I love Nigeria Just Because…

by Paul I. Adujie

Avidly, I read everything in print. Newspaper and magazine essays, Internet commentaries and books etc. I learn from every writer and every written word, good and, even bad writings. The written word is our chance to learn from a million experiences, encapsulated

The written word, for me, has added meanings, when such are written by a Nigerian! I have said this in the past and I am doing so again pointedly, Nigerians have a dramatic effect on me. Nigerians are the bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, yes, I am a Nigerian! It is usually of no significance whether I agree with point of view or not. Mr. Sonala Olumhense is a Nigerian writer, whose writings I have followed for decades, a great deal of his written work and deep feelings about Nigeria, I share. Some others, I wish that I could have persuaded him otherwise. Presently, I mention him, because I am about to copy and employ a style for which is noted, interactive journalism! Or shall we call it, empowered and democratic journalism? We learn from those who may agree, even those in disagreement!

Mr. Sonala Olumhense has this practice in which he features the reactions and comments to his public affairs commentaries, by his readers who, like me, agree and sometimes disagree with his expressed opinions on current public affairs Nigerian.

In mathematics, you cannot divide by zero and in logic, you cannot prove a negative! This is analogous to the attitude of Nigerians toward Nigeria. Some Nigerians say adamantly and repeatedly, that Nigeria is beyond redemption. Some say, Nigeria will disintegrate sooner than later. Some Nigerians actually admit to praying for Nigeria’s obliteration!

How can these Nigerians expect good outcome for an entity that they abuse, from cradle to grave? An entity that the curse at, from waking hours of the mornings until bedtime at night fall? How can some Nigerians expect good outcomes of an entity that they never commend but denigrate with the most eloquently severe and brutal words? How can?

These Nigerians seem to forget, that empires of old and modern nations of present day world, are made great and such greatness is maintained by citizens, who possess exultant and exuberant attitude toward their empires or nations. A Country becomes and remains powerful so long as her citizens rejoice in her! I need to emphasize the point that:
A Country Becomes & Remains Powerful So Long As Her Citizens Rejoice In Her!

I am a legitimate optimist, as Nigerian who is bashful, and enthusiastic about Nigeria, I have no choice, but compelled to be optimistic about my homeland. What else is there? Complacency about Nigeria is not a luxury that I can afford

What is the use of democracy without patriotism? What is the rule of law without patriotism what is the use of due process if there is not patriotism? Wrapped, encrusted, enclosed, enveloped and deep-fried in patriotism or it is not worth it

Events in the past moved me to write that some are self-loathing and self-critical, perhaps, more than any other group of citizens in the world. Now I realize that I have these compendium or pattern of expressed passions for Nigeria, and responses by those similarly inclined. Here are links to some of my past full length articles on the subject and a few comments by others that follow. I LOVE NIGERIA!

1. Some Nigerians Are Waiting To Be Patriotic!
2. No Apologies For My Views Or Opinions!
3. The Benefits of Nigerian Unity and The Perils of Disintegration
4. Nigeria’s National Interests: A Moratorium And Change Of Tactics
5. Some Nigerians Only Bite Effectively – When They Bite Nigeria?
6. Why Would Any Alien Become A Nigerian Citizen?
7.I Wish – My Many Wishes for Nigeria – Oh How I Wish!
8. Nigeria’s National Colors; Our Flag! Our Symbol!
9. Are Some Nigerians’ Psyche Damaged ?
10. CNN Attacks On Nigerians In Houston & Why Nigeria’s Image Matters
11. Patriotism Is Not A Dirty Word!
12. Nigerian Arrested! Espionage- Spying!
13. NIGERIA My Love
14. Announcing Our Problems
15. Nigeria Is Worth Dying For!
16. America Means Well For Nigeria; Oh Really?

It is quite common to find Nigerians agreeing with non-Nigerians who maul Nigeria and Nigerians with lopsided and mostly unwarranted criticisms. There are times as well, when Nigerians vehemently reject and refute false accusations against Nigerians and Nigeria

Commenting on one of my articles, a Nigerian known only as ILN Too, wrote these words “There are too many silly Nigerians out there who are all too willing to wax lyrical when it comes to giving Nigeria the flak. what those idiots do not seem to fathom is that they only expose their stupidity and intellectual laziness. True, those Nigerians might have emigrated because of the harsh economic realities back home. but aren’t they cutting off their noses to spite their own faces?”

