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How Can One Nigeria Survive?

April 18, 2012

The recent spate of bombings by the Boko Haram sect has cast a new layer of doubt to the portfolio of the cynic’s mind, questioning whether the nation conceived in unity can survive. I disagree that it cannot. The past journeys that our founding fathers had ushered us through, can never be forgotten despite the fact that it’s being distracted by the present. Our future is tight to their sweat, enduring labor. A nation that survives colonialism and civil war can endure ethnicism and Boko Haram. The following can help Nigeria survive as one single entity:

1. Love

We can’t hate each others identities and excpect a healthy outcome. No! The spine of our survival lies on the ardor of love we have for our country and for ourselves. Deep at the bottom of our heart, we need to create some passionate space of brotherhood. If we love, we accept weakness, appreciate (constructive) criticism, be disposed for modification, and prompt in agreeing to disagree.

2. Mutual Respect

One of the major turn on of any living soul is to feel themselves in a condition of being esteemed or honoured: to be held in respect. How can we thrive in unity if we have no mutual respect to each other? We have to honour ourselves despite our differences. No culture is better than other; no human is better than other. If we can respect the fact that we are all God’s children; bounded on the same roof of Nigeria, then we have to forsake our ‘selfish genes’; destroy our pompous notion of ethnocentricism; and held each other in mutual undesrtanding and mutual regard.

3. Putting a Halt on Tribalism

The notion of “We Vs. Them”, is killing us. The bigotted notion that my identity or ethnicity is better than yours has eaten us deep down to our bones. Tribal wars has caused us big time: we lost our lives, freedom, unity, sense of humanity, and identity on the course. To restore our pride ones more, we need to stop this tribal wars. We all function equally in the geography of Nigeria. The Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba– all have equal value on the face of this nation.

Each contributes immensely to the development of Nigeria as a nation; each has to live in harmony in peaceful coexistence and comformity; and the failure of one will affect the other. For Nigeria to survive as one, Nigerians have to have at the back of their mind the creed that, “There is no Hausa Nigerian; there is no Igbo Nigerian; there is no Yoruba Nigerian– there is only the united republic Nigerians”.

4. Identifying Our Common Priorities

Now that we set our differences aside; held ourselves in open arms of respect; and doused our slant of ethnic blaze, our next step in the journey of surviving a united nation is to identify our common priorities. What are they? What our dear Nigeria need the most? Is it a strong economy or strong finger pointing? Is it good governance or corrupt politics? Should we fold our arms in inaction rocketing salvos on ourselves or should we stand in united front against the embezzlers of this nation? Do we need bigotted ideologies to sink or one love to prosper? Do we base our politics on ethnicity to maim or base it on excellence to thrive? Do we need selfish pride (of “we versus “them” notion), caging ourselves in disunity or do we need mutual respect (identifying all and sundry as “us”, as common Nigerians) living happily in unity? It’s our take!

5. Attacking the Common Enemies

We all want peace and unity and better life. This is for sure an uncontestable issue. But do we know why we don’t get them? Do we know the constraints behind the achievement of these luxuries? Do we know the “cabals” that are stopping us from achieving these things? Yes! We do. Now, are we going to continue being sentimental and skeptical: finger-pointing in passivity, questioning whether this nation can survive as one or are we going to construct our thinking, assemble ourselves in unity, and attack the clueless administration? If we do the latter, we will not only survive as one; we’ll also live happily in peace and harmony as a whole.

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