John Danfulani canvasses an urgent need to restructure the country
When you hear a Nigerian saying “be patriotic”; quietly check his or her social and political status. Your discovery will be: he or she was and still a beneficiary of the corrupt, skewed political structures, and corrosive socio-cultural order.
How can one be patriotic when social contracts between mandate givers and holders are being violated with impunity? And can’t seek redress through constitutionally bestowed channels?
How can one be patriotic when he or she lacks the power to terminate or renew social contracts unmolested and without hynotization from vicious political actors and their minions?
How can one be patriotic when he or she sees children of political office holders flying presidential jets–just to go snap pictures in social events like wedding, burial, and naming ceremony?
How can one be patriotic when leaders are struggling to rival the kleptocratic and totalitarian record of Gen. Mobutu Sese Seko of former Zaire (now Dr.Congo)? How can one be patriotic when police and the military spray bullets and crack skulls of citizens protesting policies they don’t like?
How can one be patriotic when the judiciary is under captivity of executive branch? And temples of justice contaminated to the height that the poor can’t afford the cost of justice?
How can one be patriotic when lawmakers that are direct representatives of the people turned their body to a rubber stamp branch of the execution?
How can one be patriotic when leaders appear in open markets and share money to people because elections are lurking at the corner?
How can one be patriotic when emergency intervention bodies bandy claims that they sank billions feeding kids at home during Covid-19 lockdown?
How can one be patriotic when he can’t go to the field because of insecurity? And government is emphasising back to the farm policies?
How can one be patriotic when kidnappers are no longer picking people on the highways, but have graduated to pulling down doors in cities and picking people unchallenged?
How can one be patriotic when the government made spewing raw lies and misleading claims an official state policy?
How can one be patriotic when freedom of association as guaranteed by the constitution has been trampled upon by aspiring dictators masquerading as democratically elected leaders?
How can one be patriotic when his region is being punished politically, economically and socially because of a civil war that was fought over five decades ago?
How can one be patriotic when leaders make reference of serious countries while justifying harsh policies like hike in power and petrol tariffs?
How can one be patriotic when he is being treated like a second class citizen in a country he called his own?
How can one be patriotic when structures and constituencies were delineated to perpetually keep him down political?
How can one be patriotic when his name, region, ethnic group and religion automatically placed a bar on what he or she will be and aspire to in life?
How can one be patriotic when leaders refused to upgrade hospitals but always rush abroad for medical tourism—and we pick the bills?
How can one be patriotic when lecturers of public universities have been on strike for seven solid months?
How can one be patriotic when a global, regional and sub-regional right to self-determination is considered an act of felony?
How can one be patriotic when an indexed global terror group (herdsmen) was tagged ” mere criminals” while peaceful bodies like IPOB and Islamic Movement of Nigeria(Shias) were ruled terrorists and outlawed?
How can one be patriotic when children of public office holders mount the social media and abuse the-hell-out-of citizens for expressing reservations on policies and actions of their parents?
Be patriotic tantrum is nothing but a system and class preservation antic by a self-serving and opportunistic political class. No sane one will keep faith with the 1914 colonial political contraption that refused to live up to the expectations of citizens.
There is an urgent need to restructure this country before it is too late. A stitch in time, saves nine.
Danfulani wrote from Kaduna