I was impressed yesterday at the great turn out of Nigerian Youth witnessed at 2014 International Youth Day. The United Nations International Youth Day is celebrated on August 12 each year to recognize efforts of the world’s youth in enhancing global society. It also aims to promote ways to engage them in becoming more actively involved in making positive contributions to their communities. Nigerian Youth from the six geo-political zones were all represented at the event. From Youth Corpers to NGOs, CSOs and other Youth organisations across the country were all clad in white and green T-Shirt with cap to march exuding their sense of patriotism.
The event which took place at international conference centre, Abuja was being put together by the Federal Ministry of Youth Development chaired by its Minister, Mr Boni Haruna, who was the Former Governor of Adamawa State. President Goodluck Jonathan (GCFR) the special Guest Honour was ably represented by No 2 citizen VIce President Namadi Sambo.
The interesting thing about the event was the fact that Nigerian youths regardless of the insecurity and Ebola endemic news everywhere still out of sense of patriotism came out en-mass to participate. What am I driving at? It is our sense of patriotism first before anything, we don’t have another country elsewhere that would give us that sense of belonging like our beloved country Nigeria. This great country deserves our patriotism before what she has to offer us. For the transformation that we all desire to manifest in this country, we must first of all, change our mindset and attitude towards anything that concerns it. We must move from negativity to positivity. It is a common saying that ‘Rome was not built in a day’ it may not be now but I know soon Nigeria will get to the promised land, she has all it takes, talk of great human resources, natural and mineral resources.
Our sense of patriotism would not only motivate our elected leaders to deliver on their promises but would also create a secured future for the next generation. Although, we still battle that hydra-headed monster, corruption in leadership, that should not deter us from being proud of this nation. Personally, I have chosen to love the country, irrespective of what is happening.
We all desire holidaying in those developed countries like US, UK, Austrialia and the rest of them. Have we ever asked the citizens of those countries their attitudes towards their countries? Do they wake up every morning and begin to curse their countries like most Nigerians do? Do they go about vandalising government properties because it is purchased by government not them? Do they go about throwing bombs in the marketplace to cause chaos and disorderliness? Or volounteer to kill their fellow citizens because of religious differences? Capital No! I learned when American wakes up in the morning he says God Bless America! No Briton would dare vandalise UK Government properties.
If only we could allow that spirit of harmony that had bound us together irrespective of our cultural and ethnic diversity since the Amalgamation of Northern and Southern Proctetorates in 1914 to prevail over segregation, marginalisation, favouritism and nepotism that have become entrenched in the polity today.
I charge all Nigerian Youths, we are the engine and the future of this great nation. We should rise up to our duties and make patriotism our hallmark. We should also think less of what this country can offer us, but what we can all offer this nation. Let me also remind us that as long as you are born Nigerian anywhere you go, you always be a Nigerian because we are unique people. Shikena.
I love Naija.