With her rich endowments, Nigeria did have an overriding position in the scheme of political and socioeconomic affairs, be it at the regional, continental or international milieu. Nigerians are enviable and therefore expose to both internal and external conspiracies of avaricious groups and individuals. Parts of the stratagems are to wean our patriotic spirit, allegiance to constituted authorities and becloud our senses of good judgment to restrict appreciation of the forte and splendor of our diversity.
We have much to be proud of – population, multi-ethnic tribes, resourceful people; literary and scientific giants of transnational acclaim and virtuous principles of connecting to the only one true God that the adherents of the major religions in the country worship. However, our glory as people will take us nowhere except we appreciate ourselves by tolerance and work together for our collective benefits by acceptance of our unique differences.
What we need to do in various spheres, and within our respective domains befitting of dutiful citizens, should be the expression of the importance of our unity in actions and words. We should accord such cooperation and support to constituted authorities and institutions, and then cutoff apathy in order to provide a clear space for the manifestation of democratic dividends from the genuine efforts of the government. From the kindergarten, through primary and secondary school levels to tertiary institutions of higher learning, there should be deliberate and concerted arrangements in cultivating the spirit of patriotism, ethno-religious tolerance and appreciation of our diversity; leadership at every stratum should not allow anything less rear its head in our national front.
As citizens of One Nigeria, it was long overdue for us to develop and promote a peculiar political culture that deemphasizes romanticized expressions of being overly loyal to one’s tribe, religion and region than our common and national interest; it is a matter of urgency for relevant authorities to begin to develop a feasible blueprint towards achieving this. “I am a Nigerian” should always proudly be on our lips rather than the bigoted phrase of “I am Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa or Fulani”. The sentimentality of bias is also conveyed in various lingoes among people of our geopolitical zones as if we are actually different. We should begin to make deliberate policies that would combat expressions that would grow fangs of socio-cultural acrimony. I suggest we adapt such culture of national affection from the Nordics or any other that promotes strong national connections.
“I am a Nigerian” should always proudly be on our lips rather than the bigoted phrase of “I am Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa or Fulani”. The sentimentality of bias is also conveyed in various lingoes among people of our geopolitical zones as if we are actually different. We should begin to make deliberate policies that would combat expressions that would grow fangs of socio-cultural acrimony. I suggest we adapt such culture of national affection from the Nordics or any other that promotes strong national connections.
The media should be at the forefront in setting agenda for a reorientation, and along with relevant bodies work together with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in creating the desired unity amongst Nigerians. A strong bond as a leverage would naturally strengthen the development of dependable institutions that would provoke mutual trust in place of mutual suspicion. It is this spirit that we need to combat the challenges confronting the country and our common enemies. The major threat in the country today is insecurity. If not for insecurity, Nigeria of today considering the genuine efforts and commitment of the Buhari Administration would have arrive “the promise land” or somewhere close to at least socioeconomically. Nearly in every part of the country, many people cannot go to farm or freely operate their businesses that translate to varying activities that could boost the economy due to insecurity. I am certain that this challenge among others can adequately be dealt with if we realize the power of unity and the enormous strength inherent in our diversity. Accentuating unity in our diversity is the refrains required on our lips at this spellbinding time of our national life, and together give strong support to our military and other security agencies in their campaigns against harbingers of evil will make us conquer and progress rapidly.
Abu, I. Michael
Michael is the Head of Press and Public Relations, Office of the Surveyor General of the Federation