Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
I write in sequel to my first open letter to you, my dear people.
We acknowledge that Igbos are well integrated in every community in this nation. If this level of integration in some communities does not fulfil the mission of Igbos to live in harmony in their new community as Nigerians, it is time for a change in attitude.
Rather than the current situation of Igbos being outsiders in some communities in the Federal Republic of Nigeria with the new community as masters and lords, Igbos need to take two light but significant steps:
a) Make clear the host community understands they are Igbos.
b) Ensure everyone understands that is not about to change.
These steps clearly emphasize interacting as equals with members of the host community on an individual level to the extent endorsed in the Nigerian Constitution. Of course, retaining ones identity means less friends and more enemies, but it also means fewer Igbos falling or entering into an unhealthy alliance with people who use and dump them.
It also liberates Igbos to conduct their life without worrying about trying to please people who will never be pleased so long as one is not a member of their tribe. Moreover, no amount of intimate interactions will make anyone acceptable to a typical Hausa-Fulani person. One interacts with a clear conscience with whom one considers friends.
My dear people, to provide you with ethnic solutions and a mode of conduct to adopt, I present the usual and frequently repeated discussion on assimilation between a typical Hausa-Fulani and me:
“You must become Hausa.”
“I will not pretend to be who I am not.”
“You must learn Hausa.”
“I do not want to learn Hausa. I have my own language.”
“Your Niqab is unacceptable in our culture.”
“I have no business with your culture.”
“This is Hausa land.”
“This is Nigeria.”
The typical Hausa-Fulani sees no one outside of their tribe as a friend. Once Igbos understand this – and I am certain Igbos are fully aware of the cultural indoctrination of Northern Nigeria – Igbos will seek more relaxation and less agitation. No law compels one to be friends with ones enemies. Restrict interactions to purely official matters and even then maintain the equal citizen status.
The enmity is displayed in a number of ways including systemic and institutional gossip aimed at intimidation. Igbos are not easily intimidated, so that should not constitute any real problem besides the discomfort one feels when bitten by a mosquito. The enmity will also include trying to intimidate anyone with whom one interacts irrespective of the person’s tribe and social leanings. Whoever one interacts with will be harassed with gossip and rumours and comes under pressure to severe contacts.
You should experience the reaction and uproar among Hausa-Fulanis when I visit people fully dressed in my Niqab, the same Niqab Hausa-Fulanis hold in contempt. It will interest you to know that despite their attempts at isolating me, they have only succeeded in making even further fools of themselves. They fail to realise they are not the only ones in this nation. They are not even the only tribe – indigenous as well as resident – in the North nor does everyone in the North support the misbehaviour called Hausa culture. In addition to non-Hausa-Fulanis, I interact with the very few Hausa-Fulanis who are not natural-born idiots.
I do not have access to the big opportunities to fulfil my dreams as a Nigerian. I also do not agitate for secession. Rather, those who hate me are more likely to secede. Of course, the easier option left for them is murder, their stock-in-trade. I have received enough assassination threats to last me a lifetime.
So long as I am alive, I have abundant cause to rejoice, for despite the anti-Nigeria activities of my haters, I enjoy myself, right in their faces and in their so-called Hausa land without Hausa-Fulani financial support. What success on this planet is better than that? My people, I implore you to be Nigerians.
My letter has focussed on what we all can implement as individuals in our life. There is no need for secession, agitation or clandestine meetings. Instead, my people I invite you to join me in enjoying life.
The one and only,