WHAT GOES AROUND, COMES AROUND: The issue of Biafra and Oduduwa versus Fulani and the so called One Nigeria. Olayinka Dixon-Oludaiye, President of the Ebony People Support Group in Ireland speaks about the prevailing and devastating outcomes of disunity between the Igbo and Yoruba.
When the Igbo’s agitated bitterly for Biafra, the best thing that the Yoruba people in Nigeria should have done, was to step aside and allow the voices of the grossly disenfranchised Igbo people in Nigeria to be heard, because, as they say, “what goes around comes around.”
When people are enjoying life and are happy in their chosen location, they usually do not clamor for separation, nor do they complain. They stay in the place of their residence and flourish and prosper, in peace and harmony.
But, the Igbo in present (and past) Nigerian, have been serially marginalized, victimized and almost segregated. As a tribe, and many times, for no reason, they are abused, vilified and blamed for almost every and any thing that goes wrong in Nigeria.
They are almost always denied, more than most, opportunities to lead or progress where others get advantage or privilege, leaving them to employ (sometimes, seemingly) desperate moves, to be at par with their Yoruba counterparts, as if in a competition. But, the Igbo are a resilient people. They never stop even in the face of oppression or opposition. This victimization is what led to the renewed call and clamour for actualization of Biafra Nation.
There was a past Referendum conducted under the past Goodluck Jonathan (GEJ) regime which was frustrated and later abandoned by the APC government led by ex governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which installed Muhammadu Buhari as President. In that exercise, Nigerians opted for a Restructuring of the Country and its resources to afford a fair distribution of economic resources to all regions.
When that move was jettisoned and the generality of the Igbo tribes drew the short straw, and Fulani began attacking the Eastern Nigeria, it was obvious to the Igbo that this is not a Nigeria they like to remain part of, hence the move and voiced reawakening of the call for Biafra as an autonomous Nation.
Many Nigerians live in the Diaspora. Many have fought against injustice, racism, and hardships, apart from enduring the harsh and hostile European weather. They sought to be accepted and accredited as contributors towards the economic development of the communities in which they find themselves. To a large extent, majority of Nigerians excel abroad than they would have done, if they remained in Nigeria.
Like every human race, there will always be the One or Two (certainly, a handful) in relation to the large numbers of law abiding individuals who relocate abroad, who carry out nefarious activities and contravene country laws. This is natural human expectation.
The same that can be said, for the large numbers of law abiding Nigerians living in overseas countries, can be applied to the Igbo across Nigeria.
Like the Yoruba always say, “erú kan, níí mú ni bú igba erú” (Just one slave’s error, allows thousands of slaves to be insulted). Many of us Yorubas have a mixture of both wonderful and wicked Yoruba friends and family.
Guess what. Many Igbos also have, among them, that same mixture. Ask the British, you’ll hear the same story. The Irish..Other Europeans. The Australians. The Asians. Canadians. Let’s not forget, especially, the Americans…
The truth of this humanity is this. We must all learn not to debase a whole tribe, communuty, people, country, even religion, or profession, because of the foibles of the percentage of humans like them, who choose to follow the path of dishonor.
Everything in this life, is “Turn by Turn”. Eyi to ko iwaju si enikan, eyin lo ko si rlomiran… (if its facing someone, it means it has its back to others). Today, it is the turn of the Yoruba to face the bitter wrath of the marauding nomadic Fulani who have tormented the Igbo community for so long.
Many of us stood against injustice at the time, and shouted, cried, wrote plenty grammar, did videos… The voices of Yoruba (and some Igbo) moneybag and bullion van politicians, chimed all the way to banks for their stooges for political and selfish reasons.
I don’t want to say that I haven’t heard the voices of Igbo leaders like Amaechi’s voice in a while. Thoseof them who stood agaisnt, even, their own people.. This life, ehn? “Èyìnkùlé l’òtá wà, ilé l’aseni ńgbé (the enemy lives outside the house in the backyard, the killer lives with you at home!”) A Yoruba proverb.
Has any other Yoruba person noticed the overall deafening silence of the Igbo in all of this fracas ongoing in Yoruba lands? Apart from a handful of those who choose to engage on Social Media with their friends, does anyone hear “pim” from majorityof the Igbo?
Unlike when the Igbo were being persecuted and attacked, left, right, and centre, the Igbos have been decidedly and charitably quiet, overall and in general.
I don’t see any Igbo person running endless, tasteless and tactless Video capaigns against Yorubas. Not one. (Correct me if I’m wrong). And if there is, he or she, must be the “Adeyinka of the Igbo race”.
The Igbos agitated for Self actualization. Not only did they not get the support of the Yoruba, they were not blocked, but insulted and spoken against, even ridiculed.
Àgbájo owó la fi nso aya o. (You put your fingers together to strike your chest).. “Enikan kii je ‘awa de’.” (One person cannot say, “WE have arrived”)… There is, and has always been, strength in unity.
There are harsh “relationship” lessons to be learnt from both sides of the Igbo and Yoruba. And it’s this, “Together, We Stand.!! Divided, We Fall..!!”
What is going on in Southern Nigeria right now, should be an eye opener for both the Yoruba and the Igbo. What goes around, ultimately, does come around, dearly beloved people.
This is the same Racist wickedness, injustice and inhumanity the world witnessed in America in the last few months.
And just like the Fulani are empowered by the Fulani Dictator Buhari, racism was hightened to the highest levels against African Americans over the ages, with the racists who have been especially, embolded in the last few years.
In the long run, there are no winners of a disunited opposing force in the war against Tribalism, Sectionalism, Racism, or any other schism that ends with an “ism”. Only the oppressor wins.
The present development across Yorubaland and across Oduduwa (Kaaro Ojiire), is Dangerous, Unhealthy and Unhelpful to the survival of Yoruba existence as a people.
If you dont (or are unable to) see this disunity for what it is, then, you are part of the Yoruba Igbo problem to Self Actualization. What goes around comes around, truly, but United, we (can) stand. Divided, (we all, will surely) fall at the hands of our joint oppressors.
We all need to look inwards, to the level of racism that lies deep inside our hearts, lest we perish.
May the Lord shine His light and wisdom into the darkness around us in Nigeria.
Olayinka Dixon-Oludaiye is an Irish citizen, Nigeria born, Certified Coach, Speaker and Trainer with the John Maxwell Team. She is Author of How To Make Your Own Perfumes At Home, Opinion Journalist, Adult Vocational Achievement Assessor and Enthusiast Photographer.
A former part time College Lecturer, Teacher, Trainer and Mentor for over 35 years, Olayinka’s career, vocation and work include:
* People Before Politics Advocacy.
* Advocacy Against Relationship Violence.
* Single Seniors Advocacy.
* First Aider for Suicide Prevention.
* First Aider for Mental Health
* First Aider for Psychological Health Care in Disaster intervention.
She is presently
* President: Ebony People Support Group (Ireland)
* President & Executive Director:
Women of Destiny Int’l Outreach.
* CEO: Omnibus Consultants Ltd.
She has founded, presided over, worked with and Chaired, numerous Community, Volunteer and Non-profit organizations and led initiatives that impacted Youth, Seniors, Adult Welfare, Women and Men groups, Adult vocational education and holistic wellbeing.
15 Feb 2021.