Divided: A people versus a nation

March 12, 2019 Nigeria , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

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Prince Charles Dickson



As oyinbo (whiteman) take like Black Maria, blackmail, black angels, black coffee, the black man still proudly uses the white tissue roll for black shit…



There is this book called Disappearance which was divided into two parts. Part one was an imaginary account of a world in which men wake up one day and discovered that all women had vanished. All the women! The rest of that first part talks about how men tried to survive on their own. The second part was a vice versa, our women woke up and discovered that the men had disappeared from the face of earth. Simply imagine both scenarios.


Would life be easier for Christians if we woke up and found that all Muslims had vanished? Would life be easier for us Muslims if we woke up and found all Christians gone? Can we have a Kano without Ibos, or a Nigeria without Kano and Kaduna, like waking up to find PDP is no more, all the crooks have vanished from APC… these questions sound a bit silly, but they are the true test of our appreciation of our slaughterhouse mentality especially recently in Lagos, the North, the Niger Delta and the nation as a whole. Does the killing of one another bring back the already dead? No, it only berths a circle of revenge, vengeance, retaliation, retribution and the madness continues.


So, dem talk say nobody get Lagos, another person talk say Ibo people like trouble, all these Muslims and Christians, 90% of them still go visit Babalawo. Na dem develop Lagos, develop Abuja, but we still never develop Nigeria.


Sequel to the present excuse we call democracy, the very fabric of this society called Nigeria has been strained by crisis in the ethno-religious field and so many people are benefiting and in cases investing in the misfortune especially those obsessed in the quest for power, our leaders who are ready to invest in poverty, death, ignorance do so without recourse to the same God we use as an excuse in our exercise of dissipating our population.


Every election cycle leaves this country further strained, as we have not seriously explored the narratives and conversations to the point of analyzing the content and substances that precipitate them. Instead we do a confused labeling of very direct issues. No one of us took the decision to be Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba; we are Nigerians who happen to be Christians or Muslims and pagans.


I was born on the Mainland in Lagos State, from Eastern extraction, with a Middle Belt blood, schooled in Jos, Plateau State, worked in Nigeria and outside the shores of the country.


I have lived in Kaduna, had spells in Gusua, Zamfara State, Biu in Borno State, Birnin Kebbi in Kebbi State, Dutse in Jigawa State. I possess properties in Jos, Plateau State. Most of my early life documentation bears Lagos State as my State of Origin and as time went on I was brainwashed on the need to get that of Abia State where my Parents hail from, (JUST IN CASE OF SHARING THE NATIONAL CAKE). Overlooking the fact that I am almost alien to the culture and tradition of the people.


I have missed so many opportunities because I do not possess a certificate that proclaims me as an indigene of Plateau State a place where I equal have ancestral links, with this I guess I have fulfilled the requirements of becoming a true Nigerian. Even though I am referred to as a ”Josite” a familiar phrase for Jos bred Nigerians it does not change much, I can exercise my Electoral Franchise but it is only to the limit of voting for and not being voted ”for”.


Settlers, Landlords, Landowners, Migrants, Indigenes are words, which have become familiar in our national discuss for no good reason. With no clear-cut nor precise meaning. Despite our religious intolerance of the recent past with one another, a major player in our crisis ridden drive towards attaining nationhood has been the ethno-related disgust we harbour for each other, a situation that has facilitated the growth of mutual suspicion a Yoruba man presupposes he is more Nigerian than the Ibo man and the Ibo thinks so of his Hausa counterpart and the ball rolls further with others crying foul on the counts of marginalisation. This scenario simply upgrades my psychological mind frame with some sort of superiority or inferiority complex. I further deduce an all-important cleavage to my immediate ethnic idiosyncrasy.


Hear an American ”I am an American, I live in Chicago, and I am of Scottish decent”. Then hear his Nigerian colleague ” I am from Okenne in Kogi State in Nigeria. The truth is that every nation has it’s own peculiar ethnic issue but how have we as Nigerians made an effort to manage our Diversity. The term Unity in diversity has remained a political coinage. Our ethnic difference has rather done us more harm.


Every time I fill a form I am constantly reminded of my local government area, I am simply told that I am not really wanted and that where I reside is inconsequential. It is most disheartening as one pays his taxes and other such obligations to that particular area yet is not accepted.


That we have to redefine our ethno-understanding is an understatement. We have been robbed of meritocracy, excellence and unity, we are still battling favouritism, federal quota, catchments areas and such plenty nonsense in a world that is consistently getting smaller through globalization and the need to fight a collective course (despite the hypocrisy).


Our ethnic and indigeneship battle has midwife ethnic militias, phony ethnic bodies, the Opc, Apc, Massob, Ohaneze, Afenifere, Middle Belt and Center belt all charging like bulls without a focus, non seemingly has the native intelligence to dialogue with the other.


The Nigerian leadership is yet to produce a system of governance that can exploit our differences only leaders who have simply made long speeches to the point of confusing themselves.


Everybody accuses the other of marginalisation to the point the word ”Marginalisation has been marginalised”. When a list of persons are announced for national service the first instinct is the concern for where the chairman hails from, how many Yorubas or Ibos, then if the secretary is a Hausa-Fulani. The task at hand is of nil importance; the suitability of the persona is very, very secondary. The intellectual ignorance we still exhibit at this point of our national lives is terrific the ‘southerner’ basks in the stupidity of his all-knowing nothingness, while his northern counterpart thinks he will lead even the rats in the country all put together.


As Nigerians we should be thinking of how we can move together, strive to build a strong united nation where everyone needs the other person and until this is done we cannot fight for the Almighty Allah and He created us the way we are, color, creed, race, tribe, and religion; but we are one in this sight –Equal! When are we going to understand this—Only time will tell.






Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.

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