â€œThe Labor of Our Heroes Past Shall Never Be in Vainâ€
What comes to mind when we thinks of the contributions made to our national history by folks such as, Herbert Samuel Heelas Macauley, Aminu Kano, Abubakar Tafawa Belewa, Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe,
Anthony Enahoro, Samuel Ladoke Akintola, Dr Akani Ibiam, Dr M.I Okpara, Chief Danis Osadebe, Jaja Wachukwu, Murtala Mohammed to mention but a few? One sees in them great philosophical ideologies regarding the issues that confronted the nation in their times.
These national patriots understood that the art of politicking is the unification of the civil ideas for the better good of the entire society. They were celebrated educationists, intellectuals, hardworking, brave, and ideologists with pragmatic principles of action. They and so many unnamed others created Nigeria for us which we have not been able to sustain progressively. Thus, it seems we are set to foil the relentless efforts of â€˜our heroes pastâ€™ by embracing factors of division and corruption? Shakespeare had it that â€˜ingratitude is sharper than the traitorâ€™s swordâ€™. And that is exactly what our modern day leaders had shown to our past heroes and heroines. In other nations, national heroes were often adorned as if they were deities. The way the Americans venerate Abraham Lincoln or JF Kennedy is beyond description. Politicians often invoke their memories with a laudable tone. It is a way of continuing the legacies which their heroes and heroine left behind.
The present Nigerian society, as professor Aloy Ejiogu articulated seems â€œâ€¦unarguably barren or genuinely selfless, patriotic, deep committed and upright nationalsâ€. Nigeria as a socio-geographical sovereign living entity is a fruit of hard labor of our past nationalists patriots and compatriots. Most of these people we named above used their human resources to fight for freedom and self determination from the British imperial colonialism. They gave their lives fully in the fight for the emancipation of this enigmatic entity called Nigeria. They loved Nigeria with deep passion. And their vision was to build her on the rock of formidable unity. They struggled to create a nation of peace and progress, where a united people would live and interact amicably.Â Today, the foundation on which Nigeria was set is being threathend by factors of disunity: tribalism and regionalism and the rest of negative â€˜isms. Moral principles were at the vanguard of their political instinct, not the accumulation of wealth hence some of their families in todayâ€™s judgment live just live ordinary Nigerians.
Today, where are the footprints which our past national heroes and heroines left for us on the sand of our nationâ€™s history: morality, integrity and humility. What can we as a nation claimed to have learnt from them. We have out of greed and schism wasted their honest laborsâ€”the prestigious legacy they have left for our emulation. Seeing how in disarray our political society had turned, there were people who did not hesitate to brand us as one of the most corrupt nation on earth. This depiction no doubt would trigger unstoppable tears from the eyes of our past national heroes and heroines. In order for us to appreciate their labors, we therefore need to eschew the attitude of laziness, economic decrepitude, extravagant and ostentatious squandering of stolen wealth, canny approaches to national interests and aspirations and so on and so forth.
We should refuse to award tittles to criminals and other economic miscreants. We should embrace hard work and expose work-truancy by elected officials; decadence should be frowned at in both low and high places. Ethics of good life should be embraced. Resentment, biases and prejudices should not be allowed to rule over our collective interests.Â Teachers and parents should lead by examples. And all sorts of malpractice avoided.Â According to Bethrand Russell, â€œwithout civil morality, communities perish, without personal morality their survival has no valuesâ€ Therefore, redefining the Nigerian value system is a positive step towards the creation of a moral Nigeria.
TO BE CONTINUED.
1. Professor A. Ejiogu: Morality and National Development: A Case for National Rebirth (National Orientation Agency NOA, The presidency Abuja 2000, pg 7.
2. Bethrand Russell, Authority and the Individual (1949)