Every time I Asked, people tell me Nigeria became Independent in 1960 and furthermore to show she was truly free, she became a republic in 1963, meaning the queen was no longer head of states, meaning that we were now masters of our fate, meaning that power over Nigerians could now only be held by Nigerians. It was why we sang and danced in the night, why we light fire that burns through the night, why we chose a flag coloured in freedom, for now, we will be kings and this is our kingdom.
But our first head of states was Igbo and the next though a soldier also Igbo, then angers ruled followed by Hausa and then came the turn of Yoruba then Hausa came back for a term cut short when power was taking by an Hausa gunshot then Buhari claimed his turn to rule but a mandate stolen was his downfall then Kanuri came and it’s quite probable that he will still be ruling if not for that apple. Then Yoruba returned not once but twice then Hausa returned but died in peace then it left us a while to worry and wonder, when it was over Ijaw had power and after him came that titanic shift and now we can see that Hausa is back leaving me with this troublesome thought where in all this is my own president.
For where I was born is not where am from and where am from is not my home, so when the tribes gather I often wonder who will I fight when you are both my brothers. Nobody asked when we were children before we play are you a Muslim. We shared a space that nobody claimed but now you asked me to choose a side. When we were students nobody asked if North and South could share a desk, if East and West could study together but now you tell me that I am a stranger.
Stanger! yes to these ways of thinking; thinking that tribe is everything, the Niger and Benue they meet in my hand, I am not an indigene but this is my land and this is my language, I speak nothing else. My home is here, I know nothing else. My tribe is my nation, I am nothing else and this is my country, I have nowhere else and so though people are quick to assure me, to tell me this country I live in is free, deep in my heart I know that freedom, my freedom is yet to come.
When no one will question my origin, when no one will call me a non-indigene, when no one will kill me because of my faith, when no one will cheat me because of my state, when my state will be wherever I live and will change whenever I choose to move. The day I find not a Nigerian president but that a Nigerian is finally president and so while the flag of ethnicity still flauntings over this land of two shining rivers and the tribes takes their turn to misgoverned my country I look to the future for I am not yet free.