Throw me into the lagoon.

I’ve been in Enugu state for my friend’s wedding preparation, her traditional wedding will be taking place tomorrow. Due to the frenzied and frenetic pace of activities I’ve hardly had time to catch my breath. So I missed out on perhaps the most controversial story making the rounds this Easter season. Yes, that story that alleges that the Oba of Lagos issued a death threat on non-lagosians (igbos) who would vote 4 PDP in Saturday’s elections.

My initial reaction was a numbing shock, how could he say this in public? Unfortunately disbelief wasn’t and hasn’t been one of the gamut of feelings that have passed through me today. Sadly, I believe the story, I just don’t believe it happened in that setting.
I’m a second generation Lagosian, I was born in Lagos to two parents who were in Lagos. Apart from education purposes, three years of junior secondary school and my university years. I’ve never spent more than two weeks away from Lagos. Yet I would be termed an “omo igbo” and a stranger if I want to contest for an elected position or on appointment to a plum government post. But they have no qualms about collecting exorbitant taxes from all and sundry, even omo igbos.

I’m not in the mood to write an (undoubtedly long) epistle on the none indigene discrimination that is common in Nigeria, make no mistake… it’s not peculiar to Lagos or the South West for that matter. But I find it appalling and disgusting that the paramount traditional ruler of the state where my parents, brothers and I were born, would try to impose his candidate on me and issues a curse if I fail to toe his line. Even a military dictator will not be that brazen. For me the bigger picture isn’t the rants of a power drunk king but the underlying currents that gave him the boldness to say this.

Most young people have no idea of the myriad reasons for our civil war and a good number of them are of the opinion that we “let it go, after all it ended forty five years ago”. I almost wept when I read a comment by someone of my generation who said “Ojukwu caused the war”. Sadly, when I mentioned a few of the many factors that led to that war; he felt bad that he knew so little of history of that war.

It is often said that those who do not learn from their mistakes are inclined to repeat them. The little fault lines that break the fibre of our nationhood are rife in many parts of our national fabric and we refuse to see… we shut our eyes with glue, I pray we open them early. If a paramount leader calls for people to be thrown in the lagoon, in the most cosmopolitan city in Nigeria. Then the genocides of Rwanda might seem like child’s play. Speaking of Rwanda, I grew up with that war in the background of my childhood with genocide, Tutsi and Hutu as common words on VOA. I pray that no child somewhere grows up with genocide, Nigeria, igbo as common words on CNN.

Ok… I’m done with my rant. Here’s a selfie of a fine woman to lighten the atmosphere on this blog.

image

PS: I’m pretty sure there are typos on this post *more than usual* ;-). I wrote this on the spot with anger running through my veins and I want this post to reflect that.

Here are two posts about the lagoon saga
http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/vote-for-ambode-or-perish-inside-the-lagoon-oba-akiolu-tells-igbos/206050/

http://www.thecable.ng/audio-akiolu-threatened-igbo-leaders-death

Again I reiterate that I do not believe that the Oba said this at a meeting with Igbo “leaders”. However I’ve heard worse, much worse from certain leaders here in Lagos.

PPS: I got the video from a friend… It is REAL!!!. How terrible.

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8 Comments

  1. Mami, the selfie worked wonders o… hmmm! You know, the devil is a lair; somehow he succeeded in getting you angered by the news. Thank God you put it all in this piece, cause I felt it through all the words and it made the message coming from you very lucid.
    The way we handle power in this part of the world can be very annoying indeed. I watched the clips on Channels 10pm (06-04-15) news where he said the things as quoted in thisday newspaper and I said to myself, “absolute power indeed corrupts absolutely”. It is most sad that it was coming from a traditional ruler and a former police chief who should know better. He probably was trying to stress on the need for Lagosians, vis-a-vis the Igbos to vote in favour of his candidate (its like imposing a candidate on the people), but what he failed to realise is that he was pouring sand-sand in the mans soup (political agenda to be the next governor of Lagos), if you know what I mean…
    Nigeria is a (supposed) nation. We should learn to tolerate ourselves more, irrespective of our affiliations of any sort, especially religious and ethnicity.
    Nigeria needs our prayers even more now.

    Reply

    1. Lol @ wonders. I just discovered that he’s a lawyer too… like you said absolute power corrupts absolutely.
      We definitely need prayers in this country

      Reply

  2. we are watching. but he misfired, meekness is being mistaken for weakness. what happens to non-Lagosians/non- Ibos that’ll vote for Jimi? he will lead the way to the lagoon tho’

    Reply

    1. I think he was rather careless with his words, being carried away by his fervour for Ambode, as for the Lagoon… even if they throw us there, we will thrive

      Reply

  3. Nne there are some things I hear, I do not want to process too much cos I might just burst an artery thinking about it. What angers me more, is that Igbo leaders were present and they didn’t say zilch. It’s sad.

    Reply

  4. Ada-Dadi,

    The problem is that we Nigerians
    1) have short memories,
    2) like to bury things under the carpet,
    3) like to use religion and scripture to wish things away/cover things up,
    4) refuse to face our past.

    The reaction of some Nigerians showed that we are not truly ‘One Nigeria’ and we are not yet ready to face that fact. Speaking of Rwanda, they have and are still facing their past, Hutus confronting Tutsis and vice versa, looking to why the genocide occurred, marking the graves of the dead, making sure it doesn’t happen again but Nigeria? Mba! Mention Biafra and people will almost burst a blood vessel.
    Until we go back and like South Africa, do a ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ exercise, look each other in the eye and be honest enough to face our differences and make them our strengths, we are just acting a play of unity.

    Do you know that in the UK, Holocaust is taught in schools? From primary to secondary even though Britain is not a Jewish state yet our past has been wiped from our history. Do you know that Britain revisits the First and Second World Wars every November, celebrates the day of Armistice with the saying ‘Never Again’?

    I am not and will never advocate for a return to the horrors of ’66 – 70 but when we all react from a tribal/ethnic point of view then there’s a problem that needs looking at.

    I am all for ‘One Nigeria’ but we have to work for it and if it means facing unpleasant issues, albeit, rationally, so be it.

    Ka Chineke mezie okwu! ( Let God fix the matter/talk)

    Reply

    1. a 1001 LIKES for your comment Obisco 1. So much sense in it. Refusing to face the past struck a chord. Why do people think refusing to face a ghost or whatever else will whisk it away??? It wouldn’t! It’s just best we sit to analyze and figure ways to avoid repeating same. Until we ask hardcore questions, we can’t progress and we can only do justice to the self analysis when we are not in obvious denial.

      Reply

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