Patriotism Is A Duty Of All Citizens, Says Ndoma-Egba

By Michael Jegede

Former Majority Leader of the Senate and Senior Partner of Ndoma-Egba Ebri & Co. law firm, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, has said patriotism is an obligation that every citizen owes to his/her country.

The ex-Senate Leader stated this in an interview in Abuja, against the backdrop of a recent award on patriotism, bestowed on him by the Coalition of Civil Societies and Media Executives for Good Governance (COCMEG), “for his patriotic legislations and people- oriented leadership.”

Ndoma-Egba, a three-term Senator between 2003 and 2015 said: “I feel humbled by the award that one’s modest contributions even after office are being recognized and acknowledged. It is good to know that even while you were doing those things people were watching. However, I must say that patriotism is a duty that every citizen owes to his/her country, and it has nothing to do with whether or not you are occupying an office. For me, I am a Nigerian. I have no other country other Nigeria. And in all honesty, Nigeria has been very kind to me and I owe my country that duty of loyalty; that duty of elevating the country and a duty to give to my country the best of my efforts.”

Stressing the need for Nigerians to continue to remain patriotic even in the midst of the various challenges facing the country, the former lawmaker said: “Yes, there are expectations of citizens from their country and there are expectations of the country from the citizens. So, It is a two-way traffic.

Yes, our country may not have given all what we expect from her and what it could possibly give. But what are the choices open to us? To create another country for ourselves? No! So, the best we can do if we are disappointed or dissatisfied, is to see it as a bigger challenge for us to exert ourselves further in the service of our country, so that we can get the country of our dreams.”

The legal luminary called on Nigerians to be patient with the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, while noting that “Our problems are multi-faceted. We have to deal the level and depth of decay. And when I say decay, not just in material terms, even in terms of social values. We have had unprecedented decay of social values. We have decayed in terms of values. We have also decayed in terms of infrastructure. We have decayed in terms of morality… Beyond that, you have global dynamics.

Nigeria is part of the world community. We have a mono-cultural economy which depends largely on oil. The price of oil has been falling. You cannot blame that collapse of oil price on anybody. But that will also have an impact on our economy. So, we must grapple with the situation. We must arrest the decay before you can build or rebuild. Therefore, we can only urge for patience. We just have to be patient as things would certainly get better.”