“Love for, or devotion to, one’s country.”

I recently had a discussion with some people on various challenges facing Nigeria. The conversation began with the planned removal of the 4th, 5th and 8th roundabout on Lekki-Epe expressway by The Governor of Lagos State, and then we moved on to talk about the advancements in technology worldwide and how Nigeria is far behind despite the abundance of talents both within and outside the country with special focus on Mr Philip Emeagwali who is tagged the ‘Bill Gate of Africa’ and ‘A Father of the Internet’, and as usual with discussions like this, we ended up on the events and happenings in recent time in Nigeria.

Without thinking, I became more vocal and a bit negative with my views about all that is happening, as I tried to convince and win over my co-discussants with my toxic views which has become the normal thing during discussions on national issues everywhere across the country where our focus as citizens has been unfortunately cemented only on negative issues in the country. As our discussion continued, what struck me was that despite my ostensibly negative view and attitude about the country and her leadership, my co-discussants were so calm and careful with what they said, I kept on trying to make them see how things are not working and how everything seems to be crumbling, I realized they all kept quiet while I ranted, and continued with their positive thoughts about the country anytime I got quiet.

Somehow I decided to just shut up, as I realized I was not doing myself any good trying to poison their minds with my noxious opinion and attitude toward the country; neither  was I making any sense to them. I sat back and just listened to them. While I was quiet, I had a serious discussion with myself about my subconscious negative outlook of the country. All along, I had thought I had a positive and healthy attitude towards the country despite all that is happening. I was cautioned about my thoughts which become words and then leads to wrong actions towards the country. There are no doubts things might not be the way I want them to be, but as a citizen, I have my own part to play however little in turning things around for good in the country, and it starts with my opinion and attitude to the country and her leaders. What comes out of our mouth concerning the country is very important hence we must bridle our tongues, for we will be judged by what we say and most importantly, our words are seeds we sow as they come out of our mouth be it good or bad, we will definitely reap/see the effects of whatever we sow.

The discussion was still ongoing while I had my own inner discussion. The lead discussant then raised a very important issue we all agreed is gradually fading away in our DNA as citizens and that is PATRIOTISM.

“Patriotism is an emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland. This emotional feeling is also known as national feeling or national pride…” or simply as “Love for or devotion to one’s country”.

So many Nigerians are increasingly growing disconnected and less concerned about the country as long as they and their families are okay, they no longer have that emotional feeling or connection to the country, this is understandable because of what we keep hearing/seeing daily on the news and all around us. But despite all that is happening, we owe it to ourselves and God to be patriotic. And it starts with our words; what we say about the country in our discussions with our fellow citizens and what we say to God in our closets if at all we do talk to God about the country, and also our attitude, this affects our outlook of the country. These two virtues are very important and can inspire a deep sense of PATRIOTISM. The bible instructs us to “Pray for the peace of our Jerusalem (Nigeria): they shall prosper that love thee (Nigeria). Nigeria is the only country that we can call our own, therefore we must not let it fail.

God bless The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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