As I begun to write this to you, I was reminded of the beautiful and underrated piece that is Nigerian pledge.
“I pledge to Nigeria my country,
to be faithful, loyal and honest,
to serve Nigeria with all my strength,
to defend her unity,
and uphold her honour and glory,
so help me God.”
I remember reciting this pledge uncountable times at primary and secondary school assemblies, at some point I could say it without thinking about what words came next. I could almost do it in my sleep.
Our fellow countrymen put down these thoughtful and articulate sentences, merged them in beautiful harmony to form our national mantras: the national anthem we sing and the pledge that we recite. It’s sad that these patriots are no more, but I am glad for one thing: they are not alive today to see – and be disappointed by – the current state of affairs. The Nigeria of today is the antithesis of the one their words hoped for.
The upcoming elections this month have made me think about Nigeria and her history a lot more. I keep asking myself this: how did we get here? How did Nigeria manage to reach this altitude of corruption?
I wish we would all understand how much our votes and our voices mattered!! One or two ants may not scare you, but 10,000 ants all clustered will have you screaming.
We are currently being governed majorly by people who openly disregard the good of the majority for the benefit of a select few, and who are of the opinion that their political affiliations confers on them an immunity to losing their seats of power. They have committed all sorts of despicable deeds and despite of it all they stay ruling. The reason this is possible in Nigeria, I believe, is not just due to the influence of a cabal somewhere, but mainly because they have managed to bully and brainwash the masses into silence and inaction. As a result many Nigerians think that their votes are of no significance, that their voices do not count. They have mastered the governance strategy of to “divide and conquer”- to cause such divisional conflict such that the people begin to fight themselves instead of recognising and fighting the real problem-them.
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of it all! All I ask for and pray for is that you take off the veil that has been placed and pinned over our heads for so long and finally see the propaganda that has been employed to keep us static. I wish we would all understand how much our votes and our voices mattered!! One or two ants may not scare you, but 10,000 ants all clustered will have you screaming. I really wish we would realise that most of the discord we are experiencing is a ploy to distract us from bigger problems in our governance. Sure, they may be incompetent, but the people who vote them in tenure after tenure cannot be exempt from the blame.
So, this is to you, my fellow Nigerian with a Permanent Voters’ Card. Don’t let the news distract you, nor the “terror flying by day” scare you. I am certainly not here to assure you that if you vote a certain group of people into power, the ‘change’ – gosh, Nigerians should really dislike that word by now – would materialise overnight. In your most sincere self you know what is working for Nigeria, what can work. At least you what isn’t. Make the choice to exercise your right to vote. On the appointed voting day, please go out to the nearest voting centre to cast yours. Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your neighbours. Encourage them, beg them to go out and vote. You know why? Because Nigeria is THEIR country too. Nigeria and her resources is not the inheritance of only a select few, Nigeria is for all of us, and if we can come around to hopping aboard the Unity train, we would endure our country less and enjoy it more.
Thank you for reading.
I want to know your thoughts on this: do you think our votes matter? Let me know in the comment section!