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Discussion in 'Crucible' started by Ishola Taiwo, Jan 19, 2008.
Just stepped in here to say BRAVO! to Mulan and Eja.
Great job, guys!
My thanks go out to both Debaters in this topic, Eja and Mulan.
I will be back in less than 24 hours to produce a summary of the debate.
gosh..!dat's enthralling and exciting...congratulations to Mulan + Eja!
..a job well accomplished...!
Mulan and Eja,
That was a fantastic debate, excellent and refreshing.
I noticed that people wrote Mulan and Eja, not Eja and Mulan. I hope this has nothing to do with the strength of the debaters.
It was not only enthralling, it also shows a they are highly skilled. Eja wetin happen now? My respects to both of you.
I thank you for giving us something to read for the next one month. I hope you will be available when we call you out on some of your ideas.
Eja and Mulan. I am blown away. You guys are hot. And to think both of ya'll grew up in Naija. Now i know there is hope for our country if only our youngmen /women will stand up for what is right. Bravo guys.
Hmmm...phew, dat was hot and neat....Mulan+EjaXMulanXEja.....good job......dat was well done.
I've produced my summary of the positions made in the debate regarding the central position - that Nigeria will never be a nation. So I've left off the points referring to events in Europe, America and Asia.
I'm not even sure it's a perfect summary - I'd appreciate it if the Debaters could go through and ensure that I haven't misrepresented any of their positions.
My summary of Eja's positions are as follows:
- Leaders of thought in Nigeria are not supportive of actions that would enable Nigerians to recognise themselves as Nigerians. Such leaders belong to one of several interest groups - groups which are divided by region, ethnicity or religion. The existence of such divisions works against the formation of a true nation, because any Nigerian leader will tend to serve the interests of his group rather than that of the nation. It is this tendency for leaders to put their ethnic group ahead of the nation that has led to the current dismal state of affairs in Nigeria. This state of affairs is not helped by the dearth of cross-ethnic and cross-religious groups and initiatives to help to bridge these divides - and even those that do exist are largely ineffective.
- The creation of Nigeria was an act of force by a foreign power, and neither Nigerians nor their ancestors had a say in it. In addition, the reason that this foreign power created Nigeria is objectionable to many Nigerians. Therefore, Nigerians identify more strongly with their ethnic group than they do with Nigeria itself. Indeed, Nigerians regard other Nigerians who are not from their ethnic group as foreigners, so they don't feel any obligation towards Nigeria itself. It also means they mentally divide Nigeria into the part that their ethnic group lives in, and the rest of Nigeria. And it means that any act carried out by a Nigerian is always viewed from an ethnic viewpoint.
Such a way of mentally dividing people is very real and not unique to Nigerians; the phenomenon has been observed in other nations with many ethnic groups. However, it is pronounced in Nigeria because most Nigerians tend to live amongst their own kind, thus reinforcing the Nigerian's belief in the primacy of his ethnic group.
- Each of the ethnic groups that make up Nigeria believe that their group must be fiercely defended against other ethnic groups in Nigeria. They also believe that such other groups deserve to be taken advantage of. These beliefs mean that it is impossible for these groups to coexist in peace and thus build up a united Nigeria. The evidence of these antagonistic attitudes is the ethnic and religious riots that have occurred in various parts of the nation.
- If the strong attachment that Nigerians have to their ethnic group could be broken, or if it could be replaced with an attachment to a non-ethnic group, then it might be credible to talk of the emergence of a true Nigerian nation. But there is no group or organisation that has the currently ability or resources to do break this attachment. And even if there were, there would be extreme resentment from each Nigerian at being made to drop his ethnic identity for another one.
- Nigerians only have a history of being created as a result of the conquest of the political entities that their ancestors belonged to. Such entities did not have a shared history of positive achievements. So there is nothing to look back to in order to inspire the Nigerian today about Nigeria - nothing that any Nigerian leader can use to rally his citizens together in times of crisis.
- There are none of the building blocks of nationhood visible in present day Nigeria - no common culture, no common history, no common language. And even if there were people interested in developing these, it is in the personal interest of Nigerian leaders who serve their ethnic or religious groups to act against any such initiatives.
- There are very few truly Nigerian symbols that one can point to - and even those do not inspire feelings of reverence in Nigerians, as they are used more out of convenience than out of desire. They certainly do not make Nigerians feel any less attached to their ethnic groups.
My summary of Mulan's positions are as follows:
- Nigeria may have been created by a foreign power, but it exists today as an internationally recognised self-governing political entity - an entity whose self-determination was won by people of different ethnic groups. As a self-governing entity, Nigeria's direction for nearly fifty years has come from Nigerians themselves. Under their direction, there have been several organisations which have been created since independence to foster a goal of unity, such as the National Youth Service Corps. And a majority of people have been affected in one way or the other by the various programs and policies of these organisations so that they have an awareness of what it is to be a Nigerian.
