm; however it must be different considering the myriad of disturbing security challenges currently besieging our nation. Daily occurrences of heart-rending illustrations are so numerous and gory they do not merit mention on this platform. Regardless the reasons behind this sour and unacceptable trend, the fact remains that the priceless value of any single human life must be upheld in the nation of our dream Nigeria.
Our dream Nigeria should be a country where every single patriotic citizen is a Sheriff. This is excluding the already established security outfits: the NPF – the Nigeria Police Force, the NAF – the Nigerian Armed Forces, the DSS – Department of State Security Services, the NDC – the Nigerian Civil Defense Corps etc. We cannot expect the personnel of these outfit to be everywhere within the entire area of Nigeria at all given moments through the day. This is not a realistic expectation.
Our dream Nigeria should be a country where the foundation of effective national security is built around the daily patriotic actions of all citizens. The essence of the spirit of honor behind the profile of the noble Citizens On Patrol is buried in the heart of the Creed of the Nigerian Patriot.
Our dream Nigeria is a country where this massive security ‘VAR’ constantly maintains a vigilance which ensures that any criminal thought is confined to the mind of the originator and never finds support to translate into actions. Instances of crime should be preemptively contained in our dream Nigeria without a need to fire off a single round of warning shot.
For obvious reasons to a sound mind of rational reason, our collective path toward this dream may lie in mobilizing our Traditional and local government Institutions to coordinate all Nigerian Patriots on this leg of our collective journey to greatness. There is a safe role for every responsible man, woman or child to play which does not literally require patrolling the streets or deviating from pursuing our requirements of daily living. It is possible to structure a system which simulates the ‘covert’ design of the VAR in the game of football, which keeps the identity of the referees in the control room hidden from public view.
….In addition, there is a unhealthy scramble for available limited resources. The load of social welfare responsibilities appears an overwhelming burden on any effort by the government to contain the situation. Simple waste management can be an odious task. There is an undue pressure on the ecosystem because of large clusters of citizens in poorly planned areas of settlement whether urban or rural. The list of disadvantages as well as illustrating real life examples within the domain of our country are endless.
Within the Nigerian space, our attitude seems very oblivious of the threat of our currently poorly managed large population to our wellbeing and the future of our generation.
We are often enmeshed in needless debates of no real productive consequence such as: Mr. A, from ‘tribe’ B is occupying position C in a state D where the person is not an ‘indigene’. Amazingly, such topics usually occupy the Nigerian polity for months, distracting everyone from realistically addressing cogent and serious issues.
Another reality worthy of note is that with each passing day of our folly with distractions, our population adds a frightening addition to the current figure of 200 million which is presumed to be the estimate figure at the time of this write-up.
The very disturbing side of our irrelevant discussions is that the daily increase in the national population of Nigeria is not waiting on our decision to rise to responsibility; neither is it waiting on the hope that one day, a Heaven sent messiah would appear, wave a magic wand, and all will be well. There is a daily steady swell in our numbers with the dawning of each new day in our country Nigeria and there is a desperate need for us to consciously and collectively act to contain it.
The consistent failure on our part to manage this current figure, definitely means that we cannot manage larger numbers successfully.
Our current objections to take action, which may border on religious, customary, or personal sentiments, will not change the currently unpleasant scenario, or the reality of a more disturbing future.
There aren’t enough schools, enough roads, enough hospitals, and enough hostel accommodations in our schools, settlements are opening up at a much faster pace than the government is able to develop or implement any sensible plan that can conveniently accommodate the population in such areas. This often creates a very chaotic challenge on the long run between land owners and the Government in such settlements. The list of issues arising from the poor management of our humongous population goes on and on.
These issues find relevance in our habit of neglect and lack of planning. If not for our negligent culture of excessive importation, one day some day, there might not be enough food to go round in our beloved country Nigeria!!! This is an embarrassment of magnanimous proportions for a Country that was once the pride of Africa.
Moving forward, hopefully it is easier for any reader to appreciate the fact that our population can be likened to the monster hydra mentioned in the beginning which needs to be contained in order to harness the enormous positive side of its potential. We just can’t kill it. It must be dealt with, and the sooner we all wake up to that realization, the better for our present and future.
Our Government policies and actions can learn from nations mentioned in preceding paragraphs that have been able to manage their population to the advantage of productive development.
