In Nigeria, certain tribes are purported to be wicked and, as such, dangerous. However, many of those claims are misleading, as it is totally gross and inappropriate to judge an entire ethnic group based on the activities of a few individuals.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some ideological narratives trending amongst Nigerians regarding how wicked certain tribes are. In other words, we’ll provide a list of some tribes that people believe exhibit certain types of wicked traits.
There is no doubt whatsoever that tribal sentiment is common among Nigerians. One major reason for that is that pre-colonial Nigeria was ravaged by tribal wars, a few of which still exist today.
Although wars are not common in recent times, people still bear grudges from past intertribal wars, maybe as a result of listening to damning folktale. People preach those folktales from generation to generation thereby maintaining the chain of hatred among the ethnic groups in Nigeria.
Of a truth, some regions in Nigeria are not entirely safe to travel to, being that they bear certain risk levels for foreign tourists and nationals alike. If you are familiar with the cultural history of Nigeria, you would know that certain tribes dominate those regions. Therefore, those tribes are deemed dangerous since the regions they occupy are unsafe.
Tribes in Nigeria people believe to be wicked/dangerous
I’m sure you’ll agree that the Fulani tribe is one that everybody loves to hate. Needless to say, the activities of certain herdsmen and emphatic media reports have helped fuel the dislike. When you see headlines ‘like ‘Another Fulani herdsmen attack’ or ‘Fulani herdsmen strike again’, you are bound to feel like the entire tribe is as vicious as can be.
Reports of such attacks have created an impression among Nigerians that the Fulani people are among — if not — the wickedest in Nigeria.
However, that is not correct, as it is ethically wrong to tag an entire tribe the most wicked. Personally, I have come across several Fulanis who are adorable.
Several Nigerians believe the Hausas to be violent and highly aggressive and, as such, one of the most wicked. History of violence across the Hausa-occupied northwestern states — targeted at southerners — has helped create the impression that the Hausas are violent.
For instance, the 1966 anti-Igbo pogrom was a series of massacres committed against Igbo people and other people of southern Nigerian origin living in northern Nigeria. Those events led to the infamous Biafran war that claimed the lives of millions (majorly Igbos).
Again, I wish to clear the notion that the Hausas are a violent tribe, as aggression is a personal and individualistic decision. In other words, people don’t automatically become violent and aggressive because they were born into certain tribes.
The Igbos are known to be intelligent businesspeople. However, that doesn’t make them immune to being tagged wicked in certain areas. From the conversations I have had with a couple of people, they believe that the Igbos are ruthless when it comes to business. Therefore, they can go extra-miles to make profits, even if it demands that they cheat or steal.
For example, when the FBI released a list of Nigerians they alleged to be perpetrators of internet fraud, the names in it were majorly Igbo names. As a result of that, Nigerian social platforms exploded with the awkward hashtag #IgboYahooBoys
Also, we’d love to correct this notion, as it will only help aggravate the already glaring disunity among Nigerian tribes. Internet fraud is a problem for all. Being that, perpetrators of that crime have helped create a bad name for Nigerians in the international community. So, instead of pointing fingers, we should aim to find a solution to this huge problem.
The Yorubas occupy the southwestern geopolitical zone and are one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria.
In response to the infamous #igboyahooboys hashtag that trended on Twitter, the hashtag #yorubadrugdealers also trended. This, I believe, was the handwork of the Igbos who felt the need to retaliate.
Needless to say, drug dealers can be found in any country, tribe, and religion. Therefore, it is not a tribal affair.
The Ijaws occupy the oil-rich Naija Delta region of Nigeria. The region has for so many years been known for its high rate of militancy and kidnapping of foreign nationals especially.
As a result of that, many foreign nationals and locals alike think twice before visiting the region. Thank goodness for the amnesty offered by then-president Yar’adua that has seriously reduced the crime rate. Nevertheless, I have spoken with many people who still express concerns about their safety in the region.
Because of the history of militancy in the region, several people consider the Ijaws to be wicked. However, that shouldn’t be the case since militants only make up a tiny fraction of the population.
There’s a popular belief among that Nigerians that Edo state is riddled with witches, cultists, and kidnappers. Because of that, many people are skeptical about visiting Edo state for the very first time.
Nigerian Vlogger, Dyna Ekwueme, shared her experience in Benin City, the capital of Edo State, where she was posted to for her NYSC.
According to her, Benin City turned out to be one of the finest cities she ever visited in Nigeria.
For one reason or the other, people attribute certain wicked traits to each of the over 300 tribes/ethnic groups in Nigeria. Many of us grew up with that mentality because our parents or someone we look up to told us so.
Truth is, we must give everyone a fair chance regardless of their ethnicity because being wicked or kind has little to do with one’s cultural background, religion or ethnicity. As a matter of fact, upbringing and the friends we keep have huge roles to play in the person we turn out to be.