Monday, February 1, 2021

OPINION: The Southern Kaduna people should begin to generate a conversation that would bring about a change of name peculiar to their identity as a people, By Christian Emmanuel

The Southern Kaduna people should begin to generate a conversation that would bring about a change of name peculiar to their identity as a people.  
The name “Southern Kaduna” is to me, somewhat derogatory. It does not say much except their location within the geographical enclave of Kaduna.

I don’t know of any other people within Nigeria who have been ascribed a name, or given an identity that hinges on their neighbours' location. For now, I can’t think of any! Not around my immediate environment. The first time I heard of them, they were called “Southern Zaria”. Think about it. 
Think about the distance between Zaria and Zangon Kataf. Historically, no relationship except for the exploit, adventure and influence of Zazzau. And I don’t have all the facts and details. But I was old enough to know when eventually, the people woke up one day to cut off the “Zaria” apron string.  Unfortunately, it was merely a shift to “Kaduna”, hence Southern Kaduna.
Kaduna itself belongs, historically, to the Gbagyi people. Uptil today, we still find the Gbagyi aborigines around interiors of Kakau, Gonin Gora, Rido, Dan Hono, Bagado, etc. The names of the different areas in Kaduna as well as the Gbagyi chiefdom attest to this fact. 
That is why I still think that the Sounthern Kaduna people need to look inward for an identity nomenclature that all the diverse cultures therein can gladly subscribe to. Thank God some of the tribes are begining to reclaim their original names. Thus from the derogatory Jaba to Ham, Kataf to Atyap, Kagoro to Oegworok etc, they have continued to demand respect and recognition for their original identity.
They need to do same as a collective. Somewhere in “Gurara” for example, lays a mystery that can oxygenate this desire for identity refurbishment. It may be a gift they gift themselves rather carry on with a colonial lebel   that subjected them to Zazzau.
Search history. Go elsewhere. Ask Achebe. He will tell you that Biafra is not an Igbo word. But it carries the power to identify a people and their collective sentiment, without leaning on their neighbours. Think Gurara; Watakila ma rainin nan ya rage!

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