By Ahmed Baruf
Yesterday, I realized that the only thing that unites Nigeria at present is sports.
I began my observation from the group stage of the last World Cup tournament when Musa scored two important goals; some Igbos called him Nwannem.
When, of recent, Joshua lost his championship title, it didn’t matter that he was Yoruba, the Hausa and Igbos expressed their unhappiness.
Yesterday, I watched Nigeria’s match versus Cameroon in a viewing hall in Sokoto. I was thrilled by the viewers’ sense of patriotism. When Chukwueze was being brought in, the Hausas, unbelievably, were cheering and hailing him forgetting totally the fact that he is Igbo. When, finally, Iwobi scored the winning goal, all and sundry stood up in rowdy jubilation hitting the roof and congratulating each other in excitement. I myself did not know how I stood up and heavily jubilates.
I was deeply satisfied. I felt contentment inside me. I realised that Nigerians are unconsciously patriotic and really love each other.
The truth is; the Hausa man hates the Igbo man because he thinks the Igbo man hates him. The same thing applies to the Igbo man.
In reality, there is no real but perceived hatred here.
Why can’t we imbibe this spirit of patriotism and oneness when it comes to polilitical matters.
Think of this; the Yoruba or the Hausa hardly complain that the super eagles team is dominated by Igbos. They are less concerned about who the players are or their ethnic backgrounds so far as they can secure a win for Nigeria. Now, has the appointment of your kinsmen to public offices ever affected your life positively? Why should you then be preoccupied with the issue of who are appointed while you know that whoever is appointed will make no difference in your life? You should be bothered about whether they can deliver positive results that will impact positively on our lives as citizens.
When Iwobi scored, it didn’t matter who he was, everyone jubilated because “Nigeria” scored. Similarly, whenever any positive development is made by the government, the fact that you hate the President should not make you shy away from it; commend it. The fact that Buhari is your kinsman should not sway you from seeing his shortcomings. Criticise his government when necessary. Be a rational human being and not an ethnic fanatic.
Enough of this stupidity.