The need for Untiy in Diversity.
Unity in diversity is a phrase that signifies the unity among people with diverse cultural, religious beliefs, social status and other demographic differences. Nigeria is a nation of large population consisting of people with different beliefs, tradition, religion etc.
Nigeria is home to over 250 ethnic groups, with over 500 languages, and the variety of customs, and traditions among them gives the country great cultural diversity. The three largest ethnic groups are the Hausa Yoruba and Igbo.
The various ethnic groups differ in language of which is the most remarkable difference which distinguishes one culture from the other in Nigeria. We have over 250 indigenous languages in the country . We also have two major religions: Christianity and Islam, in addition to various traditional religious beliefs in Nigeria.
The difference has been a major rationale behind past conflicts and also present conflicts just like the Kafanchan-Kaduna crisis that occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, the Kaduna Sharia riots of 2000 and the Jos riots of 2001.
These conflicts came as a result of colonisation, the struggle for position and power, resource control, social class status and land dispute. But all arising conflicts have been managed through uniting various people from different ethnic groups, religion and tradition.
This shows why unity is important irrespective of our religion, culture, tradition, political interest and socio-economic status.
Unity in diversity plays an important role in the development of our country because the country which is integrated will always move on the path of development. It will face fewer internal issues than a country that is socially unstable and divided on different terms.
Our diversity has been the cause of conflicts in the nation but unity in diversity will help us in maintaining peaceful co-existence despite our diverse cultures and backgrounds. It will also help us to stay united despite our disagreements.
Although our country is diverse, when we unite it does not only add value to our nation but it creates a good image of our country to the world. It sets an example globally by displaying the values and morals of the citizens of our country as people who respect and support each other despite being from different backgrounds and cultures.
Just as the saying goes “United we stand, divided we fall” we must unite as one nation and one people for Nigeria to stand and to progress to be a better place for its people.
Ibrahim Hassan Mshelia, Department of Mass Communication, Unimaid