In the wake of recent political and sectarian perturbations that now envelopes our populace and even our social and conventional media space, it was only going to be a matter of time before I came up with this piece.
It appears we don’t know we are sitting on a ticking time bomb with our utterances and the renewed agitations in some sections of the country. Let me start this piece by clearly stating the ugly sides to the three major tribes or nemesis of Nigeria and subsequently stating clearly why staging another war can and will never be the way forward;
The Bitter Truth about Nigeria’s Major Tribes
Yorubas: Backstabbing and Pretentious cowards!
Hausas/Fulanis: Distasteful and Vengeful Bigots!
Igbos: Arrogant and Confused Sectarians!
The aforementioned attributes of the three major tribes in Nigeria is just a clue to why the civil war of 1967 was quite difficult to avert. But here is the raw deal;
At the outset of post-colonial Nigeria, the three major tribes were not prepared to let go of their differences, yet they all wanted to wrest power from one another undemocratically whilst they remained in the same federation. They were simply asking for a miracle to happen in a federation that was hurriedly put together to start functioning independent of our colonial watchdogs.
The Igbos knew too well the British had sold us a dummy with the amalgamation and they made it somewhat obvious to the other Nigerians in ways that induced envy rather than an understanding of the deceit the Britons had roped us in.
The average Ibo man doesn’t know how to mince words even in situations where the receiver is broken already; they can be annoyingly blunt. They couldn’t find other means to show their supposed superiority even in the face of strife. You won’t blame them though; they were the most learned and ambitious of the lot. Worse still, they had vastly different ideologies to the Northern end of the Niger River.
The Yorubas on the other hand pretended all was well and quietly plotted on how to cease power from the North through their demi-god, Chief Obafemi Awolowo of blessed memory. Whilst the Hausas inferiority complex made them bitter tribalists that saw anyone outside their realm trying to grasp power from their reins an enemy of a federation the British handed to them on a platter of gold.
The arrogance and superiority the Igbos displayed sowed seeds of hatred in the Hausa man’s heart like it was the Ibo man’s fault they showed little advancement from their pre-colonial life. As a matter of fact the Ibos were not always like that. If my little knowledge of history serves me right, they were the most primitive tribe in pre-colonial Nigeria just before the advent of the Europeans
Back to the Hausas/Fulanis (Sometimes I don’t even know the difference), for their mind they are the true Nigerians! Anyways, everything we experience today, including the Hausa man’s unquenchable thirst for power is as a result of the selfish ambitions of the Britons from time immemorial; a strategy that started off with an amalgamation of two disparate protectorate not minding the consequences of such unholy and ill-planned alliance.
Nigeria was not prepared for the amalgamation just like they were not prepared for the reverberations of the independence the British gave us dubiously. I could swear the Britons knew what was to follow. They had it well-planned. They still owned us in a way. Even the name Nigeria was given to us by the wife of a Lord in Great Britain, Flora Shaw (Lady Lugard).
I could go on and on but who am I to talk about events that occurred eons before I was breathed into life. Albeit I will give my two kobo;
Until we tackle the immediate causes and aftermath of the war in 1967, then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, these agitations would continue, and I’m not just talking about the agitations in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Trust me, this time it won’t just be about Biafra. Splinter groups will rise; Niger Delta will wrest themselves from the Ibo man’s grasp, the Igbos will grapple with their own internal politics, the Christians in the North will search for their identity. Benue, Plateau, Adamawa and maybe Bauchi will be worse hit. It will be fatal for them there.
Lagos will prefer to stand alone rather than bond with their neighbours in Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ondo. Kwara, Kogi and Edo will just be mere spectators caught in the middle. It will be a confused bloody cause that will mark an end to the Giant of Africa. At that time only few would be alive to tell the story of how ‘There was once a Country’ to the unborn generation.
Thinking about it…we really don’t want a war, or am I wrong? The Aburi accord was their last chance of preventing a war between Federal forces and Biafra but the over-bloated egos of our elites in the 60’s won’t let peace have its way.
This war we now seek by our actions and inactions could erase an entire generation of promising Nigerians. Unlike in 1970 when the then Head of State and Emperor of the Federal Forces that declared a police action turned war on the secessionist state, General Yakubu Gowon declared his famous “no victor, no vanquished” speech after the war, even if he was just saying what needed to be said at that moment in time, this time around a civil war will only be a mission to nowhere where there will be no victor and all will be vanquished!
I stand with a united Nigeria
I stand for dialogue, compromise and resolutions
I stand for peace
I stand for common sense but unfortunately in my country that doesn’t even exist
A word they say is enough for the wise but I decided to write a piece of about 1000 words because this trouble brewing is beyond mere wisdom.
Lekan Linkin Lofinji
Member of the Federation