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How English Overlords Caused The Ongoing Tribal & Religious Conflict In Nigeria – Ogunlowo

english overlords behind nigeria tribal religious conflict

May 9, 2016 – Nigeria: A Country Of People Of Different Tribes & Religious Denominations Forced To Live Together By Colonial Masters In 1914

How British Overlords Caused The Ongoing Tribal & Religious Conflict In Nigeria – Ogunlowo

Nigeria is a country of many nations; many different people of different tribes, customs and religions fused together by our then English overlords in 1914.

Different people of different religious denominations and tribes forcibly put together can only spell one word – trouble!

When the English put us together in 1914 it was on the basis of ‘divide & rule’. It worked in their favour as it was easier to rule a country divided against itself – and at each other’s throats – than for them to rule a united people.

But that was over a hundred years ago.

Since then we’ve managed to stay together like an old married couple – though we don’t often like each other most of the time – through a civil war and countless uprisings. Whether we like it or not the Federal Republic of Nigeria is here to stay and nobody will be carving out a new Fulani or Yoruba Empire or a Biafra state.

At the end of the civil war in America and the abolition of the slave trade Abraham Lincoln was quick to point out that a ‘ house divided against itself cannot stand’. Since 1776 America has managed to stand, as a nation, despite all its inherent race, religious and tribal differences.

In Nigeria when things go wrong we’re quick to blame the Hausa man, Fulani man, Igbo man or the Yoruba man. We’re quick to point out that he’s either a Muslim or a Christian, a Northerner or Southerner. Very petty in deed!

We’re Nigerians. We’re family whether we like it or not. Family sticks together through thick and thin, through the good or the bad (sic- well most of the time!). We’ve let sibling rivalry enter our family, blaming that one because he’s a Northern Muslim, ostracizing those ones because they are Biafran separatists, ignoring those ones because they are from the West Petty bickering! Silly excuses to avoid dealing with the real problems at hand – passing the buck! Yes we have problems but allocating blame to a person or persons because of their tribal or religious affiliations will not solve the problem.

A nation divided against itself cannot stand!

So the first step in nation building – or re-building as is the case for Nigeria – is to act as one people, one nation. So if something is wrong, or going wrong, blame the person in charge as an individual and don’t bring their religion or tribe into it. So Buhari is there now and he’s only favouring the Northern Muslims. Or when Goodluck was there everything he was doing was to favour the Southerners or Obasanjo only put the Yoruba’s first. Likewise our politicians, especially those in opposition, should stop playing the religious and tribal race card. It’s cheap, petty and inappropriate in the 21st century. It’s strange that race and religion doesn’t come into it when they are sharing stolen public funds!

The collective blaming of an entire religion or tribe for the misdeeds of a few is morally wrong! For instance Fulani herdsmen are out of control. They terrorize and murder people who oppose them taking their herds wherever they want to.

The problem here is not the ‘Fulani’, a northern tribe of more or less peaceful people, but the ‘herdsmen’ who have taken the law into their own hands. In the absence of any enforced law in Nigeria governing their movements as herdsmen they will get up to mischief, resorting to anarchy. You deal with them as the offending individuals and don’t put an entire tribe on trial. Also when we hear of the Boko Haram atrocities we are quick to condemn all Muslims for the actions of a deluded few. Is every Yoruba man a cultist or armed robber? Is every Igbo man a drug smuggler? No! A Yoruba proverb says that the King cuts off only the offending finger and not the entire hand. Blame the offending individual as a personality and not as a representative of their tribe or religion.

This country has stood for over a hundred years through out all the problems that has been its history and will continue to stand. We can make things a lot better if we face problems as they are without having to resort to bickering about religion and tribal differences.

[An Opinion article by Tony Ogunlowo]



  1. Judith Ogbonaya

    May 9, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    Tony Ogunlowo I dole my hat for you, you are one of the coolest Nigerians in the university, this article makes sense, I love it

  2. fifelomo

    May 9, 2016 at 9:41 PM

    Thanks for the write up.

  3. Metu Nyetu

    May 9, 2016 at 9:47 PM

    Well, I must not agree with everything raised here before I admit that it had taken a sharp mind to put down this article. Good a piece!

