We pledge to Nigeria our country, one of the best-known sentences in Africa’s most populous country
Recently, there was a mild drama at the Nigeria’s house of assembly where some ambassadorial nominees screened failed to recite the national pledge.
There was uproar among the citizenry, many of whom opined that people who could not recite the pledge should not hold public offices. Some went as far as offering to let their children teach the nominees how to recite the national pledge.
Thinking about it, it dawned on me that some Nigerians think that both the national anthem and pledge are something we just recite for the sake of it.
The national pledge is a call to service to the motherland in faithfulness and loyalty. It’s a call to patriotism – defending her unity, upholding her honor and glory. These days it seems we just say the words without understanding it.
Although born in the later decades of the 20th century, the so called millennials, I and many others born within this period have heard stories and read old publications, depicting the once exalted position Nigeria held in the 1960s.
Nigeria’s independence in 1960 was greeted with excitement and hope. So much was the expectation that the rest of the world herald Nigeria as the future of Africa.
The economy was stable, new infrastructure were being constructed even as the older ones were being refurbished, the cost of living was fantastic, peace and security permeated all fabrics of the country.
A lot of manufacturing companies where available in the country at that period and there was a limit to importation. By so doing, Nigeria’s currency the Naira was strong – at a point it was actually 60Kobo to a Dollar.
A few decades down the line, things took a wrong turn. The economy is facing challenges, oil revenue has dropped drastically, infrastructural decay made all those manufacturing companies fold up and relocate. We had to resort to the importation of basic commodities which placed enormous constrain on the Naira.
A lot of fingers quickly point to the leaders, blaming them for the state of things. Truth be told, all the people share in the blame.
Nigerians know how to recite the pledge, and beautifully, yet many would take the short cut to achieve their heart desire, even when we know the detrimental effect it brings upon the people and Africa’s largest economy.
The truth is some Nigerians know the wordings of the national anthem and pledge, but it is means little to them. If they are able to recite the pledge without understanding the meaning of the wordings, then they are no different from the ambassadorial nominees who cannot recite them.
But there is hope for the country and the continent at large. Africaa sits at the dawn of a new age.
Recently while chatting with young Nigerians in Abuja, the nation’s capital, you see excitment in the air even against the backdrop, and I concluded that there is hope for our dear nation.
And not just in Abuja, even in Lagos, Kano, Portharcout, Enugu and other states of the country, young Nigerians are ready to take charge and return the lost glory of the nation.
The movement has started and is visible in various sector of the economy. In agriculture, manufacturing, ICT, education, mining and even politics, young Nigerians are bent on ensuring the self-reliance of the country.
We pledge to Nigeria our country, to return her to the exalted position she once occupied.
So I say again, Nigeria is rising.
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