Good morning and I do hope you had a great time today on SMOOTH LIFE with OLAKUNLE SORIYAN. The critical issue on the show today was about patriotism; and the thoughts focused on celebration of our 53rd year of independence, and i took a second look at the level of patriotism prevailing in our blessed nation. I emphasized that patriotism is the love for one’s country and the willingness to defend it. I know that Patriotism inspires the people for the noble deeds; so, true Patriots rejoice in the glory of their country and find inspiration in the struggles. However, I also understand the growing agitation in the country, the Socio-Economic and political disequilibrium in the system; it appears patriotism has no place. The daily struggles, sufferings and negative experiences of our people seems to define the right to jettison the ideal of patriotism. Surely, it will be difficult to sell patriotism to those with empty stomachs. It makes sense to assume that the country should also be lovable to be loved. After 53yrs, it looks like on October 1, 1960, Nigeria got INDEPENDENCE, not FREEDOM. INDEPENDENCE now seems like the sovereign right to self-destruct. I mean, immediately after independence, Nigeria actually began a long and strange march towards growth and development that made development looked so complex and mysterious—a strange march that has taken more than fifty years in the wilderness of mismanagement, corruption and poverty and has left a generation dead and unfulfilled—without having seen the Promised Land—a promised land of quality education, rapid infrastructural development, and mass employment for its citizens. So, in the light of these developments nationalism and patriotism are losing their importance. To demand patriotism from the masses now seems like an insensitive and impractical request. But honestly, i see it all as a zero-sum game; in that if we give place to all the gaps in our environment, we may be justified to ignore our patriotism; but also that if we ignore our patriotism, it will be impossible to drive transformation and renaissance. See, only the united effort of a collective patriotic spirit can meet and surmount the challenges of our unique environment. If our nation is to survive its current challenges, the definition of a true patriot must be clear. Obviously, we now know all our problems. This is key and cannot be discounted. We must accept the imprints of geography that each one still belong to a defined space; and trust me, destiny will always be location sensitive. God, through Nature, has determined our appointed places; and it is our duty, each of us, to appreciate, promote, and when necessary, defend the place nature has placed us, otherwise called our country. We must love our country enough to stay and work to change it for the better. Just like the American Civil Rights activist, James Baldwin, I love Nigeria more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to seek her progress and criticize her perpetually. No matter how negative our country is, we have no other country. We cannot let up or give up. We must have a story for those that will take our place in another 100years We owe it to them to wrestle every wall of prejudice, corruption, ignorance, fear and indiscipline that fights to keep our country small, and her people weak and weary. Our pain must drive us to love her more and take the kind of positions that shows that the desire to change Nigeria by all means is itself a demonstration of one’s love for the nation. We must look into the future we prefer and decide what role we will play today to create it. We don’t need critics who know all that is wrong and possess the grammar to underscore it, but lacks the commitment to act and create visible impact. I can assure everyone listening to me today that It will take the practical investment of time and resources by patriotic Nigerians to ensure Nigeria’s renewed prosperity. As we continue to monitor the issues of our land, we need patriots who will ignore the obvious challenges and accept the challenge to make the effort to build a new moral society with the great hope that the bond of our diversity will one day strengthen us all in the years to come. God bless Nigeria. And God bless her people. Your thoughts, suggestions, arguments and comments on the way forward will be highly appreciated here. Go!