The various killings in the US the past days should give any discerning Nigerian a reason to think beyond the now and about the future of Nigeria. That the American system, despite its reputation for respect for the constitution, allows police officers to murder black people without prosecution should give any Nigerian who tries to shut up anyone who complains about tribal sentiment by northern leaders a prod to have a rethink.
Moves by racial groups to subdue others are real and are better tamed early than dealt with later. Any country that fails to do so will pay for it - even decades or centuries after. No matter how small or underprivileged a minority group is, if they are deliberately put down for the benefit of others, they will one day demand to be treated right. The Niger Delta people are a good example.
One recommendation that has, however, been most popularly made in the aftermath of the recent killings in USA is “open and honest conversations.” This is something Nigeria needs to learn from. Not talking about our grievances can only result in the piling up of gun powder that would later explode in everyone’s face - as it is currently exploding in our faces.
Some have even become so hypocritical that they argue that “It doesn’t matter where they come from, we just need people who can do the job” in order to defend a president whose security chiefs are 95% northerners. Having this skewed formation could only provide short term solutions (if at all) which could be destroyed by agitations in no time. Why was the doctrine of national character so important when it was time to drag the whole nation backward, and no more important now that we claim to be building it?
Securing the Future of Nigeria
Nigerians have to wake up and drop myopic reasoning. We cannot afford to pretend that there are no regional biases in Nigeria; and we sure cannot afford to support or by quiet about it because of the immediate change (gratification) we so much desire. We as citizens must imbibe rational, just and lawful standards in our assessment of national issues and hold our leaders to those standards. Only these standards can guarantee sustainable growth, not the quick fixes we have had over and over again.
We cannot be penny wise, pound foolish because we are desperate. The iron is, we are where we are today because we were desperate yesterday; yet we want to get out of the situation with same acts of desperation.
We cannot be so concerned about development today that we do not bother to ask if such can be sustained for even 3 years. For us to actually move forward, we need to listen with sincere empathy to one another, and to encourage or compel the government to give every region a fair chance to grow through true federalism.
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