When you walk in to most churches or watch Nollywood movies, you find out very quickly about how Nigerians love to rationalise their own actions while assigning blame to something or someone else
If there’s any one line that’s most popular in Yoruba movies, it is "Esu lo se" (pardon my lack of intonation) the literal meaning is "It’s the devil that did it", which is something you hear a lot when people fumble their humanity by killing, raping, stealing then come to face the consequences of their actions. Humans, you see, will rationalise anything. Nigerians, will shift even the smallest blame to someone else.
People give a lot of credit to demons which are beings that surpass our red creature imaginations of them but do you know what else surpasses our imagination of them?
Humans. It is true that sometimes other beings influence our society and the behaviours of men but what is least accounted for is the very nature of humans under the sun. It is deeply rooted in human physiology and psychology to be selfish and selfishness is the root of anything that harms another human.
Therefore If it is a struggle that we all share, how conceited it is to believe that a human can change the behaviour of another human permanently without their permission.
This is the case of Nigeria.
When formed and when granted independence, what those in the helm of affairs didn't consider when thinking about the country was the significance of our cultural differences across ethnic borders.
Cultural diversity is and will always be a source of strength, but not when each group is ignorant of the differences in their ways of life and their societal structures.
The three major groups — the Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa — are all United by one nation but separated by their beliefs.
Most Igbo intra-political settings as in the villages and towns follow something that is somewhat similar to a democratic structure where people are represented by people that live amongst them, representatives who can be reached with the exception of the Igwe who inherits his office.
The Yoruba follow a similar structure with the chiefs being the king's representative, there is some form of transparency.
However, the Northern structure is a bit more similar to a communist structure with a dash of dictatorship, the broad name for the structure in the north is Feudalism.
The ordinary people do not have any form of access to the Emirate, it is a royal family structure with factions that control various masses of land, resources and people.
Those at the bottom of the barrel accept their position as fate, something which cannot be changed.
Lest I become a conspiracy theorist with half-baked knowledge of Northern politics, a few things are clear of that structure.
Firstly, Those at the top control everything; the laws that apply to them, the level of education they get, the work they can do. It is a structure that is somehow independent of the National constitution.
Secondly, The rich will continue to get richer and the poor will continue to get poorer. With Feudalism, the resources of the land belong to those at the top which they can distribute at their "benevolence". While the Igbo and Yoruba are more inclined to take care of their poor, the structure of the North as well as its people make it alright for the poor to remain poor.
With this kind of structure prevalent in their own society, why then did the founding fathers and the plotters of the first coup who killed Tafawa Balewa and many Northerners believe that those northerners would welcome Igbo coup plotters who stole from their "born to rule" ideology and settle down in peace with the rest.
Was it really surprising that Aguiyi-Ironsi was the last person from the east to lead the nation? Or that the leaders of the north said nothing to the fact that Igbos were hunted across the nation triggering the civil war which killed and starved millions more.
Is it really that surprising that they control most of the Uniformed services in the Nation?
Or that many of them bypass the Judiciary with such unbelievable ease?
How foolish to presume that they would love democracy if they weren’t certain that they could still control major decisions, policies, structures and offices in the nation.
How selfish to presume that people from a culture that is representative of absolute power and control would become selfless leaders who care about the struggles of the average man.
While the Yoruba and Igbo are more aware of the implications of qualifications, it is no surprise that most major offices are filled with northerners who do not qualify for those positions.
I am not suggesting that Northerners are a personification of corruption, it is their loyalty that makes them willing to open doors for each other, but is also their will to control power.
For those born in prominent Northern families, Nigeria is the ideal country to be in... But the rest of us be damned.