In Hausa language, the lingua Franca of Northern Nigeria, it means my friend.  It is already turning white in some parts of the world and it is currently hazy here. I wish you a beautiful Christmas in advance.  

As a country, we have been battling Boko Haram in the last few years and it has led  to the death of many people both civilian and military. Our hearts are with their families and we pray that they will be eternally consoled. Let’s dig deep as we discuss internally displaced and externally displaced in various lights. Both displacement can be summed up in a Yorùbá proverb “eniti o so ile nu ti so apo iya ko” meaning he who has lost his identity has keep a bag of torture.

The internally displaced people are those that have been sacked from their homelands and they are refugees in their fatherland. Unfortunately, the reports are more disheartening because they are malnourished and the funds that should be used in catering for them is being embezzled in their country of birth. The government keeps paying lips service to optimally caring for them. 

Another set of internally displaced people are those who are neither accepted in the city they reside and their country home. This is evident in documents such as state of origin, local government identification letter, Federal Character and others in Nigeria. All of these have reduced the opportunities available to people and this has led to brain drain.

The externally displaced people are those have lost their sense of their own identity based on some external influences despite being in close proximity to their culture and language. I strongly believe that regardless of the level of foreign civilisation, if your own culture is not promoted, it will die a natural death. 

Some years ago, we were having Generation X and now, we are having Generation Z. People are getting lost even in their homeland. There are many families resident in the cities who neither know their country home nor are told about the place. The question, “who will build and promote your country home?”

Either you are internally or externally displaced, you can rewrite your history; you can create a new order. If you are internally displaced, brace up to rebuild your home community; if you are internally displaced, work towards improving your language & country home with your expertise if you are externally displaced.

Whatever you do differently will engrave your name on the roll call of honour one day.

Have a nice transition into 2017.



(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria
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