Sitting in-front of my system and watching the so called youths comment on the new found form of activism keeps trying to dampen my spirit anytime I scroll through my timeline. With the entire horror scene on our political stage we have not been able to argue the same course on common ground. We leave a distaste of religious sentimentalism aided by the strong stench of tribalism. I am not here to talk about the #ChildNotBride trending matter that most youths blindly joined the train wagon without really understanding the connotation of it all.
I am here to talk about the disheartening comments and tweets that people send to the cyberspace. Rather than face the issue on ground, we hastily point sentimental accusing finger to religion and ethnicity. Let us address this issue or else we all will be used directly or indirectly mostly unknowingly to destroy our nation. The internet space in the outside world is being used in restructuring the definition of community based on common interest but a nation like ours only use it to deepen the gorge of regionalism that keeps tearing us apart. While disintegration stares at our heritage, we lose the point on ground by arguing from a religious and ethnical perspective. As much as our leaders have failed in steering our course, we keep aiding them by failing to expunge religion and ethnicity from politics and activism and if we don’t secularize politics we are doomed to self-destruct. These two remain the bane of our society as it limits the scope of our activism and leaves most of us myopic in reasoning. Consequently, the oppressed in our country take to the social media to rain religious and tribal abuses on one another and in the end we forget all about our oppressors and we lose the unity to fight against real enemies to start enmity amidst us.
Furthermore, most times religion and ethnical discussion has been used to create tension cunningly and in the long run popularizing someone within the nation. They employ such strategies to use the religious fanatics against the religion blind person who remain unbiased in his opinion about every policy being put in place in the country. Like someone said, China’s president isn’t a Yoruba or Hausa or Igbo, yet he keeps working towards a better future, neither is Indian’s President a Christian or a Muslim and yet development is being achieved on a faster scale.
The United States of America has diverse cultures and moral belief, but when it comes to the issue of the state they put aside these differences and stand on the same ground for what will benefit the state. Let us find a unity of purposed rather than dwell always on our differences and together build a great nation. Switzerland harbours four main ethnic groups German, French, Italian and Romansch and yet they preserved their identity as a nation. Until all of us outgrow the diversity and reason as one, then can any meaningful development be made in this country. Political parties would have to cut across the artificial barriers of tribe and region, and social and political convictions of party members would replace the present tribal and regional affiliations. National loyalties must supercedes sectional claims; only this way could National leaders, acceptable to the majority of Nigerians, be produced to tackle the exacting demands of a modern constitution. At a time when Nigeria should be electing its best people to strategic positions, most states and the country as a whole remain bogged down by the politics of balancing ethnic and religious interests. Thus, competence, capacity, qualification, experience, honesty and other considerations that should determine a candidate’s eligibility and electability are relegated to the background.
Inasmuch as we need a better Nigeria, there is a need for a thorough orientation before we take to social media activism about the need to converge the different streams of tribalism and religion to flow into river of national unity. Let us coalesce our individual need and strength towards a common cause “making Nigeria great”. Let us relegate religion and tribalism to the background of polity so that we will have a clarity of purpose and vision to work towards making our country great. Until then I tell you we can not make a headway in the re-birth of our great nation, and if it continues like this be sure Nigeria won’t stand together for long. I am a believer and I believe the future of our Nation will be brighter than that of any nation, If we get it right. God help Nigeria.
I am Ologbenla Adedeji Samuel,
@samade07 on Twitter