As citizens, we should enlighten ourselves thoroughly on the subject matter to understand that such policies and actions are in the best interest of our country Nigeria and not any attempt of nefarious intent by any politician. In addition, we should all appreciate that the mental profile required to deal with this issue should be devoid of any religious, tribal, political, or regional bias.
Our fast growing population is a serious issue that needs a careful and timely handling if there can be any hope of achieving the Nigerian dream.
‘Population’ can be defined within the context of this episode to mean: ‘the number of inhabitants (either the total number or the number of a particular race or class) in a given place (country or city etc.)’. In this case, our reference to the Nigerian population is the number of inhabitants born of Nigerian origin. At certain instances, it may also include an aggregate of this figure in addition to foreigners within the Nigerian land space at any point in time.
A ‘Hydra’ within the same context of the preceding paragraph can be defined as: ‘a (Greek mythology) monster with nine heads; when struck off each head was replaced by two new ones’ Rightly, it might seem best to rational reasoning to slay the monster; however, if the duel started with a one-headed monster, after cutting off the head just twice, the warrior of reason would be facing an undying monster with four heads! A riddle indeed!! It might seem best in the court of prudent wisdom, to tame the monster to become a useful tool, assuming this accomplishment is possible. This feat would require more than an average dose of ingenuity.
Lastly, ‘Potentials’ within this context means ‘the inherent capacity for a concept to come into being’, however we need to appreciate that the character of the resulting outcome could fall into the positive or negative axis of usefulness. This can translate to positive economic growth or become a nightmare to economic development.
The large population of any nation could be a blessing or a dilemma if the development of human capacity and supporting infrastructure (Roads, Water supply, Schools, hospitals etc) is not properly managed. There would come a time when there would be an unhealthy degree of competition because the limited infrastructure cannot support the ‘weight’ of the population.
For simple illustration, the major refineries in Nigeria were built in the mid-70’s when the population of the country was estimated at 63 million. Thirty years later, the same strength of refineries can no longer provide efficient petroleum service because the demand for the product is much higher.
With proper planning, countries with populations larger than Nigeria have recorded positive economic milestones with their national development. China is currently one of the leading world economies, and India is not far behind with economic success. The approximate population of both countries are estimated at slightly over 1.3 billion, while that of Nigeria is estimated at approximately 200 million. Our population is clearly a mere fraction in comparison.
It is a fact that if most of the citizens of any nation are inclined to productivity, there would be massive opportunities and diverse spheres of development within that space.
This is the case with the country China. The diverse skilled citizenry can always present an alternative productive drive if any of nation’s main earner is no longer a viable source of income, bearing in mind that income is the medium of expense required for national development.
In the event that there is no effort at profound productivity from the majority, there can never be any divine intervention as a substitute to the reality of the consequence of under development. This is a fact we collectively need to come to hard terms with. The diversity of the productive strength of the aggregate majority of citizens in Nigeria is rather weak.
For the purpose of illustration, the drastic drop in the global price of oil was able to send our country Nigeria into an exile of recession. There was no fallback productive alternative on ground. It is very doubtful if this scenario can ever find opportunity in the economic space of the Chinese nation. This is a painful lesson we all need to come to terms with if there is any chance of reversing the current spin of the wheel.
Another negative dimension arising from the improper management of our large population is friction between citizens. Communal conflicts, frequent industrial actions, herdsmen and farmers clashes, etc are some illustrations of the negative dynamics of a poorly managed population. Another painful lesson…
‘Democracy can be defined as a political system ruled by the people, through elected representatives’. It can also be defined with the more popular slogan of ‘Government of the people, by the people and for the people’. The first definition is most suited for this blog post because it lays clearer emphasis to the fact that it is a political system ruled by the people through their elected representatives.
Democracy is the responsibility of every single person of national citizenship. Agreeably, the roles may be vast however everyone has a shoe size that fits a role. It is a national venture that requires collective understanding.
The collective understanding between the citizens in various roles of leadership and followers is that the citizens in roles of leadership will lead the way of constructive development. The followers will play the role of the collective Umpire. Imagine a game played between 10 percent of the population of a nation, with the squad of Umpires comprising the remaining 90 percent of the population of that same nation. The system would unarguably be a spectacular upgrade of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) if this illustration were to fit the popular game of football. This system of unbiased Umpires would surely detect the slightest attempt at an infringement by any of the political players. Resolving actual cases of infringement would be a walk in the park for this very large squad of Umpires.
