Before you read further, ask yourself this questions:
–Who are You?
–Where do you hail from?
I would expect your response to the second question to carry FIRST your Nationality before giving necessary and unnecessary details of your tribe. If not, then I think you are part of the problem. Read further to see reasons.
Tribalism and nepotism (or ethnicity as you may which to call it) has been the canker-worm disturbing our vegetables of unity and, if not treated, can lead us through that path of disintegration. Sometime ago, the President (Muhammadu Buhari) asserted in one of his speeches that the oneness of this nation is Non negotiable. Well, I think the Nation, Nigeria, needs restructuring. But (anyways) that’s a topic for another day.
Whether or not we want to negotiate it, tribalism needs to be killed. Tribalism is a political anomaly. According to Wikipedia online encyclopedia, tribalism is a state of being organized in, or advocating for, a tribe or tribes. It is also seen as a behavioral defunct where people are more loyal to their tribes than to their friends, country or other social groups. Relating it to Nigeria (the most populous Black nation with a massive representation of tribes and language), it is of no doubt present. People are seen associating with and protecting their various ethnic groups in the political setting.
However, this concept isnt to strange to us. Instances of it can be traced to activities of our founding fathers even before the independence. We had the first crop of political parties in Nigeria to be so regional and ethnic centered with no rigid outlook; AG of the West, NCNC of the East, NPC of the North. Therefore, seeing the menace grow into an epidemic in our today society is more than predicted. Tribalism has officially dominated our political philosophy. Tribalism is now a way of life. It has sprung up different conflicts; crisis has erupted within the nation. Tribal intolerance had powered ethnocentrical conflicts. For instance, a Yoruba man will less want to be associated with an Igbo movement and vice versa. Not because it is not viable but because of the ethnic jealousy.
Could all these have been happening because we are a conglomeration of too many ethnic group? Then one will begin to wonder how countries like America, Brazil, Belgium, and even Indonesia (with a larger Conglomeration) have trended through Unity till flourish. For ease of Governance, the Northern and Southern Protectorate was amalgamated in 1914 but in reverse, it made the whole process somewhat difficult. Since 1914, the ‘nation’ had been witnessed series of ups and downs. The downs caused more often by tribalism. According to reports, about 50% of Nigerians or even more will identify themselves first with their ethnic groups before thinking of associating with Nigeria. This has made some analyst began to question if truly the nation ever existed in the first place.
Among the effects of Tribalism in Nigeria includes:
–Creation of ethnic Nationalism or Struggles: in a Nation where every ethnic group begin to fight discreetly for their selves, there certainly will be a decline in the National Orientation and Integration. This can even degenerate into Regional struggles and Militancy as we have already begin to witness I the Niger Delta region, Biafra/ MASSOB in the EAST, OPC in the WEST and Bokoharam in the North. Everyone of them fighting for legitimate supremacy. Lets see who wins.
–Mitigates the Fight for Corruption: even if we have a President hell bent on fighting the Anti-graft out of the system, the presence of the bigger canker-worm (tribalism) is bound to stop him. Imagine yourself as the Minister of Justice of the Federation and your Uncle is to be indicted for a Criminal charge or allegation. Your reaction towards such a case determines how far Nigeria can go in tackling corruption. Everybody wants the Anti-Graft war. But no one wants it anywhere near him, his tribesmen or family.
–Politics of division: there is no need to talk more on this. We all know what transpires in Nigeria’s elections. We know how they come back home after so long a time in Abuja to bamboo-zoo us with sweet talks about why it is very important and necessary to vote for tribesman even if he is not functioning or competent. The 2015 Election is a clear example; PDP to the South and Apc to the North. Complete division. Even when it was time for ministerial appointment at the federal level, we saw what played out.
–Wandering Youths: I a system like this, the Youth of a so great a nation is left wandering with no specific destination. It encourages thuggery and idleness. Imagine what happens during employment exercise. Where your qualification isn’t a criteria enough to secure yourself a job but by the level of connection you’ve got you have to know somebody that knows somebody to link you with the manager to get the job. You will even be luckier if the Boss is from your tribe. Nigeria! I hail thee.
In all, one will categorically say that ethnicity is the beginning and the end of Nigeria’s real problems. Change isn’t just about elections, we need to work on our mindset; we need to grow above tribalism if we want this Country to move forward. As part of my recommendations, I believe the government and every concerned Nigeria should begin to give more crediance to the concept of ‘place of residence’ over the insulting ‘state of origin’ syndrome. This will go a long way in solving this situation.
Like I will always say, until a Nigerian can confidently say without any attack that: ‘My name is Dan Fulani Chidozie . I am from Osun state’, will Nigeria excel. Finally, the constitution as well should be looked into to amend some tribalistic terms and notion inherent in side of it.