First, you must, no matter the cause, the facts, the data, insist that Nigeria is a great country. You know that we have never had it so good but always insist that Nigeria is the greatest country in Africa. When the facts say that Nigerians are the poorest people in the world, you must deny and term it western propaganda. You argue that if networks like BBC continually depict Africa as a place of disease and manimals, if Chinese movies never show the black people among them, if Fox News is happy at every opportunity to show that blackness is evil, why should we believe the statistical data that comes from same source?
You are reasoning now but do you ever employ the same thought to the creation of Nigeria? The best way to show that you are a Patriot is by pretending that disasters don’t happen as if by simply pretending they don’t, they cease to or actually don’t. Always insist that Nigerians love one another even though in your heart of hearts, the first thing you look for when reading any story is to see if it happened to the suspect tribe. The suspect tribe is a tribe different from yours and also the perfect punch bag for insults. Like when you read a man harvested someone’s head and you didn’t skip but continued because your tribe is safe.
Or when you read that some boys were caught with drugs and you couldn’t prevent yourself from swallowing everything. You loved that news and read it over fifty times and it helped reinforce your stereotypes. You are the first to say how Nigerians love one another even when you are also the first to recognise the ethnic group the guilty boy comes from. You say Nigerians love one another but you will never bless the marriage of your child with that of other Nigerians outside your ethnic circle. Over you dead body will you watch your son date those criminal minds or your daughter get entangled with the tribe of murderers.
Argue that the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, is the best television network in Africa just because it seems a patriotic thing to say. Even though the NTA is just the national and state television for any government in power, insist that they are the most transparent network in Nigeria and call those who refuse to follow your bad example enemies of state. When people speak of quality and the analogue systems the network operate, tell them that you love it and if they can’t appreciate their own, they are free to leave the country. Lament on how those who detest the analogue system are unpatriotic.
Call them unreasonable folks and you can add one idiot, one madman and somehow try to blame Nigerian youths for the spread of this ideology. Passionately speak about the good old days and how we can make Nigeria great again. Even though Nigeria has never been in that spot, talk of how things were not just better but also rosy in the past and how subsequent governments destroyed the Nigerian dream (even though you don’t know what the Nigerian dream looks like). Call our Heads of States great leaders and categorize other late leaders as heroes of our country even when their biographies are laced with the seeds of discord from which the bitter apple was harvested.
ones how things worked in your day even though the young ones and you, in your
sanity period, know that the changes in leadership have always been blamed on
the corruption of current leadership. You know the first coup happened as
predicted in Achebe’s A Man of the People but insist that there was nothing
like corruption in the good old days. Speak of the selfless leadership at the
time even though every coup plotter and democratic government that had their
day was selfish but still ‘tried’ to kill corruption. Speak from one side of
your mouth of how people respected the military and speak from the other side
of your mouth of how human rights are not existent here.
Speak of how God choose a President for us even when we are the ones who do the campaigns for rogues. Stay on the queue and then watch the ballot to make sure the same rogues are announced winners. Organise a prayer session for the different idiots you elected in different quarters to lead you. Hold a Virgil against demons in the life of the state even though on careful examination you are the demon in the life of the state. Anything outside these prescriptions is anti Nigeria and wouldn’t progress the country. A true Patriot must insist that these are the obtainables in the country while the self hating Nigerian who lacks a sense of belonging or understands nation building wouldn’t agree.
Say that poorly funded Nigerian Universities are at the same level as Oxford and Harvard even though it is obvious that the yearly budget of these two universities dwarf hundreds of ours. Any opinion to the contrary is a sign of inferiority complex. Speak of the poor state of power as an international problem. After all, New York City power was cut short so and so years ago even though in a city like Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt, some persons have no transformers. Lie to yourself that the problem disappears when you tell yourself it is no longer there. For example, Nigeria is the elephant of Africa even when what we have is akin to elephantiasis. Our GDP is also at a huge 600 million dollars even when per capita is ridiculous. Lie to yourself and force the people around you to believe it. This is the most effective way to be a good Nigerian in today’s Nigeria. Anything aside this is a vituperation of the enemy.