If God had wanted, he could have made all of us Muslims, Christians or even any other form of religion, but he did not because the beauty of our country, like the rest of the world, is in the diversity of our people, not only in our religion but also in our tribe and cultures. And this is because the most beautiful garden is the one that has different colours and flowers.
Nigeria is a country with three major religions, over 250 tribes spread across the 36 states in the nation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. And we are exposed to differences in dressing, customs, methods, religious practices and lots more. We are presented with over 250 ways to view the world.
Unity is a feeling of oneness; the state or fact of being one undivided entity, unity comes with a great responsibility of giving, tolerance and respect for each other no matter who or what the belief and practice of the person is. Diversity simply means a variety of differences. It could take any form, for example, tribe, religion, culture and lots more. However, diversity is not restricted to tribe and religion. There are certainly other aspects like; political, social, economic, and educational and so on and so forth.
We, as a nation, can achieve much from diversity if the right mechanisms are adopted to blend our differences to yield positive outcomes for our dear nation.
It is rightly said, that people must have more than a sense of belonging, they must have a duty as well, a role to play, a place where their differences are respected. If people see that their efforts count for much and are essential for common progress, they will be inspired to do even more, channeling their efforts to positive use.
There must be an agenda that addresses the issue of no involvement of various people in nation building. If the people do not have a role in the scheme of things, then they may as well constitute a nuisance to the programmes and policies designed to move the nation forward.
To ensure political stability, it is essential that every citizen, irrespective of tribe or status, has a voice and can be heard.
Moreover, for there to be a full manifestation of unity, there has to be a full understanding of the word ‘unity’. The unification process has to start early enough. It should be emphasised in homes, in schools, in religious centres and indeed every facet of human interaction. It should grow with us as we progress in life, being reiterated at various points along the course. With this we would be able to raise a new generation of Nigerians who sincerely embrace their neighbours, regardless of whatever differentiates them.
Let’s all remember the oath and pledge we have taken to defend this country’s unity and uphold her honour and glory. How can we then achieve this? It can’t be through hatred, tribalism, regionalism and so on, but it has to be through unity and harmony so as to make this country great and prosperous.
Remember the journey of a thousand mile starts with a step, let’s all make a strong decision this day to make this first bold step that will change our country’s situation to the betterment for the good of the unborn generation.