Being broke sucks, however being broke is not something magical…
There was a time in Nigeria, when just anyone can be anything in any place. Ethnic, religious and political differences did not matter, our common humanity was all that was mattered. It was common to see so many Igbos, Yorubas, Ijaws, Itsekiris and so on in the northern part of the country. The Civil Service and the Judiciary in Northern Nigeria were dominated by the Southerners. In Benue State, I was taught by Igbo and Yoruba teachers who made the place their homes and spoke our native tongue fluently . I remember with fondness Mr Fasoko (Army Childrens’ School, Otukpo), Mr Mbanaja (Wesley High School, Otukpo) and so many others. In the Southern part of the country, the Hausas, Fulanis, Kanuris and Nupes were everywhere trading and plying their trades without fears. Some even found love and intermarried into their host communities.
It was great living in Nigeria then until political and religious manipulations were activated and brothers and sisters, became enemies. Governments in several States, took steps to rid the States of non-indigenes in their Civil Service and the Judiciary; others, made rules and imposed conditions that made trading and living in their States difficult if not impossible for non-indigenes.
Religious bodies, started posting only indigenes to serve in their places of birth, and the politicians, weighed in with scaremongering tactics, using religion and ethnicity to destroy our country.
Today, we celebrate the appointment of an Igbo man as Commissioner in Lagos State as a grand achievement (it just maybe because of our current situation) but it wasn’t always so, it was a common thing. We had Chief Judges from different ethnic groups in different parts of Nigeria. We had people who won elections in parts of Nigeria different from theirs; so, it is not new to us. We can do it, we have done it before and we can do it again. We need to go BACK (did you say go back? Yes, I did) to the values that held us together, we cannot move FORWARD this way and achieve the Nation of our dreams. What do you think?
Kurtis Adigba is the Principal Partner of Kurtis Adigba & Co