Stella Dimoko Korkus.com: Do You Love Nigeria?

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Sunday, 2 October 2016

Do You Love Nigeria?

As we celebrate this 56th Independence Anniversary weekend? What does Nigeria mean to you?





The various reactions on Independence Day yesterday can only compel us to ask one question: what does Nigeria mean to you or me?

 I had written a piece on Friday, September 30, in which I advised that Nigerians should embrace hope rather than despair and that in the long run, it shall be well with our country. I also recommended as part of the celebration, Timi Dakolo’s soul-inspiring and masterly song, “Great Nation”, hoping that special attention will be paid to its touching lyrics. But the reactions to my interventions did no more than further reinforce the fact that too many Nigerians are angry with Nigeria as an entity, they are angry with how Nigeria has been run and is being run, they are frustrated with the current situation in the country, and what the future holds for the entire country.


       The last time Nigerians found themselves at this kind of crossroads was under the rule of General Sani Abacha. The issue was not just about General Abacha, however, but how military rule had led the country into a ditch, and the people wanted something different. The disappointment today is of a different form of extraction: some people raised the people’s hopes beyond the stratosphere: they assured them that the Nirvana that they wanted was at the door; they told them that to run Nigeria is easy, it was just that the wrong people were in charge.  


And now, all promises seem illusionary, the scales are falling off the people’s eyes and the people are transferring their anger unto every situation. The change agents who promised a revolution are in disarray, they are caught up in an atomistic war among themselves.  The we-are-better-than-them-we-will-save-Nigeria crowd has suddenly discovered that there is a great gulf between election time propaganda and the real assignment of governance. Even the partisan clerics among them no longer know what to tell the congregation. They cannot afford to say that the God they worship speaks with two tongues.



     Their nemesis and their hubris lie in a certain lack of understanding or a certain omission, or perhaps oversight. I maintain my earlier position that Nigeria is a complex entity and that it is not a country made for any Messiah, now or in the far future. Nowhere in the world is the age of the messiah real. There is no such thing. Every country must face its own destiny. It is the duty of leaders to manage that destiny, transform it and not destroy it. Nigeria’s destiny is to be great and successful. We only need to find the right combination of people. Note the emphasis on combination. We will never find the right combination if we remain divided by ethnicity, ego and religion.



       It is partly the reason, therefore, why every Nigerian moving forward must ask the question: what does Nigerian mean to me? Too many compatriots relate to this country as an abstraction. When they hear Nigeria, the only thing they think of is their ethnic root. They don’t even have any attachment to the Nigerian passport. I bet we would all be shocked the day we take a census of all the Nigerians who have foreign passports and the millions who are still on the queue, begging to give up on this country. Nigeria is thus, regrettably today, a provider of important talents for other countries in all fields of human endeavour in the same manner in which Ireland sold out its talents at the turn of the 19th Century.



      We have reached a point and that is perhaps one of the gains of democracy since May 2015, whereby every Nigerian, at home and abroad must ask himself or herself, that simple question: what does Nigeria mean to me? Does it mean incumbent government and its politics? Mere identity? A passport? Home? Association with my parents and old friends and so a homeland linked by blood? Or is Nigeria nothing, no more than a space for opportunities, or just an option, or at best, mere geography crashing into DNA? I guess no other country has such divided and scattered emotional brains like Nigeria. When the people decide individually and collectively that they want a country, may be that is when we can begin to talk of Nigeria. What does Nigeria mean to you? I urge you to answer this question as part of the national reflection process after our country’s 56th Independence Anniversary. I’ll start with what I believe.


     I am a grateful Nigerian citizen. I went to primary school in this country at a time when teachers were very proud to be teachers. Our teachers worshipped our parents and vice versa. If your parent ever told you your teacher complained about you, you would feel like running away. Today, Nigerian parents go to schools and beat up teachers, and the teachers ask for bribe. The idea of being in loco parentis has since being destroyed.  Something has gone terribly wrong. Quality education is now a matter of cash and class. It actually seems if you don’t have a lot of money, your children cannot make it in in life. In this same country, the children of ordinary people were the ones who had all the hopes because the system supported the poor. 



