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?