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12.03.2009 Feature Article

One Nigeria, Different Nigerians

I think Nigerians need more Ibuprofen to reduce the pains and inflammation the state “Nigeria” is causing them. Sometimes, if not always, I wonder why Nigerians flair up on hearing of any project the government is initiating. For example, the re-branding Nigeria stuff. I think Nigerians are just happy with their ethnicities than they are with the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Nigerians are just comfortable being addressed as Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo or something else than being addressed as Nigerians.

Many projects in Nigeria are jamboree, and people don't tend to believe in any project in Nigeria any longer. Ant they are not to be blamed because a lot of projects in Nigeria follow the newspapers that published them. Rarely are projects completely executed in Nigeria. Many of the executed projects in Nigeria are substandard. For example, our roads get spoilt as soon as they were built.

Houses also collapse in Nigeria, as soon as they were built. People get corrupted as soon as they become politicians. Politicians become godfathers as soon as they gasp for the political breathe.

Dichotomy is a dangerous virus eating the fabrics of Nigerians. Competence does not mean anything to Nigerian politicians, but zoning. And this concept is causing the Nigerian state a great deal of damage. People are killed when it's not their zone's time to contest and win an election.

Sometimes I weep, if not always. Many people still see “Nigeria” as titular. They are not happy when they are addressed as Nigerians. They either preferred being addressed as Biafrans, Oduduwans, Arewans, name them.

It's this virus called dichotomy that has eaten deeply the Nigerians mentality that I think is responsible for the official thievery among the many politicians in Nigeria. Many of them don't think and assume that Nigeria is real. So, they thieve owing to their mentality that Nigeria would one day break into pieces.

To many of these people who think that Nigeria would one day break into pieces; they prefer dying for their ethnicities than dying for Nigeria. But I don't think that they are to be blamed. For instance, in a state like Rivers State, as far as your father, mother or wife is not from there, you are a bloody “non-indigene”. If you like be born and spend your 90 years of age in that state, you are not regarded as an indigene. This same shameful mentality is applicable to other parts.

In other parts, ethno-religious crises are rife in a place like the North. Imagine what happened between the so called indigenes and settlers in Plateau State in November 2008. Was it not a show of shame? Were hundreds and thousands of lives and property destroyed? This is the “One Nigeria?”

I think “One Nigeria” is causing Nigerians deaths. envy, malice, tinkering, bickering, power-struggling, hypnotism and so on are experienced because “Nigeria” is forcefully habouring different Nigerians. Those who on their volition would not have loved to be associated with Nigeria!

Not every Nigerian has hope in the country called “Nigeria”. They have hope if Biafra, Oduduwa, or any other thing is given them as their countries. They believe in REGION than in “One Nigeria”. Or, if possible the politically created six political zones given countries. I think people from the different parts of the country are tired of the ramshackle Nigerian state. And that is the problem with Nigeria, which can only be healed if people are partitioned into their ethnicities.

Odimegwu Onwumere is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA). 08032552855. [email protected]

Odimegwu Onwumere
Odimegwu Onwumere, © 2009

This author has authored 586 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: OdimegwuOnwumere

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