- There have also been a number of national symbols created since independence, such as the National Flag. Such symbols may not yet have attained the position of deep reverence amongst Nigerians, but this is unsurprising as it takes a long time for this to happen. However, even in Nigeria's relatively short history as an independent nation, there are signs that Nigerians do recognise these symbols as special.
- The history of Nigerians predates the advent of the colonialists, as Nigerians had been interacting long before then. Even during the era of the colonialists, there were several notable events in which Nigerians had a positive role. And since independence, this history has continued to grow to include various events that have affected people nationwide - events that are registered on the consciousness of Nigerians in a very distinctive and particular way.
- The history of Nigeria also includes several personalities who are viewed with admiration by Nigerians across all ethnic groups. Such a phenomenon would not be observable in a Nigeria that was divided with ethnic hatred.
- There are many areas in Nigeria where people not indigenous to the area have moved to and settled in; indeed, there are areas where the settlers outnumber the indigenes. The freedom and confidence of such people to settle in an area of the country far from their native home is a sign of recognition and belief in a Nigerian nation. And as Nigerians continue to interact with one another through such migration, some cross-cultural features such as pidgin are beginning to develop. These features could form part of the the building blocks of nationhood.
- The fact of tension and violence between the various ethnic groups in Nigeria is not sufficient reason to declare the concept of Nigerian nationhood an impossibility; after all, these are problems that beset any nation, even ethnically homogenous ones. Indeed, if we are to assume that the solution to the inter-ethnic tensions in Nigeria is for each group to form a separate nation, there could end up being an endless spiral of divisions as the people in each nations now realise that in spite of their common language, they still have very real divisions amongst themselves.
- The constitution or laws that have been drawn up since independence have always been written with the goal of furthering national identity; that such an identity has not been yet created is more the fault of the implementors than the constitution or laws themselves.
- There are few areas in Nigeria that can truly be described as ethnic enclaves with their own economic system. But these are the kind of enclaves that would develop in a truly disunited Nigeria.
- Just because Nigerians have an attachment to their ethnic group does not preclude them from also having a strong attachment to their nation. In other words, it is possible to be a passionate Nigerian as well as a passionate member of an ethnic group in Nigeria.
- Even if a Nigerian declares that he has no affinity to Nigeria, by using its symbols and observing its laws, he is still acknowledging its existence, its reality.
SLB the Moderator, thank you for the fantastic job. You were always present but never intrusive: The defining mark of a great referee.
I find your summary of my position to be most satisfactory. I would only ask that since you removed all reference to events/circumstances in Europe, Asia and America, the passage that read "There are none of the building blocks of nationhood visible in present day Nigeria - no common culture, no common history, no common language..." should have made it clear that what I meant was : There is no common indigenous culture, common indigenous history and, no common indigenous language.
This amendment illustrates the point I was trying to make when I brought in examples from the development of nations of European and Asiatic origins.
Thank you once again for this very enjoyable and rewarding experience.
May the natural springs of Kunustan never run dry.
Thank you, thank you and thank you again.
You have succintly captured the points of my argument perfectly.
Frankly, yours make much sense to me than my long winded treatises.
More Kunu to you...
...english tradition!..ladies first..(ladies and gentlemen)
thank you very much..they have failed and failed woefully...and continue failing!
Thanks to the people who took part in this very interesting debate and both opponents laid out their points very well. Am impressed and hope to see another good one soon.
Thank you. I must say I'm also looking forward to another debate soon.
Infact someone should take up WayoGuy so we can alll learn some tricks
Eja, Mulan and SLB
Congrats on this fine debate, which should be a benchmark/reference point for future debates in the crucible.
Mulan, i'd like to debate you, but having seen what you can do, fear catch me no be small....
I have a feeling that Mulan is an Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in the making.
Big-K, no fear. You go enjoy am kpankpanrankpan even as she dey fire you wit koboko...
But no be say ah dey talk say she bulala me O....en-hen, make ah talk dat one solid gedegbe bifor Kenn1 come wit him boasting begin say tings laik "ah no talk am? Mulan na de greatest, Mulan na de coca in cola, Mulan na de dis, Mulan na de dat...Mulan na de ahhhhh!! wey dey inside cold water on a hot day..." etc. etc.
Ha! Ha! Ha! Fear is the key that unlocks the mind of the Villager!
By the way, I'll want it known that Mulan will be better, far better, than Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala!
Regarding the bolded bit: I thought so as well when I saw the comparison but I said nothing since I know Ikechiji meant what he said as a compliment.
Kenn1, e rish to begin fear you too O, you be laik dis relentless garrison politician.... I pity de pesin wey oppose you for anyting like political campaign.
Eja and Mulan:
Great job guys (literarily speaking) Excellent debate, i am definitely saving this for posterity.