It’s not as if anybody was expecting a totally free and fair elections in Nigeria, but what happened in Lagos during the presidential and legislative elections was beyond ugly.
The politicians played the old tribalism trick on us and our people fell for it, as usual, I must add.
But if we are to be truthful with ourselves and call it what it was, it is clear that there is tribalism in Lagos; anybody who denies that is just deceiving himself.
Yes, it is true that we have made progress from what it was in the 1960s, but there is still tribalism in Lagos and that is why it was so easy for the politicians to build on it.
We all know who started inciting people with this stupid, insensitive comments; but let’s be civil here and not call names.
The thing with the ‘Omo Ibo’ tag in Lagos is that it doesn’t just refer to the actual Igbo people; anybody who is not Yoruba or Hausa is Igbo.
I remember the first time someone called me ‘Omo Ibo’ in Lagos.
At first, I tried to explain that I am not Igbo but it went into their right ear and came out through the left.
Now, I don’t even bother; if you call me ‘Omo Ibo’, I just answer you and move on. Since you don’t want to have sense, why should I be the one to give you one?
There was this time someone told me to “go back to your village” when I complained about somethings in Lagos.
He was so angry when he said it and added:
“You are always complaining about Lagos. Is your village better? Go back to your state if you think Lagos is not good for you.”
“You people are the reason Lagos is overcrowded sef and indigenes cannot find jobs; go to your village!”
I was very sad when I saw young people on Twitter playing into the tribalism card. People who are supposed to be educated and better than our fathers claim that yes ‘omo Ibos’ own is too much in Lagos.
Lagos have been good to the Igbos, so why won’t they be loyal to the Yoruba leadership?
It was even worse when people tried to deny that what happened was tribalism.
It was the same ‘All Lives Matter’ argument against ‘Black Lives Matter’ that shook the USA last year.
But, at least, America and other countries own their racism.
They know they have racism problems but us?
We keep denying the tribalism problem we have. Yet, we still do ‘state of origin’, ‘local government of origin’, ‘federal character’ and, so, for every little application, we lose out of the best of our talents over this nonsense.
You want to rent a house, the first thing you are asked is ‘what tribe are you?’
Is it this tribalism we are going to pass on to the next generation?
The gubernatorial elections are around the corner, in fact, a week from today, we will troop again to the polls to play the tribe card again.
But what do we stand to gain in all of this? Please tuck in your biases and vote with a free heart.