By Hashim Suleiman
YBTC News-I have been opportune to have lived in all of the geopolitical zones of my country Nigeria and I have found no reason why any of the regions would feel they are entirely better than any other because I have found every region to have its own peculiar problem and share of bigotry which is one of the major problems of the nation.
For example, I have lived in the Niger Delta region where it is a norm for a girl of as low as 13 years to be pregnant out of wedlock and give birth. I knew this even more when I was a ‘youth Corp’ and teaching in an SS1 class in a secondary school which has the students being at an average of 13 years but I had at-least 2 of my students get pregnant during that session and it was very normal with the parents. I then get dumbfounded when I see a person from that region despising the northerners on underage marriage, if this is not bigotry, what could be more?
Growing up also in the northern city of Kano, I wondered how a blasphemy issue which happened in a faraway country would be responsible for people living their normal lives in the city to pay for it. I also remember the Reinhard Bonnke visit to Nigeria which caused people living their normal lives to pay for it. This I considered bigotry of the highest order and I then wonder why a person from such region will despise the Igbo man for choosing to exhibit hatred towards them.
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I have also worked in the south west Nigeria where despite showcasing my technical prowess, I was considered not to know anything simply because of the sound of my name which depicted what tribe I was. Someone whom you know you’re practically better than would choose to disrespect you because of your tribe and that I consider an extremely bigoted tendency.
As for the south east, yes, they are considered to be business savvy but that has gotten to their head to think they are better than everyone to the extent that they can’t open their minds to respect that the other regions are at-least politically better than them. This has led them into a very dangerous envy which has transformed into hatred. This is definitely another form of bigotry that’s most unfortunate.
In all of the above, I have at some time stopped to associate it with illiteracy in all of the regions but I was wrong because you would find the most educated of each of these regions exhibiting these attitude and character and I concluded that the issue has become endemic and requires some sort of spiritual intervention or a deliberate attempt at investing heavily in national orientation.
This attempt is just a very brief analysis of some of the issues and are not exhaustive in all of the cases and other micro groups with theirs too. However, I am sure everyone reading this regardless of what group they belong would be able to take a pause and re-examine and make a sense of where theirs falls into that bigoted class that requires fixing for national cohesion.
No region of this country is entirely saintly or better than the other. Each of the region has its peculiar problem that has become a bane of its development and cumulatively that of the nation. Cities like New York and Dubai have become great city’s owing to the acceptability of foreigners who would come in with different progressive tendencies. Lagos has exhibited somewhat that until lately when all these bigoted narratives started to show its head and one can see the result in all the destructions that happened to the city lately.
Any society that doesn’t believe and concentrate on research and improvements will have itself to blame for any eventualities related to retrogression.