My father, God bless his soul, could afford to send me to any level, I was the first son of a second wife married at old age, and he was prepared for the choice he made, but the Nigerian system was behind him too. I pay tribute to those teachers who poured their lives into mine, who did everything to mould me, those selfless soldiers who gave what they had so that other people’s children could grow. That is what Nigeria means to me, Those indeed are the true Nigerians. What am I trying to say? I am saying that in those days in this country, you could make brave choices and the country will stand by you because it was a country that worked. We need to make Nigeria work again. 


       As a university student, our mattresses were made. There was regular water flow in the hostels. “Bush meats” were accorded due respect, and the “campus meats” were not badly treated either, and only the most brilliant boys were inducted into the campus cults. Everything was respectable. Food was cheap. Life was easy. Our libraries were well stocked. Lagos to Calabar by road was N15, by air it was N40 and for three months, we survived on N42, 500. I was a Federal Government University Merit Scholar. That means I went to university free of charge. 


My father insisted he would pay and he didn’t need government to send me to school. I used his money to buy books. That was how I started building a personal library that can only compete with that other one owned by the bibliophile called Odia Ofeimun. When I got to the University of Ibadan, I also ended up as a University Scholar. My father again insisted on paying his bills, but Nigeria insisted on training me. I consider myself a product of Nigeria. I got to wherever with my father and Nigeria competing to pay the bills. 



My father felt a sense of responsibility. Nigeria had a system that looked out of for people like me.. Once upon a time in this country, Nigeria looked out for people’s children and invested in them. I am one of those products. Standing on Nigeria’s investments, I have gone to so many other places in the world.  Nigeria has given me a foundation that I could never imagine. And by some sheer accident of fate, I ended up as Presidential Spokesman at Nigeria’s highest level.  Nigeria means a lot to me. I cannot give up on this country. No matter the travails, I believe that this country means a lot to so many of us: search your own history.  


       I have children who despite the difficulties are also not willing to throw away their Nigerian passports. Nigeria remains the home of my children and their great-grand children to come. Nigeria is the country that has given me all the opportunities I have had. It is the landscape of my joys and sorrows. It is your landscape too. What Nigeria means to me is a country that needs to be rescued from many years of abuse, from the locusts that eat things up, and the agents of the devil who turn a good country into a land of regrets. I am consoled by the realization that the people who love this country and who want to see it work and make progress possible are in the majority. Nigeria is a country not only of great potentials but also of great achievements.  Let us take certain things seriously beyond satire and parody, and resolve that we all have a duty to make this country great.



     I believe in this country because every opportunity that I have enjoyed came my way because in the long run, I am a Nigerian. The world is a competitive place. It is also a rational world. You can have the best CV in the world in any circumstance, but the people in charge of opportunities don’t just look at brilliance and genius, they consider so many other factors. What Nigeria means to me is a country that has given me many opportunities and opened many doors for me. I will confront those who want this country destroyed for false reasons and if ever given the opportunity, I will run this country and place it on the right path.



    By now, you know where I stand. I am a grateful citizen who wants to rescue this country. My choice is a reformed and improved Nigeria that serves the interest of all citizens and mankind. What is your exact choice in this matter As we celebrate this 56th Independence Anniversary weekend? What does Nigeria mean to you?


52 comments:

JACINTA MBACHU said...

Ok seen, next please

white Berry said...

Haba have stopped somewhere it's too long, Nigeria means a lot to me because that is my root and the land of my birth.

Tiger H said...

Love Nigeria?
Why would I?

Anonymous said...

Oh my country the strongest of them all. I believe in this country our sunny days is very near... God didnt bring us this far to Leave us!

Anonymous said...

A truck pusher in the market would have done a better job as a president than this illlitrate Bahari

Sugarboi said...

I *<3 Nigeria! when you go to others Africa country's you will come back to love Nigeria trust me

Fan Emmanuel said...

Mehn i hate this scam called Nigeria. Can't wait for it to break.

Anonymous said...

Stella thanks for always posting my articles.

Professor Rueben Abati

beeolah said...

I still love my fatherland

lastborn said...

Once upon a time, when Nigeria was young,and free from corruption,greed and selfish leaders,was when the above write up was applicable. But Nigeria in present real time is in trouble, and to Me,a country where I live,nothing more nothing less.

Anonymous said...

Had to scroll quickly to the end first to make sure I wasnt about to embark on reading hypocritical tripe from Reuben Abati(waste of my life)

Let me scroll up and read again.

