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Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Does the detribalised Nigerian exist?

Let me do an Ayo here:
1. Who or what is a 'detribalised Nigerian'?
2, Does he/she exist?
3. Is it possible?
4. Is it necessary?
5. What makes a Nigerian 'detribalised'?
6. Can a 'tribalist' be at the same time a 'nationalist' or are they a contradiction in terms?
7. Why for instance is a 'nationalist' some kind of hero, whereas a 'tribalist' is seen negatively, as in some kind of bigot?
8. Can anyone here claim to be 'detribalised'?
9. Can you even know whether or not you are 'tribalistic', or should it be for others to say?
10. Do you find you naturally take sides with your 'tribesman', even when he/she is talking absolute nonsense - against 'those people'?
11. What, if any, are the advantages of being 'tribalistic'?
12. Do you have a moral right to cry 'racism!' if you are a rabid 'tribalist' yourself?



Obasanjo is an example of a “de-tribalised” Nigerian. He hates poor people from every corner of the country.

A resounding majority of Nigerians are “de-tribalised”. It is just that the minority are noisier. With their noise, they elevate ethnicity beyond its proper level in the scale of importance. This takes ethnic sentiments and other primordial attitudes out of their real contexts.

Most people that are prejudiced are just mainly ignorant and chronically incapable of reason. As soon as you apply logic to the “arguments” of prejudiced folks, those arguments collapse like a pack of cards. Therefore to be a “tribalist” requires the suspension of logic.

It is not possible to be a “tribalist” and a “nationalist”, unless the nation is made up of just one ethnic group. A “nationalist” theoretically puts the interests of the nation at the top of the agenda, while a “tribalist’s” main concern is his ethnic group. Pushing the agenda of one ethnic group excludes others and therefore opens the person up to charges of discriminatory behaviour. By extension, to champion the cause of one group involves a sort of ideology which entertains notions of supremacy of the ethnic group over others. It calls for the rallying of folks from that group under one banner and thrives on creating the sort of divisions that stoke ethnic hatred. So people that cover themselves in this garb usually evolve into fascists and bigots.

Of course, I can claim to be “de-tribalised”. I never subscribe to notions that I cannot back up with logic. I am not an ethnic chauvinist, not particularly for any lofty reasons, but because it doesn’t make sense.

“Tribalism”, just like racism, is a pattern of behaviours and attitudes. Sometimes the perpetrator is aware that he is a bigot, sometimes the bigotry is unconscious and unwitting. In the latter category, people at the receiving end would be aware of this before the perpetrator.

“Tribalists” and racists are birds of the same ignorant feather. So a “tribalist” has no moral standing to condemn a racist.

It is also pertinent to note that some of the most “de-tribalised” Nigerians are members of the ruling elite. For them ethnic division is just an instrument for controlling the populace.


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chxtab all we need is unity and not tribal and religious wars.I read ur first postings and second and i see sense in it.
All we need is to be open about our feelings in Naija,we've been to quiet for too long.

Anonymous said...

Chxta i think it's a thing of the mind,there are too many tribes occupying the Face of Afrika.
The western world used to be divided based on religion and provinces,as time went on they realised they have to unite and build the country.
Nice one

Donzman said...

We're humans and are bound to bear allegiance to a particualar group/tribe/nationality. In the end, we are also compelled to associate and coperate with others in order to move forward. Nigeria as a nation has not given it's citizens any reason to be loyal it. That is why people still remain loyal to their ethnic groups,atleast they are the ones you know. The minute Nigeria as a state starts caring for its masses, then it can start expecting something in semblanceof loyalty and nationalism.

Like I said, it's easy for those at the top to coperate with others because they have to do that in order to get ahead. The farmer on the streets knows no one but his kith and kin who care about him. Those are the ones he'll forever be loyal to until Nigeria as a state begins to care about him.

Lack of detrabilzed Nigeria is nothing but evidence that Nigeria has nothing to offer its citizens for now atleast. I completely disagree that being a tribalist is akin to being racist. I suppose a tribalist is someone who is loyal to his tribe and not someone who hates another tribe. All that is associated with tribalism is loyalty to one tribe and not hatred for another. I can be loyal to a tribe without having to hate another tribe primarily because for my economic survival, I depend on this group of people with no harm meant to the other group.

