There is a saying in Igbo that those who do not know where the rain started beating them will not know where it will stop beating them. It surely gives no joy telling the past of Nigeria, because Nigerian history represents gory tales of atrocities and matchless aberrations-events quite inciting. But at the same time, we ignore this same history at our own peril as the famous American Historian, Santayana, observed. The knowledge of the past gives room for correction in the future. It is a popular saying that united we stand, and divided we fall. But my country seems to disobey this time-acknowledged logic. In this light, therefore, Nigeria seems to me an irony, a perplexing paradox. This is so because our unity has left sour taste in the mouths of many, if not all, of the constituent tribes in this entity: to the extent that at the last count, none willingly stands for Nigeria but for own tribe, region or religion. Hence, Nigeria remains an orphan, or at best the proverbial goat owned by many people which dies of hunger. Everything is evaluated on the scale of tribalism or alliance to some religion. Most of our leaders are chameleons that are neither here nor there on national issues when their opinions matter most. These disgruntled elements always incite their people against others when things never favoured them. And most times, this stance dovetails into undue tensions in the polity. I dare say that most riots in the country could have not occurred in the first place, if not for the selfish influences of heartless leaders we have. Surely, leadership has frontally failed Nigerians for quite a long time now. Another disturbing index in the life of the Nigerian state is the twin monster of bribery and corruption. In any case, the government of the day is still battling with this monster of bribery and corruption. And this, surely, is a war that must be won. Nigeria's image, everyone knows, has been a very bad one, so battered into shame by both aliens and Nigerians themselves. Surely, we have to, indeed, acknowledge that some Nigerians are corrupt, and that there are so many ills in the land as it is in other countries of the world. But we must also appreciate the fact that it is not all bad about this country. Whatever is the case or image, the truth is that at the centre of Nigeria's woes (real or imagined) is lack of patriotism. It is lack of love for one's country that will make someone to shamelessly loot public funds, vandalize national assets, collect and give bribe, refuse to report criminal activities to law enforcement agents, refuse to contribute to nation-building, but rather indulge in unwholesome habits or sharp practices. The activities of those infinitesimally few number of unpatriotic elements have since made the ship of the nation drift off-course against the visions of the Founding Fathers of the Nigerian nation, whilst the Nigerian project has seemingly assumed the status of a lame duck. But those of us in majority, we see hope for Nigeria, we see a re-branded Nigeria that will once more stand proudly tall among the comity of nations, to command the full respect she deserves. It is my opinion that we all as citizens need proper (re-)orientation, whilst Nigeria as a country needs re-branding. We must imbibe the culture of thinking Nigeria in all things, we must use our talents (and whatever resources available to us) to contribute to nation-building, for we have no other place to call our own This poetical piece of patriotism is targeted at instilling national-consciousness in the citizenry, with the ultimate aim of sparking-up the light of nationalism or patriotism in our people- old and young. It is an attempt at lending my patriotic voice in times like this-thinking and talking Nigeria first, whilst inspiring generations of our people.
C. AngusLaz Anokwute is an African of Nigeria origin. He is an author, writer, poet, Computer Scientist and Engineer. He had his primary education at Hill Top Primary School Umuaka; and got his school certificate after his secondary education at High School (St. Savior Secondary School) Umuakah, Imo State. Angus Chidi Anokwute attended Enugu State University, South East Nigeria, where he bagged a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Computer Science and Engineering. Imbued with the ability to write, Angus has written many books in poetry (including inspirational and academic). He has indeed written (and is still writing) quite a number of books in varied subjects, including Mathematics, Physics and general knowledge. C. Anguslaz Anokwute has deep interest in Electronic Security (and security issues in general) and is currently engaged in the area. He is presently the Chairman/CEO of a multi-activity company, Citigate Infinity Fortunes Ltd, having worked in many companies in Nigeria. The Author who is a member of many organizations both professional and authors' is currently based in Nigerian country capital, Abuja.