The above topic was inspired by our attitude as Nigerians towards what we call our own, as against the preferential treatments we assent to the foreign brands. It has become habittual and a major worry for a country which has a lot to be proud of. Perhaps we have stopped believing in our common mantra - 'Giants of Africa' or is it because we cease to conform with the first lines of our National pledge?
I pledge to Nigeria my Country
To be faithful, loyal and honest
My fellow compatriots, where is our loyalty? Were we not the same people that supported the Super Eagles with all our hearts in Atlanta '96'? Have we forgotten those days when we used to be very proud of the likes of Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Papilo, Samuel. Peters, Fela, Anikulapo Kuti, Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda and other notable Nigerians? Were we not the same people who prided ourselves as major exporters of cocoa?
Fellow Nigerians, what happened to our mentality? Why are we so ashamed of our beloved nation? Could it be a fault from this generation?
Somebody might really want to know what gave birth to this. That is of course the more reason why I took you through the memory lane. If there was anything Nigerians were known for before the early 2000s, it was our patriotism. We never compromised our fidelity for the white and green flag.
I heard in history, how loyal our parents were to the Nigerian Premier League (NPL). History has taught me, how people would go out with Fela in peaceful protests against the military junta. But I witnessed little. I experienced some Nigerian matches when we would all wake in the middle of the nights to support our dear country.
Alas, our Nigeria today! Where only a few are proudly Nigerians!
Alas, our Nigeria today! Where almost everyone is desperate to travel abroad!
Alas, our Nigeria today! Where the Nigerian premier league is seen as a child's play!
Alas,our Nigeria today! Where the Government beg us to patronize made in Nigeria!
Alas,our Nigeria today! Where everyone crave for foreign brands!
I could go on and on. Our Country is in a sorry situation.
Maybe someone might want to tell me, that our leaders are not helping matters. You may want to point my attention to the fact that some of our locally made goods are substandard. I know someone would really want to bring to my notice, that our educational system today is nothing to write home about.
It is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf that the Nigerian democracy of today is a sharp contrast to what Abraham Lincoln propounded. It is not a doubt, that the division in the land was not what any of our founding fathers fought for. Of course I know that the terrorism we face today is a major worry to our fallen soldiers. Their survivors shed tears! They cry! But do we really care? Is this how we will continue to be ungrateful, to the innocent blood of Dele Giwa?
Is this how we will pay our heroes past? The sufferings and humiliations that Fela Anikulapo Kuti went through, could this be fair? To the selfless services of Barrister Gani Fawehinmi, should we let it waste?
Fellow Nigerians! Are we on the right track?
I am sure that some would ask me questions. They like to know wether am holy. Well, nobody holy pass! But should we fail to realize that some people are gifted irrespective of their imperfection? The only perfect Being I know is God.
Let us ask ourselves: Why do we go to church? Why do we go to mosque? Why do you attend lectures and seminars? Are those leaders holy? Do they have their special qualities? Let us be wise!
Jokingly, I told a friend of mine that I was going to name my first born Nigeria. And you guess the reply? I was told that it would be a stigma on the child. Like seriously? We are proud to answer foreign names and we don't see it as stigma?
I could call somebody a Londoner or Americana and she will wear a big smile. But for some reasons giving a child Nigerian name may seems to be a stigma. Is it embarrassing? I know of a celebrity that named her child after Chelsea football club. We would not think of the 'Chelsea dry gin' when we remember that for sure. After seeing some Hollywood and Bollywood movies, we can pick up a name without deep meanings. But here, Nigerian names seem to be a stigma.
Some would even say Nollywood is crap. Nigerian songs are junk. Our cultures are archaic, bla!bla!bla!!!
They discard everything that you will want to doubt their Nationality. Are we that bad?
So if your country is not working well, do you think the best thing is to play down her credibility? If yes is your answer, then it is straight. When your mother is poor or going through other challenges, you deny her in front of the whole world right? Would you then do your best to blend your mother and make her a proud woman among the group of women or not?
Won’t you then be loyal to Nigeria? Be a good ambassador and make her the best among the comity of nations.
The choice is yours.
As for me,I love Nigeria.
(c) Maiyaki Abubakar Damilare