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Ile Ife crisis: The end to national integration?

With deep sympathy to the victims of the recent ethnic conflict in Ile Ife Osun State where several lives were lost and properties worth millions…

With deep sympathy to the victims of the recent ethnic conflict in Ile Ife Osun State where several lives were lost and properties worth millions of naira destroyed. The Sabo Community in the ancient town of Ile Ife which has seemingly remained the second largest ancestral home of thousands of Hausa people from the north to settle there several years ago came under heavy attack last week Tuesday and became desolate following a communal clash between Hausa and their Yoruba host.

Whatever the cause of this unwarranted fracas, it’s annoying here that over the past decades, such occurrences are on the rise in almost all the regions of Nigeria. The unabated communal, ethnic and religious clashes continue to pose a greater challenge and a threat to national integration, which the founders of the Nigerian state clamoured for. The bond of peace and unity have held several different ethnic nationalities together for a longer periods of time, but it’s eroding in recent times with these so-called bonded ethnic nationalities began to kill and destroy properties of one another in such magnitude that suggests, prior there wasn’t any sincere inter-ethnic relationships. The rage in this crisis posed the questions¡ is the Nigerian state at the verge of collapse resulting from lack of mutual trust, hatred, and enmity among the different ethnic nationalities that formed part the state? Must Nigerian citizens forever live in an area where he belonged and cannot move to other places within the country and intermesh with people of other religions and tribes? Must Nigerian citizens continue to live in fear of the unknown in places other than their ancestral homes? We must find answers and solutions to questions like these, until then lives and properties of Nigerians would continue to be destroyed by their core-citizens in the name of hatred, enmity and distrust.

Nigerian government must stand up against these dastard acts, to prevent further escalations, a blueprint must be put in place to thwart this criminalities. Effort at national cohesion and integration must be prioritised. Culprits and their sponsors must be brought to book and severely punished to deter others. National Orientation must be be giving prominence to keep sensitising citizens on matters concerning national cohesion. Nigerians must inculcate the habit of extending love to one another devoid of religion or ethnic affiliations. We must understand that killing and destruction would never address our national challenges, only peaceful coexistence would move us to where we want to belong among comity of developed nations.

Umar Muhammad, Kaduna, [email protected]

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