This is the mighty power of corrective action resting with the majority of citizens on issues relating to the activities of the leadership toward providing good governance in any nation in the world that is sincerely practicing democracy.
The massive power of the responsible minded followers does not require an unhealthy physical or verbal altercation to exert effect. Thisdecentarrangement would promote the peaceful atmosphere required to constructively and objectively provide the required balance on the leadership class on all levels of political institutions and constantly move the nation toward progressive development.
The ethics of good governance has made penal provisions enabling for an accountable system of democracy by giving the followers the mandate to review their political choices on the presumption that they are not satisfied with the actual deliverable(s) of any Political Office Holder. It seems a fairly simple productive arrangement.
This system has enabled citizens of other progressive Nations in the world to enjoy the dividends of good governance through the healthy practice of Democracy.
Currently in Nigeria, we are approaching the 20th year of uninterrupted democracy since 29th May 1999. Our story is strangely different from the accounts of other progressive Nations of the planet.
The records of our retentive memory would reveal that our great Nation has expended a humongous amount of resources given a summation of the expense figures of annual budgets presented, approved, and dispensed through various tiers of our government structure through the past 20 years. Yet still, our refineries have never really performed optimally, the concept of quality Education has nearly been eroded from the Nigerian landscape, the fate of a visit to our medical institutions can be likened to the fate of anyone who dares to walk through a mine field.
We seem content with this deplorable situation, whilst our elite class with brazen audacity, fly to the best hospitals abroad on the occasion of the slightest perceived or imagined ailment. It may be possible, yet seriously doubtful, that our current definition of Nigeria may not be the physical location where the funds were expended through the past two decades since there is very little to show for it.
Perhaps, it may be boldly wiser to appreciate the fact that we must be making mistakes which perhaps, unknown to us, does not bear any eventual productive consequence of minor dimensions.
This may be a foundation factor explaining the quagmire of sorts that currently bedevils the ability of our democratic system to effectively provide all Nigerian citizens with the wonderful dividends of democracy; and we have clearly never lacked the financial ability.
With the boldlyinappropriate ethical undertone of our democratic system, it would not be an easy assignment for anyone of great leadership ability to deliver the dividends of good governance to the followers who are in the massive majority. It would be akin to sending a person to fetch water with a basket or what a sane mind would simply term a mission impossible!
A pause in thought toward reversing this trend of non-performance of the democratic system in Nigeria would reveal that it would require a drastic change of mindset with the leaders and followers.
An aspect of this thought can be buttressed with the illustration that if it were possible to leave the current political structure of governance the way it is, and for the purpose of make-believe, replace all the political positions in the various arms of democratic rule in the country with Nigerian Patriots, our story would be drastically different from the current narrative.
If patriotically minded citizens occupy the positions in the illustration above, and the remaining followers to be governed reciprocate their role in the system with responsible and objective bias, there will be a nearly perfect handshake with both parties and the dividends of good governance are sure to follow.
Our country Nigeria will most certainly heave a much needed sigh of relief from the current strain mostly caused by our collective misapplication of the successfully tested principles of democracy in other progressive nations of the world.
Little wonder this system of governance seems to be the preferred global trend with a massive support from the United Nations.
Hopefully, it should be the will of popular opinion that each citizen of Nigeria should endeavor to thoroughly understand the principles behind the successful application of Democracy for good Governance.
There are vast examples of global real life examples we can all diligently and sincerely understudy. We will surely win, if and only when we collectively decide to give the sincere practice of democracy a chance in our great country Nigeria.
For the purpose of this summary post, Corruption can be defined as a lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery); or the use of a position of trust for dishonest personal or group gain.
The country Nigeria has been defined in previous blog episodes with the last episode (‘Giving a face to our noble country‘) adding the bio-metric detail of a face to our noble nation. Just like the word Country, the word Corruption is an abstract concept which is only given boldness, effect and strength of consequence by any person that lacks a character of integrity. The soul or life of Corruption is driven by human beings. The negative consequence of Corruption knows no religious, ethnic, or political bias; it simply ravages everything within its range including countries!
The Nigerian nation has been locked in a fierce battle with Corruption for decades now. This is evident since the effect of the strength of its devastating consequence can be observed within the unimpressive nature of our national development through the decades. This has been our complaint with every sphere of the Nigerian society from time immemorial till today.
