You are quick to curse the darkness in this contraption Lugard put together and had his wife call – Nigeria. I mean the physical darkness and the metaphorical one. Yes, the Nigerian condition is a current mess. An annoying one in fact.

It is therefore almost natural that you will and do share blames very easily. I mean what really ever works in this country. No wonder we have an administration that spent 4 precious years doing the exact same thing – blaming previous administrations for the problems it was elected to fix.

But what if you have been pointing fingers in the wrong direction all along? After all, there is the proverbial saying to the effect that where one points a finger, 4 others point back at him. So, in reality the blame sharing champion subtly says more about himself that he might admit.

So, let me suggest a reworking of your blame equation. And my proposition is that however you look at it, you have a ‘vested interest’ in this country. And you must protect that interest.

Our Public schools must work efficiently because your children might go there. God forbid? Okay but the children that will interact with your children will go there. Our Public hospitals must seize being covens of death because you might go there when you are sick. If you choose the private alternatives, you still want the best of treatment – so the whole health care system must work.

The potholes on highways must be fixed because, you will pass there and kidnappers could be waiting for your bus to come along. And if you avoid the road, our refineries must be fixed because the continuing importation of petroleum affects the price of aviation fuel and your flight ticket cost. Maybe the cost of the flight is not a problem, how about the delays? Same issue, your time should not be wasted.

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Corruption should be avoided because it is why the road to your village is untarred, floods easily and has nails on it to puncture your car tyres. Our streets should be clean because you can get sick from its filth. You should elect able leaders in 2023 because they control the policies, you will live under for the next 4 years. It is your life they’d make senseless policies over. It is not for them you should therefore protect your vote. Do it for you.

You have a vested interest in this country. This means if she works then she works for you and us all. Not for a select few. But for the majority of us – for the orphan in a rural community and for the fervent youth in a vibrant city.

Nigeria is yours and you can treat her as that. You may not love her enough but you should be selfish enough. You should be selfish enough to ensure that what you have and survive with as a person is not snatched from you anymore and in its place, stones placed in between your teeth.  

Nigeria is all the majority of us have. At least for now. Therefore, we should be individually selfish enough to salvage what is remaining of her.

Don’t do anything for Nigeria because you are selfless. You may not be. I generally don’t think I am. But do the most you can in Nigeria because of you. Even if you leave, our collective bad reputation could follow you like a stubborn fart. To end this; you have a vested interest in this country and you should be selfish enough to protect that interest. Don’t be patriotic in Nigeria. Be selfish.

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PS: This post is not directed at Politicians and Corrupt government officials. They are already selfish. We really mean the selfishness of the suffering masses.