Saturday, 2 June 2012

ARISE O COMPATRIOTS: Heroes living in penury

The power of the pen they say is mightier than sword.
Friends that have been following this blog condemned me of criticizing the government always.
Progressive dissent inform of criticizing one’s government is a democratic instrument.
Criticism is an important democratic tool available to people when the government fails to meet their aspirations and hopes. Anyone who believes that Nigerians should not criticize the government is advocating blind patriotism.
I really love my country, Nigeria and I want to see to its growth and the only contribution I can ever make is to air my views and many see that as criticism if you just seat there and wait for one angel to fall from the sky and save this country. You are on a ‘long thing’. We are all clamoring for revolution yet many are afraid of change. Anybody who is opposed to Nigerians criticizing the government, even in the current political climate is afraid of the Nigerian revolution.
The right to criticize the government is a very important aspect of democracy.
In a democracy like Nigeria’s where elections are not necessarily a reflection of popular choice, it can be reasonably argued that criticizing the government is the only option left for Nigerians to voice their opinions. It is the last democratic tool left for Nigerians.
Oh! I have digressed a bit, I apologize. It is just that whenever I pick up my pen to write about the Nigerian state, I am always in another realm. I just can’t control my hands.
The message I want to pass across today, is that of patriotism in Nigeria and how patriotic Nigerians have been maltreated.
There is no other patriotic Nigerian that comes to my mind than the one that designed the Nigerian flag, pa Taiwo Michael Akinkunmi.
Pa Akinkunmi was a student when he designed the Nigerian flag in 1959; he was born in Owu, Abeokuta in Ogun state. He spent the best part of his life abroad where he designed the Nigerian flag and came back to the country to work in the ministry of Agriculture in the time of western region.
There is no school you go to in Nigeria that you would not find this flag which the man used his initiative to design 53 years ago. It is hanged in various offices, even in the presidential villa I Abuja.
Nothing irks me more when I hear stories of how this man that has done great things in this country is living in discomfort.
Pa Akinkumi

Pa Taiwo is now 78 years old. He was 25 years old when he designed the flag. Pa Taiwo does not have a car; he has to walk a distance of about 2 kilometers from Molade, a remote area in Ibadan where he lives to the main road where he can get transportation to his destination.
Apart from living in discomfort, he is also in pains. Akinkunmi should be living big and enjoy the sweetness of his contribution to Nigeria. Apart from the one hundred pounds (100 pounds) he was given in 1958, this man has not received any award or national honor. If not for the cries of several media houses in Nigeria, Pa Taiwo would not have been given the national award presented to him last year.
It is so unfortunate that our leaders did not see anything worthwhile in honoring Akinkunmi
Pa Akinkumi in is living room
Our heroes should be taken care of. We should not fold our arms and allow them to die before we honor them.
Pa Akinkunmi is not the only hero that has been maltreated
The federal government should see to it that these heroes are all rewarded the right way – encouraging more Nigerians to be patriotic.

Nigeria good people great nation