Forgive Nigeria. Don’t ask me what for. Just do it. There is everything to love about this country. And very little to hate. And rather than hate, why don’t we build it together. We the inhabitants, having been socialised in a wrong way, seem to be the issue.


As I concluded an article on the cattle herders and farmers’ clashes all over Nigeria; an article which made me research several other African countries and how they managed similar problems, it occurred to me that there is a need to write to Nigerians on this important issue – that Nigerians must forgive Nigeria.

I researched Kenya and how they managed the same herders in the Maasai. I researched Ghana and how they dealt with the Fulani issue. I researched Tanzania, South Sudan and Niger. I saw that they all had problems with the cow grazing issue and that almost everywhere in Africa, it is becoming clear that the traditional way of life, whereby cattle will compete for space with humans on the streets, is being outlawed. I also found that already in many parts of Africa, farmers are resisting grazing, as there is no way such practices will not keep interfering with their crops. I found that in many of these countries, the people are ready to take correction. Herders often abandoned their herds at the sight of police, when they knew they had erred. But in Nigeria, it is a fight to finish. It is only in this country that the matter is guzzling so much blood and threatening to drink some more, just as it was only in this country in the whole of Africa that some ‘Islamic’ sect transmogrified into the world’s most dangerous terrorist sect, bombing tens of thousands to death in a reign of carnage. They are called the Boko Haram. The sect claims that western education is evil. But they avoided other countries like Cameroon, Niger and Chad where the same western education exists, and focused on destroying Nigeria. Why Nigeria? The story has not been told.

Nigeria seems to be the candidate for destruction. Not that other African countries don’t have their own issues but it seems this is where a tiny issue is programmed to become a major one. There is oil being drilled in many African countries too. And inhabitants of oil-rich areas are known to suffer environmental degradation but it is only Nigeria that they formed into machine-gun toting militia. It is also in Nigeria – more than any in other country of the world – where the thieving of public funds have become perfected such as to push people into so much poverty and anger and cause them to embark on a path of national destruction.

And so we have to forgive Nigeria. This nation is begging us all to forgive her, for committing no sin against us, yet we hate her so much that many of us wake up daily with the sole aim of undoing her. In the course of my research, I discovered that just like in Nigeria, every African country is diverse. The Maasais of Kenya can also be found in Tanzania. The Hutus and Tutsis of Rwanda can be found in Burundi, Congo Democratic Republic and elsewhere, just as many villages in the border of Nigeria share the same languages with their neighbours in Cameroon. Adamawa as an empire extends into Cameroon. They even have a region there by that name. Hausas and Fulanis in Nigeria also exist in great numbers in Benin, Niger, Chad, Cote D’Ivoire, Togo, Ghana, up to Sudan. Yorubas exist in Nigeria, Benin Republic and Togo, with variants in Ghana and many who had emigrated for generations to Cote D’Ivoire. Of course many Yorubas are indigenous to Sierra Leone and many cultures in Liberia are quite similar.

…I will appeal to Nigerians to forgive the poor country. We needn’t put this country through so much. Our so-called leaders needn’t hate this country so much that they work assiduously daily to unravel it through the promotion of extreme poverty as a result of stealing and planlessness.


It was beginning to seem like most African countries are just the same; cut off and created arbitrarily by the slavemasters and colonialists who had the power to so do. One day a clan, village or town is split into two or three with a piece belonging to some different country in Europe, which then goes ahead to foist its own ideas and languages, and on many occasions, pitched brothers against each other, to fight wars that they knew of their origins. Africa is the same because all African nations are diverse. In South Sudan alone, as much as everybody there looks alike, I found 64 different variants of the Dinka people. You can call them clans or tribes. They are one. But perhaps it is because someone convinced them otherwise that they are today embroiled in a supremacy battle – in the world’s youngest country whose creation was greeted with so much hope. African nations are the same for the fact that they are all diverse, and they are all related at the same time. Cultures flow one into another, perhaps to show that for eons, our ancestors have been interacting with each other; waging wars, marrying, enslaving, pardoning, granting succour and a place of rest, a land to farm, trading with each other, appreciating, loathing and fearing each other, all at once.

There is no need splitting hairs. If anyone was to draw an honest, painstaking diagram of all the nations in Africa – representing similar nations with colour themes – what you’ll get is a kaleidoscope of a map, with all the colours of the rainbow and more. In fact all the available colours in the world will not be enough to depict the people of this great continent; an exotic people with so much to do, and so much to achieve, even if we are often unaware of these.

And so I will appeal to Nigerians to forgive the poor country. We needn’t put this country through so much. Our so-called leaders needn’t hate this country so much that they work assiduously daily to unravel it through the promotion of extreme poverty as a result of stealing and planlessness. Our big ethnic groups needn’t hate this country so much that some of them preoccupy with how it must be split – even though they haven’t done the work of truly mapping the country along its anthropological lines to know who is what. I’ll be begging them to take a cue, even from other African nations, where they are not perfecting how to unravel and breakup into smithereens daily. I will urge them that they should concentrate on the leadership process and ensure that Nigeria’s commonwealth is used to develop the Nigerian people, in the hope that in so doing, they too may see that splitting up is an exercise in futility.

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I will also beg our religious leaders. Enough already. It is not everything that should boil down to the Christian/Muslim dichotomy and contention. Herders elsewhere are Christian. They know fully well that there is nobody that can obliterate either of our two major religions, so why all this talk of impending doom?


I will beg the smaller tribes. They are not so small anyway. The Bassa people are in three or four Nigerian states – Niger, Nasarawa and Plateau – for example. Our statistics are often nonsense because they are jaundiced through politics right from the get-go. The ongoing crisis in Benue State has spilled into Nasarawa because they are all related. But even the minorities must forgive Nigeria because indeed there is nothing too special about this nation, except we decide to create something special for humanity. It’s our work that should count.

I will also beg our religious leaders. Enough already. It is not everything that should boil down to the Christian/Muslim dichotomy and contention. Herders elsewhere are Christian. They know fully well that there is nobody that can obliterate either of our two major religions, so why all this talk of impending doom?

Forgive Nigeria. Don’t ask me what for. Just do it. There is everything to love about this country. And very little to hate. And rather than hate, why don’t we build it together. We the inhabitants, having been socialised in a wrong way, seem to be the issue. Nothing is wrong with the lay of the land. In fact, given to other peoples, this space will be paradise.

‘Tope Fasua, an Economist, author, blogger and entrepreneur, can be reached through topsyfash@yahoo.com.