One Nigeria?

             Our people say that there’s no wise neighbor who can wail louder over the death that has occurred in the neighbor’s compound than the neighbor himself. This is why I have decided to write about the concept of “one Nigeria”

              Is there anything like one Nigeria? When we sing about Naija, we sing of one Nigeria, when we speak, we speak of one Nigeria, when politicians campaign, they talk of one Nigeria. But, is there really anything like “one Nigeria” in naija?

              When I refuse to marry someone because they are not from my tribe, are we still under one Nigeria? When I refuse to eat from a neighbor’s house, because of their tribe, are we still one Nigeria? Where does one Nigeria begin and where does it end? Are children born by Nigerians outside the shores of Nigeria under the blanket of one Nigeria or have they been kicked off this penalty box. Are we still one Nigeria when we are insensitive to the feelings of our fellow Nigerians by speaking our dialect in a gathering where we know the rest of the people present cannot understand what we are saying?

              If there was one Nigeria, how do you explain all the civil unrest that occur from time to time? If there was one Nigeria, how do you explain the nepotism that occur in university admissions? If there was one Nigeria, how would you explain that a school in the north will choose a northerner over an easterner? Likewise, an easterner will employ his fellow easterner faster than he would someone from the west or north. Ask a westerner to go to the east for their youth service and you hear their response or the warnings they have received from their neighbors, who probably have never left their village for anywhere……yet, we call ourselves one Nigeria.

           Among ourselves, we can be very tribalistic and prejudiced ; an igbo man will kiss the butt of a white man, but give him a Yoruba man and he will call him “ofe mmanu”. Likewise, a Yoruba man will call an Igbo man “Nna man or onye ego”. When invited to a party of another tribe, you feel like an outsider, and because your ways are not like theirs and your own tribe doesn’t do things in the same manner, you leave the party with something contrary or negative to say about what is going on.

            One Nigeria does not exist in our language or in our diverse culture. When it comes to politics, one Nigeria flies out of the window. The only place it exists is in our currency and in football. Naira is Naira in any corner of Nigeria; No trader will refuse your money because Zik or Tafawa is on the currency and they are not from his tribe. Likewise, in football (soccer), the players are selected based on how good they are with the ball. Our culture, food, language are different. If you are an Igbo man and you go to a Yoruba court, be prepared to go to jail under the umbrella of one Nigeria.

              What does one Nigeria mean to you? It means accommodating other religion and tribe, respecting their social or political differences and treating everyone as I would like them to treat me irrespective of tribe.

                In the light of all these, could it be one Nigeria is just a pipe dream or a sham or is there really anything like one Nigeria?

                       My words, my views, my style! Naijagirl©2009

Published in: on March 24, 2009 at 3:05 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Unfortunately, one Nigeria only seems to exist in the mind of a selct few – we have collosally failed to enact a National ethos, as such everyone sees himself first as a member of his tribe, then a Southerner or a Northerner and only as a Nigerian.

    I find tho, that outside the shores of Nigeria, these differences tend to be subsumed by the need to connect to a friendly face.. So maybe its more a question of ending the culture of competion for national resources and spawning one of mutual co-operation….

  2. It’s all in the mind!!!
    I am a WaZoBia gal inside and outside…but I have relatives that are just plain ol’ tribalistic and racist…even if I say so myself!
    I believe in one Nigeria regardless of the fact that the oyinbo people put us together…if we can live to view our differences as strengths and not a point of weakness…Naija will definitely grow stronger…
    We just need to totally renew our minds
    The earlier we all realise that the fact that we have different tribes and cultures doesn’t make one tribe better than the other, the better for us all!
    Long live ONE NIGERIA (Amin)…

  3. As much as I hate to say it, a few military regimes worked hard to develop a sense of nationalism, back in the day. Those efforts were wasted by the obvious corruption, lack of adequate development and continuing poverty many experience in Naija.

    Nigeria can become a united country, and this generation must not let the opportunity slip through its fingers. Great post, BTW.

  4. I believe the term ‘one Nigeria’ is one of the determining factors that still keeps the country together. Our difference is in our togetherness!

  5. @Danny….true to your word, we claim our tribe first before any other thing and we put those things on the back seat when we are trying to connect outside the shores of naija. Its interesting though that for people outside the shores of naija, when we eventually get enough people from our tribe to make a clique, we still return to the same old habit

    @Nolimit….I like the fact you mentioned renewal of the mind ‘cos thats where it starts

    @solomonsydelle….thanks and thanks for stopping by

    @theekopost….togetherness comes into play in time of massive crises or jubilation. thanks for stopping by

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