If you are a student of history, you might know these but not know how it has been defining Nigeria’s future. A person who knows little of our past would be shocked at what event our lands and waters have witnessed and get to discern what future such happenings can bring. As many youths hunger to have youths legally grab the reins of the government, many youths still do not know how the water entered the coconut, warming up to make more mistakes than their fathers did. Some Nigerian proverb says that when a child prematurely knows what killed his father, the same thing brings his own end. Below are some of the things to know; they are not the most important, maybe, but they have played a big part to the deaths, terrorism and hatred that have reigned over the years.
1. About A Line Between Nigeria
How would living with people from Jupiter or Uranus be? You’ve seen many science fiction movies, maybe, but you might still know little about it. Do you know it could be that one group considers it an abomination to say your name, while the other hates iPhones?
The British misuse of glue is evident today. Two materials that usually exploded when glued together were merged by force. If Britain knew nothing of the lack of cohesion between Western ways and Islamic Education, it would be quite redundant of such a giant it was then.
Using military power and some submissive indigenous rulers, they kept the engine of the colony running as they reaped the electricity it brought Britain. Palm oil and cotton was among the electrons flowing to Britain in the wires of ships. They didn’t plan to leave; the profits were too mouthwatering.
The Islamic schools in the North were left in the hands of the Ulama — religious teachers who were very powerful before the Westerners came. These teachers had total control over literacy and the possibility of gaining prestige, honour and positions. These preached and taught among the people.
The British killed some of them in their pre-colonial campaigns, and later didn’t give Islamic schools the same support they gave Western ones. Some Post-Colonial governments have ignored them too; some have tried to end this inequality in literacy and opportunity but failed. Northern elders and leaders helped the eternity of illiteracy in the North by fighting Western education too.
This brought the alienation that drew a line between this country. Northerners know mostly either Islamic Education or nothing. Southerners mostly favour the Western way; Northerners are likely to prefer the Islamic manner. Somebody clap for dead Fredrick.
The next time you Northerners and Southerners see each other, try to get along; peace is gain for you both.
2. Fredrick Lugard’s Ferocity
The first time you heard about him was probably in the classroom when your teacher said he amalgamated Nigeria in 1914. Lugard had left Nigeria to serve in Hong Kong in the then British empire, so he must’ve decided to unite the protectorates because Nigeria might’ve suddenly looked small after he saw China. He sweetly allowed his girlfriend to name the new British business; romantic.
The second time you might’ve heard him spoken of was when your Government teacher was talking about Indirect Rule. Yes, he was the guy; he found a way to rule people with their own people that weren’t elected by the people. Whether the idea was a native of his brains or an idea from a source never known, no book says.
This man slaughtered thousands in Nigeria when dissent arose against their alien dominance. In the North, in at least one instance, he killed more of the indegenes than were killed by their native rebels; one said he did it to show them who was in charge. He buried rebellion against the British government with blood, someone once wrote. You’ve likely never seen it mentioned anywhere in your textbooks, and all the current affairs booklets you’ve bought from vendors lack this information.
3. Whose Picture Is On Our One Naira.
Olayinka Herbert Samuel Heelas Badmus Macaulay was his name, and he wore a ‘Lugardic’ mustache. There must’ve been little space to contain all his names on our coin, so we know him as Herbert Macaulay. His looks on the metal could make one presume he was a foreigner; this man was a descendant of Samuel Ajayi Crowther (the man who translated the Bible to Yoruba).
Olayinka was the first Nigerian civil engineer. He was also a surveyor; surveying was what he did for the British government at his return from overseas. Because he refused to be treated differently from British civil servants, he stopped working for the government. The bad treatment you hear of today which Caucasians mete out on blacks in the West took place here in Nigeria for years. This man led protests against the partial government and wrote about the conditions and histories of Negroes all over the earth.
In 1923 he formed the first Nigerian political party, and their candidates were the first to sit in the Nigerian legislature; this was a great accomplishment because it came by hard work.