Anonymous said...

I get choice, I gat's love am? Unfortunately for d bad situation in Nigeria my fatherland

Anonymous said...

I get choice? I gat's love am? Unfortunately for d bad situation in Nigeria my fatherland

Debbie me said...

I guess this is from Rueben. Well, this question remains a puzzle to me. All I can say is this "it's well".

mmm said...

A country is not a person but a group of people. Love your country means love yourself.. How can we progress with so much hate for our country, when it means hating ourselves??#loveNigeria

Mrs I said...

Hmm nice post..too long thou

Wiz Prof said...

No citizen of a country hate his/her country. For me I love my country and would serve my country.


but the way things are going this days are giving people second thought .

Commenting from wizprof.com

AMMY said...

9ja is just a country for me. I have never gotten anything free from her. All my life I have had to pay my own bills,thanks to my wonderful parent who ensure I never lack. They worked very hard to ensure we were well taken care of. Now I'm also married to a wonderful man who takes care of the children anf i even with my very good job. I neva chop any national cake. All I have achieved is through my own hard work. Looters continue to ruin the country and lie that they are working for the masses.SMH

peculiar said...

Y will I love Nigeria?. Am not even proud to be a nigerian.

McQ said...

I am proudly Nigerian,anyone who tinks Nigeria should split is acting a script. Thats why language was created in the first place.

Anonymous said...

A place of hypocrisy and injustice

Anonymous said...

Where anyone that establishes a church wants to "go to Europe and America" to establish branches but his village has got no church.

Sara said...

Right now I really don't care..if I get d slightest opportunity to leave this country,I'm off o..cos this country is upside down.

School life said...

If our leaders hadn't failed us, by now, we would ve gone very far.

Any which way sha, Naija till I die...

#ILoveNigeria

Roseflower said...

I'm indifferent about Nigeria.

Julius Not beggar said...

Hbd Nigeria

Julius Not beggar said...

Hbd Nigeria

Jennah said...

I love Nigeria but the truth is we still have a long way to go. God bless Nigeria. One love!

Kim Kardashian Aka portable queen of sdk blog said...

Break and go where naa...
Lol.... One Nigerian 😉

Kim Kardashian Aka portable queen of sdk blog said...

LMAO

Mrs. Romas said...

You can't tell me you love yourself when you hate your country. Whosoever hates Nigeria automatically hate his or herself.
Nigeria means a lot to me even though I'm in diaspora, i love my country no matter how welcome i feel where i am; i will feel more welcomed in my country.
Nigeria is blessed, Nigerians are hard worker except the cunning once. Since 1999 that Nigeria attained Democracy, things went sour in Nigeria, yes i will boldly say, i love the military rule because of the way democracy has destroyed Nigeria, none the less; i will never stop praying for my country and my people.

I see every Nigerians as one, i don't believe in tribes. I can easily relate with every Nigerian and i love it that way. I have lived in different parts of Nigeria, the memory of the people remain with me because i forgot the bad seed and remember the good seeds. I have known more good people than bad people in Nigeria, so, i can boldly say majority of Nigerians are great people.
I love my Nigeria.
I love my Nigerians
God Bless Nigeria and Nigerians.
God bless the President and grant him wisdom, knowledge and understanding to lead Nigeria in the right path.

Roseflower said...

Awww if this is really you, then I just want to let you know that I love you and most of your write-ups. Keep up with the brilliant work Sir.

Anonymous said...

PG 18
To me Nigeria is just a location and not a country.
ASHAWO WAS 1's A VIRGIN

Anonymous said...

PG18
A location and not a country.
ASHAWO WAS 1's A VIRGIN

Shyla said...

I used to but not now. I give this country one more year to come back to its senses, balanced economy and stable foreign exchange, otherwise I go waka like Andrew follow my people.

Spirit said...

Too long to read. This must be a Rueben Abati write up.

Sweet Lolly said...

I Love Nigeria and she means a lot to me but God damn it,I Hate the leadership, I hate the mess our so-called elites has turn our beautiful and God-blessed country into. I hate the selfishness and greed of those in power etc.




#Vikenx-virus

Anonymous said...

He is only good in nomadic grazing.

Anonymous said...

