Sir: Nigeria is a country located in West Africa which was colonised by British, granted independence in 1960 after series of throes and struggles by our exceptional elite that were diverse in religions, tribes and regions but worked together for its emancipation.
In 1914, British colonial administration amalgamated the Southern and Northern protectorates to a single colony and protectorate of Nigeria. The amalgamation of over 250 diverse ethnic groups and two separate provinces is obviously related to the first military coup in Nigeria and the subsequent civil war. The Nigerian civil war was a devastating experience as both sides lost thousands of loved ones and properties worth millions were destroyed. The uprising in Middle East and some African countries like Libya are typical examples of how war makes country ungovernable and jeopardise its speedy transformation. The three major tribes in Nigeria; Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo are known globally for their befitting cultures which represent the country.
Our dreams of succeeding in all paces of human development could only be achieved if we tolerate the lapses of others, understand one another and put the country over our personal interests. There are several countries that decided to secede but yet they are still not on path of development as their poverty rates, infringement of rights and border wars are always aggravating. Examples of such countries include Sudan and South Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia, North and South Korea, Quebec and Canada, etc. that was why one proverb says, ‘’when two brothers fight to the death, strangers inherit their wealth;’’ meaning if a country perish in war, others they disrespect own their resources.
There is need for our leaders to shun selfish tendencies and promote the living standard of the populace irrespective of our heterogeneity. Referendum, constitution review and information sharing with all subordinates should be championed by leaders so as to give room for people-driven leadership and ideas that contradicts their viewpoints. To forge for more national unity, political parties that adopt name, logo or motto with ethnic, geographical or religious connotations should be proscribed. Most of those clamouring for secession and war have their family members abroad; ironically they push people to war but prefer to send them far from here so as whenever war break their loved ones would not be affected.
If God wants, He can create us practising same religion, speaking same language and cohabit in a single geographical location but instead in His wisdom He created us in different sizes and shapes, different races and cultures, different faiths and our modes of dressings, foods and traditions varies just for us to tolerate one another and live mutually together for common development.
Together we can make Nigeria great again!
• Mukhtar Garba Kobi.