Chorus: Hundred years don waka We still dey carry go Nobody waka, nobody go solo Baba God o lawa ke si o, na your grace o Adupe o.
People talk say khaki no be leather
But we have stayed through the rain and the stormy weather
Whether dem like am or whether dem no send or whether dem pretend We still dey o.
People talk say one day e go better But I say na today, it’s already better
People say we go breakup when we make money
But we have met and have stayed as a family
Whether we fight o Or whether we quarrel Over money or girl We still dey o.
People talk say na me go first go solo Then I wander how they can see tomorrow o Where would I be without Ibo, Yoruba, Hausa, Christians and Muslims… Maybe I go wound e
1914 was the year we were joined… Whether by consent of by force
Truth is while we hate each other
We love each other in same measure
The home of champagne and Moet
Parties and holy Hajj
Bound in contrasts and comparisons
Alhajis and Jerusalem Pilgrims…
The above is a song by one time popular R&B fav in Nigeria called Styl-Plus. They reigned for a while dishing out sumptuous lyrics and hits, “Four Years Don Waka” was one of them. I have added a line here and there to the original lyrics.
This week is the last of the year 2013, and I will end my admonition for the year in this manner. By 2014, the entity called Nigeria would be 100 years old, whether it has been a success, can be a success, is the subject of everyday debate.
It remains a nation largely believed to hold huge potentials, but one that has remained under-developed and suffering multiple challenges, equally taking one braggadocios step forward and scores of false steps backwards.
In 2013, whether it was the return of Danbaba Suntai, or the APC train, or we debated Senator Yerima, it was always narrowed to Christians Vs Muslims. Whether Sanusi was writing the letter or it was Ayo Oristejefor buying a jet or making a comment everything narrowed to a Muslim or a Christian.
It was all about personal interest and very little in terms of a collective forward patriotic thrust. The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, was viewed by many as the religious wing of Peoples’ Democratic Party PDP. And the ‘new old’, or rather ‘old new’ conglomeration called the All Peoples’ Congress APC was viewed by many as the Nigerian Muslim Brotherhood and with heavy suspicion given the caliber and timber of wood in its forest.
When ole Edwin Clark was not venting, Asari Dokuboh was preparing to load and shoot his missives and Professor Ango or Baba Junaid was tying bombs around the waist to explode on the South/North Dichotomy.
Every discussion centered on 2015 was about how Christians would vote, Jonathan would not lose here and there and if here was there and there was here.
My friends Labaran Maku and Gulak, Abati, Doyin Okupe, Lai Mohammed, Amaechi, Patience, Tinubu and Buhari, Akande, did well in their jobs, ventilating and getting under the skin of every camp, and little mind on what they said and what they did not do.
In case we forget, after the controversial Governors Forum Election both Jang and Amaechi, the two gladiators were in church praying and thanking ‘god’.
Don’t forget that for almost six months ‘our kids’, both Muslims and Christians, from Abia to Sokoto, without bias stayed home because the strike could not become ethnic or religious.
A friend puts it in context, “look. If you hate Igbo, you will hate any and all things Igbo or relating to Igbo. Chukwuemeka Okala is not Igbo, but try telling that to Boko Haram if they get a hold of him. If you hate Yoruba, you will hate anyone named Kehinde or Babatunde even though they are Igbo. That is where my enemy’s friend is my enemy. Goodluck Jonathan is Ijaw. Whether real or imagined, any Igbo name associated with him implies some Igbo sympathies. A guy who hates Igbo is not going to love an Ijaw man with a name that appears Igbo. And tell me he is not Igbo when Igbos want 2015 or 2019 zoned to them.
And that’s it, you would hate Allah even though it means God, and despise Oluwa or Oloroun because it is Yoruba and stereotyped Christian.
Let me conclude with these reflections, in December 1964 a Time magazine article under the caption Nigeria: Toward Disintegration? Quoted then President Nnamdi Azikiwe, as saying “If Nigeria must disintegrate, then in the name of God, let the operation be short and painless. It is better that we disintegrate in peace and not in pieces.”
“Azikiwe was overthrown as President in last January’s military coup, but Nigerians last week had ample cause to recall his warning. Another coup had just rocked the nation, and as the details began to emerge, they confirmed the fears that Nigeria, traditionally torn by regional rivalries had gone through another violent tribal uprising. As a nation, in fact, Nigeria seemed perilously near disintegration.”
In another Time magazine article on Friday, Oct. 07, 1966, under the title Nigeria: Man Must Whackthis paragraph catches “On the surface, Nigeria seemed tranquil enough. A dozen ocean-going freighters thrashed seaward from Lagos’ Apapa Quay, laden with cocoa, groundnuts, rubber and timber. In the Eastern Region’s capital of Enugu, helmeted coal miners queued up as usual at the “Drink Tea and Eat Fried Meat and Radio Servicing” shop. At the Iddo Motor Park, beside the Bight of Benin, the lorries and “mammy wagons” of Ibo refugees were drawn into a frontier-style circle, while families clustered around huge pots of palm-oil chop—a bubbling mass of rice, meat, fish, and coconut squeezings…”
The above catches because whether Obasanjo, Iyabo, Jonathan, or Ibrahim Mai Doya wrote the letter, they are all a repeat episode. The stench in the air is mutual hate and suspicion, intrigues and twists with threats. It has always been there and let us deal with it.
One of the landmarks of the year 2013 whether we like it or not is the Presidential Advisory Committee PAC on National Dialogue, which went around cities. The bulky report has been submitted and 2014 is the centenary, what really do Nigerians want is the question.
Fact is that 100 years don waka, we still dey carry go, nobody waka, nobody go solo at least yet, so while we can, let us get it right, what binds us together seems more than what separates us. Look at South Sudan and ponder, is the land green, can we survive another 100 years like the last 100—only time will tell.
Read more: Nigeria: Toward Disintegration? – TIMEhttp://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,842599,00.html#ixzz…
Read more: Nigeria: Man Must Whack – TIMEhttp://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,842870,00.html#ixzz…
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters