Ethnicity A Major Challenge In Nigeria’s Politics

Ethnicity A Major Challenge In Nigeria’s Politics

Ethnicity A Major Challenge In Nigeria’s Politics – Some years ago while i was still studying at the prestigious Delta State University Abraka, One of my lecturers Mr Patrick then would always use this phrases UNITY IN DIVERSITY. Here he was trying to make us understand that despite Nigeria being a country divided along ethnic lines, we can still be united after all, there are countries that share same challenges with Nigeria in terms of ethnicity.

True as it may sound but it still seems very far from being achieved. Everything that takes place in Nigeria is done with ethnicity in mind. Many analyze have theorized Jonathan’s 2011 presidential win against buhari as being the a result of ethnicity. Yeah. If it is true and it is true, then we have a big major problem in our hands. Ask many who voted buhari in the far North, why they voted him, the answer is quite simple. Ethnicity. No one cares about credibility anymore. As a Nation, i do think we need to think outside the box. In England for Example, a Muslim man by the name Khan is the Major of London. He is not originally from the UK but today he is the major of one of the most exciting city to be.

In America for example, Barack Obama won the presidential Election twice despite not being from America originally. Sometimes i laugh at the jingle called “One Nigeria”. One Nigeria and an Edo man cannot be local government council head in Nassarwa state? A Yoruba man cannot contest an election in Imo state and have a chance of winning even if he can do the job simply because he is not from that region. Then what is one Nigeria here? There are basics and fundamentals that needs to be put on the right perspective. If we claim Nigeria is One then we all should work together for the common good of everyone. Each time we look into the issue of politics bordering ethnicity, we see people, tribes, etc who have placed their personal interest above that of the entire Nation.

Most at times, our forefathers are to share from this menace ethnicity have caused to this great land. Awolowo, will preach his region before talking about the Nation same with Zik and Ahmadu Bello.These men never saw eye to eye. It was always about the survivor of the fittest. No one cared for a way foreward. Awolowo especially advocated that everyone should see his region before seeing the entire Nation. no wonder he never won any federal election because he doesn’t belong there. And this matter regarding ethnicity have caused so much damage to our political history. How do you explain the fact as a Nigeria, i am not safe in another region of the same country? Can a man from Texas feel unsafe in Kansas City in America? Why are we deceiving ourselves with this one Nigeria mantra that has no root in out heart? We must go back to our drawing board and ask ourselves some basic questions.

If we claim to be one Nigeria, why is it so hard for the other part of the Nation to accept true federal system of governance? Why are they so scared of being enslaved with the idea of true federal system? In 2015, apart from the role religion played in the coming to power of President Buhari, ethnicity played about 75 percent of it. And we may see it play another another role in the forth coming general election. We may never the extent to which we are damaging our society with this. Our forefathers the likes of Zik, Awolowo etc who never saw eye to eye, who preached regionality over nationality, ethnicity of generality never lived to enjoy a sweet Nigeria. Some where killed by emerging coups, others where jailed by coup plotters, then some have to run for their lives. And Nigeria as it where have not leant her lessons. Yes we know the size of the North over the rest of the country but has ethnicity produced a better governance that have thrown the Nation into an Era of unprecedented success? We never believe these am saying but trust me if this is not trashed now, it only gonna get worst.

Now many of us no that Donald Trump is a Scotish man from his maternal side and a German from his paternal side. Yet when American needed a messiah to change the political menance Obama have done to USA, there was no thinking twice at all. This is what i think Nigeria should thinking about. How do you place Ethnicity over credibility? How do you place ethnicity over meritocracy? It will surely tell negatively as time goes on. Let me be clear here that Nigeria is “ONE” only on paper but on groend, there is nothing like that. And the sooner we realize that this situation is benefiting some few set over the larger house, the better for us.

Some time ago, during the last presidential election, i witnessed a large exodus of Abokis (Huasas) from the South, west and East to the North because of the presidential Election. Now understand me. It’s a good thing to do that but a situation where these people only do this just to vote for a fellow Northernern is alarming. Most of them do not know the name of the aspirant to whom their preferred northern candidate is contesting against. All they want to know is who is the Hausa man on the platform. They don’t care if the said Hausa man can deliver or north? They are just bent lose on having there own person fill the spot. To them, so long an ethnic man wins the election, is a win win situation for them. How did Nigeria get to this low educational bankruptcy? It’s such a shame to live in such a dispensation.

On the other hand, some persons do not really care about what happens at the center so long they have it right at the regions, then they are good to go. In 2015 for example, i was a presiding officer for the 2015 general election based on the fact that i was a serving corp member in Cross river state. A party agent walked up to me and told me in clear terms that election have brought him fortune. That it has it was through election he was to train his wards through school from primary to secondary. He said two things where more important to him. First was the fact that he needed to win his constituency for his party because huge sums of cash have been given to him. Secondly he was and the people am seeing do not really care about who wins the presidential election or state governor’s elections but so long he was able to win his own constituency even if his party loses, he has won. Can you see that? Most of them there wanted to deliver their party not minding what the outcome of the other results says. As the election went on, most old women who came, came very late because agent went to their farms to beg them to come vote with as little as 2000 naira and when they came, most of them never knew who these aspirants where but they voted because as little as 2000 naira was enough to buy their conscience. This is not a deviation fro the subject matter.

Where did Nigerians get it all wrong? When the root is bad, forget it. It goes to affect the entire tree. We must by all means uproot the entire system and set a new course for ourselves. What exactly are our wards taught in the schools? What exactly are our children taught in the mosque? What exactly are they taught in the Church? Because these are some of the places where they learn to place their Ethnicity over Nationality. We must get it right. If we must remain one Nigeria and prosper as one, we must speak with one voice. What is bad must be seen as bad. We must drop regions over Nationality. No election should be decided by ethnicity no matter who is contesting. Let the right mind lead our Nation. But if this can’t be achieved, then we divide and end this force marriage. After all, what have this entity called “Nigeria” benefited to the millions of Nigeria? Many have lost their lives for the progress of this nation yet it’s as though we ain’t getting it. Which means the blood of those lost in the battle to keep Nigeria one, was a waste. Yes. I REPEAT A WASTE.

I rather not be in a Nation where one region thinks they where born to rule and others their slave. Nope. That’s not gonna happen. All i advocate for is that one Nigeria should be preached from our hearts and let our actions speak better. If this is in our hearts, then true federalism would be welcomed by all. No one would see it as a trap but rather the way forward. The body language of the Presidency is not even helping matters. Just take a look at the menace being caused by his brothers the Fulani herdsmen. What measures has he taken to curb the situation as the president? Rather statements are favouring the these people. They have caused more damage than boko haram have caused. For example, Boko Haram will be wrecking havoc on the Northern part of the Nation, the Fulanis will be doing same in the south. This shows just one thing….. The same way the IPOP issues where dealt with, why have the fulanis herdsmen issue be dealth with in a same measure? I think the change Nigerians voted for should start with Mr president then and only then can we talk of a ONE NIGERIA.

Ethnicity A Major Challenge In Nigeria’s Politics

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