It is an undisputed fact that the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba ethnic groups are the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria.

It is a fact that the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages are widely spoken in Nigeria aside English language.

It is a fact that the official language of Nigeria is English and in special circumstances Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba.

It is a fact that Nigeria as presently constituted has 36 Federating Units divided into six geopolitical zones namely: the South-East, the South-South, the South-West, the North-Central, the North-West and the North-East plus the  Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. 

It is a fact that the South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria consists of the Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo State and is made up of the Indigenous peoples of Igbo. 


It is a fact that the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria consists of the Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers states and  is made up of amongst others the Indigenous Peoples of Abayon, Abua (Odual), Adim, Adun, Agbo, Akaju-Ndem (Akajuk), Anang, 
Andoni, Anyima, Bachere, Bahumono,  Bekwarra, Bette, Bini, Boki (Nki),Kalabari,Ebana (Ebani), Ebirra (lgbirra), Ebu, Efik, Egbema, Ejagham, Ekajuk, Eket, Ekoi Engenni, Epie, Esan, Etche, Etsako, Etung, Etuno, Gokana, Ibeno, Ibibio  Ikorn, Isoko, Itsekiri, lyala, lzondjo, (Ijaw) Mbembe, Mbube, Nkim, Nkum, Ododop, Ogoni, Okobo, Okpamheri, Olulumo, Opobo, Oron, Owan, Qua, Ukelle, Ukwani(Kwale),Uneme (Ineme), 
Urhobo, Uyanga, Yache and Yakurr.

It is a fact that South-West geopolitical zone of Nigeria consists of  Ekiti, Lagos,  Ogun, Ondo and Osun states and is made up of the Indigenous Peoples Yoruba.  

It is a fact that the  North-Central geopolitical zone of Nigeria consists of Benue, Abuja, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau and is made up of  amongst others the Indigenous Peoples of  Afizere, Afo, 
Akweya-Yachi, Alago (Arago), Amo, Anaguta, Angas, Ankwei, Bada
Baruba (Barba), Bashir (Bashirawa), Bassa, Baushi, Birom, Bkkos, Boko( Bussawa, Bargawa),
( Buduma, Buji, Bunu, Burma (Burmawa), Bwall, 
Challa, Chip, Chokobo, Dakarkari, Doemak (Dumuk), Egede (lgedde), 
Eggon, Etolu (Etilo), Fyam, Fyer, Gade, Qanawuri, Gbedde, Geruma, 
Goernai, Gurmana, Gusu, Gwandara, Gwari, Idoma, Igalla, ljumu, Irigwe, 
Jere, Jidda-Abu, Jukun, Kambari, Kantana, Kenern (Koenoem), Koro 
(Kwaro), Kulere (Kaler), Kurama, Kwalla, Kwanka, Kwaro, Kwato, Laaru 
(Larawa), Limono, Lopa, Mabo, Mada, Mama, Memyang (Meryan), Miango, 
Miligili (Migili), Montol. Munga (Mupang), Mushere, Mwahavul, Ninzam 
(Ninzo), Nokere, Nunku,Nupe, Ogori, Owe, Oworo, Pai, Pongo, Pyapun 
(Piapung), Reshe, Rindire, Ron, Rubu, Rukuba, Shangawa, Shan-Shan, 
Sikdi, Sura, Tarok, Tiv, Yagba,Ufia, Uncinda, Ura (Ula), 
Utonkong,Yalla,Yergan (Yergum), Yumu, Yuom and Zabara.

