Patriotism or Complacence?

This is a reference post. I would refer anyone who questions my patriotism, to this post.

Nigeria flag animation
Nigeria flag animation

Regular readers of this blog would have noticed the occasional posts I do about the poor state of affairs in Nigeria. I raise the issues and share my candid views about them. I hold the view that I should be very frank and truthful as much as possible. I would rather not write, than write to paint a false picture of affairs. My candid posts have obviously not sat well with those who think it is unpatriotic to write what they consider uncomplimentary commentary about one’s country.

The following comments have one thing in common:

In reference to President Obama in Ghana. Why not Nigeria? Yemi sent me an email:

Mr.Ajao,

Its very suprising that instead of you to use your handwork to promote your fatherland encourage others to do the same, you are using your hand to disgrace and put shame on your own country.

Nigeria is my country and he will always be.I am not a bastered that will say anything against my beloved homeland. Because you are enjoying free Ghana girls and other things you don’t have advantage back at home,that is why you are writing rubbish to gain cheap popurlarity here in Ghana.I am disappointed in you.But you are here in Ghana, have not you see Ghanaians negative ways of life too?No wonder Ghanaians hate us so much because of what they are hearing from you faceless fake-nigeria(s).Cheap man.

In reference to Light Up Nigeria! Paul Adep left a comment on my Facebook profile:

Nigeria is not a failed state and it will never be brother. You empasize so much about “light”? Businesses are running fine and they didnt complain about light, they are even proud to expand their scope beyond Nigeria market. Our national athem is now GENERATOR and that is what almost everybody is using.

To put things into perspective, there is a culture among the Yoruba (a large ethnic group in West Africa) that forbids one from “pointing to one’s family home with a left hand”. To the best of my understanding, it implies not behaving publicly in a way that brings one’s family name into disrepute and has little to do with hiding facts.

Democracy is a collective effort. It is necessary for citizens to point out what they want fixed about their nation. It is the duty of the political leaders to fix the problems. Nigeria operates a republican system of government, and not a monarchy. The President of Nigeria and other members of the executive arm of government, the legislature and even the judiciary are not immune from criticism. Nigeria is in a deep mess at this time and it is necessary for the citizenry to demand the best from the leaders. Nigerians do not deserve anything less.

Adding my voice to the millions crying for a better Nigeria cannot amount to being unpatriotic. Rather, painting a falsely glamorous picture or worse-still keeping mute would be. Next time you read me complain about something to do with Nigeria, know that I do not hate Nigeria nor Nigerians. Rather, I love Nigeria and want the best for the country.

I will not pass judgement on the two comments I shared above. I leave that to you, Dear Reader.

12 Comments

  1. What is unpatriotic is to wish away what is obvious to everyone. My great grandmother is from Kaduna, she came to Ghana with my Ghanaian great-grand pop and and my grandmother at a very early age before Ghana become independent. My grandmother bragged about Nigeria until her death, i can bet my last bottom dollar that she will not be proud of the Nigeria today that is parading or perhaps fronting as a country. For those who think you are damning Nigeria because you live in Ghana, i say shame on them. Their understanding of History is shameful. Ghana and Nigeria share more in common than any other country in Africa. lets go beyond the usual hype and you would find two countries join together by the hip. The relationship is a symbiotic one. they both need each other.

  2. I disagree with you on many things David, but one thing I will never disagree with you on is the CLEAR fact that Nigeria (and indeed Nigerians) needs a massive reality check.

    A country which has the abundance in resources that Nigeria has, definitely has no excuse whatsoever for not being able to provide its people with the most basic of human amenities.

    Before anyone starts to question my Nationality as well (as though I even care), I am a proud son of Okporowo Obgbakiri in the Emohua local area Government area of Rivers State, and as things stand I don’t have a place to call home anymore because of a war so senseless that it becomes enormously difficult to find an explanation other than sheer greed
    the same greed that makes Nigerian leaders and their fellow “elite” drive in their multi-thousand dollar cars on almost “non-motorable” roads through filthy slums around them to their plush mansions.

    The irony that exists in the country is so sickening that one wonders if these people have their brains screwed on right.

    As I type this, I am listening to a program discussing the crises in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. What a total shame. You extract millions and billions of barrels of oil from a people’s land, and still leave them frustrated, jobless and abruptly useless? What on God’s green earth do you expect.

    If you won’t pass judgment of those two comments, I most definitely will. “putting shame on your country”, what a load of rubbish- you don’t need to do that, the country and its leaders are already doing a good job of that themselves. I doubt if they need any help from you.

    Who is the “fake-Nigerian”? One who’d bury his head in the sand like an Ostrich and tell himself everything is fine or one who sees his country going wrong and says something.. hell even does something about it.

    And who said Nigeria is not a failed state? Don’t even get me started man… 150 million plus strong human resource, abundance of natural resources and reserves, and we are still a developing country.

