Simply as you don’t must look too laborious to search out the elephant in a room, only a look at Nigeria will draw your focus to ethnic and non secular divisions which are breaking the nation into unfixable items.
Nigeria is a heterogonous nation with so many tribes and religions that even residents inside the nation would possibly by no means meet individuals of all these tribes of their lifetime. From language to accent, look, and tradition, persons are in a position to distinguish one tribe from the following. And in lots of circumstances, an individual’s tribe is a determinant of their faith, though not at all times.
Nigeria has three main tribes; Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba, in addition to three main religions; Christianity, Islam, and Conventional faith.
These tribes and religions are sometimes so completely different in ideas and practices that it isn’t unusual to search out the practices of individuals on one aspect of the divide offending the opposite. Nonetheless, what we face now could be past mere offence.
Naturally, non secular and ethnic profiling had existed from the start of Nigeria itself. Persons are fast to imagine that the Igbos and the remainder of the South-South are Christians, whereas the Hausas are Muslims, with the Yorubas midway into each religions. What occurs when an offense appears to have come from considered one of these sides is an ethno-religious battle that erupts so quick, you may hardly put together for it.
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Ethno-religious battle refers to a scenario the place there’s a strained relationship between members of 1 ethnic or non secular group and one other group. The connection is one characterised by mutual suspicion, the absence of cordiality, and a really excessive disposition in direction of confrontations that finish in violence.
This mutual worry and suspicion have birthed a whole lot of ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria because the Nineteen Eighties, which have continued until current-day, with lives, properties, and sources misplaced in each of such conflicts.
A few of the noteworthy ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria because the nation ’s historical past embrace the Maitatsine non secular disturbances in Kano and Maiduguri within the early Nineteen Eighties, the Kafanchan Faculty of Training Muslim Christian riots in 1981, the Kaduna Polytechnic Muslim-Christian skirmishes of 1982, and the cross vs the crescent battle on the College of Ibadan between 1981 and 1985. The 1986 Muslim-Christian Conflict throughout a Christian Easter procession in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital can be price mentioning.
Some individuals would possibly say it’s only proper to say the Nigerian Civil warfare of 1967 to 1970 as part of the record because of the apparent ethnic and non secular coloration of that dreadful warfare.
Additionally referred to as the Biafran Genocide, the violent battle that took the lives of over 3 million individuals and displaced one other 3 million, was constructed upon ethnic stress.
There may be neither time, nor the necessity to enter the small print of a genocide that’s so well-known all through the world, and instructed like a story from mother and father to kids in Nigeria, a lot in order that the injuries from it by no means heal. When you listened in an ethnic disagreement between a northerner and a southerner, the civil warfare that was fought throughout ethno-religious traces will at all times make it to the forefront.
In opposition to this backdrop, and plenty of extra tales left unmentioned because of time and area, it may be seen that the present ethnic and non secular disaster all through Nigeria didn’t begin at the moment.
The actions of Boko Haram terrorists, the herdsmen and farmer clashes, the Niger Delta Avengers, The Indigenous Individuals of Biafra (IPOB) agitations, and even the Oodua Liberation Motion (OLM), amongst others, had been all birthed by ethnic and non secular agitations all through Nigeria.
In a rustic that’s so culturally numerous, you’ll count on its leaders to pay shut consideration to ethnic and non secular sentiments to keep away from the expansion of unfavourable sentiments that delivery agitations and violence. Nonetheless, it has change into apparent that these identical leaders stoke the fires of ethnicity and faith for their very own egocentric advantages.
Political leaders won’t ever hesitate to pitch one tribe towards the opposite if it meant that the ensuing battle can be of their favor. They train their followers to hate and mistrust individuals on the opposite aspect of the ethnic or non secular divide in order that they’ll both clinch a seat of energy or have unrestricted entry to the nation’s sources that they’ll squander at will.
These intrigues have continued unhindered, making one ponder whether the followers of those devious political leaders are too blind to see the video games being performed. Properly, possibly they’re, and also you may not be fast accountable them.
The apparent failure of the Nigerian authorities and its leaders to forge nationwide integration, promote understanding throughout ethno-religious divides, and guarantee financial progress of all religions has led to psychological and monetary poverty, in addition to unemployment. All you should do is to inform a hungry, illiterate man that the following particular person is the enemy stopping him from dwelling the life he so wishes to reside, and he’ll brandish the sword, able to spill blood with out a second thought.
Poverty and unemployment have change into the soil upon which ethno-religious conflicts have been planted and proceed to develop in Nigeria. For this reason the leaders don’t transfer an inch to do something about training and unemployment, as a result of it will change into harder to persuade an informed, enlightened, and employed man that the following particular person is his enemy just because they communicate and worship in another way.
Employment and political appointments additionally create an avenue for additional ethnic and non secular divisions, as individuals, in whose fingers the keys to the roles lie, will distribute identical solely to these of the identical non secular and ethnic inclinations, blatantly ignoring fairness, equity, and even the federal character.
The Nigerian political scene can be lots saner if the leaders didn’t pull out the ethnic and non secular card each time the polls strategy. Immediately, the political elites bear in mind how one tribe or faith is unworthy of belief and management, they usually start to make use of each means potential to create a divide among the many voters, simply to favour their dishonest pursuits.
Of all of the states in Nigeria the place this has been the case, Lagos has to date been the worst. Each time a governorship election nears, the ethnic card will get performed, particularly when it appears that evidently the Igbos are leaning in direction of a candidate that doesn’t belong to the occasion in energy. We noticed it occur in 2011, 2014, and even 2019, when ethnic profiling turned the order of the day, and tales of ethnic domination by strangers and non-indigenes turned rife.
The just-concluded 2023 governorship elections in Lagos had been no completely different, as all the world watched the ethnic battles that occurred just because the egocentric elites needed to carry onto energy.
Nearly a month after the February twenty fifth Presidential elections, and there may be already palpable stress as candidates from the three main ethnic teams head to courtroom to battle over the winner of the elections. From public sentiment it’s already potential to foretell how the nation can be thrown into chaos if the courtroom guidelines towards the candidate of the South East, at a time when the Muslim-Muslim ticket has created displeasure amongst the Christian people, and the last-minute disregard of the zoning formulation raised ethnic displeasure.
It’s clear, with out all doubt, that the political elites in Nigeria have chosen to disregard the truth that Nigeria is on the sting of a precipice, and would fall swiftly into the darkish abyss, by no means to be heard of as a singular nation once more, if one thing isn’t finished to cease the ethnic and non secular battles that proceed on-end.
Nigerians should additionally get up and battle their slave masters and oppressors garbed as ethnic, non secular, and political leaders who proceed to take advantage of their ethnic and non secular inclinations for private achieve. Give it some thought for a minute. When has the typical Nigerian ever gained one thing from these ethno-religious conflicts? By no means. Are you able to say the identical for the nation’s leaders? Completely not.
Nigeria would possibly already be destroyed past fixing, however who is aware of? It may not be too late to stop the final word destruction.