Disunity is the bane of any society composed of men with common hope, common faith, and common aspiration. The people of Nigeria, whether they are from the North, the South, the East, or the West, have one common destiny. The mill of imperialism spares no one. It is no respecter of tribal affiliation.
The sledge hammer of economic imperialism knows no difference between the Yoruba’s, the Igbo’s, the Hausas, Fulani’s, or the Kanuri’s. We are all Colonial peoples and victims of foreign vested interest.
“ That is why we have always protested against tribalism. I wish to see Nigeria grow to maturity and take its place amongst the great nations of the world. Let us build our future on the ideals that Christ has preached. Let us say no to tribalism. That is Mack of Racialism, tribalism, and commercialism. Let us be friend in a common cause.
It is a natural feeling which can becompared with parental feeling. It is a sort of inferiority complex between ethnic groups especially from those who rationalise that they are superior in certain respects or jealous of another ethnic entity. Its existence can be traced far back to the slavery era. Tribal wars were waged with one objective to capture slaves who are automatically disposed of, to the "Human Trader."
The winners put to shame their victims in human degradations; the psychological effect of the losers can be better imagined, when they are cowed before those they are supposed to have vanquished.
Such was the slavery era. In Nigeria today, this enemy is still at large. Why was it not crushed when slavery was no more? The paradox of life is that we must not only serve ourselves but serve the social group if we should know freedom and happiness in living.
Serving exclusive purposes leads to maladjustment, introversion and unhappiness. We must not only unite our powers but live in harmony with others. St. Paul in his epistle to the Romans said among other things "Let love be without hypocrisy.
Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. In love of the brethren be tenderly affectionate to one another; in honour preferring one another; " Where there is love, there is friendship, and friendship lead to Unity the giant that can obliterate tribalism from Nigeria. We cannot in this twenty first century Nigeria tolerate tribalism and this objective could be achieved by mutual understanding. It is quite evident that Nigeria's irredentism lies on Nigerians.
“It is the duty of any Nigerian to contribute his quota in the battle now being waged against tribalism. The evils of tribalism in Nigeria are many. Tribal appellations cause tribal idiosyncrasies; these lead ultimately to vanity and superciliousness and disharmony. An Hausa man may think a Yoruba man is inferior, while the Yoruba man in" turn commonises the Igbo man; and Igbo man concedes to himself that both the Hausa and Yoruba are just the people without the gut.
“Instead of some of our leaders helping in educating their followers that their conception of tribalism cannot withstand scientific analysis and that Nigeria is 1, place of birth not withstanding, they add more to this evil propaganda. No leader in Nigeria today can succeed, unless he forgets his ethnic group.
His service must be to Nigeria and not to any particular group. "We must widen our citizenship beyond our tribal loyalties’. Every educated African should shed the cocoon of tribe, should cease to be a tribesman".
Mrs. Uchechi Chilaka, a human rights activists said : “Nigerian Press have openly decried against it's existence; yet I believe, that if they pull their strengths together to combat against this evil, Nigeria will never forget to be grateful. "Our little world called Nigeria seems to be passing at the moment, through one of the severest tests in her whole history.
That her people have been evolving at a rate never before known in the annals of her existence is also admitted. But that there are forces both internal and external militating against the smooth working of this machinery of health evolution is a fact most painful to record the existence of tribalism in Nigeria.
“Before I talk about the way out, the big question now arises, how can we combat tribalism? However, we should understand from the beginning that we can only wipe it out through, the collective efforts of tin;
Inhabitants, of this "Great Paradise on earth". Our religious leaders should impart to their adherents in classes and from the pulpits the evils of tribalism. There are tribes far behind others today, they seem to be sleeping:. It is our duty wake them from their lethargy instead of making jests of them. We must arouse them, help them forward and kindle in thorn the flame of nationalism. We should make them realise that what Europe or America has achieved, Nigeria too can achieve it, even better.
“ The understanding of different tribal languages is imperative. This will automatically remove the shyness, suspicion and annoyance of one tribe against another when they come across themselves in their different works of life. Here our Education Department will have, to include in the, curriculum, the teaching: Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages in all schools and colleges throughout Nigeria. Inter-Tribal Marriages.
“We Should encourage inter-tribal marriages. There is no reason why an Igbo man should not marry an Hausa girl. Or an Hausa man marrying a Yoruba, nor can the Yoruba man adduce any law forbidden his marriage with a Cameroon! And vice versa. Our leaders should lay the example by giving out their sons and daughters in marriage irrespective of tribe; or marry inter-tribally. Their followers. Will surely emulate, their footprints.
Customs. This can be done by .examining the customs of the different tribes in Nigeria with constructive criticisms and select certain good ones to be "used by -ill.
“Since the boycott strategy, our dresses have been identical. This is a very good show, This is very important. It is only by regular contacts with ourselves, that we can get acquaintance from different tribes. Irrespective of tribe, religion or political or social class, anywhere in the world. It should be remembered, that the few of us who may have friends from other tribes were able to do so either through the school, place of work, or any kind of social activities.
“ It is also of paramount importance that we should create other mediums, where we can freely and frequently come in contact with ourselves. It may be the owning -and running of business, together, staging inter-tribal plays, dances, sports, arts or other social activities.
By rendering also mutual aids to ourselves at any time and at all costs, irrespective of tribe, relationship or creed. Flattery, Flattery lavished much on any particular tribe must be thought little of. As, it creates confusion and commotion. It fertilizes the spread of tribalism and fuses blatant tribal hatred. Sincerity. We must be sincere in dealing with ourselves in any form or shape. For once a trace of mistrust is covered, hatred sets in. By patronising Nigerian arts, music, goods and having pride in anything Nigerian.
Here our educators and parents will be doing the nation a great service if they start from the beginning to erase this tribalistic instinct from our youths and the leaders of tomorrow. But can they do this, if they themselves are slaves to tribalism? Hence, they must first of all, purge themselves out from its chains.
If all the teachers and parents of this country will pledge themselves towards this type of evangelism, their gospel will be a huge success and they will have facilitated the New Nigeria. Unity. In the animal world anthills and beehives are wonderful models of what unity can achieve.
Can a single ant or bee ever succeed in raising such a complicated structure? Never, it is only their collective efforts that made these possible. Nigeria at present is like a piece of iron nut in the furnace which liken out, is shaped into what it should be. Let all tribes join forces to actualize this unity With malice towards none, they could select their Offices, with charity towards all. They could win mass education, ward-off mass illiteracy and revolutionize our economical and political status quo.