One of the reasons he advanced in his submission for the proposed name change is that the name Nigeria was not given to the country by its citizens, but was imposed on us by our colonial masters. He argued that it is for that reason that the name does not promote unity among the nation’s citizens as it does not evoke a sense of patriotism in us.
According to him, a name change would be of both physical and psychological signifance as it would herald a new beginning for the country.
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Jokotoye stressed his point even further when he said:
“At these crossroads in Nigeria’s history, it is mandatory that we change our name to reflect a new beginning which will be ushered in with a new constitution.”
But does Nigeria really need a name change? The answer for me is a resounding no!
Now, let us dissect and deconstruct Jokotoye’s arguments.
First, I have always had issues with people blaming Lord Lugard or our colonial masters for the problems we are experiencing as a nation, especially with regards to the matter of our continued co-existence as a corporate entity.
My question has always been, what manner of person continues to blame a dead mean for a 60-year-old ‘mistake’ instead of taking deliberate steps to amend, or better still, undo the error for his good?
We all criticize the Buhari administration for always blaming past administrations for the present problems besetting the nation, but find it very convenient to blame Lugard for the problems we face today more than 60 years after. That is the height of hypocrisy!
Jokotoye also alluded to the psychological signifance of a name change for the country. I am still struggling to understand exactly how that would work. What I know for certain though is that all human actions, good or bad, proceed from the mind. That is almost like saying that night comes after day, right? I mean everybody already knows that! But we need to remind ourselves again as we consider the points the gentleman raised.
Almost all of the problems that we have as a nation are basically our own creations, products of our minds. Therefore, I do not see how a mere name change would change our current situation.
The truth is that if we must solve our problems and create a better country for ourselves, the solutions would have to come from our minds too. But we can hardly bring solutions out of already perverted minds.
Therefore, we must first have a mind change–a mind hack, as we like to say it today. Then, and only then, would we be able to bring forth quality solutions out of changed minds
The name Nigeria is not one of the nation’s myriads of problems. And so changing it to anything else would not solve any of our besetting problems. A name change would change nothing if we, the citizens of the nation, do not change from inside out. The bottom line is that what we really need is a mind change among Nigerians not a name change for the country.
Only a collective mind change on our part would change the country. A name change for the country alone, just for the sake of it, without a corresponding mind change would be a cosmetic exercise that yields no tangible result.
Only a mind change would birth the attitudinal change needed for the country’s rebirth, not a name change.