Monday, April 4, 2011


Actually I have been getting a lot of questions in the recent past, one of which is “are you a politician now?”

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a politician is:
a) a person who is active in party politics as a profession.
b)  a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow usually shortsighted reasons.
Which of the two definitions do you think apply to me?

On the contrary, civics is defined as the study of government and politics while civic responsibility includes paying taxes, voting, registering for military service, serving on a jury, and obeying the law. There is a sense of duty in carrying out these responsibilities.

Indeed I have been audible in the quest for a new Nigeria but that is coming from a deep passion for the nation and change from what obtains at the moment. One of the consequence of military rule is that they strip off confidence in the people and lull them into a state of helplessness. The first and last time I learnt anything about civic duties was in social studies, there was no mention of it at all in my graduate days. Hence a lot of people (including myself at a time) do not even know what is expected of them as a member of a community or as a citizen of a nation. Same way many do not know what their rights are. I really don’t blame anybody, there has been retrogression in Nigerian education system and even home trainings and societal moulding (positive) are gradually disappearing from our culture. Everyone is just trying to make ends meet; some through hook, some through crook, and nobody seem to be interested in the collective good of the nation or its people.

I site from a writeup in this paragraph

“Civic responsibility is comprised of actions and attitudes associated with democratic governance and social participation. Actions of civic responsibility can be displayed in advocacy for various causes. By advocating social issues or environmental concerns, people strengthen their commitment to their community as well as to their own individual citizenship. Some attitudes related to civic responsibility include the intention to serve others, the belief that helping others is one s social responsibility, and the tolerance and appreciation of human differences.

Students enrolled at institutions of higher education have the opportunity to transform their social interests into advocacy through personal connections with the community. Higher education has been commissioned to teach the values of a democratic society. These democratic values honor individual diversity, the common good of the larger community, and the active enterprise of social improvement. A variety of higher education policy statements have been written that discuss civic responsibility and the potential impact of social participation on students.”
(culled from

It is obvious that very few are actually living up to this obligation. I believe (want to) that it is mainly out of ignorance or unwillingness on the part of those who know. We should all be grateful for democracy and the many opportunities which it offers and embrace it whole heartedly and work to consolidate the gains. We need to keep ourselves informed and inform others on issues which can engender better beings, peace and understanding.

I am not a politician, I understand that I play a role in nation building and I’m doing just that.


  1. Wonderful"...Higher education has been commissioned to teach the values of a democratic society", and many pple dont know this and are non-chalant,and see political activism to be for few.

  2. Tx GHA
    Osmond, years of military rule and democracy laced with corruption has robbed us of our human rights and even our responsibilities. The future is right here, we must deliver it. Tx for your comments

  3. It's good to know you are not a politician because i was just think you had joined them the way you took the whole election stuff

  4. Mary

    Thanks for your piece

    I guess some of us were luckier (not that it has saved the nation) for at least going to school at a time when Civics was part of the primary school curriculum.

    And I like your point that"One of the consequence of military rule is that they strip off confidence in the people and lull them into a state of helplessness." That's why we need to work out ways to make our democracy thrive and at the same time balance for dictatorial tendencies in our leaders. Leaders in all walks of life who see themselves as coaches may have a point but there is a thin line that separates the despot from the visionary servant-master.

    I tend to not believe that Nigerians do not know their rights. We must learn that it is one thing to know what is right but quite another to be prepared to stand for it. This is especially more so when you believe it will be a futile exercise. What we are unwilling of as a people is to pay the price that's necessary to win freedom, justice and equality. Sadly, as long as that is the case our tormentors know they have the edge and they will keep on doing just enough to keep us under control - not too hungry, no too angry, sedate under the anesthetics they daily apply.

    Great to see Nigerians articulating a position.


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  6. Bertolt Brecht
    “The worst illiterate is the political illiterate, he doesn’t hear, doesn’t speak, nor participates in the political events. He doesn’t know the cost of life, the price of the bean, of the fish, of the flour, of the rent, of the shoes and of the medicine, all depends on political decisions. The political illiterate is so stupid that he is proud and swells his chest saying that he hates politics. The imbecile doesn’t know that, from his political ignorance is born the prostitute, the abandoned child, and the worst thieves of all, the bad politician, corrupted and flunky of the national and multinational companies.”
    ― Bertolt Brecht