We Need People Who Care About Nigeria and Its People

Written by
Written by

Deolu Akinyemi

The Essence of Patriotism in Nigeria

When we think about Nigeria and its leaders, one thing becomes abundantly clear: we haven’t had many leaders who genuinely care about Nigeria or its people. It often seems like they’re more interested in what they can get for themselves, without much concern for the well-being of everyday citizens. But here’s the thing: when people become leaders, it’s already too late to start loving Nigeria and Nigerians. We need to become aware and start nurturing this love before we’re given the responsibility to lead.

More than Just Loving a Piece of Land

This love for our fellow citizens is a vital part of patriotism. Patriotism means having a deep sense of loyalty, pride, and love for your own country. But it’s not about loving a piece of land; it’s about loving the people who live there. Sometimes, when we talk about patriotism, people ask, “What has my country done for me that should make me loyal or loving?” But that’s the wrong way to think about it. When we see it as love for our neighbors, we realize that we all have a duty to love our neighbors and, in turn, be patriotic.

A Moment of Reflection

I remember a moment when I questioned my patriotism. I was in the US, taking a course on innovation at Harvard, and I made a new friend from Germany who had lived most of his life in the US. As we walked through Harvard, I saw some Chinese children on a tour, and my first thought was, “We need to bring Nigerian students here too.” My friend asked me, “Why are you so concerned about your country and your people and not about me or my people?” We had an interesting conversation, and I realized that my love for my people didn’t mean I loved him or anyone else less. It made me wonder if I needed to grow beyond patriotism and have a more global concept of loving my neighbor.

Patriotism vs Global Citizenship

But when I think about it more, I realize that yes, we can become global citizens, but we can also remain patriotic to our own country. We might have disagreements with our country’s leadership for political reasons, or we may have to move elsewhere temporarily for work. In those moments, our view of patriotism might shift. However, when we look back at our country and see what our people are going through, our love for our fellow citizens will keep us patriotic.

The True Change-Makers

The people who will tackle corruption, fix power issues, address banditry, and create a fair playing field for everyone in Nigeria are people who genuinely love Nigeria. It’s not politicians, the military, or big business tycoons who will bring about real change. The ones who will make a difference are those who care deeply about their fellow citizens and want to do their part to ensure that every responsible person has a fair chance.

So, ask yourself: Do you love Nigeria? Do you love Nigerians? Nigeria and Nigerians need people like you who genuinely care.

Remember, patriotism isn’t about blind loyalty to a government; it’s about caring for your fellow citizens and working towards a better future together. Be the change Nigeria needs by becoming a true patriot – someone who cares deeply about Nigeria and its people.

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