Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nigeria @ 50 - Day 26: Niger Area

This is the 26th read in the Nigeria @ 50 series
Before this, there was Day 25 at http://www.nonyeanike.blogspot.com/ by Nonye

Ever thought that naɪˈdʒɪəriə is a proud country and a fantastic place to be from?
We can trace our history back to over 9000 years before Christ was born thanks to the Benue and Cross River people - Efik/Ibibio/Annang and more.
I sometimes wish our progenitors were not as prolific in spreading their seed across the Niger Area.
Makes me wonder if we would truly be a great country without our massive population.
What if we were as small as Ghana (23m) or Togo (6.7m)?
Would we still be considered great?
I think so
We have powerful ancient kingdoms that have been around since forever.
The Kanem-Bornu Empire that were centers of Islamic learning and culture. Ife & Oyo kingdoms from which the famed Oduduwa originated or initiated (depending on which side of the fence you sit on), the near legendary Benin kingdom with boundaries that extended to the city of Eko (a Benin name) before it was changed to Lagos by the Portuguese, the Nri-Igbo kingdom (arguably the oldest) that fought wars with the British. The Nok people and their ancient terracotta sculptures. The Akwa Akpa families that founded Calabar and plenty more.

We have an incredible array of old and great historical characters:
King Jaja of Opobo, Usman Dan Fodio, Emotan, Oba Ovonrramwen Nogbaisi, tobenna, Olaudah Equiano, Oduduwa, Idris Aloma...the list is endless

We have a remarkable history. Sometimes even embarrassing.
Niger Area was owned by a company called the Royal Niger Company (you may now call them UAC. Yes. Mr. Biggs) and they sold this entity to the British government for £865,000.
Flora Shaw, a British journalist suggested Nigeria in an article in the Times newspaper.

Because of the slave trade, you can find Nigerian languages, traditions and roots in far flung areas like Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Trinidad & Tobago and the USA.
In Belize, a town was named Eboe Town due to the large Igbo slaves. In the state of Georgia in America, there is also a place called Ebo Landing due to a sad and terrible incident that occurred there involving slaves.
One cannot imagine the amount of black people with Nigerian roots in America.
Douglas B. Chambers, an American historian estimates that 60% of black Americans have at least one Igbo ancestor. Remove the Igbo and put Nigerian and you can make your own estimations.

And the future...

After the BRIC (Brazil, India and China) countries, we are considered to be amongst the next eleven potentially largest economies. A frontier market. Forget the crap going on right now locally. At least the world believes in us. And if they do, who are we not to?

There is a buzz for change in the air...
Especially among the young people and even the old
It is clear that we cannot tolerate business as usual anymore
I dare any local, state or federal government leader to think otherwise.
The elections are coming soon.
Everyone needs to be a part of the the decision making process of this our Niger Area
One (wo)man
One vote

Tomorrow, this continues...
Day 27 in the Nigeria @ 50 series
http://www.comedoes.blogspot.com/ by Comedoes



thanks to Lilith for the picture.
Posted by at 6:40 am |  
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