Again, as in the case of the Sharia states, there was no effort to sit down and discuss their advocacy. If you put these scenarios together, you would see that the majority of Nigerians do not feel any sense of belonging in their nation. And like I mentioned in my last column, it is impossible to be patriotic when you do not belong. The unorganized and politically-oriented ruling class that does not understand democracy have helped in sweeping the problem to promote their selfish agenda. Even when the faith and traditional institutions in the country tried to mediate in many instances, they were sidelined. So, what we have now is that the carpet has been turned over and the dirt is now haunting and killing us.
Lack of patriotism cuts across tribe, religion, age, and status, that is the reason you see the Igbo queue behind and defend a national thief who is an Igboman, The Hausa and Yoruba do the same when someone from their tribe is caught stealing the nation’s resources. It is not only with the leaders but also the followers. Patriotic followers can check the excesses of unpatriotic leaders, but in the Nigerian situation the followers turn a blind eye and claim to mind their own business, which is funny when they usually are not known for minding their own business.
True patriotism, not a lack of it, would make it hard for an individual to embezzle funds meant to provide health facilities for 170 million Nigerians. A lack of patriotism is the reason why an individual would embezzle billions of naira meant for the construction of federal and state roads. It is a lack of patriotism that would make an individual embezzle billions meant to improve our aviation industry and allow Nigerians fly in rickety aircraft from substandard airports waiting for death. It is lack of patriotism that makes an individual or groups spend huge sums of money that could be used to better the lives of Nigerians to sponsor terrorists and militants to kill and make life uncomfortable for Nigerians. It is lack of patriotism that makes a public officer to embezzle billions meant to improve the education sector and instead send his/her family members abroad to study. It is lack of patriotism that makes an individual embezzle billions of dollars meant to improve power supply, leaving millions of Nigerians in darkness. The list goes on but it does not stop with people with power and opportunity, because it is lack of patriotism that makes an average Nigerian watch with indifference and docility while a few embezzle the national resources and wreck the country.
I can only imagine that those who fought and died to put to this country together are now spitting at us from their graves for making a mockery of their gallantry, and as such it appears that nobody is prepared to die anymore for Nigeria. And it boils down to everybody for themselves, everybody sharing and eating the cake together until it is all finished. Will the cake finish before the sharing or will the sharing finish before the cake? I highly doubt the latter and seriously fear the former.