Looking at the internet, one prickling topic is always when some Yorubas and some Igbos discuss the “Igbo assertion” that Lagos State is ‘no man’s land’.
Last year, this even caused some protests and heated debates in the internet, and my reply is that Yorubas should not take it seriously when their legs are being pulled by some of their Igbo brothers on this matter. I will tell you why:
Remember when in primary school your friends would start calling you a nickname you didn’t like, and you would feel like fighting or crying, and they, seeing that would then continue? That is what is happening here.
Everybody knows that Lagos is part of Yoruba Land because there is a Yoruba Oba of Lagos. The fact that there are Igbos who win elections in Lagos just reflects the nature of ‘One Nigeria’, where you are entitled to full political participation somewhere after you have lived there for a number of years.
Even a Yoruba man that leaves long enough in Abia State is entitled to contest for the Governorship of the state, and serve if given the mandate.
But only a family is entitled to the Obaship of Lagos, which to my mind is the highest cultural office of Lagos, and the cultural office indicates indigene-ship.
The Phrase ‘Ndi Obodo A’ Comes To The Rescue
The phrase above is another reason why the Yoruba should rest easy and smile when some people on the internet say Lagos is ‘no man’s land’ just to get at them. The phrase ‘Ndi obodo a’ simply means ‘the people of this land’, and a lot of Igbos use use it to describe the Yorubas when talking of Lagos, the same way a lot of Yorubas describe Igbos as ‘Omo Igbo’ (Son Of Igbo). Ndi Obodo A, means The People Of This Land.
That shows that there is a recognition that the Yorubas own Lagos. I repeat: the fact that Igbos win political posts in Lagos does not mean that they are trying to take over Eko from the Yorubas.
What The Yorubas Should Do
Instead of protesting or listening too much to some people who say Lagos is no man’s land the Yorubas should use that energy to build up the institution of the Oba of Lagos.
As long as that institution is there, Lagos remains Yoruba Land. It doesn’t matter whether a non Yoruba person emerges as governor of the state or not.
There is nothing to fear. If a Yoruba man should become Governor of Ebonyi State, it doesn’t make the state a non Igbo state. The traditional institution is the ultimate symbol.
When you look at it only politically, the Federal Capital Territory Abuja belongs to all Nigerians, but when you add the important aspect of culture to the mix, we all know that the land belongs to the Gwari ethnic group.
No one can take Abuja from the Gwari people. Even if a Gwari man has never served as Minister of Abuja(equivalent of state governor) Abuja is firmly part of Gwari land.
So let’s all calm down. In the words of 2face, ‘Nothing dey happen’.