NIGERIA AND THE POLITICS OF DIFFERENCE AND DIVISION

What is it that makes us identify with other people as we go about our daily lives? What is the natural context for human existence and interactions? We tend to gravitate towards people who we believe are like us, even if we don’t know them. We tend to trust more people we believe have same fears as we do and see the world as us. Simply put, the natural format of human existence is Tribal. This could be based on ethnic, colour, language, geography, faith or any other emblem of collective similarities that exist. So when a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-faith nation is being formed, you are fighting against the natural tribal nature of humans. You are trying to bind together people who do not naturally see themselves as together. 

Good and visionary leaders will try to construct new threads and narratives that link people together in the name of national unity. They appeal to higher goals of our common humanity and communal interdependencies so as to engender a spirit of oneness and nationhood. Where such leaders do not exist, people will naturally backslide into their tribal caves bit by bit and It will soon become a fractured nation of they and us.

It is sad that in Nigeria, the people allow themselves to be used by politicians; who will fan the flames of ethnic and tribal sentiments to win power and then go ahead to cooperate with all ethnic, religious and tribal co conspirators to divide our commonwealth amongst themselves. The Dasuki List contain politicians from all ethnic, tribal, religious and geo-political zones. They were indeed one unified nation under God when it comes to corruption. But they become divided and tribal when campaigning or when being prosecuted.

It is a shame to read the nonsense from Femi Fani-Kayode over the past few days on his incarceration experience with the EFCC and meetings with Kanu in prison. I believe everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but Fani-Kayode is found of using intellectual veil to disguise his fallacious and inconsistent diatribes. You need to read between the lines so see that he is pursuing his own personal agenda and does not represent either the Yorubas or Nigeria. How much of the money they shared did he invest in his ‘beloved’ Yoruba communities? Like Asari Dokubo who made Billions under Jonathan but invested practically all of it overseas in neighbouring countries and practically non in Nigeria. How many Niger Delta citizens does he employ? You claim to fight for a people and yet give your jobs to foreigners. Such hypocrisy is symptomatic of Nigerian politicians and many activists.

The summary of my blog is that even in tribes, there are families of various status and rankings that comes together. My point is that a tribe is bonded together by separate unitary and separate lines of division; just as a nation glues together different tribes and faiths. We cannot always retreat to our tribal bunkers every time we are aggrieved. We need to understand that we are all now interdependent on one another.

Nigeria_politicalDuring the Janjaweed massacre in Darfur, the world joined forces to condemn (rightly so) the atrocities of the Sudanese government against South Sudan people and rebels. The global narrative at that time was of a war between the Muslim north and Christian South in Sudan. The South appeared as if they were an homogenous Christian people fighting for independence from a tyrannical Islamic North. Well few years later, the Christian South Sudan gained independence from Sudan and became the newest country in the world.

As many of you will know, the “united and Christian” South Sudan that appeared as a united and homogenous group during the war of independence have been fighting each other ever since. Over 100,000 people have been killed not by the Islamic North, but by the “Christian” South Sudanese themselves. They fought side by side to break away from the North, only to turn the same guns on each other after independence. They have now divided themselves by their different ethnic and tribal groups even though they are all still mainly Christians. There has been no peace in South Sudan since. So their assertion that their problems were wholly from the tyranny of the main Sudanese government has been shown as a fallacy. They were united fighting the North only to gain independence and start killing each other. This is a lesson for every nation who tries to play the tribal card. Today, Kanu and his likes want a Biafra Republic, because they feel hard done by the nation Nigeria. If there is ever a Biafra Republic, I can guarantee there will begin new internal war and fighting between constituent tribal units of the new nation and the usual pattern will repeat itself.

So the solution is not breaking our nation up, but agreeing that just as corruption can bind all our leaders together in common purpose regardless of their ethnic and tribal origins; Nigeria can be governed as a unified nation if we get the right leadership in place. There is already a proof of concept in place. The leaders come together and united when it comes to stealing. That shows unity can achieved if that passion is turned towards more constructive activities. If they can unite to steal, then it is possible to unite to rule a cohesive nation; bound by lofty goals of our fathers.

So Nigerians, don’t allow yourselves to be used and abused by these rascals called politicians and militants. Don’t allow the flames of division to thrive amongst us. These people are not leaders they are thieves and politricians, who trick the people for their own personal gains. Let us become faithful, loyal and honest to our country and make their days numbered who will not fight for the unity of our collective purpose and destiny as a nation. It is time to wise up. We are more united than we give ourselves credit for. God bless Nigeria.

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