Unemployment statistics are in sky-high figures; Nigerian citizens are braving extreme odds in desperate attempts at migrating to greener havens in foreign lands; strike threats and actions are a frequent order of the day; some citizens are complaining of outright hunger and an inability to feed at minimal daily frequency, the list is endless. So it will be safe to assume that since the fight started between Nigeria and Corruption, the latter has made good progress, and is currently in good lead on points. Nigeria on the other hand when the encounter ensued erroneously, assumed it was a play-fight, and seemed very confident that corruption was no match for it, therefore there was no need to hit back, evade its punches, or at the very least have a good getaway plan.
With the foresight of today, Nigeria would have definitely done things differently.
The current situation is so terrible that the country Nigeria is lying in a daze from the severe beatings received by Corruption. Nigeria can barely move, and is fast loosing the confidence of great admirers who span the length and breadth of this planet Earth. Admirers that have tirelessly shown support with financial aids, visits, etc; you name it, they have done it.
Our Independence Day of 1st October 1960, was gracefully attended by a powerful representation of Her Royal Majesty the Great Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. In addition to eminent members of the modern British Monarch, our well-wishers consisted a colorful host of prominent foreign dignitaries. I believe this action was intended to send a resoundingly strong message of encouragement, support and hope for the project Nigeria to all and sundry.
Currently, and previously, several attempts have been made by Nigeria to fight back however its been a ferocious onslaught of frightening magnitude by Corruption. The amazing fact through this drama remains that Nigeria appears not ready to give up the fight, and this resilience is infuriating the heartless Corruption who does not even realize that good sportsmanship should have demanded a reprieve for the opponent.
The fact ought to be very clear to all and sundry that this is not a game anymore. Corruption has come with the profile of a death-match to a friendly encounter and this was not the ‘understanding’ with Nigeria at the onset.
Nigeria would need to take drastic measures to survive this encounter and this is the reason every single Patriot left in the country would need to rise up to the call of the National Anthem. Every single Nigerian Patriot would need the motivation of the national pledge engraved in their spirit to fire up their morale.
It has become a non-negotiable reality of fact, that Nigeria must resoundingly win this encounter. However, this is not a physical battle, it is a battle of concepts with subtle and peculiar attributes. It is a battle that requires our collective encouragement of any patriotic attempt by any citizen to put up a fight against any form of ignoble unpatriotic action from any other citizenof Nigerian heritage.
The first step would be to put a face(s) on the concept called Corruption, and this should aid the Patriots to identify the scourge when they see it. There is no attribute of Corruption which represents the moral undertone of any line in our national Pledge; so definitely a corrupt culprit cannot be a Nigerian patriot. A Nigerian patriot would always protect the interest of the Nigerian nation.
A corrupt culprit could possibly be a person from another nationality, which is fair thinking since their allegiance would most definitely be to their own country. However, we are all aware that our government institutions and private business endeavors are not majorly driven by foreigners, there would be no need to look in that direction, besides no national creed of any well meaning foreign nation would be so empty of moral content to incite such decadent behavior.
Corruption in Nigeria has been given life by citizens who engage in unpatriotic actions regardless the frequency or magnitude of such actions. The God givenconscience in each of us will bear witness to this truth by a cursory observation of actions of a majority of the citizens within our immediate environment. We sincerely do not need to look far for the culprits.
We can say that the fight between Nigeria and Corruption is literally a fight between the patriotic citizens of the country and their non-patriotic siblings. It is a fight between noble actions of patriotism and ignoble counter actions with no patriotic undertone.
The boundaries of patriotism are not limited by lines of immediate or extended family, religion, tribalism, or political sentiments, neither the boundaries of the devastation of corruption. In order to guarantee a sure win, the mentality of the Patriot should equally bear no sentiments of such dimensions.
It should be safe for a sane mind to assume that we ought not to stand arms akimbo whilst a summation of unpatriotic actions destroys our country and the future of our generations to come. A collective patriotic response in counter measure does not call for a single blow; a whisper of violence; extending a drop of hatred; or indeed any other action that lacks noble patriotic finesse. This skill we can all learn by understudying the life of the Great Nelson Mandela of South Africa.
The spread of activities driven by corrupt intent is virtually in every sphere of the Nigerian society. Granted, it may have started within the leadership class of the country, but currently It is not only found within the leadership or political class in the country. It actually exists right inside our homes, our organizations, our schools, our hospitals, on our roads, in our markets, our businesses, at work, at play, virtually everywhere!
