A open hand is placed before your eyes, in it is something that you are told is "Justice". You need justice so you reach for it, the hand moves...you grab at air. You are assured that though you missed this time, you might get it next time; it is right there, in a hand that is held open right before your eyes. It may take a while...you may eventually realise that the reason this elusive (yet unhidden) thing is described as justice is so you do not go looking for it somewhere else.
Hunters base strategies on their prey's deeply ingrained characteristics. In Central Africa, they catch monkeys by placing food in a jar that is either half-buried or, tied to an imovable object (e.g. tree). The mouth of the jar is wide enough for a hand to enter but, so narrow that a clenched fist will not be able to pass through. The monkey comes along, sees the food, puts its hand in the jar, grabs the food and then, tries to withdraw hand and food. This is not possible. So, what does the monkey do? Does it drop the food and withdraw it's hand? No. Because it is not in it's nature to let go of food unless compelled by a stronger third party. And since there is nothing of the sort at the scene, it remains there, food held tightly in clenched fist, clenched fist stubbornly in jar. It remains there until the hunter who set the trap arrives.
The hunter from a nation whose 'leaders' are munkay's with their hands in a jar - tbc.
A open hand is placed before our eyes, in it is something that is described as "democracy". We need democracy so we reach for it, the hand moves...we grab at air. Reassurances are given: though we are not yet able to say that we are in possession of democracy, we will get it soon, it is right here...in the hand that is held open right before our eyes. It may take a while...we may eventually realise that the reason this slippery (yet available) thing is described as democracy is so we do not go looking for it by other means - tbc.
The prey are still the same. Evolution remains a theory. The hunters have not changed. Not neccesary. The jars were built to last by artisans who take pride in a job well-done. These jars have different names.
One is called 'religion' while another is called 'wealth'. Then there is the one called 'nation'. This is the one that nigeria is placed in.
If the mind can be described as a room, then the compulsions/inclinations that determine how thoughts occupy the mind can be described as the fixtures and furniture. Initially, the room is empty...it is only after fixtures and furniture are put in place that the purpose of the room becomes apparent.
Once upon a time, the room that was my nigerian mind was fit only for one purpose. Then I came to know what it means to be Yoruba in nigeria and now, this room - no longer a nigerian mind - has become something else.
What is described with the pejorative 'tribalism' is a complex thing that has existed for as long as there has been a nigerian state. It is a way of relating to phenomena that came into being at the same moment that the nigerian state became an effective entity. Going further, it could be said that without the negative part of this thing ('tribalism') it would have been impossible to manufacture the political/economic entity that is currently known as nigeria. Note that if there is a negative side, then there also is a positive side. Note also that while the negative is acknowledged when seen, the positive is either ignored or called by another name that serves to obscure what it actually is.
Corruption of all spheres of human activity was the other indispensable tool utilised in the manufacture of nigeria - i.e. before nigeria could become a viable reality, previously existing developmental sub-processes such as education, religion, commerce, and politics needed to be corrupted (i.e. warped) until their primary purpose was no longer to serve as pillars upholding a functional structure. Which meant that those who had once sheltered under these structures needed to find alternate refuge as a matter of critical urgency...tbc.
Fundamentally, humans are configured to seek out (as a plant seeks out the sun) what is good. Supremacist ideologies/mindsets are therefore indispensable because persons operating within the normal parameters of sanity will only commit acts that can harm other humans if they feel that there is a justifiable reason. So wherever anti-social activities are the norm, it is safe to assume that the individuals responsible have been exposed to some type of conditioning that makes them certain of their natural supremacy and therefore, their right to commit acts that are 'neccesary/lesser evils'.
Just as a parent is justified when he or she takes corrective measures, so too are the 'superior' people when they destroy in order to create space to build what they are certain will be better than what existed before.
We will always be justified when we do whatever needs to be done to advance ourselves in any sphere of human activity as long as those affected by the negative impacts of our activities are ones who, according to our guiding principle (i.e. ideology), are condemned by choice to be furtherest away from the ideal of what civilised humans ought to be.
The beauty of ideology is that it does away with the need to reason. To all who fully accept an ideology, issues that could have made debate neccesary have already been resolved. Meaning that the sphere of implementation is the only sensible and logical area for present and future operations. Which implies that those who are still engaged in debate are senseless/illogical and, if these are ones who have been exposed to the same ideology that we have been exposed to, then their persistence with what is senseless (and illogical) can only be described as willfulness, madness, or worse still, a demonic desire to destroy what they know to be the only good - i.e. they are part of an evil that must be subjugated (or better still, eradicated) for the sake of human progress.
