A Nation of thousands: Addressing Sectarianism and Ethnic Rivalry

A nation of abundance continues to live a life of penury characterized by a fluctuating economy, ethnic and religious rivalry, and political unrest.

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A multi-dynamic nation with over 500 languages and three major religions, blessed with 34 natural resources spread across 450 locations, with 82 million hectares of land fertile for agriculture of a total 91 million hectares and also crowned with sufficient manpower are still considered a struggling nation.

A Nation of thousands: Addressing Sectarianism and Ethnic Rivalry

The decadence of the Nigerian system has never been an outside factor but the culminating of negligence over the years. The violence that has and continues to kill thousands is not resulting from natural disasters, but due to divisions among us.

It won’t be illogical to say Nigeria’s political system embraces sectarian conflict and political considerations are based on religious or ethnic lines. Positions are wielded to a particular sect as it is their turn to rule. The emphasis on my own people’, ‘my own religion’ has pervaded the system as people enter into public positions to serve just a few. Violent politics have become the usual norm for Nigeria.

The leaders rather than unite the people would prefer to take advantage of the various ethnic groups, states, and religions to gain support, thus embracing a sect of the population. Ethnic diversity continues to be the major cause of conflict while the minority is kept at bay.

This has created a mess of our system as the inefficient are given leadership positions and a major reason we gamble with policies due to uncertainty of that which will work. Guesswork has become the other of the day as policies are implemented, which are discarded when ineffective. A cursory look at some of these policies reveals an obvious truth that they are not critically strategized. No surprise there is hardly an outstanding result from the myriad of policies.

Religious bias has also eaten into the fabric of our system leading to the death of thousands. Political corruption continues to govern the system of government and a major cause of the delay in response to violent outbreaks and killings.

Fulani herders constantly make the headlines with the rising cases of banditry and kidnapping. Boko Haram continues to terrorize the North East, yet our Leaders do not consider that the country is in a state of emergency rather the emphasis is on issues that are not a major threat to the country.

We maintain the posture of rest while the country is in a state of ruin. It should however be known that if the fire is not put out, it will spread and everyone will feel the heat.

The growth of a country will remain a major challenge if we continue to major on the minor. Nigeria for decades has sculpted for herself a poor and weak country. We do not contribute to global economic growth and development, yet it does not seem to shake us.

The covid-19 vaccine is a worthy example. Countries such as China, Dubai, and a few others were once a struggling nation like Nigeria but are presently considered an advanced nation. Civilization has eluded us as we clamor for that which would only tear us down rather than enrich us.

A nation of abundance continues to suffer lack as divisions and dissension have gained the upper hand. Progress is made in isolation, and when the position changes hands, previous works are not continued, rather new developments are enacted thereby making the old obsolete. Different sects continue to hold on to their selfish ideology as every tribe and religion would rather choose to stand apart.

We’re not one, not at all. We’re legion suffering in poverty, backwardness, inflation and so much more and we are the cause. The myopic way of doing things has been carved into a culture that has been adopted for decades and will continue if we do not see that we must breakthrough from individualism and regionalism and embrace every tribe and state.

There is no special tribe, every tribe is blessed and has its uniqueness. When a leader ascends position and chooses his right-hand men based on that which does not count, forgetting that leadership calls for higher responsibility, the system sooner than later will reveal the incompetencies of those handling various positions.

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Also, the consideration for a political position by the masses is all about affiliations, hence we voted for the wrong reason and wonder why we suffer. It is a deplorable situation as we are yet to realize that we are the cause. We continue to drown ourselves in the mess we’ve created and then we feign blindness. This will remain our condition until we realize that unity is a priority for the advancement of a country.

A wise man once said ‘to choose not to see is willful blindness’. When a position is of the utmost priority to the people, oppression is at the door. When what matters is just mounting the social ladder to make a name, the people will be regarded as slaves.

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A leader shows the way, where exactly are our leaders taking the country to, a loophole or the promised land declared to us during campaigns? Failure to see the responsibilities and sacrifices that comes with a leadership position has made us babes even after years of gaining independence.

No one will clean our mess for us and no one is exempted, both the leaders and the masses. When it comes to the welfare of a nation, let us set aside our self-interest and embrace what would impact every one of us. A 60-year-old nation cannot be called young. We have to man up our post. Our problem is human-made; therefore it can be unmade.

Peace Omenka

I'm a news reporter/ researcher. My major expertise is developing feature stories around trending issues.

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