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An American missionary, James Syrow, has charged Nigerians to be fanatical about history so as to benefit from its lessons.
The Russian-American online missionary said that generations who do not have a sense of history are bound to repeal the mistakes of the past.
Syrow, who was the guest of the Owerri Anglican Diocese for some weeks, assessed the Nigerian situation in an interview with Christian Voice editorial team.
Describing the bringing together of various peoples of Nigeria as a “colonial mistake”, he said that it was not too late to correct the mistake.
According to him, America had the same problem in the beginning but borrowed an idea from the ancient Rome and Greece, which he termed “civic virtue” to build one American out of many.
He explained that the mechanism entailed that one must be greatly loyal to one's locality and place of residence.
America, he said, taught its citizens to be loyal to their city, all in the effort to subdue the selfish needs of the individual against the needs of the states.
Syrow advised that Nigerian authorities should institute training programmes for politicians on civic virtue based on locality, honour, selflessness and duty.
“Nigerians are trying to change the country to their own individual directions. In the end, everyone fails. The country does not change to any direction. So, a politician, for instance, should set as his highest goal, to become a governor of the state and build up the standard of the state without an eye to Abuja” he said.
He backed the fight for a local autonomy within the context of the same country, in the sense that, just as in America, a state could resist the federal government in certain issues, such as gay marriage.
Asked about his general impression of the country, he said “it's like going into space”.