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One often constantly hears one side charging the other: “Please let’s put sentiments aside and be patriotic here”, in garden talks and beer parlor political conversations. Such admonitions are fairly common when Nigerians of different political, ethnic and religious persuasions engage in political conversations. Over time, I have come to believe that the concept of ‘patriotism’ is not neutral in such conversations but often a veneer used by the contending groups to gain mileage during arguments. What then is patriotism? This could be seen as an emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as his or her homeland. Patriotism is sometimes called ‘national feeling’ or ‘national pride’. Having known this, who then is a patriotic Nigerian or how does the…

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