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Sunday Adelaja'sBlog


from: 03 . 08 . 17


When I was growing up in my 40-hut village of Idomila western part of Nigeria, the most I had traveled was to our state capital of Abeokuta just a few minutes away. My experience of Nigeria’s diversity did not even reach the then nation’s capital Lagos, which was only two hours away. My concept of Nigeria was limited to the village talk of the elders and the local wise men. What they said was the truth to be believed by all and sundry. There was no need for research or establishment of historical facts.

“News told, rumors heard, truth implied, facts buried.” ― Toba Beta

So growing up, when I heard that the problem of Nigeria is the North, talking of the Hausa-Fulani tribe of our nation, I did not even think, I did not even consider questioning it. On the other hand, when I was told that Hausa-Fulani have ruled Nigeria for most of our independence, I swallowed the gossip without any questions.

A recent research however claims that even though Fulani’s have ruled Nigeria or a mixture of Fulani and Hausa, it has been discovered that Hausa’s have never ruled Nigeria before, even though they are about 20% of Nigeria’s population. Another largely believed rumor says that Hausa is the largest tribe in Nigeria while in the real sense they are second to Yorubas who are the biggest singular monogenic group of tribe in Nigeria. Fulanis are only about 9%, Yorubas 21%, Hausa 20% and Igbos 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4 % others are minority groups.

Of all these groups, let’s examine which tribes of the 521 have ruled Nigeria before.

  1. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (Middle Belt Bauchi) 1960-1966 (Bageritribe from Sefawa dynasty)
  2. Nnamdi Azikiwe 1960-1966 (Igbo).
  3. Major General Aguiyi Ironsi (Abia) Jan-Jul 29 1966 (Igbo)
  4. General Yakubu Gowon (Middle Belt Plateau) 1966-1975 (Angas tribe)
  5. General Murtala Muhammed (Middle Belt Plateau) 1975-Feb.1976 (Beromtribe)
  6. General Olusegun Obasanjo (Ogun) 1976-1979 (Yoruba)
  7. Shehu Shagari (Sokoto) 1979-1983 (Fulani).
  8. General Muhammadu Buhari (Katsina) 1983-1985 (Fulani)
  9. General Ibrahim Babangida Badamosi (Middle Belt Niger) 1985-1993 (Gwari/Gbagyitribe).
  10. Ernest Shonekan (Ogun) 1993-Nov 1993 (Yoruba).
  11. General Sanni Abacha (Borno/Chad) 1993-1998 (Kanuri tribe).
  12. General Abdusalami Abubakar (Middle Belt Niger) 1998-1999 (Gwari/Gbagyitribe).
  13. Olusegun Obasanjo (Ogun) 1999-2007 (Yoruba).
  14. Musa Yar’adua (Katsina) 2007-2010 (Fulani)
  15. Dr Goodluck Jonathan (Bayelsa) 2010-2014 (Ijaw/Igbo?)

According to these statistics, we can see that there is no need for the kind of speculation and hatred that is being circulated in my part of the country. As a matter of fact, most people in the western part of Nigeria still believe that the problem of Nigeria is the Hausa. Meanwhile, the statistics above show that no Hausa has ever ruled Nigeria.

The people who complain most about the Hausas are the people I come from, the Yorubas. They have ruled Nigeria most of all. Yorubas have ruled Nigeria for 12 years, Igbos have ruled Nigeria for 6 and half years, Fulanis have ruled Nigeria for 5 years. Others are from minority groups. But when our society is more reliant on rumors, village talk and tales rather than on facts and research, we end up having a society of sentiments, hatred, and purported tribalism.

According to the information above, if anyone is supposed to complain, the complaints should come from the over 500 tribes that have never gotten a chance to rule the country. What I am trying to say ladies and gentlemen is that when we rely more on rumors, gain sayings, folktales, we risk the danger of destroying the beauty and harmony of diversity. The diversity of our Nigerian nation is such a beauty, a glorious demonstration of Gods very own nature. Yet when diversity is not appreciated, it is abused and perverted.

“Celebrate diversity, practice acceptance and may we all choose peaceful options to conflict.” ― Donzella Michele Malone

To be continued tomorrow with the topic:

Despise the size of a nation to your own detriment.



By Pastor Sunday Adelaja



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