The fight cannot be left to a single individual or group; it must be fought by every single Nigerian Citizen. I am certain that if we could all collectively engrave the message of the national pledge in our spirit, in thought, in word and in deed, the current fight between Nigeria and Corruption would be an easier walk in the park for our country.
Bearing in mind that the present Nigerian narrative regarding corruption has spanned decades of our collective neglect for our nation, reversing the current trend would require a process of consistent continuity across very thread that defines the fabric of the Nigerian society. It should be a synchronized process spanning the dynamic pinnacle of leadership, down to the crannies of our homes. It would not be a process with overnight success however this approach is guaranteed to yield positive results on the long run. It would require the strong armor of patience and maturity on the body of all of Nigeria’s finest Patriots; You and I inclusive.
In conclusion, it would certainly be very correct and best for us to collectively muster the Will to act against this scourge in order to continue with our determined walk of necessity toward the dream Nigeria. We desperately need to pound this lethal enemy of our great Nation to smithereens. A stitch in time as wisely recommended, definitely and surely saves nine.
Our great country Nigeria was a concept conceived by the great British Empire. There must have been a good reason for the thought. This compliment does not eliminate the fact that the idea had its flaws; however there is every good reason to spare the time to reason through what may have been the strengths behind the thought.
There is no gain emphasizing the fact that presently no living Nigerian citizen was consulted through the processing of conceiving or executing this noble idea. Therefore it should be nominally surprising when a majority of us consistently restate the fact that if wishes were horses, we would have partitioned a different arrangement as our choice decision of our country Nigeria. However this would be very far from reality as we might end up with as many versions running into numbers the size of our current population. This is another thought for food.
It would seem best for all of us to accept this reality that we have been born into by our parents who were very much at peace with that thought. A reality we appear to embrace as a pleasantly natural truth, when we effortlessly indicate ‘Nigeria’ as bio-data info in the country fieldof any form we fill. An innate fact we have accepted to the extent that we all bear the Nigerian passport and would vehemently prove our nationality given the appropriate opportunity of justification .
These justifications also imply that there should be no need for any of us to explore any basis to engage in any exercise of physically realigning the structural design of our great nation. We should rather focus our thoughts on the probable rationalebehind the noble British assembly which is today our dear country Nigeria. These justifications should also make us realize why the wisdom of our great founding fathers were boldenough to accept this design without strong reservations. Perhaps theycould see the enormous potentials behind the concept, if managed properly.
It may not be wrong to strongly assume that the Independence of the Nigerian nation on 1st October 1960 was the proud collective decision of all Nigerians at that time. Leaning on the reason of wise providence, it may be very unwise for any of us to attempt a structural alteration of this concept.
Bearing in mind the abstract nature of the entity defined as a country is simply a land demarcation and a name, we need to appreciate the fact that it is the citizens that give life to this entity, and their character is what defines the ability of this entity.
Individually, every single Nigerian citizen is a facial variation of the country Nigeria. Currently we are estimated at 180 million; we were estimated at 45 million during independence in 1960. There was a time in the history of time when there were less than 10,000 people within this demarcation that defines Nigeria. Until there comes a time when there is no human being within this demarcation, the country Nigeria, lives.
When Nigeria participates in the world cup, it is the vibrant national football team we all fondly call the Super Eagles that is Nigeria on the field of play, with every member of the team and crew, representing a facial variation of the country. When any of our entertainment celebrities are on stage abroad, it is Nigeria on stage. At the United Nations summit, it is the representative citizen(s) that is Nigeria at the summit. Indeed for all of us, when the opportunity presents itself for any foreign trip, we are all ambassadors of the country. Each person is simply a facial variation of the Name.
Within the boundaries of the Nigeria, we are all facial variations of one massive family, the same principle is found with any family in any home where siblings are facial variations of the abstract family name. These differences can be regarded as a union of diversity with great collective potential.
Our current impression regarding the identity of Nigeria in the minds of a majority is flawed to the point that can explain the dearth of patriotic actions within our minds. A Nigerian Patriot knows that he or she is an intricate part of the soul of the Nigerian spirit which gives life to the concept we know as our country Nigeria.
The Nigerian Patriot understands that together with other Compatriots, they are the country they live. Together, the Nigerian patriots understand that we are all Nigeria, just different faces of it, and this admission is definitely not a crime in any divine court of Justice. It is the collective strength of our character that defines the strength of Nigeria, and it is our collective weakness that defines the weakness of Nigeria.
