NIGERIA’S ORIGINAL NAME

0

How could we cancel history course from the syllabus of our education system? Apparently, those who advocate for this process know something they wish to hide. Credit to a write-up by Mike Ozekhome, SAN, for his enlightening piece on Nigeria at 60 whence he informed readers that the present entity known as Nigeria was once called something like a land of “Aggregation of Pagan and Mohammedan Tribes” (if I get it correct) by the British sometime in the 19th century. But the catchwords of “Pagan” and “Mohammedan” I am sure I got right. Oh, how enlightening! Right, by the time the British showed an interest in our entity, Christianity was glaringly absent and the Brits, the ever-observant anthropologists that they were, chose to use a religious classification for the splattering of tribal-nations in existence back then. Fast forward to some 150 years in the future to the present 2020;

Nigeria’s core identity today is still being defined by the over-arching influences of that original “Pagan” and “Mohammedan” tags. The Brits must have reckoned that a people already so steeped in their religious ways will not make good Christian converts. No wonder Lord Lugard actually discouraged Christian missionaries from converting everybody to Christianity. Even today, there are millions of Nigerian “Christians” in name only. The Brits had a sound prophetic insight; their frustrating conclusion drawn with respect to our ability to quickly “civilise” back then is still a source of frustration today. Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world today because true Christianity has not yet made inroad into the psyche of the larger measure of the population and we are still held back by voodooism inclinations, especially in the southern half of the country where the idea of “Christianity” is a highly syncretized admixture philosophy of the local African cultures.

In the northern part of Nigeria today, activists still kill in the name of their religion and concerned ones the world over are thinking the overseeing authority may even be complicit in the killing progression. True to form, where the Church is not deeply-noted, arrested development is a virtue. This statement-of-fact would make a good seminal paper or even a PhD in philosophy exploratory topic. Who would latch on to it? I am already occupied with my physics here at the FUT Minna, Niger State.

Sunday Adole Jonah,

Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State