AFCON: Redefining Nationalism And Patriotism
Nationalism and patriotism can be thought of as consequences of national identity that represent positive evaluations of one’s group but imply different social goals. In the golden words of Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle, a French army officer and statesman who led the Free French Forces against Nazi Germany in World War II and chaired the Provisional Government of the French Republic from 1944 to 1946 to restore a republic in France.
The former French President Charles de Gaulle summed it up best when he said: “Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism when hate for people other than your own comes first.” As a conservative statesman, de Gaulle comes from a mindset where patriotism offers a pathway toward order and stability. Patriotic feeling fosters a shared experience that brings together people from all walks of life.
True patriotism is a love for one’s country. Therefore, in our current situation today as a nation – I would argue that true patriotism is a sort of tough love—a recognition of the issues that plague one’s country and the passionate, relentless pursuit of a solution.
Though our beloved country Nigeria has done an abysmal job of following through on its founding principles, the principles themselves—a strong sense of equality and justice, the idea that “all men are created equal,” the celebration of social mobility, constitutionally binding freedom of expression—are exceptional and the core reason for Constitutional Democracy.
A more explicit link between nationalism and patriotism can be found in the work of German philosopher Johann Gottfried von Herder. In Herder’s view, patriotism refers not to a political virtue but to a spiritual attachment to the nation. In this context, the fatherland becomes synonymous with the nation and its distinct language and culture, which give it unity and coherence. Thus, instead of linking patriotism to the preservation of political liberty, Herder associates the love of one’s country with the preservation of a common culture and the spiritual unity of a people.
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Following from the above, the Nigerian National Team ‘Super Eagles’ in demonstration of team spirit ‘Nationalism and Patriotism’ applying the philosophy of Turn back! Face your fear, and win! Symbolically, Nigeria wins despite the craziest moment in the history of VAR.
Sadly, many deaths were recorded while watching Nigeria vs South African semifinal football match on Wednesday 7th, 2024.
- My friend Cairo Ojougboh, Ex-NDDC director, a former member of the House of Representatives
- Kwara State University deputy bursar.
- A Corp Member
- Chief Angus Obi, a Nigerian Businessman; and most likely many other enthusiasts.
The sad events occurred as a result of a second goal for the Nigerian team that was unceremoniously canceled and in a twist of fate, the referee, Amin Omar, awarded a penalty kick to South Africa. Teboho Mokoena, South Africa’s ace midfielder rose to the occasion. With the weight of a nation on his shoulders, Mokoena calmly slotted the ball into the net during stoppage time, leveling the score and injecting a fresh dose of suspense into the match. The unexpected equalizer has left the outcome of the match hanging in the balance, with both teams still vying for a spot in the final. That was the craziest moment that was responsible for the deaths of our compatriots.
Essentially, Nationalism and Patriotism played significant roles in the outcome of the Nigeria/South Africa match. Characteristically the epitome of RESILIENCE was noticeable in the Nigerian team the Super Eagles.
“Our team has a huge state of mind. The team fights together, There are 25 of us (in the squad) and it’s difficult to beat us,” said Nigeria coach Jose Peseiro.
“Deep down, thinking about that second canceled (Nigerian) goal and the (South African equalizer), a lot of teams would have given up.
“I am very happy, the players are happy, they deserve it, we deserve it, the Super Eagles deserve it, and the Nigerian people deserve it.”
So, as we reflect on the subject of Nationalism and Patriotism – let us begin to reinvent the glorious old days as exemplified by the then-youngest governor of Abia State. The pillar of sport in Africa and a Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr Orji Uzor Kalu promoted nationalism above primordial sentiment as seen in the formation and success stories of Eyimba football club of Aba where Musa Aliyu a Northerner was the team captain.
Conclusively, in the spirit of Renewed Nationalism and Patriotism that enveloped and currently working amongst us – just as we unite to support the Super Eagles, we must also unite to restore HOPE, HEALING, PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE and work for a stronger nation living in HARMONY and PEACE. – as we join millions of our compatriots at home and abroad in wishing the Super Eagles a resounding victory in the Final march.
Finally, I like to join millions of our citizens home and abroad to dedicate this article to the unforgettable and loving memories of the departed compatriots. Goodnight our beloved compatriots – REST IN POWER.