I want to take Nigerians down memory lane to remind us of our National Symbols (the National Anthem and National Pledge) and a bit of brief history. The old one which was used during Colonial Rule and the present one adopted after Independence (1978). Also to remind us of the promises we made, to keep one Nigeria, to stand in brotherhood even if tribe and tongue may differ, and how we failed to fulfill those promises.
Old National Anthem
Nigeria we hail thee
Our own dear native land
Though tribe and tongue may differ
In brotherhood we stand
Nigeria all and proud to serve
Our sovereign motherhood
Our flag shall be a symbol
That truth and justice shall reign
In peace and battle honor
And this we count as gain
To pass unto our children
A banner without stain
o God of all creation
Grant this our one request
Help us build a Nation
Where no man is oppressed
And so with peace and plenty
Nigeria may be blessed
New National Anthem
Arise O Compatriots,
Nigeria call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strength and faith
The labor of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain,
To serve with heart and might
One Nation bound in freedom
Peace and unity.
Oh God of creation
Direct our noble course
Guide our leaders right
Help our youths the truth to know
In love and honesty lo grow
And living just and true
Great lofty height attain
To build a nation where peace
And justice shall reign.
The National Pledge
I pledge to Nigeria my country,
To be faithful, loyal and honest,
To serve Nigeria with all my strength
To defend her unity
To uphold her honor and glory
So help me God.
We failed to fulfill our promises
In the old National Anthem we promised ourselves that “Though Tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand”. That is what we are, different ethnic groups, tribes, with different tongues and cultural differences making up one nation called Nigeria.
America is comprised of different counties making up one nation called United States of Amenca. Moeover, America is made up of different people from across the worid, the Germans, French, Dutch, and Japanese that migrated to that part of the world to make up what is today called USA. Even our Nigerian and other African brothers who were taken away during slavery are now citizens of America. The current American President Barak Obama is Afrnican American. That is why and how America is the most powerful nation on earth, a synergy of people all over the world. That is why the whole world looks upon America for assistance in times of need.
Nigeria is not different from America
Nigeria’s case is not too far from that of America, oral tradition of origin of Nigeria’s people states that the Hausas migrated elsewhere into Nigeria. The most widely told story states that the Hausas are descendants of offspring of the mariage between a migrant, Bayajidda from Baghdad and a Queen of Daura. The union produced a son called Bawo.
Bawo grew up and had seven (7) children who became founders of a group of states commonly referred to as Hausa Bakwai, they are Daura, Biram, Katsina, Zaria (Zazzau), Kano, Kano and Gobir. Bawo also had seven (7) other sons from other women who became the founders of another group of states usually called Hausa Banza. The states are Zamfara, Kebbi, Gwari, Yauri, Nupe, llorin and Kwararafa.
The Jukun tradition of origin claims that they are related to the Kanuri having migrated together with them from Yemil near Mecca under the leadership of Agadu. Agadu and his followers had disagreement with Prophet Mohammed and plotted an attack against the Prophet. The plot leaked. Naturally and feaing reprisals, Agadu and his men fled to Borno. There, they separated from the group and later emerge as Kanuri and moved Southwards until they reached the Gongola-Benue basin.
The Idomas traced theirs to Wukari (Jukun) ancestors. The Efik traced their origin from migration and settlement which claim that they came about as a result of a union between Igbo man and an Ibibio woman. They lived among the Igbo but later migrated to the Cross River where they found Crcek town.
The Urhobo of Niger-Delta whose tradition indicates that they are of Benin origin. The Benin are said to have migrated from Egypt. The Yoruba account of origin said that they migrated from Mecca under the leadership of Oduduwa and first settled at Ile-Ife.
The Igbo people does not trace their origin from other places neither do they lay claim to a common ancestry. The Tivs according to oral tradition are migrants from Central Africa (Congo) under the leadership of Tiv the father of all Tiv people. Tiv is said to have migrated from the Central Africa (Congo) with his twO (2) sOns ipusu and lchongo.
