Tribal System of Government in Nigeria and National Hatred Towards Biafrans
By Azuka Ownuka
Published by Family Writers
2nd March 2017
"Many of those who saw Utomi and Soludo as their darlings (that were "possible candidates for the presidency") have started to attack them. Why? They dared to ask that the law courts be respected with the release of Nnamdi Kanu and that it was unconstitutional to kill unarmed protesters. For that, they have dropped from "nationalists" to tribalists in the reckoning of some people.
The cross of the Igbo man in Nigeria is that for him to be seen as a nationalist, he must keep quiet when injustice is meted out to his people or he must call his ethnic group names repeatedly. Once he insults his ethnic group or kinsmen, he is seen as a detribalised patriot.
Others can defend their ethnic groups but an Igbo man dares not do it. Even as a former head of state, Buhari can lead a team of Fulanis to Oyo State Government House to ask Lam Adesina, "Why are your people killing MY people?" Buhari can warn Jonathan that an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the North. Buhari can declare publicly that he would not rest until sharia is spread across the whole nation. None of such would make him seen as a tribalist or a religious bigot. None of such can prevent him from being voted in as a president who loves Nigeria. Imagine if a prospective presidential candidate from Igboland said and did all that.
Yar'Adua approved sharia in Katsina State as governor, yet people did not see him as unacceptable to be president. Imagine if the same were done by an Igbo governor.
In the First Republic, Zik was the most nationalistic of his contemporaries and led the fight against colonialism. He named his party National Council of Nigerian Citizens while Ahmadu Bello named his party Northern People's Congress and opposed the call for early independence, the climax being the North walking out of parliament in 1953 when Enahoro (a Zikist then) moved a motion for independence.
Zik founded a university and named it University of Nigeria. Awo founded a university and called it University of Ife. Ahmadu Bello founded a university and named it University of Northern Nigeria. Yet Ahmadu Bello's party that was named NORTHERN People's Congress was found "nationalistic and detribalised" to rule Nigeria.
I have been a victim of such double standards on many occasions. When I write lovely things about other ethnic groups, I am called a detribalised and nationalistic Nigerian, but once I say something positive about the Igbos, I become a tribalist.
But borrowing from Soyinka, let me state that the man dies in him who keeps quiet when injustice is meted out to his kinsmen for fear of being called a tribalist. Injustice is injustice no matter who is the victim."
The Biafra Herald