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Niger Delta & WAZOBIA

By: Ehimwenma Aimiuwu 2007

 

After I moved to Zaria, Kaduna from the United States, as a toddler, I became familiar with a word called “Bendel”.  I actually thought that
“Bendel” was a human being and hoped to meet him someday.  I remember
vividly how many friends would come to our house and in the middle of
laughter and entertainment; I would here phases like “Bendel Number
One”, “Up Bendel”, and “Bendel Insurance”.  I was so fascinated with
Bendel that my favorite toy was called Bendel.  When I went to bed, I
actually placed all my toys beside me to sleep with me and “Bendel
always laid closet to me underneath their blanket (Marlboro calendar
page).

 

When I moved to Benin-City, I then realized that Bendel (derived from Benin & Delta regions) was not a person but a place where I now resided.  I also realized to my amazement that the
Bendel I always wanted to meet was already in me because I was not
only a Bendelite by descent, but I was from its capital- Benin City.
This was the earliest 1980s and I began to see why it was really
number one.  We won most of the state and university sporting events
despite obvious cheatings against us.  We always had the highest
cut-off marks in JAMB, WAEC, and Common Entrance exams, despite the fact
that we are one of the fewest and the last to have schools built on
our land by the British colonizers.  We also had one of the best road
networks in the country because the ever migrating Igbo traders always
told us that one of the ways to know when you enter and leave Bendel
is the difference in the quality of the roads.  Bendel was also the
cultural center of the nation as it is to this day, not just because
it has one of the oldest Kingship families in Africa (Benin
Monarch-about 900 years), if not the world, but also because of its
bronze arts (FESTAC as an example) and its documentation in history
even by Europeans.  What about UNIBEN (always nicknamed “UNIBEST”) who
just came second among Commonwealth Universities in the world,
despite the fact that it was just built in 1970?

 

It was when I moved back to the United States as a college student that I began to understand the greatness of any nation and society, and the
failure of Nigeria as a country.  I began to understand that you only
get what you are worth.  No one is going to pay you or respect you
more than you are actually worth.  A nation that prides itself on
fairness of law, vision for the future, and open-mindedness based on
change will always dominate those that abide by lawlessness, self
gratification, and tradition.  While the United States has implemented
Civil Rights laws to deal with racial and discrimination issues, and
Affirmative Action laws to deal with inequality by giving women and
minorities a chance in the work place, Nigeria is still doing the
stupid and visionless WAZOBIA system.  WAZOBIA is an inferior Nigerian
ideology that claims that everything Nigerian must be headed,
perceived, or viewed from the angle of the three major ethnic groups –
Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba, and Igbo.  They are supposed to produce all the
presidents, have all the major and strategic offices, have all the
solutions to the country’s problems, and whenever there is anything
Nigerian outside the country, they must be in-charge.  There is
nothing wrong with being the leaders, but you must have success,
progress, and accomplishment to show for it.

 

The European civilization has now realized that discriminating against certain citizens in their domain means that they are not fully
exploiting and utilizing all of their human resources to their fullest
potential to generate superior economic and political might.  The
European’s sport leagues are filling their sporting franchises with
people they once called inferior, FIFA even wants more spots for African
nations, France is looking at new ways to make life more conducive
for their immigrant Muslims, America is trying to do the same for its
immigrants, the United Nations want third world nations to have more
power at decision tables, even the United States is about to have a
woman (Hillary Clinton) or a Black (Barack Obama) as possible
presidents.  What about Nigeria, the so called “Giant of Africa?”  We
elect the same old unchanging WAZOBIA leaders, who devalue the
currency for no reason, who take development loans but no
infrastructures to show for it, who give up oil-rich Bakassi and Lake
Chad with the hope of getting international support when an
unconstitutional third term bid for presidency comes around, who
refuse to nominate a qualified woman (Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala) to the
UN even when requested for.  Do not forget that you are given what you
are worth.  Why is Nigeria always given visionless and
military-related WAZOBIA leaders?  It is because that is who we really
are and that is exactly what we deserve.  We are as a whole, a
visionless, selfish, and closed-minded people.  We have chosen
tribalism and tradition of power over intelligence and accomplishment
for future generations. 

 

It is time Nigeria gives up its useless WAZOBIA mentality that has enslaved the masses by giving us valueless leaders and stagnant policies.  Do you know that as a
Bendelite, when I am among the Yorubas they call me “Igbo” and when I
am among the Igbos they call me “Yoruba.”  These major ethnic groups
refuse to accept the fact that Nigeria is superior to their backward
WAZOBIA realities.  What about giving the southern minorities a
chance?  These are a people whose domain produces 90% of the country’s
income but have no access to the income, its refineries, or getting
jobs at its headquarters.  These are the people that lead in any state
or university sporting event.  They are the once with the best
educational results and highest exam cut-offs.  They also have the
historical and cultural reference for the nation.  Doesn’t common
sense tell Nigerians that there must be a God hidden treasure in this
vicinity?  When I say treasure in this vicinity, I do not mean the
WAZOBIA created Governor of Edo State called “Lucky Igbinedion”.   I
say this because the infamous criminal - Lawrence Anini was even of
more value to the lives of Bendel people until Igbinedion miraculously
came to the scene during Babangida/Abacha’s era. 

 

Please, Nigeria should please give this people a chance to take Nigeria to great heights that even the Europeans once cherished in their
achieves.  Despite all odds working against them, they have still
managed to raise their heads above water to stand their grounds and
fight for what belongs to them.  They can only do so much without the
aid of the rest of Nigeria by Nigerians removing the shameful veils of
WAZOBIA and giving them the mantle and foundation to stand upon. 
They resisted colonization better than anyone else and I believe that
they are the ones to lead Nigeria towards greatness against all odds. 
After all, through out history, a lot of great things came from minor
and remote places.  

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