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Oh Ye Foolish Nigerians... By Prince Charles Dickson

Ndi igbos say "Nwunye anyi, nwunye anyi": ka ndeli bia ka anyi mara onye o bu nwunye ya.["Our wife, our wife": come midnight and we will know whose wife she really is.]

Ndi igbos say "Nwunye anyi, nwunye anyi": ka ndeli bia ka anyi mara onye o bu nwunye ya.["Our wife, our wife": come midnight and we will know whose wife she really is.]

This week my admonition bothers on one of those many topics we don't want to talk about it yet its there and we are constantly fighting over it. Faith and ethnicity, diversity and our inner fears and hates.

While I ruminated, two points got me deeply thinking, first my friend CKN posted this on his facebook page "Why is it that in almost 20 years,only moslems have been governors of Lagos State...Was it deliberate or a mere coincidence...Are the REAL Lagosians mostly moslems?"

I did bother to go back to check the responses later as another headline hit me, "We want Christian Lagos governor in 2015 — Cleric.

Excerpts: The Director of Civic and Political Affairs of the Diocese of Lagos Mainland of the Anglican Communion, Venerable Folarin Shobo, has urged Lagos residents to vote in a Christian as governor of the state in 2015.

...Shobo said Lagos residents could not afford to continue with the present political arrangement whereby political officers were largely people of a particular faith.

While noting that Governor Raji Fashola has done well in improving on the infrastructure of the state, he said, “It is time for power to shift in the state. It is time for us to have people who will continue to rule with the fear of God and respect for the rule of law.

He however noted that getting political power was not a do-or-die affair, but that Christians need to change the political status quo in the state.

He said, “It is not fair to have a government that is largely tilted to people of a particular religion. Christians over the years have been magnanimous enough. We have worked for people who are not of our faith and we have supported them to be in government. It is now time for us to come out and take the bull by the horns.

The battle for Lagos State will not come easy. It will take patience, perseverance and strong will. It will take fasting and praying...”

He said it was unfortunate that none of the five people being tipped to succeed Governor Babatunde Fashola is a Christian.

In a deep breath I read the above over and over, I tried to be objective, I tried subjective objectivity, read in between, above and under the lines...and wondered...oh ye foolish Nigerians!

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I could not but reflect that both Tinubu and Fashola were married to Christians. I wondered seriously about the AILah Muslims worship and the God of pricked my heart how a dozen governors of both faiths have over the last few weeks continued lying--and counter lying to the point one has dared his colleague to oath taking at a Redeemed church alter.

I reflected on Amaechi's victory and Jang's 'victory' and lest we forget both victories were credited to their 'God'.

In the words of late Bala Usman we are battling to buy groundnuts with a coin that has ten kobo encrypted on both sides. Our fears and suspicions as a people remain real. They are there for all too see, sad and shameful, our leaders laugh at us. Lagosians are party people, happy people with all their struggles and pains, though you may argue that it was once the nation's capital. Lagos is about a decade ahead of Nigeria, and two ahead of most states in Nigeria.

I dare drift, would a muslim rule Anambra? How can? Just same way it won't happen in Benue, Plateau or can it happen in Sokoto that a Christian will rule?

What really is the problem with the common man, I read, watch and listen as people feed on deep seated hatred over what Dokuboh said, Buhari did not say and Ayo Oristejefor replied, while these same men meet at various fora, they hug, exchange banters and laugh away.

When 'they' commit the subsidy fraud, they come together in one faith called greed, ala Femi-Farouk, nothing like Christian/Muslim or ethnic dichotomy.

At the National council of heads of state and federal executive meetings they share power, and our wealth, to themselves and we sit in our dingy ajegunle apartments to calculate how many Christian generals, and how many muslim ministers they are.

May I ask when would a pagan or traditionalist rule Kano, Kaduna or Rivers states, and is it not a near fact that most Christians in power visit babalawos and Muslim leaders have their favourite bokas littered from villages in Sokoto, Chad, Niger and far away Senegal. Same country that spends millions on pilgrimage...

Was the former oba of Lagos not Christian and the present Muslim, was the late Attah of Igala not Muslim and the current Christian, I propose the next Ado Bayero or Emir of zauzau be christian.

Fact is everyone feels marginalized, the Idomas under the pain of Tivs, the Igalas terrorizing others in Kogi.

In case we have forgotten, I remember how Muslims killed Patrick Yakowa to get power (abi no be so una talk am).

Oh ye foolish Nigerians, our country is on the edge such that it needs to fall so that we can start again, all the efforts at moving forward is mere cosmetic dressing in front of a vanity table, at every shower it comes off.

We still argue who have suffered more deaths from BH. We claim to be secular but every leader must profess a faith and every state function must start with inter-faith prayers, after which they steal our patrimony.

Even these days robbers pray for a successful operation just as murderous BH gunmen scream 'Allahu akbar'.

The yoruba's still hate Igbos, but Mr. Ben Akabueze is Lagos Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget, and he is Igbo. All Igbos have not left the North and Hausas have not stopped selling suya or onions in Onitsha.

Fulanis on rampage everywhere, ask them in Benue, Plateau and yet the (fulanis) claim they are an endangered species. Inherent mutual suspicion litter the land and our leaders smile away.

People are 'pissed' with the North's 'born to rule' mentality, but really is there still a North as we knew it. "We will make the country ungovernable..." But at whose expense when there's no economy in most cities up country, when no one who will establish a common biscuit or toothpick company in Dutse...when we are the poorest, least educated etc.

Universities littered everywhere but little in terms intellectual masturbation that can bring progress. Men in their 70s and 80s litter the political landmine bereft of ideas and down the line are young men and women ravenously waiting their turn to chop.

Ijebus are largely muslims, egbas christians, ibadan people are largely muslims, ife christians. The media created a muslim north, how about fulani christians, a christian middle belt, a christian south. Only development and participatory democracy can help our diversity...we are not united, we need to look ourselves in the eye to know "Our wife, our wife":..whose wife she really is. Only time will tell.


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The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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