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By Chris Akhabue
The twist and turns of historical dynamics, the world over, are attributable to basically two set of humans who posses the capacity to impact their historical trajectory through their words or actions.
The disposition of these two set of individuals are typically factors responsible for the growth or otherwise of their society.
The first, is, the exceptional individual whose exemplary character formation, thinking and actions, help to develop and elevate his people thousand years ahead of their peers.
Individuals whose legacies of good deeds have become template and reference point for generations unborn.
The second is the bull in a China shop. The bungling idiot who destroys inherited legacies and sends his people many centuries backwards through his own selfish and senseless words or actions.
The first set of individuals sacrifice their time, resources, personal comfort and even safety for the good of their beloved countries. That way, they inscribe their names indelibly in the anals of history because of their selfless sacrifices to humanity. These are Patriots.
Argument for merits of patriotism as moral duty can never be overemphasized. Patriotism enhances a plethora of important practical benefits. It enhances selfless service, promotes public sacrifice that is crucial to the functioning of state. It helps to reduce the likelihood of conflicts, corruption, and it is extremely inclusive as identity enhancer.
Check out countries around the world struggling for survival, as in the case of Nigeria. The major factor or ingredients lacking in their national architectural framework is the near absence of patriotism.
No country anywhere in the world survives the rigours of socio-economic and political challenges without the collective patriotism, inclusive love of country and shared pride that binds the people together in conviviality in their diversity.
These virtues and values are completely near non-existent in the Nigeria framework.
Loyalty to state, devotion to country, pursuance of the common good of all, standing up for truth and Justice, equity and fairness is completely lacking in the Nigeria context.
Instead, our loyalty is self serving, we are loyal to Individuals, political parties, ethnic groups, tribes, language and religion rather than the pursuit of values of national interest.
Consequently, as a result of lack of patriotic principles and values, egocentrism, opportunistic acquisitiveness have become an acceptable norm in our national life. And that is why we are where we are today as a nation. A nation struggling for survival inspite of the massive natural endowments.
Patriotism engenders public sacrifice which is crucial to the proper functioning of state affairs.
Such patriotic disposition is urgently needed from every well meaning Nigerian now that the opportunity to redeem the Nigeria nation from self inflicted injuries capable of self annihilation is presenting itself with the expiration of the Buhari administration.
In a few months from now, Nigerians would be heading for the polls as the tenure of President Buhari elapses in no distant time.
The atmosphere already is getting charged by the day with political activities as stake holders and interest groups are
strategizing in preparations for the electioneering.
The voters are not left out in the fray, as discussions., at home, offices, buses, in restaurants and other major public places now centres on politics and the coming presidential elections, the contestants and political gladiators.
The electorates, particularly, are taking stock of the period under review with a view to evaluating the performances of political parties and their key actors as this would no doubt provide a veritable platform for stakeholders and electorates to critically evaluate their candidates using same as benchmark to determining their eligibility in the forthcoming elections.
As usual with Nigerian politics, political parties are assembling arsenals to deploy to out-do one another with a view to winning the elections, not spearing a thought for how the outcome affects the masses. Most times, what matters most to political parties is primarily how to win elections and not how the electoral victory impacts the electorates.
It is on good record that Nigerians have, more often times, not been able to choose right leaders because when the opportunity to make the right choice presents itself just as we have now, Nigerians are often caught up in the web of intricate trivialities and baseless emotional incontinence such as tribal parochialism, religion and other such mundane and inconsequential considerations.
The right choice may not be someone you like. You don’t have to like or love him.
That is immaterial. The most important factor is competence and capability.
You don’t choose a leader because you like him or his tribe. You choose a leader because he can deliver on the job.
Competence, capabilities, integrity and moral strength of character, should be the core value considerations.
It is often argued that a society gets the kind of leaders it deserves. With this assertion in mind, it is frightening therefore, if Nigerians might still be able to get out of the loony mode to elect the right set of leaders, particularly now that the opportunity to redeem the long suffering Nigerians have been unduely subjected by the Buhari administration is almost presenting itself with the expiration of his inglorious tenure.
In wise societies, where sane people abound, this should have been a veritable opportunity and a period for stock taking. A period when critical evaluation and assessment of the credentials, antecedents and mental wellness of politicians contending elective offices should be made, using their performance or otherwise as benchmark for determining their eligibility or otherwise.
But in paradoxical Nigeria, this is the time our passion for trivialities manifests and take the better part of our subjective abilities to critically distille issues.
This is the time we romance trivialities, and primodial sentimentales.
This,also, is the time one would have expected the same people who suffers the brunt of the brute misrule of politicians to chose right. But unfortunately, we are unable to know what is good for us despite our intelligence.
Yet, mark my words, Nigerians, licking and nursing their wounds from indelible bruises unleashed by the misrule of the outgoing regime have not learned any lesson
This can be adduced already, from the body language and the clamouring by Nigerians after political gladiators, money bags without basic idealogical premise or clear cut plans on how to lead Nigerians out of the woods.
One says, it is my turn, the other says I want to enrich my circle of friends and the other says, I want to give you back your country and make it a producing nation, not a consuming nation, a country where all will be equal before the law, not a country where some are more equal than the others.
We have a dream of a country where the patrimonial plenitude is not squandered by a select section of the populace but a country where material acquisition, political positions are based on merit not on religion, language or tribe.
How well Nigerians are able to come out of the perennial reverie and do the needful by electing capable and competent set of fresh leaders who can think out of the box to salvage the ruins of the overall dilapidated national socioe-conomic structure would ultimately go a long way to avert the last straw that would break the Camel’s back if yet another set of unreliable, unrepentant klepto serial betrayals are allowed to pilot the affairs of our national life.
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