Monday, 18 September 2017



“When we talk about fighting for our country, we're talking about our vote, our vote is our arms.”

Sarah Palin

One defining characteristic of great nations is patriotism of its citizens. In such countries love of country is critical and imbibed by rich, poor, educated, illiterate, young, old, male and female alike. The value is that this builds up citizens to be loyal and defend the interests of their own country above other nations. This great virtue now transcends every walk of life of these individuals. It affects how the citizens treat each other, the value system in such a country, the way citizens treat foreign nationals and so much more. It is for this reason that some erroneously believe that people that are patriotic to their countries are arrogant, high-minded or elitist. But this is not the case, it’s just that these people place a premium on their fellow citizens. 

Patriotism affects every area of life. So for example in trade, countries with higher levels of patriotism of citizens will emphasize their own companies, products and services which they believe is superior to that of other countries. However in countries where patriotism is low, there is always a preference for foreign goods. In such countries the excuse given for such patronage is because of poor quality of local goods. This is not tenable as quality is not fixed, it can be improved.  To learn from better quality systems to improve your own quality systems is okay and many countries have gone from third to first world by understudying and replicating quality standards from more advanced countries. Ultimately the meaning of this is that patriotism makes a people want to improve their own country to be the best in the world usually by leveraging on global best practices. 

When it comes to elections it is unfortunate that a good number of Nigerians are not interested even though things are improving electorally in the country. There are a number of citizens in Nigeria who are not concerned about the nation as a whole but only their own microsystem which by now they would have seen cannot really improve if the whole country does not get better. For example some people have a jeep (to overcome bad roads), a generator (to provide power), security guard (to provide security), well or borehole (to provide water supply) and so much more. While you need these basic amenities to survive, societies are meant to be built on shared infrastructure so that everyone can have adequate supply at an affordable price. So what all Nigerians need to do is to push for this to be done so that we have a country that will support every single citizen to live a decent life irrespective of social strata. 

This is that unique moment in time when we have to look at what’s going on and say that we won’t accept mediocrity any more. We won’t continue with a substandard approach to doing things. It’s time to strive for excellence, it’s time to rebuild our country and make it all it was meant to be. But to make a difference it’s not only making a wish but actually getting down to doing something about it. There are many things you can do but the focus here is exercising your civic right by voting. To rebuild a nation the quality of the leadership is probably the most significant factor. Every country that has been transformed positively has notable leaders associated with that transformation. Then it is clear that if you are a true patriot of Nigeria you will want to take part in determining the leaders of the country. Because the impact of the leadership of a country at all levels is so significant to the country’s socio-economic development and success it is an issue that cannot be gambled with. If however you say in one breadth that you are a patriot and in another breadth refuse to vote then there is nothing to say than, that you’re just being paradoxical. If you truly love Nigeria you’ll be interested in determining those who governs it at all levels. The only way forward for Nigeria is to elect better and better leaders every time the opportunity presents itself.  John F. Kennedy said “Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country”. 

If you want to join Nigerians who want to make a difference by exercising their civic rights, please you need to Register to Vote Today! It’s TIME TO GET REGISTERED! INEC has made it very easy for you to GET REGISTERED! You can walk into any voter registration centre, on any week day (except public holidays) between 9am and 3pm and GET REGISTERED (find out more and get the app at Just fix one day before the end of this year to get this done. Just a day! Arrive early and you’ll be registered in no time! If you are truly patriotic to Nigeria you will get registered and vote. So now is the time. You need to register. Don’t delay anymore. 

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