The Yoruba True Dimension: The Yoruba I Like
I am a “full –blooded” Igbo man who harbours no bias or prejudice against any race. I believe we are all connected in an unending loop. And I am by principle canonised to be in the vanguard of things that burgeon unity and progress among the variegated peoples of Nigeria.
In the light of that, so much has been said about Yoruba hospitality, as a matter of fact, Yoruba hospitality is celestial. This is in view of the attendant negative corollaries that have assailed the hospitality. I would not want to glide full throttle into detailing accounts of Yoruba hospitality, but I would marshal and delineate some corresponding instances the best way my mental domain can capture and express. However, this is not about Yoruba hospitality.
It is a rocky fact that Yoruba criminals operate within their space, that is Yorubaland. It is as rare as an eclipse to hear that Yoruba criminals are ravaging, duping, kidnapping, “fake drugging”, extorting, killing, raping and robbing people in other parts of Nigeria that are not within the Yoruba “principality”. They commit their crimes at home. However, this does not include Yoruba people who commit crimes abroad. I am speaking within the terrestrial remit of Nigeria.
Conversely, Igbo criminals carry out their sinister operations at home, in Yorubaland, in Hausaland and abroad. They are “universal operators”. The truth is that, Igbo criminal operations in Yorubaland are alarming. This is against the backdrop of very negligible Yoruba criminal operations in Igboland. In truth, I have not heard of any Yoruba person convicted of a crime in Igboland. The same cannot be said about the Igbo. Consequently, the Yoruba I like are those Yoruba people who have endured the savagery of Igbo criminals and have always winnowed the good Igbo out of the bad Igbo. Instead of tagging the race, a population of criminals, they have always maintained that there are a few bad eggs in a crate does not mean that all the eggs are bad. Perspicuously, this explains the reason the Yoruba have not given the Igbo the Hausa/Fulani treatment in their land. This is also considering the insalubrious level of provocation, and tension between the two groups.
Again, the Igbo are quick to call the Yoruba cowards. But during the June 12 crisis, when the Yoruba resistance threshold reached nadir, the Igbo people ran for cover. They embarked on rigorous journeys back to Igboland. The fact is no race is weak or cowardly. The strength of races varies and differs; every race has its own uniqueness and specialty in strength. In consonance with this, the Yoruba I like are those Yoruba people who are level-headed and who have risen above every form of provocation, aggression and contumely. Those who have refused to take umbrage and resort to violence of any kind. Those are the Yoruba I like.
In addition, there is no doubt that the Yoruba are the most vociferous, sturdy and feisty on the issue of true federalism in Nigeria. The federalism practiced in Nigeria has not favoured the Igbo either. But the Yoruba are front liners in the discourse of charting a route to true federalism in Nigeria. The difference between the Yoruba and the Igbo is that while the former is clear about its agenda the latter is not precise about its agenda. In other words, the Yoruba agenda is true federalism, regional self government or “bifurcation” of Nigeria, the Igbo agenda vacillates between producing a president of the Igbo extraction and having an independent state of Biafra. To say the least, the Igbo seem to be the only people without an agenda in Nigeria. Inter alia, the Yoruba I like are those Yoruba people who suffer under Nigeria's false federalism but who in their all-round incapacitation cry out for change, for peace, for progress and development.
Finally, the Yoruba I like are those Yoruba people who see themselves first as Yoruba before Nigerian. They may be called “tribalists”, but the fact is you must love yourself first before you love another person. Awareness of self is seminal for spiritual, cultural, mental and material progress. Unlike the Igbo who owe allegiance to their wealth, the Yoruba owe allegiance to their ethnic group. Consequently, the Yoruba I like are the Yoruba Nigerians and not the Nigerian Yoruba for within the ranks of the Yoruba Nigerians are honest, genuine, forthright Nigerians who love their race and want the progress of the country for the collective good of the race.
Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and a poet. Email:[email protected] 08167992075