You can go on and on and on in tracing the origin of Nigeria’s people. This is a brief history of selected Nigerria’s people before 1800 AD.
The big question is; “Why can’t Nigeria harness her unity in diversity to make her a true GIANT in Africa and a stronger nation in the world like the United States?”
Back to business, we promised in the old National Anthem, “To pass unto our children a banner without stain”. On the contrary, that banner has been stained with bloodshed over the years. The fact that we are no longer using the old National Anthem as a symbol of our nation does not mean we will break the earlier promise. Remember it was in 1978 that Nigeria stated using the new National Anthem.
The first stanza of the new National Anthem, the end says, “One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity”. Though we have gained political freedom, economic freedom is what we need most. Even the political freedom we claim to have, we are being subjected to external pressure on key decisions because we look forward to those putting us under pressure for aids and investment. Peace and unity in Nigeria is like climbing Mount Everest for there is no peace and unity among Nigerians.
The end of second stanza of the National Anthem says, “To build a Nation where peace and justice shall reign”. We have sacrificed justice and peace at the altar of comruption.
We recite the wordings contained in our National Anthems and the National Pledge and thereafter do the opposite; this is wrong.
In the National Pledge the beginning says, “I pledge to Nigeria my country, to be faithful, loyal and hones”. We are not faithful, loyal or honest when sharing the Nation’s resources which is usually among the few clique in leadership positions while majority of the people wallow in abject and extreme poverty. who cares? Where is the faith, loyalty and honesty?
The last and the cnd of the National Pledge says, “To defend her unity to uphold her honor and glory, so help me God”. Are we trying to say that God has not help us all this while that after more than 100 years of togethermess, we are still divided along ethnic, religious and political lines? Or is it because of our hardheadedness towards our unity? With all these that Nigerians recite on daily basis then where comes the call for a divided Nigeria? Let me tell us the truth, if we are thinking our union is causing us harm, division will cause us more harm than good.
I am an individual with dual apostleship. I am an apostle of division as well as an apostle of unity. I apply the two (2) when and where necessary. The clamor for division of the country by some Nigernans is not in our best interest. The prediction by Amernca that Nigeria would be divided by 2015 is because they don’t want another Nation that will rise up and compete with them and they have seen that in Nigeria.
I want all Nigerians to take a good example from Korea and Sudan. Korea was once a united nation; war separated them into North and South Korea. One striking event occurred in this division, a family of one happens to have some of its members in North and some in South Korea. Ordinarily one find it difficult to differentiate between a Northern from Southern Korean, they look alike and are members of one family unlike Nigeria but you know what? Over sixty (60) years after this incidence, they are the worst enemies I have ever seen. Furthermore, back home here in Africa, the crisis between the oil rich and Christian dominated Southern Sudan and their majority Muslim Northern counterpart led to the division of the country into Sudan and South Sudan in 2011. Everybody thought that will mark the end of crisis in the Sudan region. On the contrary, the separation has not solved any problem for there is crisis on going as at the time putting finishing touches on this work in South Sudan, the young nation between rebels and the govermment.
Nigerians, my dear brothers and sisters, whether the amalgamation of Southern and Northern Protectorate that gave birth to Nigeria in 1914 was a mistake or not, it is better for us to stay together as a united entity rather than the call for separation having stayed together for the past 100 years. Whether our togetherness for the past 100 years has or has nothing to write home about, it is time for us to forge a common front and re-write our history to make us strong like the United State of America.
We came from the same family.
Finally, I want us to examine ourselves critically to see ourselves as brothers and sisters for that is what we are. All of us descended from one man Adam. All of us came into this world through one man (Adam) and one woman (Eve).
The whole world spoke one language till when children of God became knowledgeable and planned to alter God’s plan for humanity by building a tower to go and meet God. God at this juncture decided to confuse their language and scattered humanity to different parts of the world (Earth): that is why and how today we speak different languages, if not, humans spoke one language before this incident at Babel. The senseless killings in the name of religion, political and ethnic differences in Nigeria and elsewhere is uncalled for, for we are brothers and sisters with One Father (Almighty God).