The Yorubas don’t own the monopoly of tribalism.

Filed under: National Issues |

It is and has always been a major taboo for a Yoruba person to like, let alone love an Igbo person no matter the circumstance they find themselves. The Igbos even up till this very moment are still making the mistake of trusting them to do the right thing in the assumable and deceptive idea of a “One-Nigeria” and in this, they have always and often been disappointed. Since the action of Lagos State governor, Emperor Babatunde Fashola (the repatriation of seventy Igbos from Lagos State), other Yoruba faithful, the likes of Femi Fani-Kayode, the divisive minded Nigerian, has taking it upon himself to prove to Nigerians, that the Igbos are beings to be hated.

Here are few of his statements:

“Lagos and the South-west are the land and the patrimony of the Yoruba and we will not allow anyone, no matter how fond of them we may be, to take it away from us or share it with us in the name of ”being nice”, ”patriotism”, ”one Nigeria” or anything else”

“The Igbo continuously run us down, blame us for all their woes, envy our educational advantages and resent us deeply for our ability to excel in the professions and commerce”.

“It is that same attitude of “we own everything”, “we must have everything” and “we must control everything” that the Igbo settlers manifested” that led their slaughter in the Northern pogroms.”

Fani-Kayode claimed to be an internationally educated person but of what value is education when it cannot be put to better use? If tribalism has not blinded him, he would have known that every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereby or exit therefrom. He would have known that a citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person, be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religion or political opinions are not made subject; or be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religion or political opinions. He should have known this if he had settled down to understand it instead of speaking out of turn and context.

The Igbos like every other ethnic groups in Nigeria have their problem. But does that mean they should be cast out, tackled or ridiculed at every slightest opportunity their opposition gets? In fact, the bitter truth which Fani-Kayode didn’t want to touch on is that the Igbos are doing very well when compared to other ethnic groups in Nigeria, that includes my own ethnic group – the Yorubas. If Fani-Kayode really wants to grace the limelight once again, he shouldn’t do so by denigration or tarnishing of images that he didn’t install. I have more than fifty Igbo friends and all of which speak highly of the need to create a strong and reliable Nigeria that will be free of tribalism, nepotism and corruption.

Today Nigeria isn’t the same with that of our forefathers, the young in this twenty-first century have grown of age and wit, of knowledge and exposure, to know when they are been played. It baffles me when people begin to speak falsely of certain issues or group of people just because they want to protect their own creation. We should be true to ourselves by saying “it is bad” even if our brother or sister is involved.

If every now and then that people like us succeed in throwing tribalism out of the door, some individuals or groups due to their own selfish goals, finds ways of smuggling it back in through the window, then we may never be ONE people in ONE nation. And if Femi Fani-Kayode cannot make a constructive opinion on delicate issues that borders on national interest, then he should seal up his opinion for the good of the already fragile country we live in otherwise, he will soon realize that the taste of revenge at times, supersedes that of honey.

Whether any of us like it or not, the bottom line is that Lagos, as well as other parts of Nigeria, belong to Nigerians and that’s how it’s going to remain.