Nigeria’s Biggest Blessing Is Her Diversity.
“When all the talents in society are not fully developed, it is not the individuals that are adversely affected alone who suffer; the society as a whole suffers as well. Now, granting that every Nigerian is given an opportunity to develop his talents, it is imperative that he should also be given an opportunity to employ these developed talents. Full development of man and his full employment are not only social imperatives, but also inseparably inter-connected and complementary.” Chief Obafemi Awolowo
From this quotation we see that Chief Obafemi Awolowo believed in one Nigeria, because he could see that our diversity is a blessing. He for sure had the political influence and leadership to have led Yorubas into self determination, but yet he didn’t, because living together as one country is better for all. It was better then and it’s still better today.
Nigeria’s biggest blessing is not her petroleum or her fertile soil, nor is it her weather. Nigeria’s biggest blessing is the diversity of her peoples. God has blessed Nigeria with so much diversity in ethnicity, languages, culture etc. Nigeria in this fashion has been a blessing to each of coming from so much diversities. Unfortunately, because we cannot see the blessing and beauty of diversity, same diversity has become our stumbling block.
The beauty and vastness of Nigeria is breathtaking. Anyone who has taken a trip around Nigeria will easily note how blessed Nigeria is. From the high hills of Idanre which is said to be more than 800 years old, to the Zuma rock of Abuja, extending to Ikogosi Warm Springs, all the way up to the Oguta Lakes in Imo, to the Mambilla Plateau and Gashaka-Gumti Game Reserve of Taraba state etc., there is no shortfall of beauty in Nigeria. One thing is sure, the whole of Nigeria has been regarded as nature’s gift, not just to Africa but to the rest of the world.
If you are living in Nigeria, you might not appreciate how beautiful Nigeria is. But the moment you step out of Nigeria, you will immediately appreciate how stunning and attractive Nigeria is, especially if you take your time to study it. The beauty of just one part of Nigeria is not enough to revel in, as the beauty of Nigeria as an entity.
If it is the inadequacies that you see in the Northerners or the Easterners that makes you want to run away from all the blessings of those regions, then you must realize that those same inadequacies are within your own people. Those same faults and problems are within your own tribe. So, we cannot run away from the weaknesses of other Nigerians because if we look closely, those same weaknesses are also within our own family members. They have some of those inadequacies in equal measure.
If you know this, what then exactly do you want and mean by separation? What are you running away from? Are we running away from corrupt politicians? Does that mean that all corrupt politicians in Nigeria are only in one tribe? Don’t we have Yoruba politicians who are corrupt?
Were all the corrupt politicians in Yorubaland born with a corrupt gene or DNA? No. It is the value system of the land that made them corrupt. The corrupt politicians of few decades ago are dead and long gone, however, new ones have arisen due to our warped value systems. The ones on stage today will not be there again in few years, but if we fail to correct the wrong value systems of the land, we will keep producing corrupt politicians in droves of all ethnicities and our land will be no better. It is not a question of creating Oduduwa republic, Arewa republic or Biafra republic, it is a question of our value systems. Oduduwa republic with the wrong value system is already a failure. Arewa republic with the wrong value system will be a catastrophe. Biafra republic with the wrong value system is already a disaster.
Where all Nigerians therefore should focus all our emphasis must be on the value system of the whole nation, including the Yoruba nation. If we don’t change the value systems that we have now we will soon be back to the days of slavery again. During the era of slavery, Yorubas captured one another, killed each other, and sold themselves into slavery. During that time, 40 slaves were given to the slave traders in exchange for an umbrella. Can you imagine that? Today, we are still selling one another into poverty and slavery. Few people are consuming and embezzling the funds that is meant for us all. Our people are still being captured by their own people and sold into prostitution and domestic slavery in Italy and all over the Arab world.
The same Yorubas still keep selling each other into slavery. Our Politicians are selling us into slavery for the price of one mansion in London or USA. Our Pastors and Bishops still sell us into slavery for the price of one private jet. The last time that the Yorubas were independent, it led them to one hundred years of civil war. That civil war was known as the Yoruba civil wars. It had nothing to do with the Igbos, Hausas or Fulanis. At that time, it was not the Hausas or the Igbos who were coming to slaughter Yorubas. Rather, Yorubas turned against themselves and kept killing one another until the Colonialists intervened and took over total control of Yoruba country land. Yorubas had 100 years of civil war because they wanted to be better than their own brothers and sisters. Today, that rivalry is still alive and as heated as ever. I suspect that if the Yoruba federation were declared today, it will not take up to ten years before Yorubas will go back into civil war.
Here is something else that I want all Yorubas to think and ponder on, Nigeria as it exists is a system of constraint that creates checks and balances for every tribe and region of Nigeria. Apart from all the support that the different regions bring, they also create a sort of constraint that prevents other regions from self destruction.
Now that some Yorubas want to separate themselves from the Niger Delta oil resources and the Agricultural products from across the North, here lies the question; who will feed the Southwest when majority of Yoruba youths have no flair for farming? Where will they get the Petroleum products to support themselves and the economy?