What you don’t know about the name NIGERIA

| April 8, 2014 | 0 Comments

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nigeria What you dont know about the name NIGERIAWe have been taught that the name Nigeria was derived from the River Niger and coined from Niger area to Nigeria by lord Luggard’s Mistress Flora Shaw. In fact, the name first appeared in print in the Times in 1897 and Flora Shaw was then the colonial Editor.
The area presently known as Nigeria used to be called SLAVE COAST. This was the historical name used for parts of the coastal West Africa along the Bight of Benin. The name is derived from the fact that it was a major source of African slaves during the Atlantic slave trade from the early 16th century to the 19th century. Other nearby coastal regions historically known by their prime colonial exports were GOLD COAST, IVORY COAST and PEPPER/GRAIN COAST.
Though the origin of the word Niger has not been properly established, but its use has been traced to the Latin word Niger, meaning black. The word NIGGER is also traced to the Latin word Niger. No matter the origin, it has been firmly established as a derogatory name. Nigeria is therefore a NIGGER AREA! To our colonizers and slave traders. The word nigger carries with it much of the hatred and disgust directed towards blacks by our colonizers. Whether used as a noun, verb or adjective, it supports the stereotype of a lazy, stupid, dirty, worthless and an unlucky person. Flora Shaw was probably a racist!
As we gather to chart a new course and restructure our country, I want to appeal to the national conference delegates to take a deep, critical look at the etymological origin of the name Nigeria. I propose we change the name.
EUGENE UROMI-OWU, A public affairs analyst

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