The problem with those of us mostly from the Southern part of the country is the tendency to show off. Having attained some measure of the Western education, we tend to assume to know all and must have our say whether it makes sense or not. It did not start today. Long before the attainment of independence, this character trait has been with us. It is the preponderance to show off and the know-all attitude on our part that made the British colonial masters dislike for the South.
They saw Southerners as pompous and arrogant, so they pitched their tent (manner of speaking) with Northerners whom they considered docile and unassuming. This accounts for the ease with which population figures and land mass were inflated to the benefit of the North. Revenue sharing and allocation were grossly doctored in favour of the North while our pompous educated and Queen’s English speaking brothers from the South watched and did nothing. Instead, they were so manipulated that there was in fighting amongst themselves. The Yoruba against Igbo, Urhobo against Itsekiri or against Ijaw, etc. This is not fiction. These are all in our historical records for anyone who cares to search them out. I guess that is why some of us will prefer the subject of history to be completely wiped out from our education curricula.
Those who have benefited from the distortions of our history will prefer to maintain the status-quo, forgetting the fact that no injustice can last perpetually. But what is there to say about our educated know-it-all who have chosen to cry more than the bereaved in the present predicament of the country? As it was in the colonial times, so it has been and so it is now. In these days of Fulani herdsmen atrocities, it will appear that it is these Southern know-it-all who are behind the herds men’s activities. No one or group of people have come more in defense of these herdsmen than our Southern elite. And with the way this group is carrying on, you can say, if you like, that over learning has made them mad. Mad, in this instance, because they see our present realities and pretend nothing is happening, or want to believe something else. Such is their disdain for truth that they are willing to sell their kith and kin for a mess of porridge. They abound everywhere, using every available medium, including the Internet and social media to express such warped views.
They will never critically examine the situations and challenges in the country before expressing these views. They will never ask why one will be a settler in the land of his birth? Why 90 percent of those in charge of our security agencies are from a particular region and religion? Why innocent people are being asked to give up their land for causes which they know nothing about? Why the government appears to be inactive in the midst of these atrocities? But these know all must say something and when they do come out with their rantings, they tend to aggravate the already inflamed situation. It is wisdom to be quiet when one has nothing reasonable to contribute.
Some brothers from a section of the country have mastered this skill or act but not our educated know-it-all from the South. They must continue to talk and make noise and in the process get the masses more confused. People who are supposed to show the way and lead the masses out of darkness are the ones now leading them into slavery and perpetual subjugation. What is bad is bad; it is not compulsory that you agree with your party on all issues, especially if such issues are of no positive impact to the citizenry.
The situation of the country today is very obvious for everyone to see. People are suffering mainly because of policies and decisions introduced by those in leadership positions. It is manifest, clear and visible. It cannot be assumed to be any other thing; the killings by herdsmen, displaced citizens reduced to destitute in their own land of birth, the land of their ancestors. It is real, not a television soap opera or entertainment theatre display.
Yet, some have reduced the calamity that has befallen our nation to trivialities. They reduce everything to politics. They say politics can really change a man from what he appears to be. Why have our professionals suddenly gone silent in the face of present day happenings in the land? Why must it take an Obasanjo to write to the Presidency before people can take situations seriously. Have we not all cried about it?
What has President Obasanjo said that is new? Why must we expect real change when the bulk of the present membership of the All Progressive Congress were former members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, whom they claimed were responsible for the present dire situation of the country? I stumbled on a message on the social media credited to Festus Keyamo (SAN). I still find it difficult to accept that the message is from him. He dismissed those who have raised fears about the domination of the country by a particular religion and ethnic group. I am surprised because he is referring to our Constitution. What he forgets is that when these people act, the Constitution does not matter. It happened in Turkey and present day Lebanon.
Where is the place of the Constitution in all of those villagers displaced by herdsmen and Boko Haram, whose lands have been occupied by foreigners and strange fellows? How can we talk of Constitution when actual conquests and displacement of people from the lands of their ancestors is going on. It makes no sense to treat such a serious matter with levity and that is what I was referring to about the educated know-it- all of the South.
We know too much and with our too much knowledge, we cannot manage ourselves. In the South, there are communities where Supreme Court judgements have adjudicated on land matters but such judgements have not been enforced till date. Those on ground lay claim to these lands, while those who got judgement look from a distance. Landlords have become tenants and vice versa. A lot of such abound all over, in land matters the weak are always oppressed.
The cry of the people to be free from ethnic and religious domination is justified and nobody, no legal person , no matter how highly learned or well placed should treat such with levity, because history has a way of repeating itself, especially for people who do not take heed.