OPINION

POLITICS OF TRIBALISM AND NEPOTISM IN NIGERIA- BY Lanre Rasheed

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Just Incase many of you think I hate a particular tribe, there are over 300 tribes in Nigeria, so why is one  tribe singled out? Let me tell you this, nature has a way of making certain people from different parts of the world better at something than others. People in riverine  areas of southern Nigeria are known to be good swimmers. People from Kenya and Ethiopia are known as good long distance runners. People this article is about are known for being wonderful in doing business , so let’s not always believe that some things are not peculiar to certain people.Its the natural order of things.

The civil war was inspired by greed and tribal mistrust and it raged on for more than 2 years. During the war the people went through psychological changes, which includes the mindset of mistrust among all the tribes in Nigeria and those on the side of Biafra. In many countries of the world that have had civil wars and have gone ahead to become great nations one thing that is usually done is for both sides to totally dismantle the mindset that they had during the war and unite with what they learned during the war to build a United Nation.

That is not the situation in Nigeria. Till this day the south east of Nigeria is still psychologically at war with Nigeria. Indoctrination of hate against the tribes of Nigeria is still going on in the east till this day just like the culture of Osu caste system that discriminates some Igbos as outcasts and do not have equal rights as other Igbos. Many children of today who are lucky to have their grand parents around are still being brainwashed like their parents to hate other tribes of Nigeria due to the civil war and many biased stories of what led to it. From generation to generation there is the mindset that the Fulani/ Hausa tribe and the Yorubas hate Igbos and so all Igbos most hate them back . Like it or not, this is real.

Children are told not to go to their neighbors houses with their friends and not to play with children of other tribes because they are evil and  their parents killed Igbos during the civil war. Many children grew up with this mindset , and still carry this grudge irrespective of where they find themselves in Nigeria. There are exceptions though. Many Igbos who were born or grew up in other parts of Nigeria usually do not share this mindset because they grew up with other tribes in other communities. However, if such a child should grow up to find him or her self in a leadership position in Nigeria, he is easily influenced by his tribesmen whenever he goes back home for support never to forget that the other tribes in Nigeria killed them during the civil war and hate them. He is reminded to help many of his own tribe to get into leadership positions as soon as possible so that the tribe can dominate the space.

We all know this but pretend or try to be diplomatic about it. Go to a market in Lagos or Kano, any part of the market that is dominated by Igbos will keep expanding till they totally control the market. Go to many government institutions you will find it hard to see an Igbo government official that has another tribe as his personal assistant or  not have his or her staff dominated by his own people. I say this with no apologies but you can correct  me if i am wrong with evidence at Federal level.

Go to Lagos, Ogun , Kaduna and many states in Nigeria, you will see Igbos in state government positions , from commissioners to P.As, almost all states in Nigeria has an Igbo in the civil service,but you will never find people from other tribes in any south eastern state from Abia, Enugu,Imo,Eboyin, to Anambra that has people of other tribes working in  there state civil service. It is not done. prove me wrong

I’m bringing out this point because of my personal experience of late. Form a Nigerian group and put Igbos in leadership positions,you will find out that they will create an Igbo clan within that group. And they will have an agenda special for their tribe only. You will find it hard to notice if you are being diplomatic and nice . But if you do a thorough research you will notice this.It will be a group within a group,and they will dominate all the activities in favor of their tribesmen.

Recently there was a revelation that an acting director general of the Security and Exchange Commission employed over 800 new staff. All of them were from Anambra except one person from Kano . This is not new. Same happened under the Jonathan administration and in many aspect of the federal government headed by an Igbo man or woman back then.They had the highest number of staff. I stand to be corrected.

As we are going through the Covid-19 pandemic all over the world the medical staff of all nations are daily being praised by their citizens and most especially the various  government, you would think the Nigerian situation should be the the same. No it’s not, our medical staff at the forefront of the war on Corona virus are not well paid but do we also have to allow government officials look down on them?

A special adviser to the president on social media who you should know is Igbo and also has an Igbo lady as her personal assistant posted on social media a few days ago to many groups how her wonderful  sister and friend, another Igbo lady, a British citizen who is a medical doctor treating covid-19 patients in the UK was doing a good job. Why should a government official be making a post , praising a British doctor for doing a good job and post it in the public while she had not done anything to raise the moral of Nigerian doctors who are saving lives under harsh conditions in Nigeria? It is still that mindset,the mindset of tribalism. There are many situations I can give you to substantiate this point but I’ll stop here.

My article is not to call all Igbos tribalists. I’ll be a fool to do that , I have many Igbos I can call my brother and my sister. They know themselves, most times I call out these points they send me private messages to fire  on with the truth. If we intent to move forward as a country we should break all tribal barriers. If the south east continues to live in isolation and expect the other side to beg them to be nationalists instead of being tribal jingoists , they are just wasting their time. What you give is what you get.

It is this mindset that produced groups like IPOB and many hateful youths on social media spreading fake news and hate against the Nigerian government. Their leaders are no better. Always screaming marginalization and wanting sympathy all the time. Always playing the tribal and religious card on every national issue.

If the south east wants to be trusted they should also trust other tribes in Nigeria. Some Buharists say they are Biafran Buharists. Or Igbo Buharists. You never hear other tribes give themselves such bigoted titles. They say it is their turn to have an Igbo president and all political parties should submit their party tickets to any Igbo man in 2023. I laugh. Power is not given, power is earned.

WRITTEN BY Lanre Rasheed

 

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