Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

Thoughts Lead To Appreciation

NIGERIA: 100 Years Of Amalgamation

NIGERIA - 100 Years Of Amalgamation

On January 1, 1914, Nigeria became an integral entity with the amalgamation of Northern Nigeria (capital Zungeru) and Southern Nigeria (capital Lagos).

This article reflects on messages from the past.

With the Aba Women’s Sit-ins of 1929 against tax burdens on women, women pioneered the use of non-violent expressions to effect justice and the resignation of government officials.

Nigerian women should learn that the plight of women in the society is the focus of grassroots women identity.

A woman’s primary concern is her freedom and the availability of opportunities for self-development, and not the gender of elected officials.

The military coup of 1966, just six years into independence, ushered in the devastating mentality of military interventions in governance under the subterfuge of fighting corruption of the deposed government.

Today, unscrupulous civilians incite and finance coups and insurgency and publicly issue threats against national security.

That original coup precipitated into ethnic reprisals, atrocious genocide and civil war.

Ever since, my people Ndi Igbo have grumbled against marginalization.

If subornment, bloodshed, and tribal racism were a justification for that coup, has the average citizen of Nigeria shed the attributes of financial inducement, violence as a means to perpetuate ignorance and ethnically oriented destabilizations?

If ethnic genocide is a means to regional prosperity, that prosperity is shy of both the murderer and the murdered.

The two regions noted as the origins of two ethnicities with mutual animosity, the North and the South-East, compete in unmatched levels of neglect.

Those two regions have since the commencement of the latest efforts at civilian politics been governed by self, yet underdevelopment persists.

Nigerians must acknowledge this reality: Ethnocentric strife harms the very fabric of the land.

If armed conflict, secession, and insurrections facilitate good governance, why do the regions affected, from South-East, South-South and now, North-West, demand reparations for damages committed against self?

The individual has the freedom of association, yet is culpable should that freedom be a cause of harm to self and others.

A nation need not be born of choice any more than a child need not be able to choose a parent.

However, with maturity, the child acquires the dexterity and resolution to determine parent-child relationship.

When will Nigerians be matured, resolute and skilled in interactions with compatriots?

Children bore the brunt of the 30-month brutal Biafra War. Images of starving children in war-torn nations are a sufficient illustration. Simply rewind the effect by 40 years to fully grasp the gravity.

Sunny Okosun through his lyrics and videos flooded my vision with footages of malnourished children and informed those of us who had not been born at the time of the war of the tragedy of war.

Nigerians, we must pledge that never again should Nigerian children be made to bear the consequence of the thoughtlessness of self-centred adults.

The youths should feel safe growing up in a stable nation. Children must be protected from the ethnically prejudiced political decisions of adults.

Throughout Nigeria’s history, politics and ethnicity have been in an unhealthy and unsustainable marriage.

Nigerians, is it not time for a divorce between ethnicity and the choices we make of elected representations?

My first experience of elections was during the 1979 elections. The atmosphere in the East was feverish.

I was aware the Nigerian People’s Party was the party of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe. Although I had nothing against him, I did wonder why no one supported the other party, the National Party of Nigeria. All I heard of was NPP.

What is the matter with these people? I mused.

As was usual during holiday periods, my mother took us to her hometown and before she returned to the city of Enugu that afternoon, she asked me whom she should vote.

Of course, her impression already presented the response. I stared into her eyes and my response came: NPN. She was stunned silent. I was three years old.

As an adult, I now understand why only one party was popular – ethnicity.

When will Nigerians base their choices on right information?

I look forward to the future of Nigeria.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Allah bless Nigeria. Allah bless Africa.

The one and only,

Umm Sulaim


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This entry was posted on January 1, 2014 by in Nigeria and tagged , , , , , , , , .


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