Thursday, 20 December 2007

When is this nonsense going to STOP?


When people talk about their countries, they talk with voices full of vigor and delight; it is their fatherland and they are proud. They are patriotic. As a Nigerian, being patriotic gets harder and harder everyday. Why? We are stupidly and blindly worshipping and living with tribalism and unnecessary sectarian hatred. Nigerians, we are killing ourselves. I am so ashamed of the calibre of people that inhabit my precious country. They make me reluctant to express my patriotism for my country.

Last week I caught up with a Kenyan friend who surprisingly knew the difference between Igbo and Yoruba people. When I asked how, she explained to me that she has two friends; one Igbo and the other Yoruba. She met the Yoruba guy first and he told her all these nasty things about Igbo people in general and so when she met the Igbo guy, she knew to be careful and the extent to which she should trust him and similarly, the Igbo guy had told her to be wary of Yorubas.
Even though I was appalled by her narrow-mindedness, I didn’t blame her entirely; I blame the idiots that led her to believe such, I felt a surge of anger towards the people. I am neither Yoruba nor Igbo but what does it matter? I am still Nigerian! IT's hard ebough that we have to defend ourselves and ward ofthe 419 tags, but to so openly spread our lack of untiy makes it even worse to be associated with Naija. We are divided and we are falling.

Secondly, you’d think as people get more enlightened, they become more open minded, right? Not in Nigeria! Instead, the more we progress the more we resent each other. There’s this Hausa saying that goes

“Ana girma ana cin kasa"
~ “You are growing but you are still eating sand”


That is true. The human Development index of Nigeria is improving but the attitude of the inhabitants is becoming worse. Gone are those days when parents sent their children to federal government boarding schools in another state and region. Nowadays, when people get posted to somewhere unique for their NYSC they pay their way out of it and move closer to home.

You’d be surprised that even professionals who are supposedly “enlightened” pass their judgments based on people’s tribe rather than individual proficiency. One would rather employ their “town’s men” and “contiri people.” You hear of religious riots on student campuses.

Thirdly, why can’t people understand that it is perfectly tolerable to have differing opinions, languages and religions with each other? It is possible to live in peace with your neighbors and fellow citizens; as long as you don’t impose your beliefs on each other. Instead, you hear people passing comments like “Tufiakwa, how can I be friends with a Hausa person? Over my dead body.” You hear people passing ethnic slurs openly and it is totally acceptable. Meanwhile, these same people complain that foreigners (non-Nigerians) are racist against us. Open your eyes and see that WE ARE RACIST AGAINST OURSELVES!

It may sound shocking, but even by reading people’s blogs, you’d see a lot of tribal comments and you begin to wonder why people are too thick to open their hearts and too stubborn to become tolerant. Sometimes you’d want to comment, but then you’d think “it’s their blog let them say whatever the hell they want.”

From speaking to people I noticed most of the people that talk like that haven’t even traveled around Nigeria. In fact, they probably have never left that state they live in yet, they base their assumptions on what other people told them. It’s just a chain reaction built on false facts. Traveling is the best eye opener. Don’t jump into conclusions without experiencing it for yourself first hand. Another Hausa saying goes:

“Kafin 'a kirga mutane an kirga mutum”
“Before you count a group, you count a person”



Better yourself to better your country. At this time of year everyone is thinking up New Year resolutions. I’ll give you something to add to your list.

“I shall be more tolerant of people from different ethnic groups and religions”


Imagine if everybody adjusted their attitudes, won’t the country be a better place to live?

With this wide spread of animosity, we are making it difficult to celebrate our diversity. Is it too much to ask for some peace in my own country? Just look around the world and see what’s going on. Isn’t the pointless Sunni vs. Shiite conflict in Iraq enough to warn us of the ghastly side of violence? Am I reaching for the stars when I ask for the unnecessary Muslim – Christian violence to STOP!

