The world itself is a place for conflict, violence, deception, criticism, hatred, nepotism, tribalism, segregation, discrimination and bigotry among others because of the differences that characterise us as individuals.
We perceive the world from diverse points of view and that is exactly what gave birth to our inability to embrace altruism rather than egotism. This attitude is exactly what our public office holders are portraying – squandering and embezzling public funds without even thinking of the consequences and effect in crippling the country’s economy.
Blindly, people too are divided along ethnic and religious lines and therefore support politicians based on religion and ethnicity rather than track record and capacity to deliver good governance.
These differences have been in existence and will stay till the end of time. As a result, we should learn to respect our differences and tolerate each other by trying to make life easier for one other; let’s work towards moving this country to greater heights. Beside, many individuals have tried to draw the attention of people to politics free of religious and ethnic biases but without success.
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When it comes to politics, we are so much more concerned about the religion or tribe of a politician than his ability to lead with a high sense of responsibility.
Thus, politicians took the advantage of our tribalism, regionalism, and stereotypical perceptions of others by narrowing our thinking and dividing us along religious, and cultural lines for their selfish political interests.
Today, we live in a country where people cannot travel safely because of their identities. Hence their constitutional rights to freedom of movement can no longer be exercised.
Regrettably, some respected elders, traditional rulers, and clerics that are supposed to be above politics and other divides have ventured into politics which makes them lose their integrity and respect in the eyes of the masses.
It’s high time we roused ourselves from the daydream and face reality. We are one but just with different religions and tribes. Therefore, we should embrace ethno-religious tolerance, respect for elders, and constituted authorities.
This we must do if our priority is Nigeria of our dream that will compete with the so-called developed nations in terms of fast-tracked socioeconomic and political development.
Maryam Buba Gabaju, Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri