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Amo & Reda: 5 Interesting Things We Learned About Nigeria in the Wake of #OkoyeGate

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psquare jude okoyeThis year has been eventful on social media – Nigerian edition. Our celebrities seem to be taking things up a notch with their indiscretions and their insatiable need to keep us abreast of everything – Good, Bad & Ugly. We aren’t complaining, as long as they keep us entertained and help us not think about the horrible state of our economy, we’re good.

We aren’t that different from other Nigerians, we too enjoy the distractions and find them welcoming sometimes; but, we also believe that these “moments” can give us a little insight into the minds of Nigerians. You know how we love majoring in the minors and minoring in majors.

Last week on NaijaTwitter, Peter Okoye of the P-Square musical duo stepped up to the stage (dragging his brothers with him)- and relieved us from the devastating news of the continuous free fall of the Naira to N385 against the dollar.
Now, if you’re not aware of the details of the Okoye Brouhaha {Click here and here to catch up. Don’t hold back the class}.

Thanks to the Okoyes and the subsequent fallout (comments, blog posts), we were able to sift five things wrong with Nigeria and Nigerians

Women Are Blamed For Almost Everything
Women! Those blasted buggers created from Adam’s rib (depending on which version of the creation of man you choose to believe.)
From the OkoyeGate fiasco, one can deduce that women are the cause of EVERY and ANY of life’s problems. In fact, women should also magically be able to fix all existing family rifts which they may or may not have caused. That seemed to be the idea behind invoking all the women associated with the Okoye twins. Lola, Peter’s wife, was cast in the role of controlling woman. Anita, Paul’s wife, in the role of the Madonna, the innocent pure one, the opposite of Lola. (we’ll leavepitting women against each other for another post) Even the twins’ dead mother wasn’t left out. Her missing influence caused Peter to spiral into #1 Social Media Oversharer. So which is it Nigeria? Do we need these women to stop controlling their men? To pray for them? Or maybe they actually have nothing to do with this? Maybe, just maybe, these grown ass adult men, with a combined age of 100+ years and with pikins of their own, are making bad decisions themselves. Do let us know.

Tribes don’t mix and shouldn’t mix
Nigerians…we use every opportunity to show our inter-tribal hating behinds, and OkoyeGate was no different. Lola has the “unfortunate” double whammy of being a woman AND Yoruba as well. *gasp* Yes, Peter, an Igbo man, married a yoruba woman and that made him a brother-backstabbing, social media ranter. No wait… we learned, according to the comments on social media that Yorubas are polygamous which is why they spread discord and Peter should have found a mate within his tribe to prevent him from…

Hold on… we’re trying to find the correlation between, tribe and a social media rant between brothers about their music business.

While we’re trying to figure this out, imagine our surprise that music legend, Onyeka Onwenu complained that she was divested of her political appointment because of her tribe. Maybe she can shed some light on this since she is well versed in tribalism matters and how they affect your paper.

Dear Nigerians, not everything is a tribal war. Trust us.

Prayer solves everything
Prayer is the beginning and end of life in Nigeria. At the start of work, the start of a meeting, the start of any journey, we pray. We pray when things are good and we especially pray when things are bad. Instead of taking step by step actions to rectify issues, we look upwards. No wonder nothing gets done. Our eyes are almost always closed.

And so when Jude tweeted that Peter needed to be prayed for, no one seemed to see that as a patronising dismissal of Peter’s concerns or accusations. They saw it as a genuine, straightforward plea. He was even commended for taking the high road. The wives have also been asked to pray for their spouses.
Can we stop closing our eyes and start using our mouths to speak to one another and use our hands to do actual things? The Okoyes know what the problems are, there is no need to climb to the mountain to get the revelation from God. Peter has kindly laid them out in lovely tweets. Just solve them. Same goes to our politicians. ‘God dey’ shouldn’t be enough. In fact, it isn’t.
We know what the problems are, open your eyes and fix them…and our Naira.