    What rubbish! Nigeria needs to WAKE UP man!! Keep saying it and let them hear it.

  3. The funniest thing about this is that the people you’re likely writing to are not reading this or hearing what is up here. Have you ask yourself if our President Yar’adua is computer literate not to mention the animals who surround him with their bags to cash out anytime they could. Please my fellow Nigerians we are the scape goats. It is time we move away from talkshop to workshop. Mouth alone cannot help the matter at hand or just talking to ourselves by ourselves on the internet. Look in your field what are you learning to do right. Everything is dying, where are the scientists, craftmen, the thinkers, mathematicians. What is your role in all of these, you sit and blame. We just lost a great lawyer of all times, Gani Fawehinmi. I will like to use India for example, today India is well respected despite still being called a developing nation. They’ve realised that something has been stolen from them which was their pride they need to get it back. That is why today the American government is sitting down to talk business with India, share ideas and work with them in the area of technology. But in Nigeria if they will ever come at all it is to settle crisis that we use our hands to cause. Please stop at the next bus stop and have a rethink about yourself first, then do something. Thanks for reading.

    • Thanks for your words of motivation, Christopher. It would interest you to know that I am not idle. I am brightening the corner where I am by making sure the services offered by my company is the best it can be.

  4. Shut up rollins,

    I have read your misguided utterances and wonder if you are without fault. You are trying to sound like you are blameless, not one of us (Nigerians) i wonder if you have ever broken any of your country’s laws you sound very sanctimonious.

    Now David, whether you like it or not, you are and will always be a Nigerian. Forget about whether Nigeria is full of lawless people, you cannot join the band wagon of hateful critics and other people who think the worst about us. Have you ever come across good Nigerians who people from other parts of the world envy? That should be enough reason for you not to belittle your country men. A lot of us back home do not like the way things are but that does not mean we should condemn in very harsh terms for that matter Nigerians as a whole especially when there exist people among them that are eager to effect a change for the better.

    Do not use your website/blog to arm your country’s enemies with ammunition to hit her hard because that is tantamount to being among those given your country a bad name. Why not instead continue doing things the ‘right’ way like you expect all Nigerians to do without making a bad case for your country?

    That is my little contribution long live Nigeria with or without her numerous problems.

  5. Forgive my “naivety” here Paul, but I fail to see what portion of my comments above tries to make me appear “blameless” (I don’t think if I’m reading from right to left) Perhaps you could further enlighten us. 🙂

    Anyway, I dare you to mention just one part of the country where the power stays on for at least 16 hours a day, and I’ll gladly withdraw ALL of my comments. If even something as basic as electricity is still a nightmare in this day and age for a country of Nigeria’s standing, then I most definitely rest my case!

    What you (apparently) fail to understand from your comments above is that the situation being discussed here goes well above any particular individual- most especially me.

    In any case, I guess in the end, that really is another outstanding problem we (Nigerians) face.

  6. @rollins

    Bottom line you have no other country you can call your own, if leadership failure and unpatriotism by a large segment of the Nigerian citizenry is enough for you to criticize your country so harshly then that very unfortunate.

    When I remember the personal sacrifices the likes of George weah and wycleff jean make for their countries despite the many social problems Liberia and haiti may face it just reminds one of the wise saying there is no where like home.

    Read your post well with an open mind and ask yourself if being judgmental is not the same thing as acting blameless.

    • If leadership failure and unpatriotism ISN’T enough reason to criticize then I have no business being on this planet.

      You refer to the likes of George Weah, Wycleff Jean et co and their personal sacrifices. Fair enough! what you obviously don’t refer to is what happened to their efforts in the end and most importantly, why! Ever wondered why Weah quit the Liberian Lone Star? No? Perhaps you need to find out more about that.

      No amount of selflessness from one individual can bring about anything good if that selflessness is not shared by those who surround them. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana is another particularly clear example of that.

      Selfishness, greed, and the like, never create but rather destroy. Building a nation (and I mean a real nation) is a collective… it’s a WE!

      I have read my post over (and over) again, and still see nothing judgmental about it. I clearly am not trying to find fault anywhere. The faults are there for all to see, I (just like the author) am only pointing them out.

      Tell me, since when has critiquing anything amounted to being judgmental? Some people open themselves to criticism , in order to better themselves, but we would rather prefer to hide (and even accept) our flaws and remain in folly.

      A serious problem I feel, we as Nigerians (I dare say West Africans) have is our incessant ability to shield and even defend wrong doing when it is clear for all to see, almost always for the same reason that you are right now- there is no place like home

      You seem to be a fan of wise sayings. I’m sure you’ve no doubt heard this one

      Only someone looking at you can tell you when you have something on your face.

      Like a song writer somewhere wrote; “If I’m wrong, then I don’t ever want to be right”. In the same vein, if speaking against the ills in a society I identify myself with is “misguided”, then may I be misguided till the day I leave this Earth.

      Best Regards.

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