Recent experiences in Nigeria ought to have thought any enlightened person that our general problems of injustice (or marginalisation if you like) and backwardness cannot be attributed to any ethnic group or individuals. Yes, those of us of southern origin who had condemned the northerners as incompetent and corrupt ought to have changed their stance now. A Yoruba man having enjoyed the greatest level of legitimacy known in our history and above all, unprecedented inflow of revenue for about 7years has proved worse in all aspects than any other ruler in Nigeria's history. The fact that Obasanjo's regime with all the revenues flowing from oil as well as those from dubious privatisations has performed most abysmally by all standards can only be disputed by rogues and *****s who judge by what some dubious local and western media say. Ten folds of all those things we complained about Hausa/Fulani rulers have long been surpassed by Obasanjo. Is it ethnic bigotry, marginalisation of other sections of the country, corruption or brutality/suppressions of opposition? Are we really a thinking people?
My answer to the last question in the above quote is a confident no! Not only have we neglected our obligation to infuse our existence with strategy, we have also adopted an unwritten declaration, to retard our collective progress as a people, and maintain ourselves on the bottom rung of the ladder of the community of nations.
What other question can one professing love and solicitude for Nigeria ask other than "why at this epochal juncture in world progress, we the clueless and hapless indigens of Nigeria remain obssessed with tribal origins" What discernible good has this stultifying preoccupation ever wrought? What in the name of all things reasonable and progressive have these venal ethnic complexes procured for us? What economic, social or political gains have been spurred by tribal activism? And since legions of us have migrated to foreign lands in pursuit of respite from the sterility of life in our country, how has the obsession with tribe elevated our standing among the international assembly of nations. What accolade ever accrued to any Nigerian on the strength of his or her affiliation with a particular tribe?
Even here in this community boasting numerous participants armed with the airs and graces of "civilized" society, tribalism haunts these spaces like a destructive incubus, tarnishing otherwise pointed intellectual offerings, and indicting many villagers as willing hand maidens of that unseemly failing.
We can convene meetings and conferences to our hearts' content, and we can publish lofty intellectual disquisitions to surfeit. However, no progress will ever bless our nation until we expunge the defeatist tumor of tribalism. We will never see the dawn promised to us during our ordeal in the bleak, impenetrable night.
To those who insist on a preservation of their languages as currently structured, I say good luck and God speed. To those who derive their iddentity, and perharps chauvunistic pride from their current languages, I offer heartfelt tolerance. Against such a resolve I present a countervailing proposal of deliberate mass linguistic extinction. To the invidious Tower of Babel that is comtemporary Nigeria today, I present a panacea recommending a synthesis of a single language from the multitude of languages rending our country into apoplexy. Words from each of the languages indigenous to Nigeria should be culled and blended into a single, national and yes, indigenous language that will bind us tenaciously, and dispense with this distracting division battering our nation.
To those who say, their language is too important to lose, I say never mind, your children growing up in foreign countries will lose it for you. To those who say they can't be assured of protection without the closely knit bonds of kinship that issued from their tribal iddentities, I say never mind. That person of a different tribe that you declined to give credit to because he didn't hail from your tribe feels the same way too.
Your language did not prevent slavery or colonialism, has not brought us prosperity or respect in the world. No one gives a tinker's cuss about any indigenous African language except swahili in the outside world. If we develop a single language, it will eliminate that handle of division outsiders have seen fit to exploit so cynically in victimizing us. Elechi Amadi's situation should enlighten us. Who cares what tribe you belong to? All I have to do is change my name and learn any language for Pete's sake and I am a member of that tribe. I would jettison every one of Nigeria's language for a song if it resulted in unity, progress and prosperity.