Again; how can anyone wish his heart well, while wishing entire body rot and disintegration? How can anyone wish to preserve his kidneys or liver, without a care for the rest of his entire body?
When will Adamu be able to say he is a citizen of and from Anambra state even though his parents and grandparents were originally from Sokoto? When will Bola be able to say he is from Bauchi state, even though her parents and grandparents were originally from Oyo state? When will Chidi be able to say Ondo state even though his parents and grandparents were originally from Abia state? When will Adamu, Bola and Chidi be able to say they are natives of Calabar and no Nigeria bates an eye?
Nigerians should concentrate on how to make Nigeria a better place live, for Nigerians others who chose to live in Nigeria. But instead, some of are constantly redrawing ethnic maps of so-called ethnic nationalities of some anarchy infused separated nation states. There is poverty and disagreements in Oyo and Ekiti states, and you do not have to be of the Yoruba ethnic stock to see this; just as there is poverty and disagreements in Anambra and Abia states and you do not have to be an Igbo man to see this. Then again there is poverty and disagreement in Kano and Plateau states, and you do not have to be a Hausa or Fulani to see this. And in all these cases, the actors and the consequences are local and nothing whatsoever to do with outsiders from other ethnic or language groups.
There are some Nigerians who delude themselves into believing that a separate independent nation of their ethnic group will amount to some sort of utopia, where they are happy ever after. And so, they are variously awaiting the fantastic phantasmagorias Hausawa Republic, Oduduwa Republic and UmuIgbo Republic. All silliness and absolute nonsense when you think of it! I have known Hausas who squint to look at a Fulani or a Tiv, whether they are part of “pure” “core” North politics. I have known Yorubas from Ogun or Oyo who squint to look at Yorubas from Lagos and Ondo or Illorin as to whether they are genuine Yorubas and Oduduwa citizens and I have known Igbos from Imo, who squint as well at Igbos from Anambra, Port Harcourt and Igbos in Delta State as ethnically and linguistically incorrect Igbos, so these fantasies utopia republics of Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba etc would have soon enough have the frictions and tensions in their new republics as we have in Nigeria now, were the republics in these wild imaginations to come true. Why bother with these delusions?
Those clamoring for the much touted Sovereign National Conference and restructuring, as panacea, must brace for thirty six nationals rife and replete with poverty and arguments, and with the added headaches of visa bureaucracies! Nigerians should concentrate on making Nigeria what we want of her, instead of the distraction of pretending that we can create 36 or 37 nations out of the present Nigeria.
East and West reunited to become just Germany; we also see efforts by European Economic Community to have a single trading bloc, as it already has the Euro currency to compete with the US dollar and other currencies and economic spheres of the world. There are other such consolidations of nations and economic power blocs. Why are we late in the day thinking reverse engineering of our nation Nigeria? There are more benefits in our national diversities. I frankly do not see the benefits in disintegration of Nigeria. Just discussing it is wasted energy! Europeans see the advantage in selling ice creams or widgets to all Europeans instead of a limited opportunity available in just one European nation. Nigerians should become more expansive in their market attitudes, instead of parochialisms.
Kwankwanso does not agree with Rimi, they are both of same home state of Kano. Akala does not agree with his predecessor and they are both of the same state Oyo. Obi does not agree with the Ubas and they all of the same state of Anambra, that beleaguered state. All these people in Kano, Oyo and Anambra respectively are of Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo same ethnic stock respectively, and they have variously accused one another and each other of corruption and inefficiency, ineffectiveness. So, the ills which Nigeria have confronted and still confronts are surely ills perpetrated by every political leader from every ethnic group. You can correctly say that ineptitude, corruption and plain idiocy is an equal opportunity afflictions suffered by every Nigerian politician from your hometown and my hometown.
Or you can remain blissfully ignorant in your belief that only people from my hometown are corrupt, inept and moronic, quite unlike the very nice people, the very educated merit oriented people from your hometown who never do anything wrong. And yes my people have ruined Nigeria, if your people were in charge of NEPA-PHCN there will be no need for generators in Nigeria causing pollution with noise and fumes. And if your people were in charge, there will be clean pipe-borne water in every home and there will be full employment or poverty would have ended etc. Yeah, delude yourself, dream on!
Blaming and bashing different ethnic group interchangeably, surely does not make any sense. Besides, it gives us all, false comfort. Instead of seeing challenges as national and universal to all of us, and seeing therefore the need and urgency to corral our synergy and wherewithal, to resolve to solve, we tend to hide our heads in ethic bigotry or jingoism. Some Nigerians engage in too much platitudinous accusations of one ethnic group after the other, a worse than useless and energy sapping process.
The challenge facing Nigeria and Nigerians is the creation of wealth and better management of our national resources. The fierce competition for resources breeds animosities and religion, ethnicities and religions are mere facades and camouflages used as candy or sugar coated inserts to deceive the gullible. Nigerians should refuse to be the petri dish for cultivating ethnic hatreds, we should instead learn to operate like the ants do, ants are often busy creating pathways, ants never clog each other, ants never have traffic jams, the ants are unselfish as they navigate individual and community interests. The ants carrying foods follow single inward path, while those going out to hunt follow double outward path, this is recognition by the ants, of the importance of preserving their kill, even as the need by other ant to hunt continues. Even the ants know their common interests for their common good!
How about Nigerians?
In my travels, whenever I meet Nigerians, I sort of light up. I am delighted instantly! But they will as a matter of course proceed to inquire without fail, about the local government of my birth! Why is the fact that I am Nigerian never enough? Why must I be pigeon-holed into a tiny local government or state? Frequently, this is in an effort by some, to be able to tell themselves that I could not possibly share their concerns, because I am not from their “side” of the Nigerian ethnic, religious and regional gulfs and divides.
But I do understand the impact of poverty, bad roads, power failure, lacks of clean water in every part of Nigeria.
I simply prefer a big picture and a bigger pool to swim. We will all do better, dabbling in Nigeria’s big pool of opportunities. I am not an arrogant person, but, I must make the point and it takes what may sound arrogant, to make my point. And here it is! Look, I am a big fish I swim in the giant ocean of Nigerian unity and diversities! I am too big a fish to swim in the shallow and muddy waters of ethnicities, religions, regions etc!
Adamantly then, I insist that I am Nigerian from all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja! I am Nigerian and that is good enough for me! I do not need or seek ethnic, regional or religious definitions or labels. How about you? I wish that I can influence all Nigerians to think, speak and act in the manner expressed in this p
aragraph. Nigerians should focus on actions which would develop and advance Nigeria’s worthy causes.
Similar articles by the same author can be found through a Google search, below is a partial listing.
1. The Benefits of Nigerian Unity and The Perils of Disintegration – published in April 2003
2. Adherence to The Rule of Law – published in June 2003
3. No Apologies For My Views Or Opinions! Rejoinder to Mr. Ihas Idriess – published in April 2003
4. Why Nigerians Should Forget Clamor For National Conference – published in July 2004
5. Nigerians Have Poverty in Common! (Why the Census Hoopla published in February 2007
6. South’s Poverty Is North’s Fault? Nigerian Myth 101 – published in July 2005
7. Yoruba Gang Busted? – published in May 2009
8. Nigerian Citizenship Should be Redefined – published in June 2004
9. Biafra, Dead, Buried and No More – published in September 2005
10. Religion, Politics & Nigeria’s National Unity – published in June 2007