Unwarranted and Unwanted Label the main Problem of Nigerians

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Labels are used as a way to classify a group with some form of shared description.

Society labels things such as food products, clothing brands, file folders, personal items, and people. Although labels make for easy identification, they can become problematic by placing a large amount of items or people into one specific category.

When thing is said to be labelled, it refers to, a thing having a tag, Nigeria as a political entity is divided into six geopolitical zone and is labelled or tag along side this zones, these zones are North Central closely known as middle belt, (Benue, Kogi, Kwara Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Federal Capital Territory) North East, (Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe) North West, (Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara) South East, (Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo) South South, (Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta, Edo) South West (Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo) and geographically into Southern and Northern region.

These six zone were not carved out based on geopolitical location, but rather states with similar cultures, ethnic groups and common history.

This diversity should have been a source of strength and unity but rather it has become a source of division and it has made it convenient for us not see ourselves as Nigerians but to label each other alongside political or geographical identity and this has become serious problem to Nigerians.

Southern region has become synonymous with Igbos only not minding that other tribes like, Ijaw, Efik, Ibibio Exist there, while norther region is synonymous with Hausa/Fulani only, not minding other tribes like Tiv, Mumuye, Jukum, Birom, etc exist there, along this division religious attachment has given to this region’s too once you are from the north you are seen as Muslim and once you are from the south you are seen as a Christians not minding that are christian in the north and also there Muslim in the south, this disparity aggravated by the aftermath of the civil war made Nigerians today not to be known as Nigerians but by our labels it is either you are Onya Hausa/Aboki, or Inyamiri/ Biafrans we hardly see each other as Nigerians, this Label has make us see each other as enemy, and given us reason to dehumanize others from whatever point of views.

We interpret government policies as aiming at destruction of others, when Goodluck Jonathan was president for example the northerners felt he was not doing enough in term of fighting Boko Haram in fact that he sponsoring Boko Haram to eliminate the north, now Buhari as president his government is accusing the southern elders as sponsoring the Niger delta avengers to destroy his government, instead of finding the root causes of this problems we are best at pointing fingers, Niger Delta crisis started before Buhari government, Boko Haram started earlier than Jonathan government but it has been interpreted as the main instrument of destroying the other region.

What baffles me is this even the government has been label as Hausa government or Hausa president southern government or southern president, when are we going to see our leader as Nigerian President? the first line of our national anthem says Arise o’ compatriots Nigeria calls obey, to serve our father land…… this call originated from the fact that we are Nigerians, we are one, we are brothers although we live in a country where politically we are divided.

An educated person should know that Nigeria as an agent that unite us is far greater than whatever race, region, political affiliation and religion that divide us, we have to rise above mere tolerance and accept each other, do away with this label of zones, religion and politics for us to progress, if for instance as Biafrans struggle for their independence, it should be done in a civilized way not through castigation, or any way that may spills blood of innocent Nigerian, on the other hand government should dialogue with the Biafrans to ascertain their grievances not through intimidation.

Revenge or the expression of hatred towards those perceived to have done us injustice may feel like justice in the face of wrong, but these cycles of hatred only creates a binary where those who have suffered become affected pitted against them, the perceived perpetrators.

Finally secession has never been a solution to any government or group, at least we can ask southern Sudan people having their independence has cause more unrest to them than peace, also ouster of one leader either through voting or coup has not solve the problems of any nation, Iraqis, Libyans and Nigeria can testify to this fact, recently we were in haste to do away with Jonathan’s government and he is out of office, has our problems solve? The answers surely is no, it is time for us to be Nigerians not that we live in Nigeria but not Nigerians.

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