What every citizen owes his country, whether it is the country of origin or that of adoption, is love. Citizens are expected to act in ways that will protect the reputation of their countries as well as project its image. However, this notion is disappearing for Nigerian citizens, both home and abroad, and it is becoming a thing to worry about.
Today, many Nigerians are no longer patriotic. They act in ways that show their lack of love for the country but pretend to care about it. Those committing crimes and other atrocities have already declared their hatred for Nigeria and so, are known enemies of the nation. However, the country has a lot of unknown enemies, who thought they are practising “patriotism” but are unwittingly destroying the country’s image and reputation.
The first offenders, in this case, are the Nigerian media houses and their journalists. For reasons bordering around satisfying their owners, keeping their clients happy, and attracting income, the press has chosen to spread destructive news about the country. Whether out of ignorance, mischief, or pure malice, these newsmen and newswomen have decided not to dig deeper to source for facts before reporting. They publish news articles devoid of substance even though they know how misleading those could be. They do not come back later to apologise, in tabloids, or republish articles to correct their initial damages even though their errors have been pointed out by the public, private individuals, or concerned organisations. Maybe until the Nigeria judiciary becomes effective and media companies begin to lose money through lawsuits will they learn to do things the right way.
The next offenders here are the elites. For reasons best known to this group of people, they say ills about this country despite benefiting immensely from it. Only a handful amongst them comes out once in a while to reveal the beauty of the country. Since everyone thinks Nigeria is bad, the elites allow people to walk in the dark. They seem to enjoy being the only privileged ones in the country because that will keep them on the chair forever.
The one that is going to be more destructive for the country is the attitude of the masses. Not quite long ago, Nigerians think well of and pray for the greatness of their country. But recently, it seems as if many Nigerians want their country to crash. From the look of things, a lot of Nigerians hope to see the county implode. What they hope to gain from it, nobody knows. But what they don’t know is how they will fair if such happens. Nigerians are playing with a rattlesnake, wondering if it will bite them. Or maybe they hope for a miracle that will stop them from dying if the snake bites.
In case you are wondering about the things Nigerians do that will affect the country negatively, I will suggest that you look around and notice how antagonistic people are becoming to the country. They do this by:
- Sharing bad news about the country and ignoring good ones.
- Sharing fake news gleefully, even when they know it is false.
- Attacking people that speak well of the country.
- Attacking people that debunk fake news.
- Negatively branding people that preach peace in the country.
- Negatively branding people that provide details that clarify “bad” news.
- Ridiculing people that still believe in the country.
- Discouraging people, especially investors, that have plans that will help the country.
- Encouraging people with innovation potentials to leave the country.
- Undermining policies and programmes that will help Nigerians.
And many others not captured here.
It is possible most people don’t know that their attitudes and actions will harm the country. Maybe they thought they were fighting bad governance and corruption or, as stated earlier, being patriotic. Some believe that by pointing out only the bad and ignoring the good, they will make the leaders sit-up. However, they need to understand that patriots don’t destroy the image of their countries. A patriot encourages people, both local and foreign, to live in and invest in his country. He preaches hope and proffers solutions to existing problems within his community. It is time Nigerians meditate on their actions and attitudes towards the country and decide where they stand. They should always remember that no matter where they find themselves tomorrow, Nigeria is still their root.