Seniority trumps all – in family and business
Respect your elders… see those gray hairs, they didn’t show up overnight. The only defence which the social media advocates seem to have for Jude appears to be: he’s the older brother. By virtue of being born before Peter, he deserves respect.

We live in a society where age is mistaken for wisdom and common sense. In fact, being older means being automatically bestowed with the right to all knowing knowledge and wisdom. It is why we see people in the workplace getting antsy at the idea having to answer to a superior who is “just 27 years old”. An older person in Nigeria gets away with everything. Just peep at the cadre of people in our political caucus. Don’t even get us started on the people who head the “youth” in Nigeria, we still haven’t recovered from PDP’s Papa Garba.

If we need to state it clearly, we will: BEING OLDER DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE RIGHT & YOU KNOW IT ALL! Sit yo ass all the way down and be willing to listen AND learn.

Denying that these problems are our next biggest issues next to the abysmal state of the economy
So, you’ve been reading these points and rolling your eyes… anxious to get to the end so you can quickly respond and call us awful names for poking holes in the facade that you’ve wrapped yourself in. Well, this fifth hole is for you. Nobody buries their heads in the sand deeper than Nigerians.

Random person: “The education system is so bad.”
Nigerian: “It’s the same in America”

Random person: This spiritual leader is embezzling funds…blatantly
Nigerian: “He’s doing the work of God. He will answer query in heaven”

Random person: It’s interesting that this generation is just as tribalistic as our grandparents’
Nigerian: You want us to forget Awolowo betrayed Ojukwu?

Yes, you’re a problem too. Why don’t you want the rest of us to elevate? To “glo up”? Abi you don’t want Before and After pictures?

We have to face our glaring reality in the face and not flinch. Only then can we begin to fix this mess called Nigeria.

Amo & Reda really tried to figure out a catchy bio - they couldn't. So, while they work out the kinks, here are some basics:1: Nigerian 2: WomenReally couldn't have picked shorter straws could they? You can reach them by email: [email protected]

27 Comments

  1. jide

    February 22, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Darn straight, a huge mess Nigeria is. You nailed it.

    • Mamacita

      February 22, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      Random person: you know that there is irrefutable proof that Pastor Z slept with that sister.
      Nigerian: the bible says touch not my anointed
      Me: who anointed Pastor Z and can you prove it came from the right source?!

  2. beast

    February 22, 2016 at 10:30 am

    brothers fight, it is one of those things. the okoye brothers are society people so the public will still have been aware anyway. I mean if you pay psquare for a show or an appearance and only one shows up, questions will arise.
    psquare we forgive you, we hope peace has been restored to your families. we love you and we expect hit songs like roll it, alingo etc

  3. Marc Francis of Chelsea

    February 22, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Very nice article.

  4. RIFF RAFF

    February 22, 2016 at 10:58 am

    BEING OLDER DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE RIGHT & YOU KNOW IT ALL! Sit yo ass all the way down and be willing to listen AND learn.
    Jude u hear????

  5. Nonso

    February 22, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Thanks for this interesting article… I learnt something!

  6. Ernie

    February 22, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    Your analysis of the OkoyeGate is as biased as the comments. You should have ignored it. What with the reference to Onyeka Onwenu? Not everybody in inter-tribal marriage has these issues, in spite of comments by observers. I am in it and am enjoying it without any iota of regrets.

    • Chu

      February 22, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      You obviously did not get the point of this article. Read up the meaning of sarcasm in the dictionary and read the article again. TGIM

    • Ernie

      February 22, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      Guys with half brain always start with insults. “Read up the meaning of sarcasm…” my ass.

