This is a question none of us can sincerely answer correctly. Why because, we do not really know who we are as a people. Nigerians are one of the most confused people in the world.
We have no identity, no philosophy, we don’t really know who we really are, neither do we want to know who we really are. We are not Africans, we are not Americans, we are not Europeans, not Chinese, neither are we Arab. We are lost within all these identities.
This moment, we are Africans with culture and tradition, the next moment, we are Europeans and Americans with circular mentality, next we are Arab, invoking the Arabian way of life. We want to be everything and everyone, but in reality, we are nobody. We do not know who we really are, neither do we care to know. We are just living, just breathing.
Who are We?
This moment, we are Christians, calling on the name Jesus as our lord and saviour, but next the moment, we cannot be separated from traditional religious practices. And before you know it, we are equally saying Allahu Akbar, holding tight the Islamic philosophy. In our mind, we are everything, everyone. But are we? You know the answer.
But Who are We really ?
We are a confused people. We are confused on which culture is our culture, which culture is ideal for us, which identity is our true identity, who we are and who we want to be. We don’t want the African ideal, then we want it again. We don’t want foreign culture, then we want it also. Always going up and down without any definite conclusion.
So, Who Are We?
Can we be everything together and still be nothing? Can we be Muslims, Christians and Traditionalist at the same time? Can we be Africans, Americans, Europeans and Arabs joined together? Who Are We really ? What is our identity as a people?
I agree that we can pick from every culture, tradition and religion as the modern world demands. But how do we reconcile all these separate identities together to form our own distinct identity? The culture we picked from Europe and America, the tradition we learned from Islam and Christianity, the language we adopted from Arab and English men, how do we reconcile them with our ancient identity to birth a new us?
Who will help us harmonise our source of confusion, because most certainly, we can’t continue in this manner. We need a philosophy a unified identity. As Nigerian, we can’t be this today and be that tomorrow. You can’t be changing identity with places and time. We are just one people.
A Chinese is a Chinese any where, any time, be it Christian, Muslim or traditionalist. An American is an American anywhere, any time, be it Christian, Muslim or Traditionalist. An Iranian is an Iranian, anywhere any time, be it Christian, Muslims or traditionalist.
Also, let a Nigerian be a Nigerian, Anywhere, any time, be it Christian, Muslim or traditionalist. We need a National Philosophy, the absence of a clear feasible national philosophy for Nigeria is a costly mistake and it needs to be corrected now. No nation can attain national development without a clear nation philosophy, ideology, upon, which its developmental strives are anchored.
Just as a good home has a master plan, so a nation needs a clear national philosophy to survive. What is that Nigerian identity? What is that Nigerian philosophy?
This is a question we must answer if peace must reign.
Written by; Abdulrazaq O Hamzat.