    But I doubt the writers position that Nigeria will continue. We all know how selfishly the British amalgamated the country, uniting the regions, but not the people. Each time people say that we are one, I remember what almost became the norm those days when you’d hear over the radio that workers(civil servants) have been paid their salaries, but on reaching the bank, they’d find nothing. So what is preached is contrary to reality.

    The national conference that was held under the past administration debated on many pertinent questions that are paramount to Nigeria’s unity. One of such is about the full reintegration of the Igbos. Every sermon preached so far about NO VICTOR NO VANQUISHED is all but sham until every single property belonging to the Igboman—which he presumably abandoned because of the war to save his head first—must be returned to him. Today, many such properties are scattered across the country, claimed by the states or the indigenes of the states which they are found in, while the previous owners gaze at then from yonder, with a repining feeling in their hearts, knowing fully well that they have no more heritage on what once belonged to them.

    So what are we saying here? What manner of reintegration entails the forfeiture of my hard-earned wealth? Nigeria is in deed ‘one’, I understand. In our helpless moments, there are some lies we desperately cling to, hoping that somehow, a beneficient fate may make them true, and Nigeria is one is such a lie.

  4. sola olaniyi

    May 10, 2016 at 7:55 AM

    wow..what a lovely write up.

  5. Danti

    May 10, 2016 at 8:21 AM

    Why can’t we change all the nonsense since the independence? Sincerely speaking, black people! We are bad by nature! May be the British is training Nigerian officials to embezzle public fund, or run down the entire country. If we hate them so much, why are we dying to get visas to visit their country? Selfishness and intellectual laziness are our problems. Look at the way the states are governed! What happened to water supply, roads, schools, the local government, market place? Everything is wrong with Nigeria! Oyinbo no be the problem, but niggers among us.

  6. Aba boy

    May 10, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    Nigeria is not 1 and will never be 1 chaos is on the horizons the white men should have stayed longer and made the country better look at SA thanks to the white men they’re like Europe in Africa without the white men we would have been in darkness thanks to the white men for everything they’ve done but they should’ve stayed longer and not handover power to some power hungry uncivilized black men that ruined a “would”ve been” great nation now we’re left in a limbo we need to be recolonized and only the white men can do that pray to GOD for that.

  7. Maryf

    May 10, 2016 at 12:22 PM

    Tony, nice one here but do you know its difficult if not impossible to put this nation together, united and act as one like you rightly said. Its difficult to act like one when inside of 55 or 60% of people in this nation is wanting split/divide this nation. All these war like Boko Haram’s, Fulani’s, Biafria’s, Hausa’s fighting and killing the Igbos wherever they meet can never stop until this fake united nation is divided. There’s no unity, love, cooperation and understanding in this nation and the best is to divide it.

  8. Sharon stone

    May 10, 2016 at 9:41 PM

    Well said

  9. Sharon stone

    May 10, 2016 at 9:45 PM

    Well said

  10. Tee

    May 11, 2016 at 7:40 AM

    This is short and direct. hit the nail on its head, Mr Tony well done a true patriot! let us continue to work for peaceful coexistence , it is only then that real development and progress can be made, i am always critical of people who at every turn are using religion and tribal with political affiliations to justify their points instead of well reasoned logically adduced submission. The current issues facing Nigeria is multi-facet, there is the influence of external power (boko haram) with their agenda to destabilize Nigeria so as to make it another failed state so as to make way for ‘humanitarian intervention’ we know what the entails and we have issue of law and order which is to tackle the cancer (corruption) eating the nation.Thanks to the new government taking decisive action against boko haram who knows where Nigeria will be now if the past government were re-elected. it is well known fact that where there is no law anarchy takes hold, Law and order is important key element in all the problems we are facing;if every citizen abide and respect the law we will have a stable environment for prosperity to thrive.As simple as traffic law most people flout the it every time, because they know the big man in the house of rep, or Dpo is their father’s friend. look at the recent Ibinabo case, instead of people accepting the final verdict they resort to find all sort of ways to circumvent the outcome.Politicians who squandered the entire future of Nigerians yet to be born are being celebrated and defended mostly based on tribal and religious affiliation. Until we call a spade a spade we we continue to wallow in self pity. Every citizen has responsibility to their nation. Let us continue to engage in healthy debate to help re- orientate our mindset.


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