The human race have always lived, either directly or indirectly, by the principles of communalism. Our societies have worked as units in holding together the fabrics of our humanity, moulded in the form of our cultures and traditions. We lived not by our mere strength but by the collective strength of the society and this have translated into the building of today’s society. These were the positives we inherited from our parents.
We were on different ends of the world until with the aid of transport systems we made contact with one another and acculturation and multiculturalism crept into our various societies. Clans and villages grew into towns and communities and towns grew into cities. There were also movements in the systems of survival and hunters and farmers were joined by the new jobs of the acculturated world.
From homogeneity we were offered and then forced into heterogeneity and even though our forefathers couldn’t shatter the new system that threatened our individual cultures and traditions, it doesn’t excuse us of being any more informed or less primitive minded than those of our forefathers who inspired and promoted some of the wars caused by the forced system of multiculturalism we were bathed it.
The tribal wars were not entirely baseless but today we are backing at the wrong tree. Truly, the entities that make up Nigerian didn’t wake up to have prejudices against one another but it was a condition born out of massive exaggeration of isolated events. In fact, there were more wars between brothers in different nations that made up the country than there were wars between the different nations in the country.
There is barely any record of the Igbos and Yorubas going at each other in pre-colonial time. Their hatred for each other seemed to have been consummated only after the new country was fostered on them. First they were forcefully acculturated and then multiculturalism was demanded of them. In reality, these two nations had more internal battles than external battles. While the Fulanis fought dirty wars, Ife and Illorin contributed to the collapse of the might Oyo Empire.
Today, the sons and daughters of the men who fought real wars, the men and women, siblings, who inhabit these different regions, have learned to live without the same level of hatred exhibited by the Nigerians whose ancestors never really fought any war against one another. I know physical war is not entirely the most dangerous of wars but the cold war existing between the people inhabiting this corner of the world is not really based on a more dangerous experience.
The average intelligence of people from the East, West, North and South, is to detest each other even before having dealt with each other. You are simply hated for been from the wrong region and tribe and not because you have actually wronged any of these persons. You are given the job because your tribesman is in charge and the more competent hands that lost look for ways to apply for positions with their brothers at the top.
It is unfortunate that while we fight daily personal wars that weigh us down we also willing add the wars we inherited from our parents. Are there any concrete reasons why you hate someone from that tribe you said you will never marry from? Why can’t you work with people from a certain place in the same office? Supporters of this primitive lifestyle often hinge their defence on a story told to them by some older man from their place.
It could be their parents, uncles or aunties, but most have not really had any experience with these enemy region or tribe. ‘They hurt my father and for that I won’t forgive’. It is often purely a creation of those before them. ‘My father said that they are bad and my mother was robbed when she visited there’ all lame excuses to keep their primitivity factory fully operational. That is like hating on the British people of today for things done in the colonial times.
And, surprisingly, those persons who actually had such nasty experiences have not only experienced same from families at home but have also had more occasions where people from the enemy regions helped them out. Such situations are hard to put down because humans, like most animals, were built around for self-preservation and thus it is easier to remember his nasty experiences and even attach resumes to it.
If he gets a free lift when he’s stranded he doesn’t care about the tribe the person who lifted him come from. If he gets a free meal ticket he only says thank you sir or ma. If he is in the hospital and have no means to pay the bill and a good person steps in to help, the best he often says will be ‘God Bless You’. But step on his toes, he will dig deeper about you and then write a book on how your entire generation is full of a certain trait.
Rob or attack him with a knife and he forms a bad image of your lineage even though it was through the help of someone in your lineage that his condition changed. Some even go to the extent of looking out for justifications for hatred. Once I was on a football pitch where the rule stipulated a certain period for the end of team selection. A young man demanded a team after the period had passed and even though he was there when the new rules were made the previous day and also declined participating when he was asked that morning, he insisted he must pick his team.
Then he threw the tribal card. Because he was from a different tribe from most of the people there, he cited tribalism as the reason for his exclusion. And, after all the shouting, he won but where exactly did such card come from? These are unfortunate events often inspired by the crude hatred or single experiences of our parents. We have moved past all manners of barbarisms embedded in the cultures and ways of our parents and ancestors but for some reason we have found it hard to move past the idea that our parents are always right.
And the reason is simple. We are primitive beings. Our claim to civilization is tied to the claims of urbanisation and industrialization. In fact, some of the men who lived in the time when poorly braided animal skin was used as garment were better than us. What they simply lacked was physical development. In our case, we have Androids and IPhones but our minds still move at snail speed. We have listened to the sweet single story of our parents for so long that we have found it hard to even pause for a moment and think.
Are the peculiarities in human behaviour genetic? Can robbery or bad behaviour be genetically transferred? Is trust congenital? Do biological concepts create uniform attitudinal awareness? Obviously, the culture of your environment is the closest to determining what you become but it is worrisome when people with degrees on genetics and people who had a semester in fields that lay these things bare join in promoting this nasty inheritance of our parents.
A child that grew up in the community of thieves has a high chance of becoming one because young kids are easily impressionable and could be derailed without guidance. But becoming evil is not a guarantee as we’ve have seen from the positive lifestyle of many of us who grew up in the worst places of crime.
The hate venoms we pour on other Nigerians are mostly learned because everything, both positive and negative, done to us by outsiders have been done to us by insiders but because our deductions were not genuine in the first place, because our decisions were not backed by logic or the will to be good, we stick to the tuff that built us: primitivity. But that’s not the whole story.
What inspires these circles of hate? What is behind the stories of hate and the silent admonition by primitive parents to kids to keep the embers alive? Why do we follow? Purposely shutting off our minds will always have repercussions. Failing to be open, read wide and belief in impractical theories led us here. It really seems like what these primitive Nigerians are dealing with is the failure of themselves and their forefathers.
While the forefathers were myopic and couldn’t see the entire picture, the new carriers have more means to see the true picture but have chosen to remain myopic. Hatred was our forefathers’ direct response to the forceful acculturation and multiculturalism that destroyed their familiar world and today rather than focus on building strong relationships we hate on their behalf. That’s the principal battle.
If these primitive ones among us could read or study, they would see that people do not carry a tribal language and only an environment language can have anything close to that power they assume are in the DNA of tribes. If they had sense they wouldn’t assume that everyone from one part of the country will behave a certain way even when they have lived far away from their hometown all their lives.
Until they cross this Rubicon of blindness and destroy the myth of the possibilities of inherent ethnic sentiments, they will keep fighting senseless wars. And if you happen to meet a primitive person trying to stain you with the tribal paint, the least you can do is educate him. If you can’t do that, try to educate those he is passing that wisdom. But if you can’t just walk away.