Pulse Blogger: Nigeria: Race and nationalism

Pulse Blogger: Nigeria: Race and nationalism

24 years after the fairest elections ever held,and yet!!

Nigerians are living a racial mirage; they have cast off their negronness to become either Arab or Jew.

On December 6th, 2017, US President, Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This move was not well received by Palestinians and the Arab world, and some Humanist!

In Nigeria, it generated passionate reactions: While most Muslims cried foul, majority of Christians jubilated. It provoke the question, why such passionate reaction/response from a Negro state over events unfolding and affecting nation's of Semitic origin. After a cursory observation, I deduced that Nigerians are living a racial mirage; they have cast off their negroid to become either Arabs or Jews.

Race conciousness

The bulk of Nigeria population belong to the Negro race, the black race: hues of blackness differ but yet, 99% of Nigerians are black. They claim it, proclaim it, and express their conscious sentiments to promote and celebrate their blackness of skin. But in the subconscious, the expressed a racial alter-ego which they defend with much passion, vigor and commitment than they do as conscious black people, as Nigerians.

The Alter-Egos

Most Nigerians are either Jews, Arabs or Caucasians.  The ideologies of these races informed their world view both spiritual and physical. Most Nigerians professed to belong either to the Islamic or the Christian faith. Religion being a significant decider of the essence of all humans: it gives ones life purpose and validity, as such over the the years Christianity and Islam have reconfigure the psyche of most Nigerians, and offered them an alternate identity as against their original. It transformed Muslims to Arabs and the Christians as Jews!

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The Origin

The Negro Nigerian man existed long before contact with the Muslims and Christians, when Islam entered Nigeria through Kanem-Borno empire over 1000 years ago the reconfiguration of the Nigerian Negro began; and culminated with the Coming of Christianity some two hundred years back.  Bringing the Christian to coexist with the Muslim, the Negro Nigerian was grafted into the inherent mistrust, suspicion and sentiment that characterise the nature of intercourse between the Arabs and the Jew for thousands of years.


The Nigerian Christian considered himself a Jew; to enjoy the privileges of God's covenant with Abraham(the Jewish Patriach), the Negro Nigerian had to be rebirth into the Jewish race by professing Jesus Christ as his/her personal Lord and Savior – only through Christ can a gentile be made Jewish. They venerate Jewish heroes (drawn from Biblical accounts and characters) and answered Biblical/jewish names.

Outside the realm of religion, politically the identify with the Jews and the Jewish state of Israel, and of course Jerusalem as its capital! The Nigerian Negro Christian shows solidarity to Israel in all its aspirations and ordeals, the solidarity is so strong that they ignore and considered irrelevant the persecution of Jesus Christ and early apostles and Christians by the Jewish authorities and societies.

The same can be said of the Negro Nigerian Muslim. Being Muslims made them spiritually Arabs, which they emulate culturally too. The Prophet Muhammad was an Arab and his earliest followers were Arabs, the recognised language of the Koran and Islam remained Arabic and all Muslims had to learn the language, and visit the Holy land (Mecca and Medinna in Saudi Arabia) at least ones in their lifetime, if they can afford it.

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The coming of Islam in Nigerian is the period of Arabization of Nigeria, as more converts are won. They venerated Islamic and Arab heroes as spelt in the Koran and Hadiths, the Nigeria Muslim adopts the Islamic and Arab naming system. They show solidarity to the Muslim Umma worldwide, they are all Arabs by virtue of being Muslims! They aspirations of the Arab nations is also theirs, and they show same with unshakeable passion.


The challenge and implication of this racial reconfiguration on Nigeria is the absence of genuine patrotism: for most Nigerians commit more to their alter-egos than their truest identity which ought to have been the basis of solidarity. Genuine Africanness would have simplified our quest for greatness, but Nigerians choose to live falsely hence, the elusiveness of unity and progress.


Beside these two major alter-ego there exist a third, the Nigerian Caucasians.They commit to European world-views: European humanism, ideologies – mostly secular,  science and "civilization". They aspire to be more European or more American,  that is real civilization! They adopts name drawn from Caucasian folklores, pop-cultures and name of their statemen/women. They profess secularism and justified actions of the West, while proposing the western way of life as the ideal way to living and progress.

True Nigerians

They are in the minority. They confessed and adhere to Africanness in all its expression: belief, lifestyle, aspirations and patriotism. But they are the reactionaries, always advocating return to Africanness, akin to that before the penetration of foreign ideologies. A return to backwardness, the darkness and savagery and gross incompetence. The Jews, Arabs and Westerners in Nigeria would not allow this, Nigeria is living a dream and must not be awaken. No matter what may be!

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There are those that aspired to see a greater Nigeria, but are in crises of allegiance. Taking side is virtues, neutrality is frown upon and ignored and socially made an outcast, not allowed to be involve in deciding the fate of the nation!

They Jews and Arabs are caught in a state of what seems an everlasting warfare, and Nigerian are grafted into it by religious affiliation. Nigerians don't dictate their destinies, their coexistence is determine by the developments in the Middle East. And I cannot think of a more peaceful solution….

Written by Mbuyazi Emmanuel.

Mbuyazi Emmanuel. Historian, writer and satirist. Loves reading, writing and watching movies. You can reach him on Facebook: Mbuyazi Emmanuel; FB Page, Granddad's Lenses, grandadlenses.wordpress.com, email: zikazigadaba@gmail.com



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