It is a fact that the North-East geopolitical zone of  Nigeria consists of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states and is made up of amongst others the Indigenous Peoples of Affade, Babur, Bachama, Bade, Bakulung, Bali, Bambora (Bambarawa), Bambuko, Banda (Bandawa), Banka (Bankalawa), Banso (Panso), Bara (Barawa), Barke, Batta, Baya, Bele (Buli, Belewa), Betso (Bete), Bilei, Bille, Bobua, Bole (Bolewa), Botlere, Boma (Bomawa, Burmano), Bomboro, Buli, Bura, Burak, Buru, Buta (Butawa), Bwatiye, Bwazza, Chama (ChamawaFitilai), Chamba, Chamo, Chibok (Chibbak), Chinine, Chukkol, Daba, Dadiya, Daka, Dangsa, Daza (Dere, Derewa), Deno (Denawa), Dghwede, Diba, Ouguri, Duma (Dumawa), Palli, Ga’anda, Galambi, Gamergu-Mulgwa, Gavako, Gengle, Geji, Gera (Gere, Gerawa), Geruma (Gerumawa), Gingwak, Gira, Gizigz, Gombi, Gornun,(Gmun), Gonia, Gubi (Gubawa), Gude, Gudu, Gururntum, Gwa (Gurawa),Gwamba, Gwom, Gwoza (Waha), Gyem, Higi (Hig), Holma, Hona, Ichen, Jahuna (Jahunawa), Jaku, Jara(JaarJarawaJaraw -Dutse), Jero, Jibu, Jimbin (Jimbinawa), Jirai, Jonjo (Jenjo), Kaba(Kabawa), Kadara, Kaka, Kambu,Kamo, Kanakuru (Dera),Kanembu, Karekare (Karaikarai), Karimjo, Kariya, Kenton, Kilba, Kirfi (Kirfawa), Koma, Kona, Kubi (Kubawa), Kudachano (Kudawa), Kugama, Kunini, Kurdul, Kushi, Kuteb, Kutin, Kwami (Kwom), Kwanchi, Lakka, Lala, Lama, Lamja, Lau, Ubbo, Longuda (Lunguda), Mambilla, Mandara (Wandala), Manga (Mangawa), Margi (Marghi), Matakarn, Mbol, Mbula, Mbum, Miya (Miyawa), Mobber, Muchaila, Mumuye, Mundang, Ndoro,Ngamo, Ngizim, Ngweshe (NdhangNgoshe-Ndhang), Ningi (Ningawa), Njayi, Nyandang, Pa’a (Pa’awaAfawa), Panyam, Pero, Pire, Pkanzom, Poll, PolchiHabe, Potopo, Rebina (Rebinawa), Sakbe, Sanga, Sate,Saya (SayawaZa’ar), Segidi (Sigidawa), Shomo, Shuwa, Siri (Sirawa),Sukur,Tangale, Teme,Tera (Terawa), Tigon, Tikar, Tula, Tur, Vemgo, Tikar,  Tula, Tur,  Vemgo,  Verre, Vommi, Wagga, Waja, Waka, Warji, WulaWurbo, Wurkun, Yandang, Yott, Yungur, Zaranda, Zayam (Zeam) and Zul (Zulawa).

 It is a fact that the  North-West geopolitical zone of Nigeria consists of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kastina , Kebbi , Sokoto and Zamfara states and is made up of amongst others the Indigenous Peoples of Achippa, Angas, Attakar (Ataka), Auyoka (Auyokawa), Ayu, Bassa, Bina (Binawa), Dakarkari, Danda (Dandawa), Duka (Dukawa), Fulani, Gure, Hausa, Gwandara, Jaba, Kafanchan, Kagoro, Kaje (Kache), Kajuru (Kajuruwa), Kamaku (Kamukawa), Kambari,  Kanikon, Kanuri,Katab, Kiballo (Kiwolo), Koro (Kwaro), Kurama, Kyenga (Kengawa), Manchok, Moruwa, Nimzam (Ninzo), Reshe, Rishuwa, Rumada, Rumaya, Shanga (Shangawa), Shira (Shirawa), Surubu, Uncinda, Warja and Zama (Zamawa).

It is a fact that  the over 500 ethnic nationalities  in Nigeria except the Fulani ethnic group who are settlers  have existed from time  immemorial predating  the colonial era in Nigeria are to date in existence; and none of them  has become extinct. 

It is a fact that each of these ethnic nationalities have proudly retained their identities, languages, cultures, traditions, civilizations and  religions which they have with pride, passed on from one generation to the other.

It is  a fact that the indegenous peoples within Nigeria speak over 520 languages.

It is a fact that none of over 500 ethnic Nationalities  have moved away from their homeland of inheritance or from their fore bearers/ancestral land.

It is a fact that  these indigenous peoples subject to the Nigerian constitution and the Land Use Act have   exercised unfettered and inalienable  sovereignties over their respective homelands and own their land, their water ways and natural wealth and resources.

It is a fact that none of these ethnic nationalities have conquered the other or  forced the other to assimilate the others  language and culture excepts perhaps the Islamic factor in the Northern part of Nigeria   

It is a fact that when Great Britain decolonized Nigeria it did not formally hand over the sovereign powers of Nigeria to any of the indegenous  ethnic groups  or the the one and only settlers in Nigeria, that is Fulani ethnic group. 

It is a fact that none of  these 500 indegenous peoples including the Fulani settlers are superior to the other before God and man.

It is a fact that by virtue of the Nigerian constitution all the over 500 indegenous peoples and the settlers within Nigeria are equal.

If all the above facts are true then why  are we classifying  all the over 500 ethnic nationalities under three umbrellas namely Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo ? Why are we classifying  their languages into three with the popular acronym,  WAZOBIA?