Before someone flies off the handle, I'm not a tribalist but in a place like Nigeria, I can totally understand why someone can be one.

Donzman said...

We're humans and are bound to bear allegiance to a particualar group/tribe/nationality. In the end, we are also compelled to associate and coperate with others in order to move forward. Nigeria as a nation has not given it's citizens any reason to be loyal it. That is why people still remain loyal to their ethnic groups,atleast they are the ones you know. The minute Nigeria as a state starts caring for its masses, then it can start expecting something in semblanceof loyalty and nationalism.

Like I said, it's easy for those at the top to coperate with others because they have to do that in order to get ahead. The farmer on the streets knows no one but his kith and kin who care about him. Those are the ones he'll forever be loyal to until Nigeria as a state begins to care about him.

Lack of detrabilzed Nigeria is nothing but evidence that Nigeria has nothing to offer its citizens for now atleast. I completely disagree that being a tribalist is akin to being racist. I suppose a tribalist is someone who is loyal to his tribe and not someone who hates another tribe. All that is associated with tribalism is loyalty to one tribe and not hatred for another. I can be loyal to a tribe without having to hate another tribe primarily because for my economic survival, I depend on this group of people with no harm meant to the other group.

Before someone flies off the handle, I'm not a tribalist but in a place like Nigeria, I can totally understand why someone can be one.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the rest of the world you see that a major tribe and language dominate nearly all part of the world.In Afrika the reverse is the answers,too many tribes,languages,warlords and political incorrectness.
To me it Afrika is unique jus like Bob geldof said.Afrika vast in nature,sunshine,rainforest,deserts,animals,tribes but strichten with a disease.
there will be a turn around someday.

Chxta said...

Donzman, in all my travels around Naija, I am yet to see the one person who on having something to gain from me, discriminated against me simply based on the fact that I am Igbo.

Even in the core North people don't sit down all day and do nothing else but plan to kill Southerners. Usually something triggers it, and the pattern is always the same: political leaders spew out some rhetoric, people listen, then go berserk. It is always the same, and the killing is always in the 'poorer' areas of the land.

Divide and rule is such a brutally effective strategy.

The problem in Naija is ignorance, and that is what the elite exploit. The average Nigerian really doesn't care where you are from.

In my own experience, I am yet to be proved wrong.

Chxta said...

Donzman, in all my travels around Naija, I am yet to see the one person who on having something to gain from me, discriminated against me simply based on the fact that I am Igbo.

Even in the core North people don't sit down all day and do nothing else but plan to kill Southerners. Usually something triggers it, and the pattern is always the same: political leaders spew out some rhetoric, people listen, then go berserk. It is always the same, and the killing is always in the 'poorer' areas of the land.

Divide and rule is such a brutally effective strategy.

The problem in Naija is ignorance, and that is what the elite exploit. The average Nigerian really doesn't care where you are from.

In my own experience, I am yet to be proved wrong.

Donzman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donzman said...

@Chxta

Donzman, in all my travels around Naija, I am yet to see the one person who on having something to gain from me, discriminated against me simply based on the fact that I am Igbo.

Yeah, when they have something to benefit from you, they won't bother about where you're from. When they have to choose between you and someone from their own group to do business with, chances are that they'll choose someone from their own group. That has been my experience so far. Sometimes, it's not much about being Igbo/Yoruba/Hausa as it is about being familiar with a particular culture/people.

In some cases, a Yoruba man will rather do business with an Edo man that can speak Yoruba and is familiar with the Yoruba culture, than a Yoruba man that only knows how to say "watsup" all day long. It's not straightforward but the point is that people are definitely biased in relations with other people in our country. Just being a Nigerian does not suffice, you have to be familiar with that part of Nigeria.

Chxta said...

I believe you will agree that the scenario you have described is a human thing, not just Nigerians. The Americans only outsource when it's cheaper for them. If it going to cost the same, who born India make dem put in bid for the job.

I just finished testing Vista. Exhausted...