Loyalty is Key, not only in Politics, but in all forms of relationship. Perhaps, it is in marriage that fidelity is most sacrosanct. Loyalty is not only indispensable but cannot be in percentages, it is needed always and in total.
Loyalty is staying faithful and true to a particular conviction, a set of convictions or a person. However, even in marriage that is like a sacred bond between two or more partners, a set of conviction still applies. These articles of faith, commonly called principles, are therefore the foundation of loyalty in all circumstances – or let us say in all normal circumstances.
Allegiance, loyalty, can be to institutions, organisations and nations. Swearing to the oath is a common ritual when individuals are being inducted to many such institutions, and citizens do sing their organisations’ and nations’ anthems and recite a pledge at important occasions. The underlying importance of loyalty is thereby established, from the family all the way to the nation; much else within political organisations and parties!
Sadly, in contemporary times, and especially in underdeveloped countries that offer little else to their citizens other than trials and tribulations, the core reason for loyalty is much often thrashed away, at all levels – family, organisations and country – as blind loyalty is demanded, often in exchange for material compensations in the face of dire threat to anybody displaying reasoned obedience. Unity and Fidelity, even in marriages, are on the basis of certain shared ideals, aspirations and dreams that two or more have come together to advance, ready to share the ensuing fortune and/or misfortune. Loyalty to a wife or husband, no matter what he or she eventually does or becomes after the union – to someone for instance that have become a wife or husband-batter, cheat, rouge and murderer – is no longer loyalty but sentimental illness. It is an ill wind that eventually blows no good to parties in the union.
The most powerful demonstration of unquestioning obedience, loyalty and faith is to Almighty God, Allah, as found in the story of Abraham, Ibrahim, in the holy books, with only some comparable instances in folklore, mythology and actual history. Even then, it was not a blind faith when critically examined, it is rooted in the solid principle of belief by Abraham in the infallibility, omnipotence and goodness of God at all times! Humans, purportedly created in the image and likeness of God, are not God and are hardly ever God-like. Therefore, any sensible human like yourself will candidly advise you not to show the same reverence and total submission you show to God to any human being, it is even believed ungodly.
How come then that majority of “Third World” leaders – family heads, community heads, heads of institutions, especially “leaders” in politics and government – expect total and unconditional obedience and loyalty, not minding how in tune the issues at stake are with the founding principles of the relationship? Even a University Head of Department, expecting sex in exchange for promised marks, expects unquestioning obedience from the student, else she be branded rude, disrespectful and disloyal, with threat of dire consequences! In this equation, the masses, poor, followers, members, subjects and the weak are usually the ones at the mercy of the elite, leaders, rulers, rich and the powerful.
For those who genuinely love the survival and prosperity of their marriages, communities, organisations, political parties and government more than they love their pockets and personal interests, they have a clear responsibility to be correctly loyal, and it comes with sacrifices. Being correctly loyal is to constantly revisit and remind yourselves of the founding convictions, manifestoes, ideals and regulations that bind all of you together in that union: leaders and followers, and balancing them with the matters arising – the instructions and projects being handed down at the moment. If they are all in line, you are duty bound to be faithful and obedient. If they are not, asking a few questions and requesting clarifications, with all due respect, can never be read by any member or leader who truly subscribes to the binding ideal and goals of the organisation as disloyal; if it is read as such, and repeatedly so, it is either time to move on or find like minds to rescue your organisation and reposition it.
Nigeria, for instance, like many organisations and parties, is in dire need of citizens who truly remember and are committed to the spirit and letters of our national anthem and pledge, and living up to the true meanings of a Federal Republic, which we are now only in name. It is high time we stood up and be counted. That is the only way our citizenship and posterity will be fulfilled.