Let’s talk about the OBIdients today.
I don’t consider myself patriotic. Is it heretical to say this? But in the spirit of total honesty, I have looked at myself and seen that I am not a patriotic Nigerian.
Please do not mistake this to mean that I am disloyal to my country. Because I am not. I am not ashamed of Nigeria or even of being Nigerian. I don’t care if the whole world black balled us as scammers and banned interaction with us. In fact, I am forever a Nigerian, nothing can change that. Saying that I am not patriotic also doesn’t mean that I don’t wish this country well.
Am I mad? I have no other citizenry. I own my green passport and that is that. Also, I currently have no plans to migrate. I use currently only because they say “never say never”. I don’t see myself living anywhere else despite what this country is or isn’t.
Meanwhile, I have always advocated for better leadership. I have also advocated for better infrastructure. I don’t believe that we are inherently evil or bad. But I know that because we live in a tough country and that only our wits help us to make it through each day. If we had good electricity, better roads, better public hospitals and public schools, plausible path to home ownership…etc; you will find that we would be more inclined not to be corrupt.
Corruption is not in our DNA.
However in the war to survive, it is difficult to have integrity. If it is a matter of food in our stomachs, a roof over our heads and giving our children a better opportunity than we had, then all bets are off.
So, why don’t I think of myself as patriotic?
I don’t really dream of a better Nigeria. I am too much of a cynic. Secretly, sometimes I think it is never going to get better for us as a country. I am sorry but this is really how I feel a lot of times. But I don’t voice it. This is the first time I am admitting to feeling this way.
I am a die-hard person. Correspondingly, I will be the last person to jump off an obviously sinking ship. It is hard for me to give up or admit defeat. I have a loyal streak that is interwoven with stubbornness. I will wait. Yes, I am patient. So, I can’t say what PEOPLE always say which is “This country is finished.”
When they say it, I mutter to myself. “You are the one that is finished. Not me.”
But because I am also pragmatic; the future is not beckoning us with promises of free education and one naira to a dollar. The future these days is a grinning grim reaper whispering; “if you think you have seen something then think again, I am have more surprises in my bag.”
The grim reaper can’t be carrying sweets in his bag.
I am not patriotic because I don’t have the capacity to believe. I don’t have any passion for pushing any candidate. In fact, I can’t even say that anyone exists who can solve the Nigeria problem.
I didn’t believe Goodluck’s promise of fresh air.
I sure as fuck did not believe Buhari’s promise of change.
And I do not believe Peter Obi has any answer.
I did campaign for GEJ to come back because I saw that Buhari was not going to improve anything.
But that passion that makes millions of Nigerians chant for Peter Obi. Or even to chant ‘End Sars’ or to rally against GEJ with them Tunde Bakare in 2012 does not live in me. I won’t wear the t-shirts. I won’t sing the songs. Also, I won’t bicker with strangers over who has a better plan for Nigeria (I used to though).
The capacity to still believe is patriotism. The ability to rise from the disappointment of failed leaders to believe in new ones is beyond my current abilities.
My energy, my focus, my vision is individualistic and selfish. I find how to get through each day with my family and I have no reserve energy to wear green white green or even to buy a flag of this country.
But I will say this.
Blessed are those who still believe. To the OBIdients; the teeming numbers of Nigerians across the nation who have shown a formidable strength by supporting a seemingly outlier candidate outside our two-party system, I doff my hat for you.
May your passion, courage and relentless push to see that this country is a better place be rewarded.
Blessed are the OBIdients for they will save Nigeria eventually. Not because Peter Obi is the answer. But because the drive to keep seeking answers even when there has been so much failure in the past is the spirit that will keep this country alive.
The refusal to repeat the failure of the past and going for unusual options will eventually give us the Promised Land.
Note that this is not a declaration for any candidate. I just admire the zest of the OBIdients.