    • DoraBelle

      February 27, 2016 at 6:05 pm

      That is my exact thought. This whole article is very biased and one sided. Yes,it’s Peter Psquare sided. I can 70% tell this article is written by someone who is not an eldest in the family and from a tribe different from that of Psquare possibly Yoruba. Respect is very vital in human life. If you are the 1st in your family, you’ll definitely have a different opinion. But then every human have their own respect,young and old. I strongly dislike the way Lola was dragged into this mess. She has absolutely nothing to do with it but then it’s the fans that dragged her into this and not even the parties in the quarrel. Fans always cause more problems than is existing. Peter stop been childish and keep your family issues out of social media. You are a grown ass man and it’s time you start acting like one. You make things so difficult for your twin by “forcing” him to now take sides. Above all,don’t be in a hurry to forget the past. Think back years and remember how Jude kept you guys afloat all those years before you made it. Never forget those that helped you in life. Loyalty is everlasting.

  7. aurora

    February 22, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Totally nailed this
    Well done

  8. prince

    February 22, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    OK

  9. 'Deola

    February 22, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    I love how you broke things down so neatly. Indeed, it shows our mindset and how badly incoherent the logic we employ is and inobservant we are as Nigerians. The inherited hatred and our mindset also show up in how we comment on issues that collectively affect us.

    Our moral lens is coloured, so we are unable to see clearly. As Nigerians we lack the tools to dissect an issue and discern what the principles are – learning to assess an issue strictly on its merits. We have become this way because we do not want to think things through and another reason is we are damn judgmental, an attitude that we inherited from our cultural and religious upbringing. The Okoye’s case highlights this tendency and also raises some interesting rational questions about the competing issues of a musician’s success with the changing times, family loyalty and his ethnic allegiance amidst their positioning in national and international markets.

    That said, you did an awesome job of making us see ourselves at a distance with laser like focus, but I do not agree with your take on Onyeka Onwenu. I read her article and I did not see where she said she was removed because she was Igbo. I think people read this mystery assumption that into her piece.
    She wrote:
    “I was initially dismissed as just a Musician. When that did not work, I was targeted and abused for being an Igbo woman who came to give jobs to and elevate my people while sidelining them. When these detractors could not provide answers to the spate of improvement we were bringing, they resorted to sabotage and blackmail. The first such salvo was fired when a Senate Committee visited on an oversight mission a few months after my arrival. All three Generators at the Center were cannibalized, overnight, just hours to the visit.”

    For emphasis, she wrote she was antagonised because she was a Musician and when the folks that antagonised her were not getting anywhere with their antagonism they resorted to ethnic stereotyping, an argument that readily has sympathies, the idea that she was Igbo and employing Igbo people. Historically this argument resonates, and it was partly responsible for the flaring up of hostilities between the Igbos and other Nigerians, especially the Northerners in the sixties. It is a sentiment that has imbued us with an entitlement psychology.

    Nigeria has serious issues. And she raised some of these serious issues that we have not been able to confront since independence and perpetuates mediocrity, race to the bottom and the mess that has permeated every aspect of Nigerian life. And we are committing a tragic error dismissing her because it came from Onyeka, an avowed supporter of Jonathan, an Igbo and since many Igbos keep complaining about marginalisation. As far as I know, Onyeka is the most detribalized Nigeria I know. She has pitched her tent and donated her genes in the belief of one Nigeria. She sang “One Love” and a Yoruba man is the father of her kids. The fact that her politics may not agree with ours does not make her a tribalist.
    She raised the issue of incompetence that permeates all ministries, parastatals and agencies. No one is commenting on that. And it is not highlighted, where she wrote:

    “Let me say here that The Federal Government should really look into the Parastatals and take note of the fact that many people who work on them do not have the requisite qualification. Many contribute nothing and many see their job as personal entitlement. They are owed because Nigeria belongs to them and them alone. Somehow, these people were given the impression that they could attempt to do what they did to me and nothing would happen”

    I am hoping the person or persons that wrote this article would be willing to back and extract where she said was sacked because she is Igbo. I want to believe you do not suffer the same sickness that afflicts the so called Nigerians.

