During my secondary school days, I was naughty, and every student was. We were naughty and ignorant. It was just the perfect way to display childishness—so we thought. We had different versions for each song, and the national anthem was not an exception. Hmm, and the pledge? That was the height. Our own version was “I pledge to Nigeria my country, to be faithful, loyal and honest. To serve Nigeria is not by force… ” Our teachers thought we were just being the children that we were, but the truth is as childish as we were, we sang it straight from our hearts, when we place our hands on our chests, we almost made sure we felt our heart.
As far as I know, nobody taught us that song. It was simply observation; what we saw with our child’s eyes, what our parents always complain about the situation of the country, and what musicians compose in their songs. Were we naughty? Because till now even if we don’t say it, we act it. Nigeria is dying: no problem so long as we are not dying, if everything is going bad is not our business as long as we are sharing from the national cake. We are all guilty, me, you , us, everyone . Some people do not even think anything good will come out of our ‘Nazareth’ called Nigeria.
I was hit by the first ambassador of Africa for UN, Adetoye Oremosu’s word about the attitude of Nigerians. I had to recite the pledge to my self, I sang the national anthem again and again and it occurred to me that these powerfully packed words of commitment has been reduced to mere formal recitation.
I pledge, I pledge, a promise of a life time; indebtedness. Each time that I recited those words, it occurred to me that I am simply saying, ‘Oh! Great Nigeria, I am loyal to you and I will protect and serve you.’ Hmm and how many times? Tsk tsk, too bad.
Back to us. I find it very funny and its laughable how we talk about other countries. Recently, I was talking to a friend and the way she sounded about other countries made me to ask ‘oh! So did the leaders of these countries you mentioned work magic? Or human beings, patriotic citizens who also pledged to their country worked with them?’ These countries are not fantasy land or wonderland where things work on their own. Citizens worked, they were committed. What commitment have you shown, what is your pledge? I am Nigeria, you are Nigeria. The earlier, the better Nigeria.
Chioma blogs at Wordzbelle