If we don’t unite ourselves, no one is going to do it for us! Spreading negative information from about people that are from other tribes will not make our tribe better than theirs; if anything it makes us look bad because we are bad mouthing OUR OWN COUNTRY! If I had one wish right now, I'd wish for a replacement of the people of Nigeria. Take all these narrow minded tribal people away and give me tolerant and optimistic people and I'll be happy. I love my country, but these people are ruining it for me!

29 comments:

ѕαмєєяαн α.к.α ѕαмυѕн said...

AMEN..well said!

Spyda said...

I feel your pain Sista...

hajia said...

it is disgusting what we do to ourselves here in naija but to take it yonder beats my imagination. when will some of us grow up? eh?
Anyway barka da sallah ranki ya dade....

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

Zahratique: Truer words have not been said!

When it comes to Nigerians, so many of us allow our naivety to drive our treatment of each other. Like you said, we must unite as Nigerians. If not, we will remain divided and Nigeria will not progress.

This was truly a pleasure to read. Hope you are fine. Barkah de Sallah to you and yours!

pamelastitch said...

Very deep! .......

I agree completely.... :-)

zara said...

i agree totally! cudnt have been better said.. we do put ourselves down then wonder how we get the bad name...

Isi said...

i feel u on this one dear. very annoying trait nigerians have, always bashing one another. that is wat gives others the impetus to treat us badly.
is there anything we can do abt this?
happy holidays dear!

Busola AK said...

zah(can i call u zah?)thats deep.. i feel ur pain most of the country's problem is tolerance.we cant seem 2 tolerate others much.. not to talk of trying 2 understand them..its rather disheartning..
my parents.. sadly r no help in dt department..
thers is just not love in dis country... even the yoruba pple discriminat among themselves.. sad really..
i hope it changes but i doubt it
if there r still racist out there after all these years.. then it'll probably never change..

Uzo said...

I am half yoruba and half igbo and you will not believe the crap i hear to my face....So sad

Fo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fo said...

so ture...hows u sis???longest time,all season greetings

ps.are u on facebook??

Ugo Daniels said...

You know at a time, it used to bother me. Guess i outgrew it. Moreover, the results are there for all haterz to see. I'm sooooo BIGGER than them all...don't fcuking give 2 fcuks (sry for da swear words)

Nyemoni said...

LOl..We can be so narrow minded...So when are you going to update???

30+ said...

Amen to that.

Trouble is most of us never stop to question a lot of the silly information recieved about other tribes / culture.

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

Zah: Where are you?

Vickii said...

This is a very impressive write up and I totally agree 100% with everything you said!

Thanks for writing this.

misspumping said...

unity in diversity is the way ahead tell them Zara. Well scripted

Uzo said...

UPDATE PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

geisha said...

there's always the argument that we didnt choose to be nigerians but were forced to assume one national identity...
however we should be over it by now anyway. prejudice is never a good thing.
i like the saying about counting people before groups.

30+ said...

It has been a while, hope all is well?

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

zah: no really, are you okay?


NIGERIAN CURIOSITY
IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER WHEN I ONLY HAD ONE...

Mustapha Ali Busuguma said...

Uwargida yaya shiru kwana biyu? abi u don go into hiddin?

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naijabloggers said...

A well written post. Please preach it to people. There is no point living together if we do not love each other.

O2daWest said...

I have to say I am happy that someone else out there understands the importance of nationalism. As bad as we would like to label the US and other countries, the truth is one of their major strengths is their sense of National Pride. And that is one of the things that makes them great. An American is always an American, not an Ibo man, not a Yoruba man or a Hausa man ... but American. This change can only start from us the individuals. When people ask me "What are you" (and I mean here in Nigeria) I always answer ... I am Nigerian!

Crazy Sexy Cool Dangerous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zahratique said...

Hey people! Thanks for all your comments :) I just had to vent it out. It had been eating me for the longest time.

Cidersweet said...

So well-said O! Thanks 4 that.