This week was almost ruined with the uncouth and unguarded remark made by a supposedly outstanding authority figure, Oba Akiolu of Lagos. The Oba made an insensitive categorical statement regarding our Eastern countrymen and women, which could breed more animosity (if it hasn’t already) among the ethnic groups in an already volatile nation. Smh.
The elections for the next set of governors were cast this past weekend. The Oba said if the easterners living in Lagos refused to vote his candidate for the governorship position, they would die by the Lagos lagoon (bar beach) seven days after the election.
In addition to the Oba’s statements, there were people of the Yoruba tribe who felt he was justified in his statements and supported him; while others called a spade a spade and said he was wrong to have uttered such statement. Some even voiced the opinion that the Igbos in Lagos should return to the East. Then the Igbos began accusing the Yorubas of tribalism. I mean who can blame Igbos for having such an opinion in light of this incident? The entire thing took me back to the atmosphere of the Biafra War of the 1960s. In today’s day and age, to be here again . . . I weep for my country!
I guess the debacle really caused fear or maybe anger because there was a very low turn out for the election. The conclusion is that a lot of Igbos did not vote. The Oba of Lagos really goofed.
We routinely accuse the white man of racism, yet we discriminate against one another in our own land. Isn’t that a shame? In as much as there are varied cultures, tribes and ethnic affiliations in Nigeria, we are one. Nigeria is where we all call home.
The discussion about this matter for and against, on online forums, the news media outlets and among individuals, breaks my heart. We have a long way to go in keeping the unity of this nation. Nigeria is stronger when we are united. Our diversity is our strength. We must do our part in protecting our home and its diversity.
It’s a shame that such an authority figure would be so reckless. I just always wonder what our country could achieve with one less wahala such as this. As a child in Nigeria, I never differentiated between Yorubas, Igbos, Hausas or the other 250 tribes of the country. I guess I was too young to be prejudiced.
Now that I’ve lived outside Nigeria, I truly appreciate my experiences as a child. I’m grateful for having grown up in a place that made me proud of my blackness. And I especially wish that black people from all around the world would stop trying so hard to differentiate one black from another and just embrace all that is black and beautiful.
You and I already talked about this but here is the full story. One of my friends told me that Apple updated its software to make people emojis more varied in color. I was immediately intrigued because I have always wondered why there are no black or brown people emojis.
I quickly searched for the update and downloaded the software onto my phone. As soon as I got the new people emojis, I changed every single one of them to the different shades of brown available. I have to admit, I was so excited to see people who looked like me. It was incredibly empowering. And at the core of it, it simply made me feel good. And especially made me feel great about myself. And you know I have the highest self-esteem ever!
After a personal incident that happened a couple of years ago, I made a vow to myself to stop differentiating between my blackness as an African and the blackness of others as Americans or Europeans. Because I came to this realization in a country that was not my home, the vow for me implicitly applied to all Nigerians. But I guess for Nigerians at home, the vow would be applicable. Like you said, the tribal discord must stop. It is not helpful for the health of the nation and certainly not for the future and growth of the next generation. So, I challenge you and everyone else reading this to be proud of, embrace and love all that #LookLikeMe, be they Igbos, Hausas Yorubas or [Fill in the Blank].