    • FasholasLover

      February 22, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      I wonder o. The writers are just as guilty. I cannot remember Onyeka saying she was sacked becos she is Igbo. As a matter of fact, she started her complaint by saying the President has the prerogative to hire and fire. Don’t mind these writers just like some BN commenters, demonstrating ignorance and unable to decipher simply facts.

    • Anonymous

      February 22, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Your comment is the truth!! Onyeka didn’t state that she was fired because she was Igbo. The reality is that Igbo people get marginalised a lot. When I was a child, I always said that I won’t marry an Igbo man because of what I had been told about Igbo people. The discrimination is ingrained in children from a young age. The unfortunate thing is that we’re not sure it will ever end. Thinking about these issues is just depressing.

    • Cindy

      February 22, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      “Igbo people get marginalized a lot”………ndo o. I wonder what those of us from the other 200 & something tribes in Nigeria should do then. But never mind dear, I’m not knocking your struggle.

  10. Iphee

    February 22, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Your bias shines through very CLEARLY in your attempt to justify bad behaviour
    1. Peter was wrong to have called his siblings out on social media excuse me!!! and then some. When has SM become a recognized arbitrator??? When has any body’s opinion solved any ones life problems? He deliberately set out to make his brothers look bad and his subsequent behaviour suggests he is not interested in true conflict resolution as it has to be HIS way or the highway

    2. Like you rightly said his actions dragged other innocent people into this mess ( wives ) have you thought of how they are affected my his actions? Totally avoidable

    3. You conveniently forgot his last post ” I only apologised because of the fans” Really??? Cos this suggests he does not have a mind of his own but “dances” to the whims & caprices of others

    4. How come your example is that of Onyeka alone, how about those Oba Akiolu that threatened Ibo’s??…. Or Northern cabals that threatened a sitting president???…… Be wholistic in your approach next time

    Finally if he was the true star of the show he would have walked away long before now…. Beyonce did, Justin Timberlake did too. Sooo….

    • h

      February 22, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      What is this one saying??

    • ao

      February 22, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      Thanks for pointing out the biased and anti-Igbo tone of the article.

  11. Olu

    February 22, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    On point.
    Not sure they want to hear it….but keep preaching it!

  12. Fume

    February 22, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Amo and Reda love you guys already, love it more that you’re women. love the hit the nail on the head approach.

  13. Fume

    February 22, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    I don’t know when people will learn that sometimes family, money and business don’t mix. just because its family you’re expected to swallow trash. this is the reason i don’t like to do business with family, friends or church members. When they start to misbehave or aren’t doing things right you’re expected to let slide for family’s sake, for friendship of 10 years not to break, leave it for God in the case of church members. You can’t voice your complaint for fear of offending the next person, for fear of what people would say. abeg make them chopshit

  14. Fume

    February 22, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    Bella Naija post my comments or don’t send me emails anymore.

  15. Esther

    February 22, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Gbam!!! Just like Adam and Eve, we keep ignoring the real problem and shift blames while our value keeps calling. insightful writeup. Thumbs up!! However we need to see things as objectively as possible. Maybe , just maybe, if we see ourselves as Nigerians first and not as Yorubas, or Hausas or Igbos and every other tribe, we can rise.

  16. Na-me-talk-am

    February 22, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    The prayer part is so true.
    “No wonder nothing gets done. Our eyes are almost always closed.”
    Religion is indeed the opium of the masses

  17. Na-me-talk-am

    February 22, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    Welldone to the writers. God save us from Shallow mentality

  18. StopTribalism2k16

    February 29, 2016 at 1:09 am

    Wow the bias is strong with this one. Someone already pointed out the pointless Onyeka Onwenu reference, but I can’t help doing so again. I hope you understand that what you have done is bringing Ms. Onwenu into your frivolous article and putting words that she did not say into her mouth is nothing short of libel. Will be steering clear of articles by both of you.

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