By Halima Imam
Humans have a terrible habit of assuming that they can do nothing wrong. Nigeria was amalgamated by a people (the British) who had acquired our country as a mere business deal. The Niger Company must have felt a lot richer when they sold the Niger area to those who would later be known as our colonial masters. In 1914 our fate was sealed, the white man knew that we were a diverse people but they brought us all together anyway. They even named us Nigeria.
The foreigners did not only make us one, they also brought religion, something we all take very seriously as a people. At this point some of us practice religion better than those who had brought it to us. Our ethnic differences have been our biggest unifying factor, or maybe the greatest divider. Well I will leave that to reason. Nigeria is a country of about 200million people with over 250 ethnic groups, and 774 local governments, our motto been “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress”.
The South Eastern part of the country have always complained of marginalization, the North battling extreme poverty, illiteracy and still bragging about leadership being their birth right, those from the South-South have to endure an oil spillage and environmental pollution that is as lethal as death. The evil called boko haram started its violent attacks in 2010 and more than a decade later they continue their reign of terror. Some Fulani herdsmen decided that their cows will eat whatever they see, wherever it’s available and were prepared to take down any obstacle.
Some farmers whose produce were been eaten and destroyed by cows who obviously cannot understand boundaries (because they are animals) decide that they will resist any way possible. Due to consequence damnation and forceful resistance, farmers-herders crisis was birthed; this leaves one to wonder if there were no herders and farmers in Nigeria before now. How were they all able to cohabit so well before now? The newly forged enmity between farmers and herders is forcing families to mourn loved ones on a daily basis.
Bandits and kidnappers carry out their activities with so much ease I sometimes fell we are back to the Stone Age. Our security operatives must not know that there is a technology that makes tracking criminals who use cell phones possible. Nigerians now pay ransom to get their loved ones released through their teeth and on their toes. The North and South cannot stand each other, largely due to religious and ethnic differences, and our politicians are having a fill day widening this divide.
The government to whom we have handed our collective sovereignty loves to enjoy their peace and quiet, shutting us out to sort things out on our own. They drag their feet for National issues and would prefer to keep their eyes closed when some parts of the country are soaked in gruesome insecurity and crisis. The situation is such that men with guns wreak havoc on innocent Nigerians, some Nigerians being labelled immigrants and asked to go back to their home states and others not being safe in theirs.
Some Yoruba people being attacked by killer herdsmen with some killed, Hausas and Fulani’s attacked and killed by some criminal Yoruba men. Herders are ideally supposed to only have cutlasses for cutting down grasses for their cows to eat; farmers should only have farm equipment’s. Who then equips them with sophisticated guns that they use to cause mayhem amongst themselves? Why these attacks and counter attacks. Who gains from a continued farmers-herders crisis?
At the moment, it is safe to say that all the levels and arms of government have collectively failed us in the area of securing our lives and property. Corruption is conveniently a “Nigerian citizen”; the elite continue to live their best lives and the middle class plunge very fast in the direction of the peasants. The poor and struggling Nigerian keep harbouring hate and getting violently physical amongst them while the youth are incredibly unemployed. Jobs can be likened to precious stones and education continues to take no direction at all.
Nigeria’s oil money seems to have eluded us, it didn’t fix our country and we can’t even see it anywhere. Politicians continue to take the chunk of our money home in form of salaries while civil servants struggle to make ends meet. Our youths have taken to crime, internet fraud is the order of the day and rumour has it that some mothers are shamelessly supporting their fraudulent son’s. Crime is done openly because “everyone has a price tag”.
Some people are very busy instigating violence; others will enjoy watching Nigeria crash and burn. There are those that will do whatever it takes for corruption to envelope this entire country, yet others will keep internet fraud and financial crimes afloat. There is that faceless group that will continue to arm criminal elements and those that will never do their jobs. It will be wise to know however that all our actions have consequences.
Those who steal or money to hide in foreign countries must know that they are developing those countries, “team private schools” and “gang our children will study abroad anyway” must know that our educational system is done for. The poor barely getting by and spoilt rich kids enjoying weekly dangerous car stunts does have dire consequences. Our beloved country is marred by ethnic and religious conflict, insecurity and a myriad of social and economic crisis. We are losing on many fronts which is why we must answer the question, “whose loss is it anyway?
Founder (Climate Action Team)
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily