BY Ibrahim D. Sulaiman

Although things are usually not as they seem, still some Nigerians are refusing to learn from past experiences. It is sad to witness the mass exodus of people who had lived in the North for several years peacefully, back to their ancestral homes in the South.

As you know, rumour travels faster than light and some people make it their business to carry all manners of rumours without caring about the implications of what they say or how it affects others.  Recently, some people are saying that the country will witness violence such that may lead to disintegration of the country during or after the presidential election. It is funny how they easily forget the unpalatable experiences of those who try to flee during Abiola/Tofa elections. So many Nigerians lost their lives and properties as the attempt to leave their residential places for their home towns. They ran for security purposes assuming that the country would split into two, that is, North and South.

So also, some Northerners living in the southern parts of the country are coming back to the North for election presuming the same thing as their Southern friends. Nigeria has been a peaceful democratic country but due to some people’s selfish interest there is now lack of trust and insecurity.

An Igbo man living in Tunga who hails from Anambra State, said as a result of strong pressure from their leader, they are expected to be in their home towns during this election because anything may happen. He said almost every minute he receives calls from his home town asking him to come back till the election is over.

That notwithstanding, there are some remarkeable Southerners who are saying that they are going nowhere because Nigeria belongs to all of us. They said that Nigeria can never progress without the cooperation and unity of the different languages that make up the nation.

There are some Igbo’s that do not believe in relocating to their home towns because they say that they have well established businesses here. They pray that there should not be another Biafran War because those that are saying there will be war do not know what war is.

Flashing back to June 12, 1992 some people that ran to their various places regretted due to one problem or the order that they encountered during that hurried and unplanned movement.

Some of them had accidents on their way home while others had to be then accommodated in primary schools because they don’t have accommodation in their home towns. This exposed them to many diseases such as malaria fever, and communicable diseases such as diarrhea and vomiting, including skin diseases and so on. Most of them lost their kids and even their own lives. And those who survived lost their businesses and jobs forever.

All these happened due to lack of proper advice and planning. It is not easy for one to just leave where he is well-established and even got married and have children without proper arrangements. This is because anywhere you go even your home town, you have to start living there afresh and it will take some time before you will be well adapted to that environment.

We should stop thinking about splitting of this country, because there is no way we will enjoy the country if we are divided. For instance most Igbo men usually sell most of their spare parts and other goods to non-Igbomen because the other tribes in the country are not known for the sales of spare parts. So also, the Gbagyi man has to transport his tubers of yams from one part of the country to another in order to make his profit because his fellow Gbagyi men will not buy, they  don’t  need it because they have theirs.

Fleeing one’s place of residence because of the fear that crises would erupt is not the best. Let us all pray and God will make things easy for us and we will have a better Nigeria for everybody, so that even foreign investors will not like to leave.

TAURARUWA