There are many Nigerians whom at the age of 53 have not yet bought their first car. There are many more who have not still found their dream job, and of course, countless more who haven’t yet built their dream house. There are many 53 year old spinsters who are still searching for Mr Right. And there are many 53 year old Nigerians who deep in their hearts, know that they are far from achieving their dreams.
Today marks the symbolic day which Nigeria was granted full sovereign powers by our British colonial masters. Five years ago, it used to be a day of joy, a day of fanfare and parades, and a day to showcase classy swag in the National colours. But today, I am hardly seeing anyone who is not mandated by the rigours of his job to do so in the National colours. The few Nigerian flags I have seen are not looking starched and proud, and the revered National anthem has hardly been sung in households.
Of course, there is a multiplicity of reasons to explain this seemingly unpatriotic attitude by most Nigerians. Many say that the country has given us very few things to be proud of. Today marks the inception of the fourth month for which university students have been sitting at home doing nothing. The security situation in the country is far from being solved. There was even a scare of fuel scarcity yesterday, and there are numerous other problems which plague this country as I write.
But the Good Book says that in all things give thanks! If we all use today to express our solemn displeasure at the state of affairs in this country, and rain abuses and insults (some of which they deserve) on the leadership of the country, and if we all choose to wear black instead of our National Green and White, then I cannot but ask, who then will wear the National colours? Is it the Ghanaians that will offer thanks to God on our behalf for at least having a nation which we can call our own? Is it the Cameroonians that will showcase our national colours and sing our national anthem? Is it the British kids that will hold parades and have fun in our national parks?
The urge to criticise the government is burning in every one of us, no doubt. But we can at least suspend this desire for the next 24 hours to celebrate the country. Even if we have nothing presently to celebrate, let us celebrate the efforts of our heroes past, for it was the selfless struggle of the nationalists that has brought us to where we are.
For if we don’t pray for Nigeria, who will?
Ramblings of a Patriot.