It is very clear that the National Anthem and National Pledge of our great nation was designed to provide a melodious background reminder of this reality to our consciousness on a daily basis. It is definitely sure that if we could collectively muster the boldness to press the ‘play’ button in the consciousness of our minds, the march toward a dream Nigeria would be a more practical and realistic journey.
The Military establishment of any nation is primarily saddled with the onerous responsibility of contending and containing the most challenging security threats to its sovereignty. This is a non-negotiable understanding which has been imprinted in the mind of the noble citizens who have willingly signed up to passionately defend the integrity of their national existence regardless the circumstance. This act of valor is definitely not reserved for a faint heart, and requires an uncommon dedication which is fearlessly committed to a carrier of selfless service for reason of love for country, and countrymen.
The narrative is no different with the loyal citizens who have faithfully committed to the service of the Nigerian Armed forces. On a daily basis, the peace of the entire nation is guaranteed by the selfless sacrifice of these honorable Patriots; brave men and women who will routinely endure extremes of discomfort, dare the unthinkable; and effortless sacrifice everything, just to ensure that the rest of us can get along with endeavors of daily living.
There is no sane Nigerian who can contest this statement of fact which defines the height of committed patriotism. The somber nature of the weight of daily sacrifice committed in efforts by the Nigerian Armed forces is a clear indication that each line of our national anthem/pledge is engraved in thought, word and deed of the entire hierarchy of personnel. There is no other better real life illustration that can define the serious gravity of what it means to be a Nigerian Patriot.
Granted the fact that the entire Nigerian population do not need to enroll in the armed forces to be considered patriotic citizens; however the salient lessons we can all learn by observing the way of life of these brave men and women can encourage and teach the rest of us to apply the principle of patriotism in issues of our daily endeavors. These lessons will surely guide us to the realization of the fact that what we may consider the load of our share of patriotic responsibilities to the nation of Nigeria, is a far more bearable and preferable portion of no comparison.
The lessons should put an end to any excuse which we may typically offer as explanation for relegating the project Nigeria to second place in our consciousness. It is a most unfair reciprocal gesture from the rest of us that whilst the selfless tone behind role of the Nigerian Armed Forces guarantees our peace of existence, we mostly do not utilize that peace to play our own role of selfless service to the Nigerian nation. The lessons will also remind us that project Nigeria is not a choice, but a necessity that translates to our collective and sincere dedication in thought word and deed.
Regardless the field of endeavor; scope of responsibility, or sphere of influence a concerted effort by the rest of us at applying these lessons will surely lift the nation of Nigeria to greatness. The roadside vulcanizer, the banker, the traffic warden, the doctor, the teacher, the government employee, the Judge, the senator, the ministers, the engineers, the students, the traders, the herders, there should be no exceptions to this new rule of reorientation with our mindset and actions if there can ever be any hope of making a dream Nigeria an achievable reality.
As mentioned in blog episode 2: ‘Essence of the National pledge’: ‘a country is an abstract concept which is merely a land mark and a name. This places the onus of individual responsibility toward any circumstance within the Nigerian nation on the collective integral daily action of every citizen’. The quest for our Independence was the collective victory of every Nigerian with our founding Fathers in the lead and was achievable as a result of the patriotic contribution of every single citizen of discerning age at that time.
The profound meaning behind the lines of our national pledge was designed to guarantee that we maximize the mighty potentials of limitless resources confined within the dimensions of our highly blessed country to our advantage.
Our gradual decent shortly after that memorable achievement of October, 1960 to the precariously sad circumstance of today, is as a result of the gradual decay of the solemn message behind the national pledge in our minds.
Fortunately the fate of reversing the spin of the wheel of our national circumstance is within our control of action, and the sooner we start, the better. The current tussle over issues of no productive consequence will do nobody no good, save to guarantee a bleak future for our children, grand children and generations to follow. Rest assured, they will never forgive us for setting the stage for their unhappy existence.
To the citizens of honor that make up the ground, air and amphibious divisions of the Nigerian army, rest assured knowing that your gallant display of relentless and shinning patriotism is not in vain. It is a sacrifice worthy of emulation, sincerely appreciated and proudly acknowledged by your fellow Nigerian compatriots. God bless each and every one of you today, always and forever.
Ignorance can be defined as a lack of awareness, or knowledge, of content that defines the entirety of an endeavor.
