Growing up, it was literally drummed into my ears that Nigeria, my beloved Country gained her independence in 1960. If you do not know that, (go and Kneel down, raise your hands up, face to wall, close your eyes and open your mouth) well now you do. I also heard that in 1914, when many of us alive today were not born, and those born then have obviously died, the North and South was Amalgamated to form what became Nigeria by a couple of overzealous British folks who felt the need to do so. If you know Nigerian history well, you’d know the names of the British folks who were involved. I do not want to go into all that now.
Growing up, one phrase I heard a lot was “one Nigeria”. I didn’t understand why some people always said it, did I even care? I just used to hear it a lot. As I grew up, the phrase started pissing me off. Are we really one? Why scream “one Nigeria”, when you don’t see the dude from the next tribe as your brother/sister? I then got to a point when I kept hearing that we were never meant to be one country, that we were just forced together, that the consent of each region wasn’t taken into consideration before those British folks joined us, bla bla bla bla…..that is what I intend to address with this post.
So what if we were forced to become one country? We have been saying this for years now and I do not think that that changes the fact that we are Nigeria, one Country. Are we not tired of repeating that tale? I am tired of hearing it. Can we at least move on from the so called mistake, according to some of us, of 1914? Asking for us to separate is to me a lazy approach that may not solve our problems. Let us move on from 1914 and try to do what will make us “one”. The continuous complain about how we were forced to become Nigeria is like a guy who keeps complaining about the first girl that broke his heart many years after the relationship ended. Brother, move on.
Since we all know that we have been, like some will say, forced to be together, and we have been and will probably be together for Only God knows how long, what do we about it? Complain? Or deal with it?
I believe that some of our parents made some mistakes and fed us with a lot of hatred for some ethnic groups, most likely because of experiences they had and what they heard. Growing up, my late dad had a couple of friends from different ethnic groups and religious beliefs. One man who stood out was his best friend, Mr. God’stim who was an Ijaw man and a Jehovah ’s Witness. The only language they understood together was pidgin English. They visited each other, ate together, cracked Jokes etc. My dad never bought into some of his religious beliefs but he was my dad’s best friend. They respected each other’s views about things. When he died, my father cried like a baby because he had lost a very good friend. I never heard my father talk bad about anybody from a different tribe or tell us bad stuff about any tribe other than ours.
I grew up with that so it was easy for me to relate with people from different tribes or religion. I grew up in Lagos, so most of my friends are yorubas. In fact, when I went to Enugu State University, I stayed with yorubas. A Yoruba guy gave me free accommodation for 3years. He gave me books to read when I could not afford to buy them. He was the big brother I never had. I have had both good and bad experiences from people of different tribes but that is no reason to say that they are all evil people. What even makes you feel your tribe is the alpha tribe? I have been treated horribly by people from my tribe. What should I do? Avoid them totally or what? They are my people, aren’t they?
When you have kids, what will you tell them about other tribes in Nigeria? Will you be the parent that will tell your daughters never to have anything to do with a guy from a certain tribe because they are evil? And that evil cannot be explained or is just unfounded. Will you tell your son to avoid certain girls from certain tribes because, according to you, they do not remain faithful wives? Will you fill your children with some of the hatred that some of our parents filled some of us with? Will we pass the hatred on to the next generation?
Yes, Nigeria may have been forced together by those British guys, but with what you do, will do, have said and will say, will you be tearing it apart or bringing it together?
my name is Tony. tonypox