I Think I Just Saw a Demon

This election’s got me worried. I’m not worried about who our future new leader will be but the revelation I’m receiving now; this demon of tribalism.

In all my life I’ve never seen such anger and hatred for one man. Not because of his weaknesses or his evil deeds but simply for his tribe! Truthfully, I’ve been very shocked and quite disillusioned.

As someone born and bred in Lagos, I grew up interacting with sprinkles of many tribes and an avalanche of others. Yet I’m wondering why I never saw this before.

Our parents (I speak for my many different tribal friends) tried to soak us in this thing called tribalism; this system of “my own”, “fear them” or the “onye Yoruba,” “ndi Hausa,” “omo Igbo” mentality growing up but many of us laughed them to scorn. We had found sisters and brothers very far from home and we were not willing to give it up. Now, I’m worried.

Have I been entering the same bus with angry men, lava boiling in their guts looking for the next opportunity to shoot me dead because I picked a call in the bus and said, “Daalu?”

Have my friends who served in different states really danced in the devil’s house for a whole year unbeknownst to them?

Were our parents right?

Have we been foolishly ignorant?

Why so much anger?

Why so much hate?

I’m staunchly against the secession of the Igbos from Nigeria but now I am trying to look into the POV of the ruling powers. If you hate someone so much, why don’t you want them to leave? Do we call this witchcraft or pharoaism syndrome?

I’m worried that some of the persons who have embraced this demon are educated, skilful, and in envious positions of power too. Foolishness, it seems like our God, is a respecter of no person.

I’ve been revisiting lots of memories, going through the sheet of my identity. I realise the very first thing I learnt about myself, right after my name was my tribe because my parents had to translate the meaning for the little me.

Their translation gave me such depth of “identity.” We were taught to know that we were not in our homes. If asked we were to say boldly, “I’m from Anambra.” I mean to say that this feeling of pride from one’s identity is something every child should be allowed to enjoy.

I’m worried for my generation and the coming ones. This stupidity will create a cycle of hate, even in people who never gave it a thought before. Fresh seeds are being planted, previous ones are getting watered. Inter-tribal families are about to get it hot from their branch family. Inter-tribal couples without firm roots in identity equality AND distinction and are about to be shaken either from within or externally.

There’s possibly no conclusion to this matter if you’re waiting for one. But I can say this, boxes are rearranging themselves in my head.

Oh, and I will be taking my daily prayer of protection from mad persons seriously from henceforth. Don’t worry. Only I and my God know what “mad” means to both of us.

Anyway, we keep watching, praying and believing that God’s Counsel stands in this ongoing bulaba that is our Nation’s Presidential Election.


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Hi, I'm Chioma Jeremiah. I'm passionate about helping my community see the beautiful light that each day brings. My goal is to inspire you with everything that will make each read the best for you.


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