Understanding Patriotism in Nigeria: Struggles and Aspirations

Understanding Patriotism in Nigeria: Struggles and Aspirations

At its core, patriotism embodies a deep-rooted pride and allegiance to one's country. A profound connection instils a desire to contribute to its welfare. 

In a nation like Nigeria, embracing patriotism becomes challenging amidst repeated failures and a demonstrated lack of concern for anyone beyond the privileged elite.

The Complex Landscape of Nigerian Patriotism

Last year marked a significant surge in voter turnout, reflecting a collective yearning for change. 

Notably, a major candidate emerged outside the traditional APC and PDP parties - the Labor Party. This departure signalled an intense desire for a transformed system.

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The predecessor's initiatives, including introducing a new currency to prevent election manipulation, fueled hope and visions for a reinvigorated Nigeria.

Following the announcement of the president-elect, a sense of deja vu settled in as Nigerians found themselves under the same party's rule. 

Allegations of election rigging resurfaced despite measures aimed at preventing such occurrences.

This disillusionment led many to anticipate prolonged challenges, potentially enduring another eight years, not even four years - a disheartening prospect.

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Some individuals, not surprised with the outcome, had already made plans to depart the country even before the official election results were announced.

Facing Harsh Realities

After the inauguration of the president, Nigeria experienced a staggering surge in fuel prices, skyrocketing by over 200%. 

This sudden escalation seemed to revert the nation back to the status quo, triggering familiar refrains of resigned acceptance such as "at least we can still afford it," "others have it worse," or "only divine intervention can aid us." 

Additionally, there was an alarming increase in school fees, prompting students to voice their dissent through protests.

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Shockingly, these peaceful demonstrations met with violence as the very entity tasked with safeguarding citizens - the police - resorted to using force against the protesting students, a stark betrayal of their protective duty.

Nigerians find themselves celebrating even the smallest positives, like a full day of uninterrupted electricity, with exuberance. 

Such moments of normalcy elicit genuine excitement, revealing a stark reality - the deprivation of even the most basic necessities. 

While citizens elsewhere take constant access to electricity for granted, for us, it's cause for jubilation. 

In essence, this lack of fundamental amenities renders us devoid of experiencing life's true essence; it's as if we're not truly alive.

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There's a poignant tweet that circulated, claiming “Apart from basic amenities, Nigeria is the best place to live in the world”. 

While the sentiment of patriotism is admirable, it's crucial to confront our harsh realities. A nation unable to provide its populace with essential amenities cannot, by any measure, be deemed the "best country to live in." 

These amenities - access to electricity, clean water, healthcare, transportation, and more - are not luxuries but fundamental human rights. 

Yet, they remain elusive for many Nigerians, casting a shadow on our collective well-being and progress.

The Twitter user's assertion that Nigeria is the "best country to live in the world"  was because of the absence of natural disasters or wars, which carries some truth.

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Indeed, the nation isn't entangled in widespread international conflicts or ravaged by catastrophic natural calamities like earthquakes regularly. 

However, it's vital to recognize that Nigeria faces its own set of challenges on these fronts.

In 2022, the country witnessed significant flooding incidents, leading to the displacement of numerous Nigerians. 

These natural disasters, while not as widely discussed, have directly affected communities, causing immense upheaval and displacement.

Moreover, while Nigeria might not experience large-scale international wars, internal conflicts persist. 

The Southeastern region grapples with separatist agitations and the Northern regions endure continuous terrorist attacks.

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These internal strife and regional conflicts, although not on a global scale, deeply impact the lives of citizens, causing fear, disruption, and loss.

Therefore, while Nigeria might not fit the criteria of being the "best country to live in the world," acknowledging these challenges presents an opportunity. 

By addressing these issues, fostering unity, and working towards resolving internal conflicts and mitigating natural disaster risks.

We have the potential to transform Nigeria into a place where all citizens can thrive.

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The Call for Change and Resilience

When I champion change, many dismiss it as futile, believing that nothing will truly transform. I consistently emphasize the significance of mindset in initiating change, stressing that “things won't change when you believe things won't change”. 

Now, those very individuals who once doubted change share my frustration regarding Nigeria's state, always cursing out the government when it falters. 

However, they aren't as vocal as I am in advocating for change. I sense a prevailing sentiment of diminished resilience among Nigerians following the last elections.

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Despite fervent efforts, there's a prevailing sentiment that everything regressed back to the same state. It's a disheartening reality that may have led to a sense of hopelessness. 

But in the face of these challenges, it's imperative not to give up; it's a call to double down on our efforts, striving relentlessly until our aspirations for a transformed nation become reality.

We must stand our ground and actively engage because fighting for our country requires being in Nigeria. 

I've observed that some of the proudest Nigerians reside abroad. Everyone needs to understand that no Nigerian is more Nigerian than another. 

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Unity and Collective Aspiration

In this quest for liberation, every single person matters—leaving no one behind is crucial. True liberation encompasses everyone; partial freedom for a few doesn't equate to genuine liberation for all.

Patriotism is not blind allegiance; it's an unwavering commitment to bettering your nation, even in the face of adversity. 

Nigeria, a land rich in culture and potential, has grappled with challenges. The quest for change reverberates through our history,.

Marked by a collective yearning for a more just, equitable society. The setbacks, though disheartening, must not dim the flame of hope.

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We must acknowledge our struggles, from political disillusionment to the deprivation of basic necessities. 

The outcry against injustice, and the demand for accountability, they are the echoes of a nation's spirit longing to thrive. It's the resilience to strive for betterment that defines us.

Yes, we face hardships, internal strife, and environmental challenges, but our strength lies in unity, in standing together to rebuild, reform, and reclaim the Nigeria we envision. 

It's about acknowledging the flaws, yet seeing the potential for transformation.

Patriotism isn't about empty praises; it's about constructive criticism and active participation in shaping a brighter future.

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And the refusal to succumb to despair. Every voice matters, and every act of defiance against the status quo counts.

No one person is more Nigerian than the other. Our collective aspiration for a prosperous, fair Nigeria unites us.

It's not an easy path, but it's a path worth taking. Let's rekindle that spirit of resilience, standing shoulder to shoulder, rebuilding a nation where every citizen thrives. 

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