Tigers are terrifying. It’s the apex predator that can see in the dark and silent while stealthily stalking its victims. Those who research such things look at prehistoric tigers and other stealth-hunting big cats as sources of the common human trait of being afraid of the dark.
Whereas there are no tigers roaming around in Nigeria, it doesn’t keep the citizens from imagining them, along with other monsters that lurk in their sub-consciousness. Despite there being no tigers in Nigeria, people fight the specter of tigers every day. The fear of the tiger is in the anxiety you feel when you mess up at work or in your family life. The fear of the tiger is in the panicked paralysis you feel before you start something new, or which prevents you from approaching that person you find interesting at the bar or party. The fear of the tiger is what keeps people secure behind the imaginary glass walls they built their lives. Sure, if given a chance, a tiger will eat you. It is what carnivorous animals do.
The ancient ancestors worked together to face the tigers that hunted them and turned the tables on the ferocious beasts. Perhaps, in coming together we too can face the proverbial tigers and predators that stalk our personal nightmares. Communities within the ethnic groups in Southern Nigeria are the breadcrumbs that keep both real and imagined tigers at bay. Yes, the South has bigger problems that can only be solved by working together against the perceived tiger. Time to work together for survival or else. The present political leaders (the Northern Bourgeoisie) in Nigeria have no sense of history and should not be surprised at what is emerging after concerted efforts at espousing policies and positions marginalizing the Igbos and the other Southern nationalities.
For example, there is a sizable population of the new generation of Igbo or Yoruba extraction unborn in 1966 and not interested in rehearsing old tribal grievances. Yet, suffer because of actions of the government. There are Igbo men on the streets who were never Biafrans. They will soon decide that it is better to fight their own war, and maybe find an honorable peace, than to remain in the contemptible state in perpetuity. The Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, always to be remembered for his political boldness that landed him in prison, and Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II, soundly rejected the injustice being perpetrated against the Igbos. “The man dies in him who keeps quiet in the face of injustice” …on the prison experience of Prof. Wole Soyinka. We are aware that some dark seekers will be eternally scheming from their shadowy lair to lure the government into their grasp ensuring that the advice is not taken seriously.
Whatever happens, the Igbo, Yoruba, and other southern ethnic nationalities MUST unite and stop quarrelling amongst themselves. It is only through a united force that the South could demystify unfounded claims by some Northern intellectuals such as Alhaji Baba Ahmed that the North is more in numbers.
In the face of the North’s vice-like grip at all levels of national government it is high time they loosened up the grip a bit and listen to the South’s demand for justice and seek peace through real federated government and treat every Nigerian as equal. It will be for the betterment of all. Why is a section of Nigeria so implacable…? rejecting federation, restructuring, and now even zoning of the Presidency. Haba !!! Clearly, the younger ones are done with what they see as pussyfooting and are ready to embrace a more flagrant approach. Nigerians need to talk amongst themselves now so that they can peacefully decide how to coexist.
Dr. Osy Ekwueme
Medical professional and policy analyst