Written by
Written by

Deolu Akinyemi

One of the core things that the New Nigeria Club seeks to address is the question of identity. Not just image, but identity. In this classification, image is how you are perceived while perception is how you see yourself. True sustainable image is one that is projected directly from one’s sense of personal identity. If what I am projecting as who I am is not who I really am, it’s only a matter of time before all my projections break down.

There was a question I was asked yesterday, I’ll like to ask you too. What makes someone a Nigerian. What is our unique selling point? What differentiates us, for what course are we willing to die. Who is a Nigerian? What are our values? What do we believe in? What binds us together? For the Americans it’s easy, it’s freedom. The free spirit has been branded the American spirit. Many American’s have died for Freedom, they have a statue of Liberty that is a National Icon, they believe in freedom of speech, of e.t.c. America is synonymous to freedom! When you think Singapore, you think cleanliness. They are so crazy about keeping the town beautiful and clean that they go to almost any length. As far as ensuring their citizens or visitors don’t chew gum, for fear they might not find where to stick it :). For Germany it’s commitment, e.t.c. There are some other countries like these, some known for fashion, some known for machines, some known for their technology, some for their piracy e.t.c. What is Nigeria known for, what what makes us Nigerian, and what should it rather be?

I bet there are many postulations about what makes someone Nigerian today, or what our identity is. For the sakes of not feeling bad, I will not propose any here, of what use is pointing fingers rather than being a part of change? Rather I have decided to act like a New Nigerian and take responsibility for what should bind us together. In the New Nigeria Club, we have defined what should separate a Nigerian from every crowd to be that he is P.A.T.R.I.O.T.I.C.

In our own Language the new word PATRIOTIC means to live in such a way to make God and Country Proud. This is the underlying theme, or what the call the Commanders Intent for the value re-orientation we wish to achieve in Nigeria. Beyond this number 1 meaning of what we believe should distinguish Nigerians, we also have 9 others that begin with letters that form the acronym PATRIOTIC! The great thing with these values is that what we have done is re-brand the same set of values that Fela Durotoye has been pushing to different companies and the Ministry of Education. If we can all adopt one voice, we can all have our desired New Nigeria, a value based Nigeria!

P.A.T.R.I.O.T.I.C. – We live to make God and country proud!

P – Problem Solvers

This means that “we are solutions to problems and not problems to solutions”. It means that the average Nigerian can be expected to look at problems and not give excuses or play the blame game, but to rather take responsibility.

A – Aspirational

This means that we are “consciously building a great legacy”. We aspire for greatness, as individuals and as a people. We are conscious about our environment, about our nation and about the legacy we are leaving with our words and actions.

T – Timely

“We value time and make the best of it.” We don’t operate by Old Nigerian time, we know that time is life, and we maximize the use of it.

R – Role Models

“We live lives worthy of emulation”. We don’t wait for positional leadership to become influential, we are leaders and everywhere we find ourselves we comport ourselves in ways that can be followed.

I – Integrity

We say what we mean, we mean what we say, we live transparently. Our words and actions are in sync. Integrity to is the commitment we give to our words. “We each live a life of integrity”

O – Outstanding

“We are the best in what we are naturally good at.” We have clear areas of talent and regularly strive to be the best at what we are naturally endowed with.

T – Trustworthy

“We can be trusted to do the right thing at the right time.” We are dependable and reliable, we live by the spirit and the letter of the law.

I – Impactful

“We make positive impact on everyone we meet and everywhere we go.” We have the courage of our convictions.

C – Compassionate

“We care and show that we care by our words and our actions” We are our brothers keepers. We believe that our candle loses nothing in lighting up another candle.

Can we commit this to memory like some of us have? Can we pattern our lives after these values? Can we create a positive values epidemic? Can we spread this fire and cause it to catch on? I believe we can.

To this intent we are sponsoring a visual arts competition for a catchy and memorable representation of each of these values in the form of a graphic design, painting or work of art that can serve as a billboard. The finished product must be available in print form, as a coreldraw file, jpeg and pdf. The winners of these competition will be rewarded in the following ways

1. Winner (person whose works score the highest ratings) gets a cash reward of N800,000 and a graphic artists laptop

2. The First Runner up, gets a cash reward of 300,000 and a laptop

3. The Second Runner up, gets a laptop.

All interested participants must submit their expression of interest before the end of July to deolu@deoluakinyemi.com with the title – Expression of Interest.

We’ll also be sponsoring writing, poetry, drama and music competitions to create memorable thoughts from these values.

I am a Nigerian and I am PATRIOTIC, how about you?

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