No matter the amount of violence, quarrel or hatred among Nigerians, we can’t dispute the fact that we are one. No matter how we prioritised religion, ethnicity, regional culture or political disparities in our dealings, we will be one in Nigeria, forever.
Nigeria, the only nation we have and call ours, has been suffering from lots of challenges in social, political and economic spaces, largely caused by regional and religious differences.
On the other hand, the country has been blessed with enormous resources to handle its crises.
In less than three months, the general election will take place and because of those slight differences we have, people often resort to violence causing injuries and deaths.
To the best of my knowledge, no religion is in support of violence, especially the two major religions, to which the majority of Nigerians belong to.
Nigerians must look beyond these differences. Election is just a legal process through which people elect their representatives to a particular office. The Nigerian 1999 constitution allows every individual to vote and to be voted for.
Therefore, we need to tell ourselves the truth based on the good teachings of our religions. If we fail to do that we may end up in a worse situation. Our diversity should be our strength, not our weakness. We should strengthen our love and compassion, work together, respect each other and exercise humility and tolerance of each other.
Nigeria is a blessed nation with both human and natural resources. That’s why we are called the giant of Africa. To maintain this golden name, we should jettison the issue of tribalism, ethnicity and religious differences.
I think what is much more important is to embrace our disparities and live in peace and harmony with one another and bring the desired growth we have been yelling for a long time. It will only work if we adopt the saying, “United we stand, divided we fall’’.
Finally, I call on the major ethnic groups, Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba plus the minority to shun any act of discrimination among ourselves. Let us maintain the fact that all are one in Nigeria and embrace our existing differences.
We should not be brainwashed by politicians whose intention is to squander our resources. Let us not agree to be recruited as political thugs, Our aim should be to restore the lost glory of our country and have a peaceful atmosphere to live in for the sake of the upcoming generation.
Fibi Yusuf Musa, Department of the Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri.