19 Nov 2012

Arise oh compatriots ... Or not

Courtesy freedigitalphotos.net

Morning this Morning, "Arise oh Compatriots". I just recalled the wording of our nations anthem, and something stirred up within me. Arise oh Compatriots? Nigeria’s Call Obey? Who is Nigeria anyways? I remember in camp, during the orientation exercise for the National Youth Service Corp, the soldiers always told us Nigeria went to sleep at 6pm and woke up by 6am and this was always signified with the sounding of the beagle. Nigeria’s call obey? Youths obey the clarion call?

My problem is really with the words in our national anthem. I have always believed that a country’s anthem should really stir nationalist feelings in the hearts of its citizens wherever they hear it, or whenever it is being sung. Such national emblems as the Flag should be treated with respect as its supposed to signify something of great importance. Now back to the words of the national anthem. “To serve our fatherland with love and strength and faith”. I’ll quite agree with this admonition, indeed, it is important that citizens of any country should do all they can to serve their nation faithfully, to prevent allegiance to any external forces that might try to infiltrate the country using our own people. However, how many people serve our fatherland with love and strength and faith?. Even the people whose number one priority is this, how well do they carry it out? Do they just take oaths for the sake of it? Or do they really abide by their promises? I know anyone who reads this piece would know the answer to that rhetoric. “The Labor of our heroes past shall never be in vain”. Now I have a problem with this particular line, I am of the opinion that if one were to look at things practically, Nigeria has NO HEROES!

There, I said it, "zero heroes" and if anyone mentions the Nigerian Civil War, I’d say that was a war that could have been averted. Now back to my no heroes story. Here’s how I choose to see it, Nigeria was handed her independence on a platter of gold. We might have felt “oppressed” by the British when they were here, but believe me, Nigeria had it better when we were still “chaperoned”. What we had were elite men who had studied “abroad” and who felt they now had enough knowledge to come and lord it over their not so educated people. All the organisations and political parties that were formed were to me a front to promote personal interests. Not to fight for the common good. One would note that even on the road to independence there were already signs that the nation (not even birthed) was on the path to a civil war. Perhaps the British saw this coming and decided to let us have our way. The “Hero” line in the anthem would have been applicable if some people had actually bled for our “freedom” (And please don’t say the 1966 slaughter of some leaders) because they did have it coming.

“To serve with heart and might..and build a nation where peace and justice shall reign”. This I can tolerate. We need more people to serve with heart and might. We need more people who aren’t self serving in their ambitions. We need a change in all facets of Nigerian administration. We need a nation where peace and justice shall reign. Sadly, this is only a “wish” some of us might only remember when we recite the national anthem. That is if some of us still remember the wording. I am a Nigerian too, I love this country, but we need to vomit the lies told us by our fathers and put on a new outlook to life and leadership in this country. Let there be items in the anthem that remind us of serving the nation for the common good.

God Bless Nigeria. Morning this morning once again.

by Opeyemi
2012 9JEducation.org work-study

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