From Nigeria - Nigeria's Romance with Tribalism

Updated: 4 days ago

Editor's Note: This blog is part of a larger blog series titled "From Nigeria," which was organized by Applied Worldwide contributor and correspondent Adamu Usman Garko.



Tribalism has had an influence in every aspect of human relationships, ranging from businesses to marriage. Epitomically, in our contemporary society it is regarded as somewhat ungodly and taboo for Igbo or Yoruba to marry Hausa or Fulani, and vice versa.


This is due to the fact that all the tribes are regarding one another as semi-human beings. When it comes to business relationship same negative impact of tribalism is so much that a member of a particular tribe would have to sell or buy something from or to one of different tribe as him at his last alternative.

Where as no state would move an inch towards development in the aspect of the economy without doing away with ego-centrism and calling spade a spade. In the aspects of leadership, both political and traditional, what matters is tribe, no matter how much one deserves the position, or how skillful he is, he would never fit unless he shares the same tribe as his subjects.


Same is happening at the course of promotion; where one’s qualifications, dedications and hard-work are just irrelevant to the one in charge of promotion. The relevance is being of the same tribe as his boss. When an influential person holds a stake, the first of his propensity is bringing his fellow tribesman on board, disregarding the absurdity of that, which is responsible for almost all the ineptitude in public offices.


It is quite the influence of tribalism that has hitherto been igniting mayhem akin to the recent one that affected some southern states, which has claimed quite a number of lives as well as destruction of properties, and has also economically shook Nigeria from its roots. Having perceived the devastating impact being impeded by the menace of tribalism towards stirring up the progress of Nigeria, no any prospect of change is imaginable in a multi-tribal society like ours, until the threatening tribe sentiment is obliterated.

Until when we attribute blames to the right shoulders baseless of sentiments. We can’t make a step toward the path of progress until when tribalism as one of the social vices like corruption is curbed.


More so, until leaders are elected baseless of tribe sentiment and for the fact that they did deserve the chair, tribalism will continue to prosper. When stakeholders work in favor of the entire society not their respective tribes tribalism will not prevail.


Tribalism won’t be eliminated until when we see into it that tribe is no longer one of the paramount requirements of promotion, bringing fellow tribesmen on board is no longer the disposition of stakeholders and all are not condemned and molested for the actions of few, Then whirlwind attainment of development in our society can be realized within a blink of an eye.


Hisham Saleh Gidado is a poet, essayist and story writer from Nigeria. He has been published by DailyTrust Newspaper, Buleprint Newspaper, Today Post, and many other local and National dailies.