Tribalism or Nepotism is a serious threat to any country or State. Unfortunately, Kogi State and Nigeria at large is not entirely free from this.
There is a huge number of tribes in Kogi State. This includes lots of different minor tribes, but the largest and most famous ones are Ebira, Igala and Okun (EBIGO), All of them have their own customs, culture and beliefs.
Sometimes, these tribes can misunderstand each other because of their different worldviews, and this is one of the biggest social problems in Kogi State nowadays.
Kogi State and Nigeria has no much differences in the tribalistic threat before hand as Nigeria is a country occupied by various tribes which includes lots of Minority and the most populated tribes (Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba so also Kogi State as explained above.)
One of the core problem of tribalism is that people of different tribes are separated from each other. Hence they are separated from each other, individual personality of those tribes will then feel truly connected to those of their own beliefs.
They then often have set stereotypes about the other tribes, which prevent them from broadening their mind, learning more about different cultures and befriending people who do not belong to their own tribe.
WHO IS A TRIBALIST?
A tribalist is a person who:
}Boasts about the merits and good qualities of his/her tribe, but refuses to recognize its bad qualities and faults, sometimes even trying to hide them.
}Shows favoritism towards people of their tribe and is picky when it comes to people who do not belong to their tribe.
}Gives all the privileges to the native tribe’s people, but tries to exempt them from any obligations and duties when it comes to humiliating and dangerous missions.
}Firmly believes that people from the other tribes are not worthy of help, sticks to the stereotypes against them.
}Prefers marriage only between the members of a native tribe, as opposed to the intertribal marriages.
Causes and effect of Tribalism or Nepotism in Kogi State?
WHERE DID WE GO WRONG?
This question has always been in the mind of everyone kogite that reasons.
Believe we are not the only state that has more than two tribes but why is our case different.
Some might even go as far as asking whether our ancestors were too unreasonable bringing these tribes together.
Yeah,,, there is need for such question because we find it difficult to believe that we are one and these was not how our forefathers have live their life and things work out for them smoothly.
I have come to understand that we are our own problem.
I will try as much as possible not to be sentimental or too judgmental on this article In order not to crest misunderstanding.
We all know the story of how we came together, how we broke out from the jukuns, how kogi was formed from kwara and how we got to where we are today.
So I won’t spend much time on that again.
HOW IT ALL STARTED (The disunity): Of a truth we know after coming together, the three most populated and Famous tribes in kogi state decided to dive into exchange of power.
They decided to work with power shift Of which our Igala brothers decided to take up on themselves for 16years. Now other tribes where grieved about this because this was not the initial plan.
This may sound like there was a memorandum of understanding (MOU) but I tell you there wasn’t any. It’s a sort of verbal agreement out of love and trust.
Then the only opportunity they had to power was through their senatorial district, commissions or the seat of the deputy governor.
Most minor tribes decided to keep shot on this issue and then played along.
But the other major tribes (Okuns and Ebira) had a problem with this.
Although the okun where also grieved, they still had little or nothing to say at all.
But the EBIRAS took it to heart and hatred delved into their hearts, this was when they started planning their revenge on the Igalas and also taking power from them.
Now this was where it all started from; The Igalas over took power, The EBIRAS had the seed of hatred planted in the hearts by the Igalas and the Okuns where always with the winning team.
Now the mindset of these tribes changed from building a better Kogi, getting into power as a form of revenge.
And this is where the broad issue is.
It has also eradicated down deep, away from the people sicking for power.
It comes to play in schools, organizations, rented apartments, places of converging and overview.
This was where we all got it wrong.
My question now is, does tribalism work with the three tribes?
Before I answer that question, I will define the term tribalism.
Tribalism is the feeling of identity and loyalty to one’s tribe. At this point, we do everything in Favour of our tribe without thinking of any other tribe.
It is not being patriotic, far from that.
Don’t let anyone deceive you that being tribal is also being patriotic.
- Now I will be starting with the EBIRAS. I will say their problem is not tribalism but NEPOTISM.
Now nepotism can be seen as an act of favoring relatives or personal friends because of their relationship rather than because of their abilities.
Ask any Ebira man or woman, they will confess this to you.
They don’t like themselves at all. Their love is just for their relatives and close friends.
That is why you will see that most of them occupying a political position tend to put their family members and friends there even though they are not qualified to be there.
They naturally don’t have problem with other tribes.
Now let it be known that their hatred for the Igalas is something that came out of how they were been treated by the Igalas as stated above.
Now the Okuns! These ones don’t really have a problem with politics, they don’t just like been cheated, They are always at peace with all tribes.
As for the Igalas, they have problems with Tribalism and this is killing them slowly.
Everyone Igala seeing this will agree with me that their people love themselves more than any other tribe.
They don’t regard any other tribe at all.
For no reason they feel they are superior and every other tribe should be treated as inferior.
That is why you see that they the Igalas always want to be in power not minding whether the person they are bringing is capable or not So far the person Is theirs.
They don’t care whether the state is affected or not So far they are the one ruling, they are satisfied, which is highly bad.
- FEAR OF BEING ENSLAVED!
Now a lot of youths from all around Nigeria has not ceased from blaming the youths of both Igala and Ebira over the last election because they felt the good of the state should be on our minds and not the good of our individual TRIBES.
Well I will say you can’t blame the Igalas or EBIRAS because no body wants to be ENSLAVED.
Let’s be truthful to our selves, The Igalas were really ready to throw the EBIRAS from the seat of power not because the government was bad but because they couldn’t hold being under the EBIRAS again.
And the EBIRAS, even though they knew their person was really mishandling the position, couldn’t let go of power because they will never see that seat again if eventually is being lost to the Igalas. This was what happened. Everyone is scared of being ENSLAVED.
And this is one of the causes of disunity in Kogi State.
Now after these analysis, what do you think are our possible solutions?
How can things be changed? Your Observations will sure be useful and helpful but permit me to render my view on the way forward.
To me, the power of change is in the hands of we Youths.
But the question is, how many of us are bold enough to bring these change into existence?
How many of us are ready to pay deaf ears to past evil stories?
The stories that are suppose to be long forgotten, our fathers still tels the stories, and this are stories that can never contribute positively to the progress of our dear state rather destruction and hatred.
Of a truth!
We have hearken to the hatred passed across by our forefathers and not ready to adapt to reality.
Your parents or mine may have lied to us who knows.
None will ever admit the fact that they were at fault.
You and I were not there when the whole issues takes place.
Most of our youths have really been infected with the disease of HATRED, CORRUPTION AND TRIBALISM.
The part they played during the last election really got me sad.
The youths that are supposed to stand against evil are the ones promoting it.
Until our minds are cleared of all these evil vices, we still have a long way to go.
Are we not tired of seeing our state being left behind? No development at all. Everything is just getting worse.
If we continue like this, I predict we will be forced to merge with another state.
The only solution is to get our youths to reason with us, so that we can start affecting change.
You can do this by talking to a neighbor, your friend, your boss, your man, your babe and any other youth you know to change their perspective about the Igalas, Ebiras and the Okuns.
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Written by Yakubu Nasiru (Kogi United Forum).