TOWARDS THE BETTERMENT OF A NATION By AbdulKabīr A. Yusuf (Abu Maryam)
TOWARDS THE BETTERMENT OF A NATION: AN AWAKENING TO PATRIOTISM AND GOOD LEADERSHIP
This write up is an analysis from the writer’s inference, as regards the causes (problems) and reasons for Nigeria’s present economic situation, and the probable resolution towards achieving the required growth and development in Nigeria. Personal experience and research has shown that the major setback to the country’s growth and development is in patriotism and good leadership.
Patriotism is the act of showing love for one’s country and the willingness to sacrifice for it. (WordWeb). A patriotic citizen strives by all means as capable to support the growth and development of the country of residence; this the citizens do by being readily prepared to contribute to the progress of the country.
Leadership is the act of leading and setting the path for the others to follow. Leadership is the process by which rules, guidelines, and procedures are put in place to inspire others in achieving certain results.
A patriotic and good leader deals with the formulation of some calculated arrangement that foster the occurrence of something to pass from one phase or state to another. This arrangement is formulated by the leader, and also put some techniques in place to monitor the event, in order to achieve the relevant result.
“…Verily, God does not change a people’s condition unless they change their inner selves…” [Qur’ân 13:11]
A good and creative leader does not rely on the status quo but strives to make positive impact towards sustaining the welfare and standard of living of his followers (citizens/members). This the leader does by always thinking of ways to make things better for the followers (citizens/masses). To be able to make the betterment of this Nation a reality, the leader needs to know; the current situation and problems of the country, the nature of development required, and how to get the development done (the techniques to put in place to achieve the required development).
The solutions to the country’s problems still remain in the contents of our Nigerian National Anthem and National Pledge. If every citizens fully grasp and understand the contents in the National symbol, it will go a long way in helping to change the reality of matter in Nigeria. If Nigerian thinking, conception, and actions is modeled on the understanding of the national anthem, things will work for better in our Nation.
For a leader to be effective and efficient in making the Nation a better one, the leader needs to know the; what, why, and how of the Nation.
In knowing the ‘what?‘ question, it’s very important to identify or know the present situation and problems of Nigeria. The problems in Nigeria ranges from corruption, mismanagement, misappropriation, selfishness etc.
A corrupt leader lacks integrity and honesty, and uses the position of trust for dishonest gain. So the leader that is supposed to lead by example, ends up getting mistrust from them.
Mismanagement occurs when the leaders in Nigeria are careless and inefficient in the management of resources.
Misappropriation is when the leader is fraudulent in the appropriation or allocation of the funds or property needed for certain development in the Nation. This is a common trend in Nigeria.
A selfish leader prioritizes his welfare without caring for the others needs. This occurs in most places, as people struggle for materialism and thinking that life is about survival of the fittest.
The second question is the ‘Why?‘; which revolves round applying understanding on the reasons that result to the present situation or problems. The leader needs to know the cause for the present condition of the economy, and act immediately. Instead of putting blame on some people, as complaints will not help solve any problem. These reasons aligned with the Nigerian National Anthem, will give us the full understanding of where we are going. Going by the contents:
“Arise O Compatriots! Nigeria’s call, obey“: This tells us we have been sleeping, and there is a need for we Nigerians to wake up and answer the call to the development of the Nation.
“To serve our Fatherland, with love and strength and faith” : Another reason which leads to the problems is that, people refused to serve our fatherland, and expect instead the land to serve them. They forget to come together with the strength, love and faith to build our Nation high.
“The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain” : Many leaders forget the struggle of our past nationalists and their selfless efforts, and they are letting it fade at the expense of their own selfish interests.
“To serve with heart and might, one Nation bound in freedom, peace and unity” : Most people of the country forget to purify their hearts, and use their might to support others at the time of their needs. Lack of these make the Nation to suffer in the absent of freedom, peace and unity.
The third question as to do with the ‘How?’; which is to identify the techniques in solving the problems and putting in place some strategies to realise our aim as a Nation. Hence, the wisdom in solving the problems after having known the problems and the causes of the problems.
The wisdom behind achieving positive change in Nigeria is in putting in place strategies that will facilitate the Nation goals as stated in the first stanza of the National Anthem. It can be achieved in many ways, few of which are through Family, Religion, Education (Academy), and Personal Orientation. The Family and Education will be the main focus here, as these two also inculcate character standards, and serve a (major) source of influence to one’s Religion and orientation.
As the saying goes; Charity begins at home. Leadership and patriotic attitude also begin from the household. The family upbringing plays a very important role in developing good leaders. Parents need to start letting their children understand the meaning of our National Anthem, and teach them on how to contribute positively to the growth and development of the country. (A GOOD FAMILY; THE FOUNDATION OF A GOOD NATION)
Academy on the other hand also has a lot to play in fostering standard knowledge, and setting up some standard procedures to ensure the students think and meditate on how to get things done for the Nation’s benefit. Instead of expecting to see things done, and then work with it. Students should be encouraged to be prepared to work individually and collectively to make Nigeria great. These students of knowledge also need to strive to increase their knowingness through reading more beneficial books, as good books help a lot in developing oneself. (Readers are Leaders; A call to Awakening the Ummah zeal for Reading).
If this is done, we can then work on the second stanza and to let the Creator crown our effort:
O God of creation,
Direct our noble cause;
Guide our leaders right
Help our youths the truth to know
In love and honesty to grow
And living just and truth
Great lofty heights attain
To build a Nation where peace
And justice reign.
So, to make things work and for the betterment of the Nation, everyone has to take the responsibility of pledging to make this Nation great.
With our Nation pledge of truth and dedication:
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.
By acting on our words, we will achieve the betterment we want for Nigeria. This will go along way in making a way of progress and development for the National goals to be achieved and will remind some people against their misconduct and selfish orientation.
“Politics shouldn’t be a means of livelihood but a volunteered activity. Problem arises when people think of a governmental post as a way to get rich. It’s unfortunate when people start fending for themselves instead of the interest of those that elected them.” (AbdulKabir Yusuf 2017).
Our Responsibilities as Muslims
We Muslims need to start taking responsibilities as much as we are capable towards building this Nation. In an economy where abnormality and immorality have become the order of the day and most people have given up on Nigeria becoming a better Nation. It is immensely necessary to start showing the citizens of the country and outsiders the standard of growth and development. Muslims should act as the models of ethics, as Allah has given us the best title: “You (Muslims) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and you believe in Allah.” [Surah Al-Imrân, 3:110]
Even if the national anthem has been misconceived in act, this doesn’t mean we should join the band or be silent on what is affecting everyone of us. If some unconscientious personalities make it their business to disrupt the economy because of their greed and for their relatives’ interests, we have to prove their conception to be wrong. As Muslims, we have to show our identity as the bearer of ethical standards, and the agents of righteousness, as we have been praised by Allah. This is a necessity that is placed on us: “Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, and enjoining right conduct and forbidding indecency. And it is they who are the successful.” [Qur’ân 3:104]
May Allah make this easy for us. Amîn!
© AbdulKabīr A. Yusuf (Abu Maryam)
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