Nigerian crowd

Nigerians and Prejudice

Nigerian crowdNigeria is truly not a united country.

She is a country of so many nations who do not trust themselves. From my observations, There is no single ethnic group that is not bias and suspicious of others.

So many derogatory languages being used today among the tribes out of hatred, jealousy and suspicion.

When you hear terms like ‘omo Ibo’, ‘aboki’, ‘gambari’, ‘ngbati n gbati’, ‘egun’, ‘egbira’, etc. sometimes, they are used as abusive words despite that the words in themselves may not be abusive.

There is no time Nigeria is so divided than the present day.
An average Nigerian knows what I mean here.

Today, after the heavy rain, I joined a commercial vehicle and only the driver and a young man were on board before I joined them, after few minutes, the co-passenger took permission from the driver and I, he pleaded the driver should stop for him at a shop where they sell hot agbo (local herb drinks).

While he alighted, the driver and I got talking. I asked him what they enjoy in such agbo. We saw the steaming pots at a distance and the flavour of the herbs was really strong in the cold.

Since commercial drivers are natural customers, I assumed the driver also patronises such joints, so I wanted to hear his story as usual.

To my surprise, he doesn’t drink such according to him, may be I was also bias people in his profession drink all sorts. When I asked what it does for them, he asked, “Are you not Yoruba? It’s in their DNA, they must drink all those herbs. I told him the best drink you can ever have is clean water. I started educating him on the daily water requirement and it’s health benefits. He was so interested.

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Then we got so impatient with the guy after about five minutes as he was still mixing the agbo. He bought about three types and stored in his bag. I wondered how it won’t be too hot for him in his sack. He later joined us and apologised for taking long and the journey resumed.

No other passenger joined us. Of course people were still hiding from the rain. Along the journey, the driver was still talking and stylishly talking down on the tribe that drinks too much agbo according to him. Then the passenger who had loaded the various agbo types in his bag picked a call, he spoke in Igbo so fluently. The driver shouted, ‘So this agbo customer is even my brother!’ I laughed at him. He had said all manner of things about Yorubas having agbo in their DNA. Now his brother is a serious agbo drinker!

That we can’t even sometimes identify whatever tribe through our looks means we should learn tolerance. It reminds me of a Yoruba adage that says when you throw a stone into the market, it could hit your relative. This of course happens and we don’t learn.

The Federal Government through its relevant agencies sure has a lot to do in uniting Nigerians. I wonder if they ever think along this thought because the population keeps growing just like the animosity.

Other nationals have now known Nigerians with the bad attributes we Nigerians often project about our various tribes while these foreigners can’t different which tribe is ‘evil’ and which is ‘good’. They don’t know the ones we label dubious or wicked, they see us all as a people not to be trusted just because of how tribe A paints tribe B. Foreigners see just a tribe-Nigeria and the government which has now become a tribe in itself must behave.

I’m sure the driver in this story learnt one or two things about his stereotype…and if he didn’t, then too bad.

By Dayo Emmanuel
(C) Dayomanuel 240422

 

Post Author: Dayo Emmanuel