Nigeria is such a complex nation which comprises about 250 ethnic groups, but rather than unite to move the country forward, these groups are more engrossed in pointing fingers at one another.
Ethnicity is one of the issues that if not properly handled, may succeed in tearing the nation apart and further jeopardize the long dream of achieving a one Nigeria.
Nigeria is faced with a thousand and one problems, with the most recent being the biting economic recession that has ravaged many sectors of the country’s economy.
Amidst all the challenges, it is not unusual to hear Nigerians from one ethnic group blame another for being the brain behind the many problems encountered in the country.
Blame game is one of the reasons the country seems to have been at a halt because the government officials rather than get on their toes and strategize to get the country out of the current mess, are busy throwing tantrums as to who is responsible for the situation.
The likes of former governor of old Kaduna State and elder statesman, Alhaji Balarabe Musa falls under this category of people who classify a particular region as the problem with Nigeria.
From his point of view, the people from the Southern region are not the problem with Nigeria but their counterparts of the Northern contraption.
In his words: “For instance, at the moment now we have major problems which we must face and solve as a country. Free education development is central to any form of national development. At the moment now because of historical development, the North is 40years behind the South in educational development.
“If this condition continues, there is no way we can have national unity, there is no way we can have even development, there is no way we can avoid the North being the problem of Nigeria. It is a fact, and we have to face it.
“If we have people like the Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello and so on, their contributions to development would have continued, we will not have problem of even development, particularly in the educational sector.
“Let’s not forget that because of the colonial policy, the North was left behind right from 1950. For instance, by the time I left school in 1951, there was no single secondary school in the North. And therefore, a northerner could not go straight to university. He had to go to the South; that was in 1943 when there were about 100 secondary schools in the South.
“And this disparity has continued up till today, and we are calling on Nigerian leaders to know that this is a threat to peace, to national unity and even development of the whole country.
“But Nigerian leaders, particularly, the present crop of leaders, don’t listen to this. But they now have to listen because we want peace and progress, and there is no way we can we have peace and progress if a section of the country does not have equal rights to participate in the affairs of the country, and you can’t have the equal rights to participate in the affairs of your country if you have this disparity in educational development.”
Just like the saying ‘different strokes for different folks’, it is expected that a lot of people will stand for his claims while a handful of others will definitely kick.
But in all sincerity, Nigerians need to shun ethnicity if they truly want to be taken seriously among the comity of nations.
No region should take the blame for the country’s woes no matter how largely or little it contributed to the mess.
Nigeria ought to exist as an independent entity and not some mother with so many prodigal children who all have different ideologies and views about life.
‘United we stand, divided we fall’, so goes a good old saying which has stood the test of time.
Therefore Nigerians should endeavour to do whatever it takes to fill the loopholes in the country and make it a better place to live in rather than going about with accusing fingers looking for who to point at and blame for the country’s woes.
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