Blessed with diversity, Yet?

Nigeria blessed with diversity , both human and natural resources in the North, West, East and of course the now world famous South where the oil wealth lies. Yet Nigeria still has the most unfair and unproductive structure for all ethnicities to have the possibility of ruling the nation.
In the era where a man of black Heritage didn’t just drama , but today rules what most people still consider the strongest Nation on earth, Nigeria is still talk about geopolitical or should I say trio political ruling zones.

It’s no news now that for the most part of its existence as a country, Nigerians of Northern extraction has had the opportunity to rule the country the most under Military and Civilian governments.

The list below just serves to buttress this know facts. Sometimes it takes looking at a picture to really notice how skewed things are. Take a critical and open minded look at the list below , think and ask yourself, how can we ever get the best or right man for the job, if we continue to wrap ruler ship/ the presidency around ethnicity?.

At Independence
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiw (Igbo) President Sir and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, (Hausa) -Prime Minister

The coup d'├ętat Aftermath

Aguyi-Ironsi. (Igbo) Military .
Yakubu Gowon (Hausa) Military .
Murtala Mohammed (Hausa) Military .
Shehu Shagari. (Hausa) Civilian.
Mohammadu Buhari (Hausa) Military.
Ibrahim Babangida, (Hausa) Military.
Ernest Shonekan (Yoruba) Civilian interim .
Sani Abacha(Hausa) Military .
Abdulsalami Abubakar (Hausa) Military .
Olusegun Obasanjo, (Yoruba) Military and Civilian.
Umaru Yar'Adua(Hausa) Civilian .

This system of clearly locking out other ethnicity with endless number of people with the potential of leadership, from ever aspiring or even wanting to aspire ruling the country. Only means a colossal waste of our strong human capital base and rich diversity, a strong feeling of no national pride, the never-ending cry of marginalization by hundreds of ethnic groups, the Andrew checking out of the country phenomenon that we saw in the mid 80s and regretfully up till this day .

It makes me cringe, that sadly it still looks like an unachievable dream for a young Esan,Benin,Urhobo,Ikweere, Ijaw, Ukwani,Isoko,Ibibo,Igala,Idoma,Itsekiri,Ilaje child, and children from hundreds of other ethnic groups to say ‘I want to be president of Nigerian, when I grow up’’ because with this system in place, that’s not just going to happen .

However I pray for the day when , we chose to decided and elect our rulers based on ability and not tribal,majority or ethnic sentiments . I strongly believe a competent, dedicated, focused and people driven leadership can come from any ethnic group, including but not just limited to the trio of Hausa Yoruba and Ibo.

This trio model has not worked, regardless of the nature of the government Civilian or Military. It’s not a sustainable model for a country with such diversity in ethnicity and neither will rotational presidency on the basis of geo political zones or whatever we wish to call it.

If we chose to accept our ethnic diversity, be willing to respect and harness its endless potentials, then we can celebrate our president or rulers regardless of where he or she comes from, just the way we do some of our true national hero ,e.g. our Football greats or other Nigerian that have distinguished themselves in Nigeria and the Diaspora.

When I think of Okocha, I don’t think of him in terms of his being Ibo, I think of him 1st as a Nigerian football great and will gladly talk about him anywhere especially outside of Nigeria. The Government of today, should look in house and stop rebranding what needs an internal overhauling. I hope that someday we can see the President and our rulers in the same light,as true National and not ethnic heros.


Popular Thoughts