“Those Nigerians may acquire foreign citizenship or be living in relative comfort in their host countries (countries that they often seem all too willing to eulogize). However, in reality, those Nigerians are constantly reminded that their host countries are not where they actually belong. but these reminders often take very subtle dimensions and some of us are too dumb to notice them (the CNN documentary is probably just one of those reminders, only this time, it is patently blunt; the haters of Nigeria, as they should be called, drove home their points with undisguised venom)”

“There are a lot of Nigerians living abroad that take perverse pleasure in ridiculing Nigerians that have remained in the country. the reaction to that documentary would have been quite different if the criminals featured or the crimes had been perpetrated in Nigeria and not the United States. it would have given an excellent opportunity for the pessimists in our midst to start saying, ‘well, yes we know nothing good would come out of that country and we said it!’ Quite lucky that this time around, these categories of idiots were not spared; the CNN insulted Nigerians in their entirety. a lot of ‘pessimists in Diaspora’ (no disrespect whatever to Nigerians in Diaspora) would probably reason that CNN has hit too close to home.”

“In that respect, there is a salutary lesson to be learnt from the offensive documentary; people that take sadistic pleasure in denigrating their backgrounds gain nothing in the exercise, rather, they stand to lose. After all, for most of us, Nigeria (warts and all) is, in the end, the only place we can call our own. so why cast unnecessary aspersions on it? this is one thing that beats me and I want to believe I am no nitwit. if my mum were mad (she is not, ok!) I would definitely not take pleasure in going to the market square and announcing to the public that she is! and I would also be deeply offended if any of ‘my friends’ tried to do the same.”

“Talking about friendship, I would like to ask villagers whether they consider the US as Nigeria’s friend or enemy. there have been a series of events recently that make me seriously doubt the sincerity of America’s friendship to Nigeria; not the least of these events is the ‘intelligence report’ that Nigeria will break up in fifteen years or less. not that I am overly concerned about any half-baked American intelligence; the American intelligence has an uncanny habit of turning out to be rather unintelligent. seriously though, if I were American, I would be more concerned about how many years it will take Iraq, for example, to break up. if I had a friend that goes round telling people that I am likely to die of a particular ailment after a certain number of years, I would probably do my best to keep away from them (thank God, I don’t have such a friend). with friends like the US, it is becoming increasingly clear that Nigeria doesn’t need enemies (a food for thought for our compatriots striving hard to make America even greater”

Another Nigerian known only as Palamedes, contributed the following words: “A slander or participating in a slander against one’s own country should be considered as joining the enemy to fight against one’s own country, therefore the government should pass a law to make it a criminal offence for any Nigerian to slander or participate in a slander against the Federal Republic of Nigeria and its people.”

“I know that some will criticize and lecture me about freedom, human rights and what not. The British hanged Lord Haw Haw (real name William Joyce) for treason – for taking side with Nazi Germany. Treason in most Western countries is a criminal offence. These Nigerians have committed treason and must be punish when they return to Nigeria.”

“Hmmmmm, I am thinking: if there were such a law, some Nigerians would use it to their advantage such as knowingly committing treason and then claiming political asylum in the West. I better leave that to the lawyers to figure out. Whatever the outcome, these traitors must be punished for colluding with our enemies. That’s all I have to say.”

An American, known only as Rose, who follows and participates in Nigerian debates stated the following very kind words in support of one of my article “Paul, I’m not Nigerian, but of African descent and want to commend you on your unwavering love and support of your country. From reading your essays, I’d say you are extremely proud, on point and correct on positions you’ve taken where Nigeria is concerned. You clearly see and feel the potential in your countrymen and women, and I know you’re ready to work tirelessly to do your part and inspire the troops as well. Stay passionate and keep on keeping on!!”

A Nigerians whose commitment to Nigeria is demonstrated in and by his name, Naijaforlife, added these comments “I really enjoyed your post. I believe Nigerians who applaud foreigners who criticize us are Nigerians who have reconciled themselves to living in a land where their only reward in life can be material comfort and nothing else. They have decided to accept the lies and distortions from the media in a land whose culture they are unable to identify with, whose destiny they cannot influence, in short, a land in which all they can expect is to live as guests so long as they don’t “rock the boat”.

“Like you said, blacks are reminded of their second class status through subtle means, not the least of which is their systematic exclusion from the institutions of power, and their relegation to ceremonial, impotent roles like Mayors and the like”

“ To live as a black person in the Diaspora is to witness impieties such as seeing the culture of the middle east, (the terrorists breeding ground of the world) celebrated, while coverage of Africa is relegated to dehumanizing and loathsome pictures of Africans ravaged by disease or famine. To live in the Diaspora is to see people celebrate the mention of other countries of the world, but to squirm uncomfortably and try to change the subject to wars or disease when Africa is mentioned. I cannot tell you how many times I have personally been witness to what I described in the preceding sentence”

“Citizens of countries that have perpetrated the most atrocious crimes against humanity do not tolerate the corruption of their countries’ image, and I don’t see why Nigerians should. Nigeria might be infested with criminals in our ruling class, but the same countries that routinely assail our image are also bedeviled by their share of heartless criminals”

“And yes, ILN TOO, I believe you are quite right when you say that a country would never predict the death of another country she considered a friend. I can think of nothing more hateful than that”

I will only add as I have in the past, that the call to the service of Nigeria, is the greatest service of all. As I restate these words.

All Nigerians need to start acting in a manner that demonstrate our
collective resolve to put an end to the challenges that Nigeria facing for

Nigerians must start to be full time Nigerians, with permanent interests in Nigeria. Instead of acting as if we have alternative or substitute plans that is necessarily inconsistent with our being part of a single and united one Nigeria nation. We should put in, a one hundred percent efforts into our Nigerian-ness and our efforts on behalf of our country. We should stop acting as if we are seceding tomorrow! We should put all our hearts and minds in Nigeria’s behalf. We will overcome all national challenges. We must all clearly indicate that we have permanent interests in Nigeria and Nigeria’s success.

Nigeria is ours! In failure and in success; preferably in success!

All Nigerians at home and abroad must play their part in helping Nigeria
succeed. The time is now! And Nigerians should be willing to die for Nigeria, when and if the need arises, that willingness demonstrates our stake, high stakes in Nigeria and those high stakes would lead us all, Nigerians to protect, serve and love Nigeria.
Nigerians should perform a sort of constant assessment tests, we should evaluate our roles and contributions to everything that occur in Nigeria, What is our duty? What is our obligation? What are our responsibilities? How do we contribute to making the system work?

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ABANOBI June 2, 2007 - 11:29 am

u should come home and develop this country called nigeria.

teejay bello June 2, 2007 - 10:20 am

Men i gat to be honest with you,i like ur piece on Nigeria and Nigerians.Most of those idiots that talk about their country are sycophants and ignoramus…most of them actually found themselves in another man's country or those still in Nigeria thinking Nigeria and Nigerian leaders are the worst on earth,i will tell those people that are fucking wrong….

This is my 4th years in Asia,i must tell you with all authority that Nigeria is a more better country than many of these Asian countries except Japan,but those at home will not know that,they think OBJ and his crew are the worst leaders on earth.It's a duty of every citizens to be patriotic,many of those guys cririze for nothing,they don't profer solutions to problem they just criticize cos they want talk or cos others are talking.What is criticizm without solution.

Another thing is those doom media houses that calls themselves CNN or PNN or whatever,they are biased when it comes to Africa,they never see the good news in Africa to report.All they show is slums and children hawking on the streets or hunger in Zimbabwe or Rwanda as if there are no mansions or good environment they can show to portray Africa in good light.I tell you,they are misleading there people,they know their people will start asking questions when they know the truth about Africa.Well i don't blame them,if not for those sycophants and ignoramus selling their country cheap.

My brother keep doing what you doing men,it took the labour of over 400 years of our slave brothers and sisters that worked for free to developed the so call america,it also took them centuries of civil war,so what is their problem with Nigeria?Bad leaders are every where in the world,i have facts to back this up'I believe Nigeria is on the right path with our democrazy,no matter what they think it is,we are better off now than the eras of military rules.I see some of those sycophants saying IBB and Abacha regime is better than this democrazy?may God help these people.It requires the efforts of all Nigerians to make it great,wether you live in Nigeria or abroad.Nobody will make Nigeria great except Nigerians.

Uduak Ekanem June 1, 2007 - 4:19 pm

Of Course!!! You will always love Nigeria as long as you remain in your cozy apartment or house in New York in the United States of America.

You don't have to go through the daily stress of lack of electricity. You don't have to be subjected to the horrific state of Nigerian roads which claim thousands of innocent Nigerian lives every year. You aren't subjected to corrupt goverment officials who request bribe before anything can be done.

You will always be patriotic to Nigeria as long as you don't live there.

I have a suggestion for you. Why don't you just pack all your belongings and relocate back to Nigeria as Sabella has done (One of the writers for Nigerians in America) and after about four months I will want to hear your experience. I want to know whether you will still love Nigeria so much. So how about "Walking the Walk" because mere "Talk" is cheap.

Before writing this article you should have spoken to the average Nigerian on the street. The majority of Nigerians are very poor. Only 1% of the population is wealthy. It's either you are rich or poor but unfortunately majority are poor – There is no middle class at all. Only the average Nigerian who lives in Nigeria is fit to comment on Patriotism because they are the ones who experience all the "Wahala" that goes on in that troubled nation – Not so called "Nigerians in the diaspora" who live abroad and see things from a different perspective.

Julius, Houston, TX. June 1, 2007 - 1:31 pm

Hi Paul, your article seems interesting but sounds very much like one of those politicians trying to whip up patriotism on an already subdued and tormented soul. I don't need CNN's documentary to tell me about Nigerians, I stayed their the first 30yrs of my life, I know all I need to know. I will not sit in the midst of foreigners to castigate my country, NEVER. But here I can since we are all Nigerians. I love my country but I'm not proud of it. I love the people from my country because we are probably one of the most hardworking and optimistic people, it's our leaders that continue to kill us, they've frustrated so many young nigerians and continue to frustrate many more. John F. Kennedy made a statement years ago, "think not of what your country can do for you but rather think of what you can do for your country", very true but how can an hungry man think? I have a friend both of us graduated together in 1998, he is yet to have a job? How can he think? How can he not be disillusioned. People are suffering big time, yet smiling. As the Late Fela Kuti would say "suffering and smiling. I weep whenever I see another celebrity talking about hunger and starvation in Africa, it seems most celebrities now do this for leisure. Wole Soyinka once said his generation is the wasted generation but we continue to have generations been wasted. Mr. Paul, you might reside in New York preaching patriotism, it is not the same on the street from Bauchi to Osun or Plateau to Enugu. My gross is many Nigerians like you Sir, now act like it is the western media that are portraying us as bad, NO SIR. We don't need no media, I have lived in Nigeria for years and I know desperation has led many people to doing things unlawful and criminal. What do you want the western media to report, a peaceful election? Even here in the US nothing makes news like bad news, hurricane in Florida, Shooting at Virgina Tech, Bribery scandals etc. So the western media only report what they feel people want to hear it is not selective as you might think. So do we give up on project Nigeria? Definately NOT. But we've got to face the fact, the country needs to move forward, we are in year 2007, politicians are still promising water, electricity and good roads, same rhetorics made by the Awolowo's, Azikwe's, and Ahmadu Bello's. Patriotism is in the blood, that is why whenever there is a sporting event involving Nigeria I'm like having hypertension, however after extensive period of suffering and deprivation it weakens Mr Paul, patriotism weakens. I don't forsee the country breaking up and going into war, God forbid. But something must happen, it is no longer about Nigerians in diaspora going back to build up the country that will never happen, Ms Ngozi (Former Finance Minister) tried it and was kicked out. It is about nigerians rising up and fighting for their right by holding those scoundrels called politicians accountable. We don't need war or division, what we need is a Joshua (in the mold of Jerry Rawlings of Ghana) to help us in clearing out those leaders that continue pillage the country. I believe some people will think I'm not patriotic, all I'm going to say is, please don't blame me, this is the writing of an hungry man, who graduated from school since 1998 and yet to find a job, who woke up this morning with mosquito bites all over my body because I have not seen electricity for the past 14 days. Please don't castigate me people, this is the writing of a young man who was practically chased out of Kano because of my religious affiliation. Please don't curse me people because I had to walk through the desert from Nigeria to Spain enroute to the US/UK just to make a living so that I can at least feed my parents who spent their last kobo to send me to school. Please don't pour aspersions on me because I'm just a young man trying hard to make sure that my generation is not wasted. I love my country, but my country system sucks.

Michael May 30, 2007 - 6:04 pm

Paul! Paul!! Paul!!!

Brilliant! Bravo!! Keep up the good work!!!

I hope the Nigerians in Diaspora (self imposed slaves) are listening!!!

Who no know go know!

Who no sabi go sabi!!!

Anonymous May 30, 2007 - 4:48 pm

Thank God for people like you! If we follow "certain" people (haters) we will be lost.


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