Nigeria: A United Country Divided By It’s Leaders



By Nnamdi Ibezim

From the Fulani herders of the Sahel savannah plains in Zamfara to the Berom people of the Jos plateaus down to the Ijaws of the Niger Delta, Nigeria is a country blessed with a population that boasts diversity and strength, even more significant is the natural resources that abound in the lands that these dwellers have settled, and in many cases thrived, and is the core of our economic sustainability.

Nigeria has over 350 ethnic groups

There is no gainsaying with the postulation that Nigeria is one of the most blessed countries in the world, however there seems to be a fundamental problem with Nigeria in that for many years, the country has failed to find it’s footing amongst the most productive countries in the world.

How did we decay to this point? How did it get this bad? How does a country so blessed mingle in poverty and regressive socio-economic setbacks? These are some of the questions a lot of Nigerians young and old often ask and we seem not to get a satisfactory response because of the complex nature of our existence as a nation.

You see, Nigeria used to be two semi-sovereign regions, the Northern and Southern protectorates, these regions had their peculiarities and uniqueness, prior to the amalgamation of these two regions in 1914.

They existed with a substantially varying degree of differences economically, socially, traditionally, and ethnically, for example, the north had a more conservative culture, they practiced Islam, and were less liberal as ideologies were shaped by ‘think tanks’, prominent people most of whom were educated, of affluence or from a royal background.

On the other hand, the south was an egalitarian, capitalist, and more liberal society, majority of whom practiced Christianity as their primary or only religion.

These differences were observed and respected during the colonial era, southern Nigeria particularly Lagos became a British protectorate early on in 1862 after which they quickly spread their network across the other parts of the southern region and commandeered the regions administration with permission and assistance of local rulers whom they made warrant chiefs, preaching, and in many cases forcing the Christian religion on the people after being encouraged to abandon their traditional beliefs and practices.

Northern Nigeria on the other hand whom were already united under a common religion, Islam with the Sokoto caliphate as it’s epicentre, presented a stiff resistance to the British colonizers but would eventually become a major ally, going on to gain independence in 1953 even before Nigeria did (1960), the British didn’t force Christianity on them as they did the South.

However, despite these ‘differences’, people from the two regions co-existed, they did business, engaged in social activities, and lived happily, their ethno-religious differences didn’t divide them, so what did?

What comes to mind when you hear the term ‘politician’?, does it sound anything like the following; corruption, greed, embezzlement, evil, and evil? I can never understand why the people put in charge of protecting the people are the ones who harm them, worse is that they were put there by the same people they stay harming.

It is a known fact that corruption is a world wide thing, it’s synonymous with politics, however in Nigeria it’s a way of life, if you’re a politician in Nigeria, it’s almost like a prerequisite to be corrupt or have the tendency to be.

Ever asked yourself why during ethnic crises, you’d never find the rich fighting amongst themselves, it’s always the poor, destitute, and delinquents that want to tear themselves apart.

This is because it is an artificial creation meant to distract the people from focusing on them while they embezzle and loot the people’s treasury dry, it’s a decoy.

They know that if there’s peace and nothing to fight about, there will be enough calm to audit their activities and hold them accountable for every step they take. So what do they do? they stoke up ethnic and religious tensions by propagating divisive comments, actions, and programs through any means they can lay their hands.

This way, instead of Kabiru holding the senator from his zone accountable for good governance after voting them in, he’s focused on Emeka who ‘has taken over the area’ with commodity trading because he’s been taught from an early age that Igbos are greedy and domineering people.

So he grows up with resentment towards a man who has done nothing but trying to eke out a living. These politicians control the media, churches/mosques, school curriculums, tertiary institutions, etc.

This is why most of them dislike social media where information is decentralized and has helped in dispelling a lot of their sponsored propaganda that spur ethnic tensions, the traditional media where information is centralized and can pretty much churn out any garbage to push a narrative and create agenda against a person, group or organization.

Nigerians in traditional ethnic attires

I can’t wait for the day when Nigerians see the truth, that the Igbo man is not an enemy to a Yoruba or Hausa man, and vice versa, and that the real enemy is that senator who has represented their community for 20 years in the National Assembly without doing any reasonable project for their people but rather embezzling and enriching himself, family and cronies.


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