Let us work together

“The main issue, if I may dare say, is poor management or mismanagement of diversity which, on the other hand, is one of our GREATEST ASSETS…” Former President Olusegun Obasanjo stated in an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari {Emphasis mine}

Diversity in simple terms means variety of elements or different types of people classified by race, culture, religion, or language. What former president Olusegun Obasanjo meant by mismanagement of diversity is that, our greatest asset of man power has been used as a catalyst to Nigeria’s woes. We focus a better part of our efforts and energy in fighting ourselves than using our differences to better our lives.

Nigeria is regarded as the most populous black nation in the world. And the blacks, by default, are blessed with a certain amount of strength and endurance than other races, and when such gift is harnessed for a common goal, we record ground-breaking achievements. To my young mind, I agree with ‘Baba’ that the reason for the high rate of killings, maiming, and kidnappings is lack of love for one another.

Once upon a time, a Muslim and Christian could live peacefully in the same environment to the extent that religious activities like ‘Sallah’, ‘Christmas’ and the likes were celebrated as a holiday for all. Once upon a time, Nigeria was the choice of destination in Africa, but nowadays, majority of our youths who can be considered as the intellectual hub of the country are looking for ways to leave the country.

The civility and interaction with one another is one contributory element why hatred has generated to all our spheres of life. Take, for instance, the way we segregate ourselves in our manner of living; in my own state of Kaduna, majority of the Christians live on one side of the state, while majority of the Muslims or Hausa -Fulanis live on another side; employments are no longer merit based, but rather based on ethnicity or religion.

The above mentioned factors may look trivial in the current divide the country is facing, but the little things we ignore are what transform into the larger problems in our society. In essence, when we don’t relate with each other as one family, we tend to dislike the other based on intellectual, tribal or ethnic difference. This country is blessed beyond measure, and we can only achieve our desired greatness when we work together, rather than working against each other.

In the words of Taylor McAdams, “Unity in diversity means oneness in the varieties, and India is the best country proving this concept for many years”. But here in Nigeria, culturist ego has hindered us from uniting our differences for one good. Forgetting that we cannot all be educationally gifted as the Yoruba or industrious as the Igbo, or better farmers and herders like the Northerners, it is by collectively harnessing all these differences into one goal that portrays us as the giant of Africa.

We must come to the understanding as a nation that that which unites us is greater than that which divides us. We have many inter-religious and inter-tribal marriages amongst ourselves today, thus, there is a need for us to work together as one entity. We working together would go a long way in alleviating the challenges we face in this country. If India with over One billion people, and over two thousand ethnic groups can work together as a nation, how much more Nigeria?

It starts from eliminating the concept of state of origin or religious difference when relating with one another; we ought to learn to treat every Nigerian as one, and let merit and competence be the yardstick of the day. To my mind, there is great success in working together, than working against each other; if only we delete the several differences in our minds and work for the common good of the country.

Please endeavour to avoid crowded places, cover your noses and mouths when sneezing or coughing, avoid handshakes, and most importantly, wash your hands every opportunity you get.


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