• Opinion
  • Updated: March 30, 2023

The Yoruba Rascal Comment And Its Implications

The Yoruba Rascal Comment And Its Implications

The Yoruba political system is one of the most ancient and sophisticated political systems in Africa.

Yoruba People predominantly found in the southwestern region of Nigeria have a mix of rascality and versatility.

We will be exploring and pointing out the dangers in the statement made by an Igbo leader.

Though the Chairman of Elders’ Forum of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, on Monday, dismissed reports claiming that he described the Yoruba as “political rascals”, the reality is that his disjointed statement meant more than he would have thought.

In Nigeria, we have been found wanting of making ethnic-fractured comments.

It was the Fulanis that ate the biggest slice of the denigration in the past eight years.

Any form of criminality that occurred in the past eight years, we found a way to pin on the Fulani pastoralists even after it has become crystal clear that there are people from other tribes and countries disguising themselves as herders to wreak havoc in Nigeria.

Nigeria is becoming so ethnically sensitive and drab.

Meanwhile, regardless of the heat of any moment, it is inexcusable to make any form of ethnic degrading because it will be twisted, manipulated and submerged.

From top to bottom, the Yoruba ethnic group and leaders are now agitated.

Even the Afenifere that supported peter Obi in the 2023 presidential election against their kinsman, Bola Tinubu is not happy.

The consequence of the statement is that more people will be deliberately making ethnically divisive comments in public, and will come out to say they are being misquoted.

The Nigerian traditional and civilised society is now in friction.

Everyone is tense, regardless of the chieftain’s rebuttal, the Yoruba people still believe that stiff competition has begun between them and the Igbos.

Regardless of how Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu wants to retell or clarify the comments, the comment has led to feelings of insecurity, fear, and hatred between Yorubas and the Igbos. 

The threats and the show of superiority he displayed before making the comments will have long-lasting effects on an average Yoruba’s perception of Igbo.

It is only the spirit of sovereignty that will forestall a cold war between them because the level of tension, and mental unrest is devastatingly dangerous.

From now on, it will be very difficult to have those shades of national unity we discover during our NYSC programmes, intermarriages and inter-tribal companies.

It is so because the ethnic card has caused utter distrust.

That is why both sides become more vigilant and suspicious of each other's actions. 

Unlike before, we now feed ourselves with discrimination and prejudice against one another.

Don’t be surprised if, by the next coming election cycle, a political candidate portrays himself as a Yoruba rascal to get votes.

Politicians will manipulate ordinary Nigerians' emotions and biases for political gain. 

Politicians will seek to appeal to the fears and prejudices of the electorate to win elections or to push through policy changes that benefit them.

These comments can be used to create division and mistrust between communities, thus making it easier for politicians to exploit these divisions for their own.

In many cases, these politicians are not interested in promoting peace or social harmony, but rather in consolidating their power base and advancing their agendas, which can be harmful to the country as a whole. 

We are in a dilemma of purpose and context.

Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu said he didn’t mean it the way the Yorubas perceive but an ordinary Yoruba person has seen the Igbos as his direct competitor because of the meanings he has read to the message in the clip he watched.

As Nigeria matures politically, we should be careful of whichever statement we make.

The country is too polarised for anyone to make careless statements. 

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