By Nathan Nachandiya
Most leaders including elected politicians, traditional rulers, political appointees and various other “officer holders” are required to take an oath before assuming office.
The sacred books normally used are the Quran and the Bible, and in the case of the traditional institution, the gods and ancestors. The mere recitation of the National Pledge is an act of Oath-Taking but most citizens are unaware of this. The resultant consequences of this act is normally neglected or not taken seriously. Leaders with conscience would fear this symbolic ritual while assuming office or championing any course of action.
The summary of most oath is to identify the truth, proclaim the truth and defend the truth; to be a blessing not a curse; to be a platform where viable system flourishes; serve as channels where national resources flow for common good; others (diligence, prudence, accountability etc).
However, it is quite unfortunate that a number of leaders and their followers are guilty of not taking their oaths seriously or not understanding its consequences. The most common oath we sing every day is the national pledge (I pledge to Nigeria my country, to be faithful loyal and honest, to serve Nigeria with all my strength,
to defend her unity, and uphold her honour and glory so help me God.) How many of us are guilty of ignoring the consequences of this oath?
Those that grew in communities where Thunder strikes on every bridge of oath or those that entered blood covenant will understand and can explain better.
We are where we are now as a nation because we have bridged and abused every oath we have taken, the solemn Oath of doing what is” right”. We’ve defrauded the people we swore to protect, we destroyed the system we swore to build, we neglected the lives and properties we’re supposed to defend and protect, primordial sentiment has beclouded our sense of objectivity. Greed and selfishness have enslaved us. Sometimes the laws of Abracadabra is invoked (the more one looks the less they see).
Considering that we have made light the sacred ritual of Oath-Taking, I will therefore propose that we expunge the aspect of oath in our national constitution and let everyone be judged by his/her conscience (for those that have one).
Nathan Nachandiya, a Community Leader, contributed this article from Hong, Adamawa State