‘I pledge to Nigeria my country
To be faithful, loyal and honest
To serve Nigeria with all my strength
To defend her unity,
And uphold her honour and glory,
So, help me God.’
The pledge above, is the summary of the expectation from those who are committed to serve the government of Nigeria, in whatever capacities they are found. In it, allegiance to the country is clearly stated, the character of honesty and accountability is recommended in the course of service that will bring honour and glory to this amalgam, River Niger area, Nigeria. Of course, the writer in his salient thought expresses the fact that man cannot achieve this onerous task without recourse to God, the almighty, for divine-induced ability.
I perceive the writer of the pledge in the light of uprightness and morality for dignity. How I wish the writer automatically takes up the executive leadership! to direct the governance, if possible. However, the more important is the transmission of his good motive to those who will constitute the rein of project – Nigeria.
A supposed point of baptism for good governance is at the oath-taking. The oath-takers are given the symbols of their faith, the Bible, Quoran, and …. the oracle? What I see at the inadequacy in this process is the obvious absence of the masters of the anointed ones to interpret the Bible, Quoran, and so on to the intending leader. Reference is made to the constitution as the main declaration of the oath and the word of God would simply be carried without reading any passage or a single quote from it, as the implication of their misdeed in case they flagrantly err in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities.
Though the constitution bears the law and regulations but the word of God carries the anointing, which is the divine help being sought at the conclusion of the National pledge, which is overwhelmingly needed to do the right. I still don’t understand why the symbols of the individuals faith are not being represented by the clergy alongside the chief Justice or Judge as the case may be.
My opinion is that the men of God’s duty shouldn’t be limited to ‘come and pray for us’ but be extended to ‘let’s chart the enduring course together’ so that prayers can be speedily answered. We should not have the mentality of going ahead of God, only to wait for Him at crossroads. I am yet to find out if this error is by omission or commission. How clever Nigerians may be cannot be underestimated in their bid to circumvent any trap, be it legal or spiritual, though, I’ve still refrained to draw up conclusion.
Benefiting from the loophole of the absence of spiritual commitment are the occupiers of the seat of power, who now see themselves as solely at the helm of affairs to the extent that you’ll need a magnifying glass to see the presence of God, if any, in their policy formulation and execution.
Having lost the spiritual compass, everyone back to his own familiar spirit with the peculiarity of arm-twisting the Laws and regulations for personnel advantage.
The honourability of the Honourables, in essence, resides in the provision of the constitution, which commits then to their constituencies. These constituencies are always at the receiving end, being neglected. Their elected leaders become hermits to them.
Two conflicting schools of thought are evolving as determinants of the glitter of honour being ascribed to the honourables. One, the superlative parade of outstanding wealth acquisitions, denoted by the gleam and plurality of their S.U.V or jeeps, automobile state of art, display of opulence, social delineation, new class belonged to; the summation of which is physical and material imposition on the psyche of their subjects, which is fast becoming proponderous in Africa and in particular, the heart has been discovered to be very sick, meant for the “surgical theatre” of purpose and intent re-determination.
Nigeria, the heart of Africa, we hail thee. Our Honourables, we hail thee, and I hail thee, not because of superfluous indices, but by the second school of though expressed in the following paragraph.
Second, which is the desirable and enduring, is the Honourables role in the transformation of their subjects in their constituencies. on this, I give my own mark, pas or fail, honourable or dishonourable. The wealth or rather the good welfare of the average citizen of the country is actually displaying the wealth of their representatives in government. So, if the citizens are wretched, their representatives in government are wretched, no matter their wealth being displayed. Rather, the source of their wealth and the formular of zoning wealth for themselves at the expense of the masses are subjected – to public query.
My submission is, if the average of the people are honourable and dignified wherever they are, then, indeed, their voted representaives are honourable. Without being immodest, I shaked my head in pity when I pass through the market of the artisans and labourers in Nigeria, in general, and in particular, my state capital, Osogbo, at the old garage, and they swoop out on me, ready to go anywhere and do any job, even for no price, if only their daily food can be guaranteed.
On one occasion, along with a friend, the army of daily job or meal seekers rushed out, this time, and a flash of thought ran through me saying, ‘If these people can know, I am as hungry as they are’, the only difference between me and them is my faith in God, and absolute conviction that the future will be bright. These class of hungry people have voted, and their vote is the majority, where is the honour of their voted honourbales? and where is the excellence of their noised excellencies?
If the answer can be provided, my dear reader, let me know, we are in a class of lessons together, I need to know more.
Wait a bit I can hear the siren of the excellencies and of the honourables driving past as shout and I wave my hand.. The honourbale! Yes, no…. Your Excellency!
• OJO ISRAEL C, is the President, IFS, Intercessory Fire Squad.