The successful end result in such an endeavor is largely dependent on the extent to which the participant(s) understands and executes the content learned. This absolute truth of life is applicable in the human and animal world; it is applicable in any activity of individual or group participation. This fact is not tolerant to sentimental compromise if a successful end result is the desired outcome.
The applied reality of this definition can be cited in the easily observable and self explanatory ‘equation of survival’ which governs the animal world and which states that ‘the life span of an animal is inversely proportional to its ignorance index’. The more knowledge the animal has learned about the perils within its environment, the greater its chances of survival, the more ignorant the animal is, the greater the chances of an unpleasant end.
This nature of this reality is more subtle on the human side of the fence, however it is easily agreeable that the position of greatness in any field of human endeavor has never been achieved by persons who are unlearned in the subject endeavor: great sports personalities, great entertainers, successful marriages; renowned chefs, reliable brands, etc have never been achievements of person(s) without in-depth knowledge of the endeavor.
The archive of human history also bears evidence of instances where persons who could not previously excel with their endeavor of concern changed the narrative after returning to the learning phase to acquire more knowledge on the subject. This attests the fact that a condition of ignorance is only reserved for persons who are simply not willing to learn.
Ignorance is not a condition of spiritual curse which is beyond the control of any human; it is not a condition which can be remotely inflicted on anyone who may choose to hold a third party responsible for the outcome of their circumstance. It is also not a condition which has been hard-coded into the sands of time by destiny. Ignorance is not a function of location, skin color, tribe or religion; it is a condition that feeds and grows on the reluctance of a person to learn.
Fortunately the simple cure for ignorance is enlightenment, and this cure is completely within the individual control of anyone who is willing to learn. The negative effect of ignoranceon the other hand can be very devastating, and perhaps not even anticipated by the person engaging in actions of ignorance.
The grave toxic effect of ignorance may be very difficult to reverse even by those who are learned in the subject, and for this reason, expunging ignorance should be an urgent concern for all and sundry.
Governance is the collective responsibility of both leadership and followers. This fact is best illustrated by the saying that a rider can take his horse to a stream, however drinking the water is the responsibility of the horse. It is possible for leadership in any system to do the needful in any circumstance however if the followers do not objectively reciprocate their role, the system would simply not work.
This logic of thought would agree with the fact that the circumstance of any nation is a collective reflection of the mindset of its citizens. Governance is not only a leadership issue, which is the common assumption of an average Nigerian. Just as it takes small droplets of water to build the mighty oceans which separates vast expanse of continents, the present state of our nation is as a result of the aggregate appropriate and inappropriate actions of every citizen of this country from 1960 till date; with no exception.
Understandably, this unpleasant truth may be difficult to grasp by the subjective minded ignorant individual, however the hope of reversing the current trend in our collective quest for a dream Nigeria rests on our matured ability to digest this seemingly bitter pill of fact.
It is no rocket science that the neatness of a family compound is a reflection of the collective mindset of its occupants; the ability of a business to provide quality customer care is a reflection of the collective mindset of its staff regarding the value placed on their customers. These illustrations have been cited to further awaken our consciousness to the reality of fact that the current state of the Nigerian nation is undeniably the result of our collective actions.
The Nigerian economy was very vibrant during the oil boom of the late 70’s and the experience of life was a lot more pleasant. The exchange rate for the US Dollar to the Naira was about $1 : 90k (1 dollar: =N=0.9); pump price of petrol was a fraction of the current rate. Federal and state governments owned educational institutions were renowned institutions of learning rather than the grave shadows they have become today.
At that time, Nigerians preferred to purchase brand new cars within ranges typically less than =N=10,000.00, rather than the current vogue where the majority of citizens are content with buying used vehicles at outrageous prices that often runs into millions of naira. There were foreign investments dotted all over the Nigerian land space. The National air carrier was working perfectly andthere were no private airlines. Such were stories of our pleasant past, which made Nigeria the envy of the entire African continent. It is a sharp contrast of our present experience.
At that time, we were all proudly Nigerians, opening our shores to the rest of the world with landmark events like the Festac ’77, etc. The mindset of every Nigerian was mostly molded on the tenets of the most important constitution of the country; the National pledge. The present state of the country where a single US dollar is the equivalent of approximately =N=365.00 was never imagined by any Nigerian citizen at that time. The present state of economic chaos in the country was never conceived in the faintest iota of our imagination at that time.