Don't you just sound stupid??? Instead of you to prayer for a better Nigeria see the stupid thing you are wishing for. How about then breakage starting from your home?????

redbotafly said...

Nt my fault I was born into ds country n yes am nt proud of nigeria cos of its backwardness.
Gud or bad nigeria is my country.
Dnt ve a choice but to luv my country.

Trailcie Trailcie said...

There's ntn to celebrate, #tired

Anonymous said...

It sure will.

Anonymous said...

Mumu but you will be so excited to get U.S. citizenship.

Jenny zee said...

Lol dagbo

Jenny zee said...

Lol

Paragon7ven. said...

I love Nigeria for many reasons. Not just because I didn't have the opportunity to make my own choice on which country to belong to because to be honest If I had such opportunity maybe I would not have picked Nigeria. Maybe I would have considered countries like US, Norway, Finland or even Canada.
One thing I respect Nigeria and Nigerians for is their resilience, optimism and hardwork. Nigerians have a special ability to adapt to any situation and environment they may find themselves and even dominate. This is evident in what Nigerians in the diaspora do around the world. If half of what happens in Nigeria should happen in any other country, that country will die a natural death but despite our numerous problems we always look for ways to get our lives going.
Our major problem in this country is not the amalgamation of 1914, throwing the south and North together to form "one Nigeria". There's tribalism and hate everywhere across Nigeria even amongst the same ethnic groups. For instance, the senseless killings in Ebonyi state due to tribalism, Ife and modakeke war in Osun state, ijaw and itsekiri etc. You know we live in a country where just because the University of Nigeria is located in Nsukka, sometimes a few senseless people feel they have the right to everything and anything in the school community and others don't matter much even if you're still Igbo. This is not peculiar to UNN. It's the same in every community where we have one institution or government organizations.
We can't even have Biafra because the level of sentiments and disparity amongst the "Biafrans " is something to be worried about, where some people are regarded as "osu " or free born and some are "by history" slaves. We have this problems divide even in the churches too.
Our problem as a National is not that we are together but that we have failed to fight injustice in government and in every other institution together irrespectively of our ethnic background. We have left politics only the hands of the average minds giving them power to be wreckless with our common wealth.. I believe if we get it right in government by always voting for whoever we think is the right man for the job without ethnic sentiment or religious bigotry, then suddenly things we begin to fall into shape.
I believe in Nigeria! God has blessed us with everything any nation could've wished for both in natural resources and human resources. We don't have any natural disasters happening here, all our problems are human made and I believe they can be fixed.
This is my opinion, you may either agree or disagree.
GOD BLESS NIGERIA.

Anonymous said...

Lol 😂 @nomadic grazing. Anon 13:24 u are cray. Make una dey respect this Buhari naa at for his age

BEDS AND ROSES said...

Love Wetin? Our days of Lion of Africa is long gone. Leaders have done a good job of destroying the country. People are hungry.
The leaders are only there to enrich their pockets, they don't love the country or citizens they are there to govern.
I use to tell my husband I can't live outside naija, just our holiday and we come back. But this last holiday if I had a chance, we are able to get jobs I won't have minded relocation. A colleague of mine has given Nigeria till 2019 if things don't improve, he's packing his family there. Luckily all d kids have US passport.
The govt, both Jonathan and Buhari, they've destroyed Nigeria. APC/PDP they are all same thing. Just recycled bunch of old men.
In all I thank God I atleast have a job, have a family and we are all in Good health. But what happens to the common man on the streets, how leaders don't think of d common man before making policies. So many businesses have packed up due to this dollar ish, and govt is not doing anything.
Nigerians are hard working people, see them abroad excelling in all fields. The govt doesn't make d environment conducive enough for citizens to excel. It's sad.
I love Nigerian people. But I do not the country Nigeria,

TM David-West said...

Nigeria means home for me. It means my fatherland. It means the one country I'd love to live forever... to be buried in.

It is like me, a work in progress. Like I believe in me, I believe in Nigeria. It is God's own country and the King of nations will restore her glory and set her above her peers.

Nigeria is my country, no matter where I go, I will keep my return ticket to come back home.

Let us pray for, and work towards a better Nigeria.

Anonymous said...

Dumb ass

aneke samuel said...

Happy 56th independent anniversary to Nigeria.
Nigeria can be great again.

McQ said...

Nice to meet u too,u must be my arse.

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