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Crime in Nigeria is Indigenous – Ndam Ponzing

Written by on June 27, 2021

Ndam Ponzing writes from Jos

“Na mu ne ko na su ne (Is he/ she our own or their own). I’ve always been mistaken for an Igbo boy for as long as I can remember. I consider Anthony Chukwu my brother, I listen to Phyno with an attitude even though I have no clue what he is saying. I like Igbo girls. “Kai nyamiri ne?” I was once asked, and before I could answer he now said “kai ma dan IPOB ne?”.

Back in my ghetto community, some of my Igbo neighbours call me Onyi awusa. I was in my area some days ago, and as they discussed the rising challenges of cultism someone now said “everytime we catch one of those boys, before we can wrap a tie of the tyre around their necks and offer them as burnt offerings to their creator [okay I embellished this part a bit], they start saying (ni dan gida ne)” let me ask to reclarify my knowledge of African culture, barawo na de gida ne ko ana dangantaka da mai kisan kai? When I served in Osun I learnt the word “omoluwabi” meaning (Child of God), but I learnt it in a different context. I heard it been used to mean (son of the soil) technically it implies similar things as a result of our deep ties as Africans to the earth. But in the context it was used around me, it implied that as I was a foreigner, there were places I couldn’t go. Let’s just say I went to those places because I’m a child of God.

Until the day we start discussions and actually abolish the concept of “Indigeneship” in Nigeria and upholding in its true meaning Citizenship as it should be, we will continue to muddle around in the quagmires of the 1967 civil war. We will not find peace from secessionist and tribal warlords who think only their people should get the best. It is a constitutional flaw for a person to be Nigerian and to enjoy the benefit of being Nigerian from identifying with a particular community “indigenous to Nigeria” as envisioned by S. 25 CFRN as Amended 1999 without defining who an indigene is. That S. 147(3) CFRN as Amended 1999 also provides that ministers should be indigenes of a State further compounds this lack of meaning. I understand that the clause was imputed to protect minority interests and ensure the representative nature of democracy. I also understand that those clauses have hindered our attainment of true Nationhood. It is this lack of meaning that has authored our problems. When we all decide to be Nigerians in the true meaning of the word, we can start discussing on other things.

For now, we must own with our chest the indigenous-ness of our crime. We must accept with our chest when they say “Nigerians are 419ners”, we must all bear the shame when they say “Nigerians are thieves” outside the shores of our country. When we come back, we must apportion each thief to his community and us all to our dens of thieves. “What share do we have in Nigeria, what part in indigeneship? To your tents, Nigeria! Look after your own house, Indigene!”

This opinion story has been published on JAY FM with very minimal editing to preserve the original voice of the author. JAY FM does not bear any responsibility for the contents of this story, all views belong to the author.

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