At this point in time , I know some of us would like to know why and how  we came  about this classification and the Wazobia acronym and whether is there a law backing  them up ? Briefly then  in 1950s, with  house -to -house or rediffusion Radio speaker boxes  in vogue , the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, was faced with the challenge  of  how to  bring news to the grass root level  by translating it  into the several indigenous Nigerian languages. Consequently,
they decided to translate the hourly News bulletins in nine different Nigerian languages, Viz : Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo,  Edo, Izon, Tiv, Efik, Kanuri and  Fulfulde. This took a lot of time and was   cumbersome to  end the vernacular news broadcast and those whose languages were not included were not interested listening to the news and those whose languages are amongst the nine language refuse to listen to news after hearing the news in their language.

When the military junta’s took over  power, they decided to  cut  the number of languages down to  three, namely: Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages only and tagged it “WAZOBIA”, meaning: “Wa” (come) in Yoruba language; “Zo” (come) in the Hausa language; and, “Bia” which also meant (come) in Igbo language respectively. In other words, (come, come, come).

From there onwards Nigeria embarked on radio and television translation of news in what they called the three major languages, and relegated other languages to the background as if they have no stake in Nigeria. This is genesis and cynosure  of the “Federal Character syndrome”, in Nigeria today. If you are not a WAZOBIAN you cannot be heard, recognized, employed or given  reasonable political appointment on  merit. WAZOBIA  to a large extent  encouraged and natured mediocrity, favouritism, nepotism, tribalism,  corruption, godfatherism and the maginalination and oppression of the minorities in Nigeria.

I humbly submit that this classification and acronym is wrong , faulty and a fallacy of hasty generation that must be stopped forthwith for our own elightment and  for  the interest of our unborn generation. I am proudly an Urhobo man, but before the eyes of other Nigerians I am classified as an Igbo man whether I like it or not. It remains uncontroverted fact that many Nigerians from the  Eastern, Western and Northern  regions of Nigeria were killed, maimed, raped, brutalised and got their properties destroyed just for the mere fact that they were mistaken for Igbos  during the 1966 and 1967 pogrom because of this fallacy. 
It is this same fallacy that makes us as a country belief that the people killed in  Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State and Kadisau village in Faskari Local Government Area of  Katsina State are Hausas and that the North are killing themselves so what is our business in the South if they decide to finish themselves when in actual fact it a case of the Fulani settlers and their invading cousins from the Sahel that are systematically ethnically cleansing the original owners of the land in the North and dispossessing them of their ancestral homes. It is this same fallacy that is making us belief that the millions of helpless and despondent Nigerians  in IDPs camp (Internally displaced persons camps ) in the North-East Zone of Nigeria  and refugees scatter all over our neighboring countries are Hausas  when in actual fact  they are not  but a clear  case of the systematic invasion, dispossession and extermination of the original land owners by the Fulanis and their cousins from Niger, Senegal, Guinea, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Benin, Cote d’ivoire, and Cameroon.

Enough is Enough. Let us do away with this classification and acronym. While retaining our allegiance to Nigeria  let us not forget who we are and where we come from. Let us stand by our various nationalities and defend our ancestral home land, culture, language and heritage from the marauding and rampaging Fulani settlers and their cousins in the guise of farmers/herdsmen clash, Boko haram and bandits.  

Let our  brothers in Western Nigeria stop calling any Nigerian that is not an Hausa or Yoruba man Omo Ibo. Let our Northern  brother  stop calling any Nigeria that is not an Hausa or Yoruba  man Iyamiri. Let us learn to know that it is diverse people that make up Nigeria and also  learn to tap on the greatness and potentials of our diversity. Let us lay to rest the spirit  of WAZOBIA by protesting just like, the protests that started following l the police killing of George Floyd that lead to the defacing, pulling down or out right removal of statues with racist legacies in Europe, the United  States of America and world wide. The WAZOBIA syndrome and the fallacy of classifying , Nigerians as Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo is cancerous to the unity, peace and posterity of our dear country Nigeria and  must be  excised from our polity like the status of Christopher Columbus, Wilson Churchill, Edward Colston, Belgian King Léopold. Adolf Hitler etc.

After reading this article and you disagree with me, I implore you to  imagine having one representative each of the various over 500 ethnic nationalities in Nigeria in a hall and try to communicate with them in only Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo and see if you will not get the Tower of Babel situation in your hands.

Opinion

AddThis

Original Author

Malcolm Emokiniovo Omirhobo

Disable advertisements

Leave a comment