The Search For A New Nigeria (3): Rights And Duties Of Citizens

By Richard Odusanya

“Good citizenship and defending democracy means living up to the ideals and values that make (this)country great”-Ronald Reagan.

Every Nigerian is entitled to freedom of religion, association and thought, including freedom to change his religion or beliefs. Nobody or group of people, particularly the two dominant religions should be allowed to coerce or intimidate the good people of our country to hate each other on the basis of ethnicity or religion anymore. In an attempt to subjugate the people forever, majority of our youths are denied quality education all in attempt to usurp their authority which is derived from the ballot box. Religious bodies also encourage their congregation to vote for their own even that person does not have what it takes to hold political office. What a tragedy !

Henceforth, let it be known that the verdict of history, posterity, and the judgement of God Almighty will be very harsh on anybody; or group encouraging, and promoting hatred among the good people of Nigeria using ethnicity, religion or bigotry in any way.

“The rights of every man is diminished when the rights of one man are threatened”-John F Kennedy.

Within a system, which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day – fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, fear of isolation, fear of failure. Unfortunately, this is the order of the day in the present situation.

A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades common sense or wisdom; condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile, the small acts of courage, which help to preserve man’s self-respect and inherent human dignity.

Going forward, our rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion are non negotiable. Human rights is a fine and noble thing, but how can we make ourselves sure that our rights are not trampled upon, and also that our rights do not conflict with the rights of other people. One of the key elements of human rights is the sanctity of life. But sadly enough, life has lost its value in our land as people arw slaughtered, maimed and killed with reckless abandon.

A society with unlimited rights is incapable of standing up to adversity. If we do not wish to be ruled by a coercive authority, then each of us must rein himself in.

A stable society is achieved not by balancing opposing forces, but by conscious self-limitation. By the principle that we are always duty-bound to defer to the sense of moral justice. This is part of the duties and responsibilities of good citizenship.

It is not easy or would be easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of a rejuvenated retired zombie and a stone age despot to begin to express themselves and find a common ground. However, the time has come for us as a people destined for greatness, to embrace courage and determine what becomes of our tomorrow, and the destiny of the next generation.

It is really hard to say, but the developed world have moved beyond religiousness to science and technology and yet the ominipotent God is probably more proud of them than the unproductive, religious conclaves of the third world countries. While we busy ourselves to building mighty places of worship, we neglect industrializing our country for the benefit of the teeming unemployed youth forgetting that the devil finds work for the idle hands

How many countries became developed as a result of fasting and praying? With all of the crowds at the worship centers every now and then, Nigeria with all the resources available to her became the world headquarters of poverty. It recently added another feather – “3rd worst country”.

Never again will the good people of Nigeria be used as a cannon folder for any man’s inordinate ambition. Never again shall criminal elements and terrorist groups’ sympathizers be holding sensitive appointments in Nigeria. Never again shall the promoters of violence become president of our country Nigeria. Never again shall we be so divided by the inability of the so called leaders to manage our diversity.

Unhelpful divisiveness, nepotistic tendencies, corruption and poor leadership has brought us to this point. Nigeria’s struggles have gone beyond tolerance. How to stop the current carnage of insecurity is the question of whether to restructure, or to splinter to various republics. A word to the wise is enough


Richard Odusanya
Richard Odusanya

Richard Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE ACRI.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.