The intra-ethnic violence that rocked Shasa Market that led to the loss of many lives and property worth millions of naira is condemnable. The crises came at a time the country was grappling with numerous security challenges.
Religious or ethnic strife are an old fashion which Nigerians have since discarded. In the 21st Century when many countries of the world are racing against time, embracing technology and devising various method to improve the living standard of their people, Nigerians are at each other’s throat dragging the country to a primitive era of underdevelopment through needless ethnic violence.
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Nigeria has several ethnic groups with different religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds. This barrier has become a source of enmity pitching one tribe against another. Evidence abounds on the numbers of communal crises in the country. There is no gainsaying that conflict is inevitable in any society. We sometimes agree to disagree in the course of our interactions. Every country of the world must have experienced one crisis or the other as part of its nation-building process. Therefore, Nigeria is not an exception.
There are various factors believed to have triggered violence and made the country less safe to live in. These factors include among others; ethnic profiling, intolerance, violent religious ideologies, and bad governance.
The 1999 Constitution gives every Nigerian the right to movement. This right is being challenged by some ethnic bigots or warriors who think they own the country. Now, in the same country, some people are considered superior than others.
The criminalization of all Fulani herdsmen because of the crime committed by a few among them will not solve the problem associated with cattle rearing in the country.
Likewise, labelling all other tribes by the crime committed by a few or bad eggs among them will not bring any solution. We have to bear it in our mind that each and every tribe in the country has good people and bad ones. We should avoid stigmatising a particular tribe because of the sins of a few. Let us deal with the criminals rather than their tribes. Those who are stoking the ethnic tension in the country should know that when the country boils, they are the first causalities.
The failures of government to protect lives and properties of Nigerians have paved the way for the emergence of non-state actors like Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho.
Unless government lives up to its constitutional responsibilities, Nigerians should expect the emergence of more Sunday Igbohos. Ethnic warriors will continue to explore our security lapses and instigate youths to foment troubles. Flying the kite of ethnic violence will do no good for the country. The earlier we understand this naked truth, the better for the country.
Ibrahim Mustapha Pambegua writes from Kaduna State