"Facts are stubborn things..." John Adams
So, this week, I will draw my admonition from an essay I wrote some four years ago, I had at that period asked was Nigeria worth dying for? Today I rephrase the same question, what is the worth of Nigeria?
I would say that we at most, talk, write and discuss the Nigerian myth, one that is leadership, with a sense of fatalism. If everyone thought as much as I did about justice and fairness, life would be better. I am critic, but I am also the critics’ critic, the unrepentant believer that the best way to keep government on its toes is to keep harping on their flaws so they can improve.
Often I say I believe the things I write on, are important for our nation as they are for other nations, but when it appears to me Nigerians especially those in authority do not react to these issues as people in other lands do, I repeat them in new essays to remind old readers and recruit new ones to participate in the continuing dialogue.
Sadly this is Nigeria where nothing works and no one cares, when it works, it is because someone’s interest is about to be served or being served not the people’s interest. Like the Dasuki charade, or the abattoir called the Bayelsan election...the so-called dollar or forex scarcity, as a people we can hardly agree on anything, yet we say what unites us, are more than what divides us...indeed, and in that case then...what really is the value of Nigeria?
The value of Nigeria can be reflected in the answers of these respondents, on whether Nigeria is worth dying for.
I start with Lekan who said: Capital 'YES'. The reason is very simple: I have no other country that I can lay claim to. I'm not a dual citizen like some of you. I don't even own a Ghanaian Green Card not to mention American citizenship.
Kamal responded: Yes, because I have faith in Nigeria.
For Toska it was: No, you can only make sacrifice where and when it can be appreciated. Nigeria is not worth dying for as it has not made life worth living for its citizens. Nelly answered in the affirmative too: Yes, to sanitize the rot.
"Sorry, I won't die", was Femi's simple answer. Livy added: ...Nigeria is not worth dying for.
Hilyeng in typical Nigerian fashion answered a question with another: Am I crazy, why should I die for Nigeria? People embezzle monies meant for development yet they collect national honors. People steal plenty money chieftaincy titles accompany them. Why should I, I have not stolen and you want me to die?
Shanono in his answer pointed out: No, I am sure all the police personnel killed by BH, just died for nothing, what has government done for their families?
Francis is patriotic in his response: Yes, Nigeria is same as me. I can die for myself. And Joe added bite: I can because no matter what the circumstances, it is still my country.
Aurora saw it in this manner: I would die for a Nigerian not Nigeria. While Heni's response was dual, no reasons though, "Yes and No".
Gen. Magada blurted: Never! I can't spare even my fingernail for this country for very obvious reasons too numerous to mention...Oga I am only telling you the truth. The country has for long been for the highest bidder, so what do you expect sir?
Freddy: Not for any reason, I have never stolen money before so why should I?
Tonia: No, Nigeria and Nigerians are presently confused. If you do someone a favour, you are expecting either of two things. One, you want the person to feel indebted. Two, you want the person to say thank you, I appreciate you. But the present Nigeria won't do any till you are dead. Why, tell me thank you after I am dead? I rest my case.
Taiwo: …Except one wants to deceive himself there are no Nigerians (I mean 'ordinary' Nigerians) that are not risking their lives living in the sharks hole called Nigeria presently. It is a high-risk job mere living in Nigeria!
Christian: Yes, anytime, anywhere. And Ugo countered: No! Tell why I should waste my precious life.
Wind: Die? I'm already dying for Nigeria, everyday! This present condition is it life?
Atayi puts it this way: Nigeria is only worth living for!
Kingsley says it’s "A big NO! I can't be the only one making the sacrifice; at least if we are all making the sacrifice, no problem; but from the look of present day Nigeria, I still re-emphasize NO!”
Victor reflects: The issue with Nigeria in my view is a deep lack of patriotism in high places. Our leaders see politics with the same lens a businessman sees his profit. People are not going into power because they are passionately driven by patriotism but to have a share of their national cake that could serve them, their family and friends for decades and long after they are out of power.
CAN I DIE FOR NIGERIA? He continued, "Nigeria is my country and I have a great sense of love, passion, and commitment to contribute and impact greatly to its second birth".
He ends by saying, "Nigeria is not going to be changed by the growing mountain of prayers that booms out of our churches and mosques daily; rather, the transformational revolution which our country needs would be possible through redefining our patriotism. Only Nigerians in Nigeria through formidable institutions can do this. If the radical transformation of Nigeria is dependent upon my dying, then I'm ready to die for my homeland. That would mean: the new nation after my death shall serve the needs of the future generation equally; build a transparent, and truly independent judiciary. An executive totally incorrupt and accountable to both the man in suit as well as market women on their duty...then I'm ready to die in order to stop this gross economical assault, unbalanced deprivation and inhuman treatment of generations past and present".
I will ask us to please reflect on the Nigeria in you, how much of it do you value, is there a Nigeria, are there Nigerians...A dane gun is mere wood, it is the bullets that give it life, and yet in all its life, it brings only death, it cannot cause rain to fall. Nigeria is you, its value is dependent on us, and it’s true worth--only time will tell.
Prince Charles Dickson
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