Benue Guber: Idoma is Idoma problem by Ali Adoyi
I met an Idoma brother in South Africa during the South African Investment Forum with a very terrible story from our encounter.
There were 3 Nigerians discussing the politics back home and I got involved in the conversation. Upon realizing that I was a Nigerian, they were all excited and we got talking. Our discussion was centered around the 2023 election, but that could be a story for another day.
At the end of our discussion, we discovered that while the two of us were of the Idoma descent, the other two were from Lagos, South West Nigeria.
The Lagos guys intermittently engaged themselves in private discussion with their dialect. I tried to interject in Idoma to properly engage my ‘brother’, but he never spoke the Idoma language until we ended the discussion.
I proposed a sit-out, he declined. I proposed a visit to my hotel, he declined as well. And when I probed into what was wrong, he responded, “I don’t do things with Idoma people. I have suffered betrayal a lot. Idoma is Idoma enemy.”
Even though I felt disappointed, I couldn’t agree less. We are our problem.
Have you noticed how northerners play their politics? During election, they all rally round their own. After election, they will all enjoy the dividends together. Go to public offices today and you will realize that Buhari is truly in charge with his people.
A Tiv man, your best friend will disappoint you at the ballot because his enemy, another Tiv man is in the race against you. You can’t beat that. Have you ever gone to the office of an Idoma political office holder? Besides feeling like a demigod, his ego won’t give you any attention.
A few can give you a job without a kick-back, but majority will kick you back, with the question, “what have you ever done for me?” He would rather give the same job to his girlfriend from Cross River.
An Idoma man is someone who likes to draw his own brother down the ladder from the apogee. He doesn’t seem to see anything good in you. Give him a little opportunity, he feels the whole world is in his hands. We are all guilty. None of us can be exonerated.
We just like to feel big individually, but unorganized and disunited in the home front. We like to speak English when we are to speak Oguwchekwo, enone or akpoto.
Today, we are all blaming the delegates who voted massively for Uba, forgetting that it’s a mentality issue we need to check and recheck.
The delegates were wrong, but they acted upon the singular fact that ‘chop now’ is the only opportunity they have got. They prefer to dine with an enemy who will give them crumbs than their brother who will chase them out of his office. It’s as simple as that. We are our own problem.
Long live Idoma!
Adoyi writes from Abuja, Nigeria.