By NBF News

The concept of time would remain controversial though a constant variable in the affairs of man. Different individuals occupying different geographic spaces have different impressions of time as such, variegated attributes are adduced to time.

Whatever be the case, time can never be isolated in the affairs of man for according to a mystical viewpoint, ' time is the duration of consciousness', it stands at the cradle of all levels of awareness. Benjamin Franklin went further to describe time as the stuff with which life is made. It is the beginning and end of, and to everything.

The breath of life from and by Almighty Creator of every living being, every where, provides the first attribute to one's existence and till it vamooses from one at death, every awareness or otherwise of existence simply follows a continuum that one day, everything that has a beginning must have an end no matter how prolonged.

Man is daily guided by time in our doings and undoings and at such times the ever living time keeper, the reader of eternal book of life keeps record of everything, the thoughts and conducts of every man whose existence remains fathomable.

Dimensions of all sorts have been introduced to time, past, present and future as well as, birth, growth, maturation, decline and death. These are all stages in human life, institutions and societies in which man germinate.

In human organisations and communities, time as eternal constancy exhibits trends and cycles and in a nation like ours, human activities, actions and/ or inactions cannot be obliterated in time perspective. When humans behave or misbehave, the events thus generated become readable as history in near future by the generation of people who invariably may be privileged to read and re- read activities of certain individuals in time past.

Politics is a very important aspect of human life and no matter how apolitical one may tend to be, political governance enforces every man to find bearing at least in the why of politics. Why question propels other questions in the affairs of man in his society. Thus, we can simply ask who does what?, where?, when? and how?, as journalists capture their story lines for those of us lay men and women co- habiting in both small and enlarged societies.

Clinging to the advise of Winston Churchill that ' politics is too serious a business to be left solely in the hands of politicians' one then becomes tempted to permutate the time certain individuals appear on the political terrain of Nigeria, their actions and inactions including events that surround their time.

Aside the usual singing of national anthem and recitation of the pledge at public functions, average Nigerians have no other platform at which their loyalty to the nation is clarionised. However, it is in politics and political appointments that an initiatory process of swearing-in and administration of oath of allegiance come into play in the life of man and Nigerians as a whole.

Like a marriage covenant, they both call for spiritual, emotional and heartfelt allegiance to the phenomenon in question. In politics it is the individual politician's public allegiance to the office he or she is to serve his or her nation at whatever capacity or level at which the political position is to be held. I am tempted to tilt a little bit back into political history of our beloved nation Nigeria as we are this year marking our nation's 50th independence anniversary and to humbly ask us all reflect on the golden saying of our one and only Zik of Africa, late Dr. Chief Nnamdi Azikwe whom the 1963 Constitution of Nigeria authorised to become the first President of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Prior to this time, Nnamdi Azikwe was the Governor General who later had to replace the Queen of England who had been the Head of State of Nigeria. In his inaugural address at the Swearing-in Ceremony on 1st of October 1963, Mr, President stated that two oaths had been administered to him as follows: ' The first is the oath of allegiance enjoining him to be loyal to the country of my birth by preserving, protecting and defending its constitution.

The second, is the oath of office binding me to serve my country as a faithful functionary according to law.'

According to Zik, loyalty to one's country is the most precious tribute a patriot can pay to his fatherland, faithfulness to duty the most acceptable service expected from conscientious servant while loyalty and faithfulness express the idea of steadfastness to a common purpose.

This common purpose is encapsulated in the constitution, the organic law of the land which delimits the territories of Nigeria's federation, defuses Nigerian citizenship, guarantees fundamental rights, and provides for the maintenance of law and order by distributing powers among the executive, legislative and judicial arms of the state.

The constitution of Nigeria at inception was intended to ensure liberty, equality and justice both in Nigeria and all over the world where true democracy is in practise. To one's dismay, nothing much is visible in terms of building a virile nation after Nigeria's attainment of political independence about fifty years ago. Except in self deceit, the yearnings of the early nationalists and dogged fighters for Nigeria's holistic independence which then was thought would guarantee every Nigerian to live like free men and women in a free republic, is today shattered and scattered by the politicians' emphasis on differences in tongs and tribes.

The word Nigeria is today very meaningless as an identity to be defended by all and every means because the current map of what should be a beloved nation is daily being torn into shreds by many of our politicians whose personal, religious, ethnic and tribal interests are far above national interest to which they have all sworn allegiance at one time or the other.

Taiye Olaniyi