The idea that it was okay (and just) to coerce previously autonomous African nations into what would be called nigeria could not have been possible without the intellectual support provided to the British 'founding fathers' by the ideology of 'white' supremacy - a collection of assumptions about other humans that is partly based on the Judaic concept of 'a chosen people' (an assumption that was adopted as a description of themselves by Europeans of the early imperialist era). This concept (choseness) implies that others are rejected - which in all cases is something that is done when an object is defective.
Later, on the basis of Islam's abjuration (by degree) all who are not adherents of the Semitic/Arabian vision, elite members of the Sokoto Caliphate declared themselves to be ones 'born to rule' the entirity of what British imperialism had manufactured and called "nigeria". According to their interpretation of Arabist supremacy, they were the only ones in this nigeria who had 'religion' therefore, the only ones who could claim to be deserving of Heaven's blessings in the form of dominion over the land.
Every age of man has a unique voice. By neccesity, this is always a loud voice which overwhelms perception with a great intensity that hurries most living through the age towards their designated positions as if they were debris caught in a river's fast-flowing current.
However, there are always other voices - each representing an alternative to what currently exists. None of these voices is at their beginnings ever as loud as the Voice of the current age: If the Voice of our time is a brawny man at the prime of life shouting with all his might, then the voices of potential new epochs are the sounds made by newly born orphans. But if we pay attention, even though the Voice of our time is loud, we will also sometimes hear the voice of one of these other possible worlds.
We must pay attention because what was once the voice of a brawny man in the prime of life shouting with all his might is now the querulous whining of a demented wreck hell-bent on homicide and suicide.
Where subjugation has long been the norm, initial manifestations of changes that will give shape to a new dispensation are usually overlooked. In his speech after 2014's gubernatorial elections in Ekiti State,
Kayode Fayemi spoke about the evolution of a new sensibility in nigerian politics. Partly because the contextual scope was limited to matters concerning state elections, Fayemi's identification of this new(ish) phenomenon, while timely, was not comprehensive in its description.
Phenomena like Ayo Fayose serve as evidence to the fact that nigeria has been a disaster for Yoruba. To support this assertion, I ask that we imagine what a government led by Obafemi Awolowo could have achieved if it had been that free to lead Yoruba without interference from 'fellow nigerians'. Let us also imagine one like Obasanjo seeking leadership over us; how far would he have got without the support of our 'fellow nigerians'?
Let us now return to this present day and reflect on what would have been the fates of those various vandals that are presently calling themselves 'steakholders' and 'lidders' in Yorubaland: In a world where matters can be organised without destructive inputs from so-called 'fellow nigerians', where would the likes of Ayo Fayose be?
While not disputing the proposition that even without other nigerians, non-productive/progressive elements would have still been in the mix, the point being made here is that there is a pattern of non-Yoruba persons making critical interventions that serve to empower destructive elements and processes in Yorubaland. And since there are no instances where non-Yoruba players made defining interventions that empowered persons whose contributions enhanced the Yoruba commonwealth, the only conclusion that can be drawn is this: nigeria has been a disaster for the civilizational development of Yoruba people.
The fault is mainly ours. Because right from the start, instead of striving for our complete liberation from the imperialist contraption that our people had been folded into, we pursued half-measures and worse.The logical next steps were not only ignored, they were also demonised. Unrealistic optimism obscured the antagonistic contradictions inherent in the blending of pan Africanism with the continued existence of an inherently dysfunctional (i.e. faux) nation-state.
Asking that we speculate on what Yoruba soceity would be like today in the absence of destructive inputs from non-Yorubas is not an invitation to indulge in self-pity or, an exercise in placing the blame wholly on others for all collective misfortunes experienced by the Yoruba. After all, at the beginning of this current historical era, Yoruba were well placed to repel all incursions into their spheres of activity.
At the start of the late 19th century's Kiriji War, at least 200,000 Yoruba men were trained for war. Unfortunately, the unity which had enabled them to vanquish Fulani invaders at Oshogbo in 1848 was now a thing of the past as allies who together had thrashed the jihadists now turned upon each other. Had this not happened, had unity been maintained, then it is quite possible that like the Abysinnians, the Yoruba would have extricated their territories from the schemings of European imperialists.
We let ourselves fall so, it is up to us to pick ourselves up. Open the hand and let the food fall back into the jar. Take the hand out of the jar. Now look around, see what is coming and realise what needs to be done.