At no time in the history of our nation did Nigerians in totality vacate the Nigerian land space to be replaced by foreigners who may have ruined the fortunes obtainable at that time in Nigeria; promptly disappearing before our return. It is an undeniable fact that the inappropriate actions of the leadership of the country in no small measure contributed to redefining our success story of the 70’s into the nightmare of today however, the inability of the majority to constructively respond to this emerging trend remains the reason we are all culpable for the current state of our nation.
The various reasons tendered for the malfunction of the leadership of the nation over the years can be summed up as the result of a deviation from the tenets of our National pledge. The same conclusion applies to the various reasons tendered for the collective inactivity of the remaining majority who constitute followers.
For any doubtful mind, a close observation of the daily utterances, and actions of most of our current leadership figures that are media spotlight figures, would reveal a very unpatriotic disregard for all the lines of our national pledge. The daily actions of the governed majority which can be experienced within the immediate environment of an observer would also reveal the same unpatriotic disregard for the tenets of the national pledge with most actions regarding normal endeavors of daily life. Therefore there should be no reason for anyone to feign ignorance on the foundation reason for the current state of the Nigerian nation.
In conclusion, it is more than obvious that our collective ignorance on the subject of the patriotic mindset required for insight into the development of a nation is the foundation reason we all have our varying accounts of bitter experiences in our current Nigeria: tribal conflicts, poor electricity, bad roads, an educational system of no consequence, insecurity, etc.
The general ignorance of the majority to the fact that the aggregate summation of the unpatriotic nature of our individual actions big or small has its contributing effect on our national outcome must be addressed as a matter of urgent priority. The way forward would be a reorientation of this unpatriotic mindset in every action of every single Nigerian citizen. It does not lie in trading blames,words, blows, or indeed anything else except an admission of this truth.
God bless the nation of Nigeria and all the surviving Nigerian Patriots who continue to believe, and continue to bear the burden of hope that a dream Nigeria as an achievable reality in their heart.
The Nigerian national pledge is a brief and powerful selfless prayer that defines a Nigerian patriot.
It is a very simple poem molded with strong words of virtue,intended to convey an unambiguous clarity in meaning. This design was to encourage easy understanding of any reader. It should be engraved in the mind of every Nigerian citizen from birth through a process of daily recital and meditation.
This prayer acknowledges the abstract concept of a nation which is merely a land mark and a name, and places the onus of individual responsibility in any circumstance within our nation on the collective integral daily action of every Nigerian citizen. There is no line that literally mentions any action from the entity Nigeria toward the citizen because no abstract concept possesses such inherent capability of life on its own.
This aspect of any abstract concept is driven by human beings. It is a fact therefore that the circumstance of any nation is an aggregate reflection of the state of mind of a majority of its citizens, rather than an arbitrary occurrence of fate.
A keen observation of the progressive nations around the world will agree with this logic of reason. In the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and indeed in all the countries we look up to as our model of a dream nation, the logic is the same. An aggregate majority of the citizens of those nations have a virtuous intent regarding the effect of their daily actions whether at home, at work, at play, name it. This attribute is not only reserved for citizens in position of leadership, it the preserve of every citizen. This foundation attribute of a patriot is the driving force behind the lives of all prominent Heroes in the history of those nations.
It is strongly evident in the life of Nelson Mandela, who is unarguably one of the greatest African patriot.
The result of an honest examination of self by all Nigerians regarding our individual adherence to the tenets of the national pledge will provide an answer for the reason behind the currently precarious circumstance of the Nigerian nation.
Moving forward, assuming it is possible for every Nigerian citizen to be guided by the selfless tenets of our national pledge in a majority of our daily actions, achieving our dream Nigeria would be an easier collective reality. On these truths and more, I rest my case.
Nigerian National Pledge I pledge to Nigeria my country, To be Faithful, Loyal and Honest, To serve Nigeria with all my Strength, To defend her Unity, And uphold her Honor and Glory, So help me God.
Nigerian National Anthem Arise, O compatriots, Nigeria‘s call obey, to serve our fatherland, with Love and Strength and Faith. The labor of our heroes past, shall never be in vain, to serve with Heart and Might, one nation bound in Freedom Peace and Unity, O God of creation, direct our noble cause Guide our leaders right, Help our youth the truth to know In Love and Honesty to grow, And living Just and True Great lofty heights attain, To build a nation where Peace And Justice shall reign