Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Does the detribalised Nigerian exist?

Yes. Obasanjo is an example of a “de-tribalised” Nigerian. He hates poor people from every corner of the country.

A resounding majority of Nigerians are “de-tribalised”. It is just that the minority are noisier. With their noise, they elevate ethnicity beyond its proper level in the scale of importance. This takes ethnic sentiments and other primordial attitudes out of their real contexts.

Most people that are prejudiced are just mainly ignorant and chronically incapable of reason. As soon as you apply logic to the “arguments” of prejudiced folks, those arguments collapse like a pack of cards. Therefore to be a “tribalist” requires the suspension of logic.

It is not possible to be a “tribalist” and a “nationalist”, unless the nation is made up of just one ethnic group. A “nationalist” theoretically puts the interests of the nation at the top of the agenda, while a “tribalist’s” main concern is his ethnic group. Pushing the agenda of one ethnic group excludes others and therefore opens the person up to charges of discriminatory behaviour. By extension, to champion the cause of one group involves a sort of ideology which entertains notions of supremacy of the ethnic group over others. It calls for the rallying of folks from that group under one banner and thrives on creating the sort of divisions that stoke ethnic hatred. So people that cover themselves in this garb usually evolve into fascists and bigots.

Of course, I can claim to be “de-tribalised”. I never subscribe to notions that I cannot back up with logic. I am not an ethnic chauvinist, not particularly for any lofty reasons, but because it doesn’t make sense.

“Tribalism”, just like racism, is a pattern of behaviours and attitudes. Sometimes the perpetrator is aware that he is a bigot, sometimes the bigotry is unconscious and unwitting. In the latter category, people at the receiving end would be aware of this before the perpetrator.

“Tribalists” and racists are birds of the same ignorant feather. So a “tribalist” has no moral standing to condemn a racist.

It is also pertinent to note that some of the most “de-tribalised” Nigerians are members of the ruling elite. For them ethnic division is just an instrument for controlling the populace.


Nilla said...

Nice write up.

Confessions of a moody crab said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Confessions of a moody crab said...

A nationalist can be racist,you know. Take Israel and their Zionist ideology. Their need to creat a Jewish nation state is the reason behind all their atrocities in Palestine!
It was also the same reason that the Nazis carried out their various pograms in the 1930's and 40's.

My dear, I think I prefer 'multiculturalist' or better still a 'humanist'

Anonymous said...

well guy that a nice peice from you more grease 2 ur elbows u thats the fack about obj never believe that there are poor ones in nigeria that why anytime he impliments a thing he doesn't care what is happeninig with what he implimented even if the poor are complaingabout it. keep it up

Fred said...


Tribalism, or its various other guises, is a human trait. One loses that, they lose their very humanity. We're a herding species.

The trick is to provide a group to which everyone wants to or does belong. In Nigeria, unfortunately, that group is not "Nigerian."

Donzman said...

We're humans and are bound to bear allegiance to a particualar group/tribe/nationality. In the end, we are also compelled to associate and coperate with others in order to move forward. Nigeria as a nation has not given it's citizens any reason to be loyal it. That is why people still remain loyal to their ethnic groups,atleast they are the ones you know. The minute Nigeria as a state starts caring for its masses, then it can start expecting something in semblanceof loyalty and nationalism.

Like I said, it's easy for those at the top to coperate with others because they have to do that in order to get ahead. The farmer on the streets knows no one but his kith and kin who care about him. Those are the ones he'll forever be loyal to until Nigeria as a state begins to care about him.

Lack of detrabilzed Nigeria is nothing but evidence that Nigeria has nothing to offer its citizens for now atleast.

Atala Wala Wala said...

"Does the detribalised Nigerian exist?"

Well, what is a detribalised Nigerian? One who doesn't have any strong affinity towards his ethnic group?

Although such people are rare, they do exist. However, I think the reason that they don't have this affinity is because they've probably grown up with a heavy dose of Western (or some other) culture to supplant the affinity that he otherwise would have had for his ethnic group.

But even these people will have an affinity to a group of some sort, even though it might not be an ethnic group defined by a particular language. Perhaps they are drawn to people who share the same religion, or strand of religion. Maybe they are drawn to people who have a love for Mazda cars or Java programming or reggae music or posting comments on Chxta's blog. The point is that there is a sub-culture associated with each of these 'tribes', and people in that sub-culture will have an affinity to it, even to the point of dissing the 'unbelievers' or 'outsiders'.

I guess the only really detribalised Nigerians are the Children of the Government...

Anonymous said...

no way man, those nollywood folks should do a movie liek crash for nigerians cos that movie shows we al cant co exist in the world as it is now talkless of within a country

Chxta said...

People. In all my travels around Naija, I am yet to see the one person who on having something to gain from me, discriminated against me simply based on the fact that I am Igbo.

Even in the core North people don't sit down all day and do nothing else but plan to kill Southerners. Usually something triggers it, and the pattern is always the same: political leaders spew out some rhetoric, people listen, then go berserk. It is always the same, and the killing is always in the 'poorer' areas of the land.

Divide and rule is such a brutally effective strategy.

The problem in Naija is ignorance, and that is what the elite exploit. The average Nigerian really doesn't care where you are from.

In my own experience, I am yet to be proved wrong.

Nilla said...

Keyword being IGNORANT. I concur with you.

Ify said...

Chxta saw ur comment on the papers today. You, alongside about 15 other pple are now superstars

Donzman said...


Have you ever been involved in purchasing land in all these places you've visited?...Even within Igboland, people will prefer to sell land to someone from their "village" as opposed to someone from another "village".

Anonymous said...

Chxta ! this is one of my best reads in ages.
I thin u should send this to one of the widely
circulating Nigerian dailies 'cos it's a must read.

U know, i write once in a while (for myself) but a
mentor said it makes no sense if u are not read.

so pls try not to confine these good writings to ur
blog alone.

sijien said...

o boy u too try abeg