The George Floyds of Nigeria
The water between us remembers, so we wear our history on our skin, long for a sea-bath and hope the salt will cure what ails us –Deborah Jack (St. Martin) 2016
Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) and the National Council for Arts and Culture have condemned the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in the United States, and police brutality, and racial discrimination against Africans in the Diaspora.
Mr. Floyd's death more than a fortnight ago has triggered a global wave of activism that has spread to more than 50 countries, including Nigeria and other African countries.
During a memorial service for Mr. Floyd held on Wednesday in Abuja, the duo of NiDCOM Chairman, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, and the Director-General, NCAC, Olusegun Runsewe, called for justice for Mr. Flyod and other blacks (especially Nigerians who are the largest African ethnic group in the U.S.) against racial discrimination and police brutality.
"This gathering is against violence, brutality and racial discrimination. We call for respect and dignity for all races. Never again should we be made to witness what we saw on the streets of Minneapolis, the slow murder of an individual by a uniformed police officer," Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said.
My name is George AbdulChukwudi Balogun Floyd...do you know me, I doubt very much. So let me make introduction, however first please kindly let’s share some known facts. Americans are racists, same people who voted a black Obama, with Kenyan blood and still wanted to see his birth certificate. British people are not any less guilty of the crime of racism, they were the doyens of slave trade, it’s the country where 8 out of 10 men are likely to be stopped and searched because they are black but they have a mayor of London whose of Indian heritage.
Come to George AbdulChukwudi Balogun Floyd’s contraption, our problem isn’t far from the Mayor of London is Muslim and Islamization is taking place, we are more concerned that Trump is a Christian or the anti-Christ depending on one’s persuasions.
So before I stray in godly vexation, do you know Ngozi George Floyd, she’s from Imo state and she’s 26. Residents of Ondo State expressed mixed feelings over the appointment of a 26-year-old non-indigene as Special Assistant on Gender, Research and Documentation to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
According to some of the residents who expressed shock and disappointment over the development, the appointment of Miss Ngozi Ugochi-Igbo was a slap on hard working indigenes of the state, as well as loyalists of the ruling All Progressives Congress in the State. Ordinary SA, she’s not a resident, she’s not an indigene, she’s not APC, but no one is asking is she qualified?
How about George Chukwudi Floyd he was kicked out of job from Abia state because he’s from Imo state. Abia was carved from Imo state.
I know Pam George Floyd, his friend is George Mamuda Floyd, who is also friends with Veror George Floyd, and three of them are from Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue. Yet no one of them can be accepted amongst each other because one is Christian and Berom, the other is Muslim and Eggon, and the other is Tiv and Christian and not Idoma. The three of them tell me that black lives matter, and that racism is a problem, but ethnic jingoism is allowed. What hypocrisy, to imagine they were once all part of one Benue-Plateau.
Do you know George John Floyd; he’s from Southern Borno, his sin? He’s Christian minority and there are levels of aspirations he cannot dare dream because his state is run by George Ibrahim Floyd. The irony of smelling yeye that makes us criticize the same things we are guilty of.
When our George Floyds of the top steal us deaf, dumb and blind, we have no ethnic challenges but when infrastructures and the juice of office are squeezed we see info-graphs, diagrams and data of which zone got more or less.
Talking about George Floyd, I am George Dickson Floyd, and I can’t breathe because nearly everyday I frisked about; where do you come from, why are your names only English, do you have a native name, you don’t have an accent. You are fair like Igbos or you have small Fulani blood, I saw your Muslim post, are you Christian? I keep a dreadlock too and wear hand beads...
So here I am, Igbo heritage by paternal rights, Plateau descent by maternal lines. Lagos breed, proudly buttered in Plateau and shaped by Western ideologies and framed in Africanism. I am a great Josite and importantly a full-untribalised Nigeria. I pay taxes in my home state Plateau. Yet I am not an indigenous person, nor am I an Abian. I am not fit for political office in the south nor the north but I am a citizen and yet I don’t belong.
The Floyds in my household cannot breath, as their father doesn’t belong, neither does their 4th generation Arewa Kaduna born Lagos mother with Muslim heritage. It’s a long list of racial, tribal, and ethnic and faith based profiling that haunts and hunt many Nigerians like me.
You are reading this vexatious outburst and it’s likely you are either a George one thing something or you are guilty of local racism, when you see the name George Andooaka Floyd, if you are not blurting out, you unconsciously mutter he’s from Benue, like people tell me all the time Dickson is a riverside name, you must be from Bayelsa or Rivers where they bare names such as manager or builder. Yet build and manage nothing.
To imagine that Nigerian Georges carried placards to protest racism, when Nigerians are dying of a general lack of identity is ridiculously bemusing.
You are Yoruba; wahala. You are Hausa; more wahala, and then you are Ibo then you must be Biafran or IPOB. Let me not add the Hausa/Fulani narrative, a supposedly educated Nigerian expressed shocked that there were Fulani Christians or that loads of Fulanis were pagans, because in our version of racism we loud the volume of WAZOBIA where WA is a mix of everything, ZO is Islam, and Bia is Christian, forgetting the Nupes, Anagutas, Idomas, Ijaws and Itsekiris who are neither WA-ZO nor BIAs.
We have not dealt with how Governor Floyd or Senator George has failed in dealing with poverty, or the non-existing financial literacy amongst our women in the North, growing rape or domestic violence across the nation. Boko Haram killed 81 George Floyds, in a Borno village. Kidnappers or what do we call them terminated the lives of more Floyds in the president’s home state of Katsina...and who cares about those lives, really those lives don’t matter.
The Nigerian construct has so many layers of profiling and consequences to those profiling, in cases you suffer nepotism, in other cases, you are a victim of ethnic parapoism, at times you are a spectator in the movie titled “favoritism” that’s if you are not maligned for being a Christian or being in Muslim in state that prides herself as being secular yet in a breath they have both Hajj and Christian Commissions for pilgrimage but won’t create a Babalawo cum Dibia or Boka commission or at least recognize the nation’s witches and wizards.
So we held a memorial service for Mr. Floyd in Abuja, calling for justice for Mr. Flyod and other blacks against racial discrimination and police brutality. Blatant, heartless hypocrisy…as MANY GEORGE FLOYDS HAVE DIED IN KATSINA, SOUTHERN KADUNA, BORNO, PLATEAU, TARABA, ADAMAWA, MANY FLOYDS RAPED, OTHERS VICTIMS OF POLICE BRUTALITY AND MILLIONS STILL DYING AND NO MEMORIAL SERVICES WHATSOEVER, a nation that derides and makes light the lives of her citizen is no nation, how long would we continue like these—Only time will tell.