When Shall We Stand In Brotherhood Again?
Nigeria News takes a look at the brotherliness among Nigerians despite their ethnic divides as they lived in peace in the past and the sudden suspicion that has now grown over the years.
I woke up this morning, thinking about the old Nigeria National Anthem, ‘Nigeria We Hail Thee”. A verse of it, “Though tribe and tongue may differ, In brotherhood, we stand,” has continued to hit my heart.
I was disturbed and asked severally and rhetorically if I have been standing in brotherhood with those of other tribes. I remembered that some of my good friends were from the east while growing up. I also had a few northerners as friends.
We went to the same school, eat the same food inside the same plate and spoke the same Yoruba Language, yet they were Igbos and Hausa/Fulani.
We went for the best among ourselves when it came to sports and would never support a mate along ethnic lines. I could remember one of the popular songs then by Remi Olabamiji, ‘This Life is beautiful, O dara, O lewa, this life beautiful o dara, o lewa.”
Yes, Nigeria was good and life was beautiful. Many Yoruba made the north their homes; Igbos lived peacefully in Yorubaland without suspicion. Businessmen faced their trade and politicians were very focused on how to make the country better.
But the military came to stop all these. The soldiers divided Nigeria along ethnic lines; they created suspicion, which till today has refused to quit the system.
The quota system, rather than helping the country has polarized it along ethnic and religious lines. We ask question more about which tribe a leader has come instead of what quality he is made of.
Most times, I challenge friends who emphasise on the appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari along ethnic and religious lines to show to me the saints among the Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa/Fulani and other minority groups.
I ask them, which is the best religion among the ones we practice in Nigeria. I told them to read the book authored by Bishop Desmond Tutu, “God Is Not A Christian” so that they can see that what Nigeria needs is neither a Christian or Muslim but a leader.
When shall Nigeria become an organic state where both the president and the vice practice the same religion? A Nigeria in which the president and the vice are both of ethnic group because they are the best quality.
When will Nigeria become an organic state where it will not be compulsory that 36 ministers must come from all the 36 states? Must this country have 36 ministers in the first place? I look forward to a country where the senate president, the speaker house of representatives will not be elected based on religion and ethnic nationality.
In his New Year message, it was clear that President Muhammadu Buhari was against restructuring. He spoke about leadership as the only thing seriously lacking in the country but as at today, he is embracing a report on restructuring.
Though the All Progressives Congress’ type of restructuring is based on true federalism, what many are clamouring for is a return to regionalism. To me, regionalism will segregate Nigeria more than uniting Nigeria. It is good in the sense that it will bring development closer to the people but it will create laws against brotherhood.