Nigeria is a country blessed with diverse cultures and ethnicities, but unfortunately, this diversity has often been used to divide us instead of unite us. Tribalism and ethnicism have been a significant problem in Nigeria, causing disunity, hatred, and even violence.
As Lucky Dube rightly said, “Not every black man is my brother, not every white man is my enemy.” This statement should serve as a reminder that we should not judge people based on their tribe or ethnicity, but rather on their character and actions.
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo once said, “Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians. No ethnic group or religion should think of domination or marginalization.” This sentiment is one that we must all embrace if we are to move forward as a nation.
We must recognize that there are good people from all tribes and ethnic groups, and that we can learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We must reject the notion that one tribe is superior to another, and embrace the fact that we are all equal.
We must embrace this mentality and work towards a Nigeria that rewards merit, equity, and fairness. As former President Goodluck Jonathan once said, “We must learn to live together as brothers, or perish together as fools.” Let us choose the former and work towards a united, equitable Nigeria.
In developed countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe, tribalism is not a prevalent issue because they have moved past it. Their societies are based on equity, fairness, and merit, and this has resulted in significant growth and development.
For Nigeria to achieve growth and development, we must also move past tribalism and ethnicism. We must embrace unity and diversity as our strength, rather than a weakness.
However, it is disheartening to note that in some states in Nigeria, indigenes of the state are intimidating other stranger elements in this election, forcing them to either vote for a particular party or not come out to vote at all. This is a gross violation of the Nigerian Constitution and the Electoral Acts of 2022.
This practice is condemnable, outrageous, and barbaric in nature. All well-meaning Nigerians should condemn it, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should also condemn it. The security operatives and agencies should fish out those intimidating fellow Nigerians based on tribe and ethnicity and charge them appropriately.
Politicians, must lead by example, eschewing tribalism and ethnicism in all our political activities. They must unite Nigerians, not divide them, and work towards a future where every Nigerian, regardless of tribe or ethnicity, can achieve their dreams.
We must remember that we are all Nigerians first and foremost, and our diversity should be our strength, not our weakness. Let us eschew tribalism and ethnicism, embrace unity and diversity, and work together towards a better Nigeria.
Chidi Okoro Esq
Reseacher, Bible Teacher, Political And Public Affairs Analyst.
You can reach me on: WhatsApp 08182355677