Social media has this way of starting and never finishing wars. The only thing that gets to the finish line is ‘dragging’ – they say like the small Tiger Generator. It’s usually this way: Some random person (supposed role models too), wakes, cleans up, prays, puts on some nice clothes, then tweets exact thoughts and boom! The good thing? We can trace where the ‘problem’ is coming from.
For today, it is an invariably avoidable conversation that lightens up a relative truth about what’s really going on in Nigeria. Add that Nigerians, most who were not there during the civil war, have not ‘forgiven’ their compatriots for the atrocities that took place then.
The genesis of today’s conversation – Yoruba Muslims:
You people on the internet are using your Yoruba Muslim family/friends lifestyle to rate Islam and tell people to shut up when they’re criticizing.
It’s a different reality in the North. Please go and sit down
— Maryam⚛️ (@elharsh) April 17, 2020
Go deeper: It is an established fact that once #ArewaTwitter is trending, someone had made a post that saw the ire of another religious Northerner. This anger is nurtured in such a way that southerners begin to question the religious audacity of the northerners and vice versa. That trend never comes to a conclusion. It is just sustained by people who have Twitter on their phones.
This weekly trend – or something else – must have caught Maryam’s attention.
No doubt, anyone who said that Nigeria is a peaceful nation with no form of tribal or religious war is probably some clown in a circus and we are not here for that. We respect the wisdom of optimists but we cannot fail to be honest about these things.
Fortunately, we have less actual mini-wars caused by tribalism and fanatic religiousity in several parts of Nigeria, unlike before, when ‘Others’ were killed because they did not belong. And, some of these things are caused by terms like Yoruba Muslims – a perfect concoction for tribalism and extreme fanaticism.
Sometimes, these terms come up from our heads subconsciously and we allow them to stay in our conversations. Remember how long it took to make people stop saying ‘Fulani Herdsmen’?
If we argue that these terms cause no harm, we are also trying hard to stay in the circus we all are. Because, these terms raise other issues that were never existent in the first place. And, it does not just start and blow up in an instant.
Maryam might have simply wanted to make a point, but just like prejudices take precedence in our thoughts, she thought using ‘Yoruba Muslims’ is the right thing to do.
We grow up with these prejudices and pass it on to our younger ones and children and they pass it on, and it continues in that cycle. We hardly take notice of the long-term harm it will definitely cause by the time it matures.
We fail to realise that these terms, used derogatorily, bring up other supposed forgotten horror stories about what might have happened in the past. We sit in our homes and, besides the woke ideas running through in our heads, we internalise these terms, and use them to define the ‘Other’ – talk about mis-categorisation.
Again, we cannot hide from the fact that Muslims from the South are not as regarded as much in the North, because there is this internalised belief that they don’t understand the religion and are referred to as infidels. The South does not fail to respond to this, saying basically the same thing about the North.
Yoruba Muslims are more wise & knowledgeable abt Islam. Many North Muslims know nothing abt Islam but dey only follow what mallam says.
— DEJI (@MARVELLOUZ01) April 17, 2020
Even me i don't see yoruba muslims as real muslim cos they valued their culture over religion but Northern muslims valued there religion over everything https://t.co/K7ddoP37hx
— Comrd Mu'uta (@Onway20) April 17, 2020
Enlightenment is a keyword in this conversation. And you will want to assume that the ones who should be preaching One Nigeria, free of these ideas should not be the ones promoting them.
When you scroll through the trend, you see people narrating their bad experiences in these tribal and religious spaces.
If you were in Kaduna between 2000 – 2001, you’d understand why the Igbos and Hausas can never ever live in Unity.
These people even butchered Yorubas who were Muslims. They didn’t care as long as you weren’t Hausa. Hmmm the story long abeg.
— LazyChef ?? (@JahmalUsen) April 17, 2020
I served in the North… And I am very very sure that Northern Muslims don't count Yoruba Muslims as Muslims…its what I have seen… ?♂️
— ? Cardi B's Daughter ? (@yamiyanku) April 17, 2020
I've been trying not to talk. But this is just a blatant lie, I stay in jos, so what happened to Yoruba Muslims at nasarawa?, dutse uku? Rikkos??.. Everybody knows what happened, you don't ve to lie or better still say u don't know much. Unless u re young during the crisis.
— Akinbinu Tomisin Emmanuel (@Blacphoenix) April 17, 2020
The ones who we love:
I am From The North
I am A Hausa Guy
I am A Muslim Guy
I Have Plenty of Yoruba Muslims/Christians friends
I have a lot of Igbo friends
…my religion and my tribe has never ever for once taught me or told me to Hate any other Religion/Tribe that is not mine!!!
— MANSA ??♀️ (@Malam_Aboki) April 17, 2020
Mansa, how about you don’t use Yoruba Muslims?
Nothing like Yoruba Muslims,
Islam is Islam
— keto olarewaju (@ketoolarewaju1) April 17, 2020
Tribalism is one thing we find difficult to remove in the way we do things in Nigeria.
Islam is One & it is said the the Quran where Allah has asked us to "serve him to the best of your ability/strength". Why are we now the judge of which tribe is a better Muslim. Yoruba Muslims
— omo.ìbílè (@bar_tunde) April 17, 2020
So in other to gather fake sympathy, having been met with superior arguments as to the bigotry they’ve bn dishing out, they restrategized to insinuate a feud between Yoruba muslims and hausa muslims, there’s no thing as such, a Muslim is his muslim brothers keeper. We’re One ☝️
— Engr Yasir Arafat Jubril????? (@oil_shaeikh) April 17, 2020
Don't be ridiculous! There's no such thing as 'Yoruba Muslims' or any other tribe or race muslims.
Anyone who takes the shahada and follow the rules of Islam is a Muslim, there's also no such thing as old/new muslims.
Please beware of this fitnah!
— Mrs_oumar (@OumarMrs) April 17, 2020
Yoruba Muslims, igbo Muslims, hausa Muslims ✌️✌️ we are all one ? let not differentiate one another because we are equal in the site of Allah ?
I rep Yoruba Muslim ✌️
Let all stay united and forget the bad past so we can create a better future ✌️?
Asalam Alaykum ?
— Anonymous dude ?? (@Horpehyemmie2) April 17, 2020
Yoruba Muslims?? What an unintelligent remark, somebody should please tell the Igbos to stop spewing religious intolerant statements. It's bad when hatred gets the best of you. You hate a tribe and you hate a religion. How more forked up a human being can you be, deputy shekau?
— MOHNICE ? (@Official_mohnyc) April 17, 2020
The question is: Do we still hope to see an unabridged One Nigeria?
Omoleye Omoruyi… an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram