Managing Diversity And Fault Lines In Nigeria By, Meduoye Adeyinka

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The level of disunity and distrust among Nigerians is beyond imagination as it calls for management of fault lines.

It is in that direction that Meduoye Adeyinka, a social Affairs commentator, writes on what he titles ” MANAGING DIVERSITY AND FAULT LINES IN NIGERIA”

Let us read what he has to say;

” The siege mentality that cut across ethnic and religious divides must be closely and properly addressed through reorientation exercise and reviews notions that pitched us against others.

The struggle to curb the preponderance of immoralities within the hemisphere of the nation’s porous societies must be challenged with an objective to embrace justice and tranquility in order to shun the scourge of chauvinism and bigotry.

The pillars of our guiding principles are no longer standing on the foundation of value.

The dysfunctional social policy framework that fails to keep the government intention abreast with the genuine democratic expectations of the citizens especially in terms of infrastructural deficit, is quite alarming, and thus to the point of constitutional reaffirmation.

From its inception as a colonial state, Nigeria can be rightly described as the most deeply divided State in Africa.

It has faced a perennial crisis of territorial or State legitimacy, which has often challenged efforts at national cohesion, stability and economic transformation, regional disintegration, ethno-religious manipulations, flagrant tribal abuse, democratization, and the unwarranted abilities of phony political jobbers to plunge the nation into perpetual ruin days.

The daily struggles for humans to accomplish needs for survival, attune to our inclinations for peace but most of us are not mindful of this fault line in the real sense of evaluation.

No truer words, as poverty troubles the mind, epidemic of crime leads to fear and insecurity leads to despair – without feigning ignorance on the disturbing report index released by IMF, projecting Nigeria’s to become the World Poverty Capital by 2030 with an exponential increase in the rate of her population.

Instead of tranquility and morality to be our watchword, we rather choose to pitch our tent under the aegis of oppression and mediocrity.

Major political issues are vigorously contested along the fault lines of complex ethnic, religious, and regional divisions in the country.

Those that considered themselves fundamental to the existence and legitimacy of a State in Nigeria, with the exclusionary adoption of winner-take-it-all strategies, are the ones who have generated the fiercest contestation.

Nigeria is on the verge of fracturing, as ethnic and religious minorities in the North face systematic and systemic discrimination, and terroristic activities by Boko Haram and Fulani militias profoundly and negatively impacts on the lives of Muslims and Christian alike, resulting in countless internally displaced persons.

The recent sardonic tape played at the glimpse of Christmas by the Islamic State of West Africa Province, is a part and parcel of the stark realities of these fault lines perpetrated under the cloud hovering above.

The unethical control of State power, resource allocation, and citizenship, have in recent times generated conflicts that have become more or less pervasive and intense, and disintegration continues to be contemplated by aggrieved factions of society as one of the feasible means of resolving the national question.

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In an unstable political context, this denotes that the consequences of Nigeria’s diversity are dreadful.

Yes!!! There is unity in diversity, and the understanding of equality is essential, especially for transitional societies where inequality provided the fault line for outbreak conflict.

The moment an individual doesn’t have a comparative knowledge about the scent of unity, then such person is doomed to be easily misguided and misinformed.

It is pertinent to recognize that different people view the world differently.

Inducing the mark of separation by one or two identifiers be it – race, gender, sexual orientation, religious creed and beliefs etc.

oversimplifies the challenge and doesn’t help contribute to a diverse enabling environment.

The mirage of encouragement to share ideas and opinions: to internalize leadership at servant-hood ideology in contributing magnificent and tangible development as an inclusive culture, is collaborative, thus provides a safe environment for everyone to speak their point of view and brainstorm with each other.

The assertion that the thoughts and opinions of each one must be respected and cemented without drawing recourse on individual’s personality.

Distilling a human being down to a single category is dehumanizing.

Truth be told, the beauty of diversity – when managed properly is a glorious jackpot as it only enhances richness and color of modernity.

It is a fact that civil war causing flurries of deaths are pointer effects of ethnic and religious diversity amongst other things.

Yet, we all agree that a house divided against its roof can never stand.

A careful review of the subject matter, deduce that diversity and fault lines can be manage as suggested below –

– The Establishment of a comprehensive “Peace” roadmap – if there is no peace, there is conflict.

The presence of peace yield unity and oneness.

– The expansion of the internal activities of the National Emergency Management Agency to ensure that all IDPs receive their needs.

– Bringing to justice by ensuring that those who participated in conflict are held accountable.

Hence ending the culture of impunity irrespective of the persons involves.

– Adequately addressing the tussle issue of indigenous and settlers rights.

– Enhancing the capacity of the Nigerian Security Forces.

– Utilizing the media to raise awareness on the brutality of conflicts and the benefits of peace-building.

– Overhaul of the media space to curb the spread of fake news, which in turn causes tensions between persons.

– Channeling the teaching of peace building through religious denominations and leaders.

– Addressing the hassle of ‘Federal Character’ on political appointments.

There should be a balance of perspective on the information of diversity – otherwise, there will evolve a case of abusing the sensibility of Nigerians who actually have nothing against the federation but demanded the implementation of the condiments that guaranteed unity.

For there to be unity, there must be equity, equal rights, equal citizenry, fairness, justice, tranquility, and openness.

It is these condiments that take care of the subject matter ‘diversity’, and when this happens, unity becomes inevitable.

God bless Nigeria”

Adeyinka writes from Lagos.

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