The recent intra-ethnic strife that rocked Shasa market, in Oyo state where innocent northern traders were killed and their properties worth millions of naira destroyed is condemnable. If a minor disagreement ensued between porter and the native could result to, or degenerate into hostile or violence, one is confused to conclude that, Shasha crises is nothing but evidently case of ethics intolerance. Surprisingly, both the hosting community and the Hausa traders have been conducting their business for decades. What has promoted this violence is still unknown. But in recent times, there are reported cases of ethnic stoking spearheaded by some bigots. The criminalization and stigmatizations of the Fulani race, followed by eviction notices from some south west governors are just the pointers. What about the emergency of Sunday Igboho, an ethnic warrior who incited violence against the Fulani herdsmen living in Oyo and Osun state? I think the Shasa ethnic crises are aimed at chasing out the northerners from the south-west for either Political or other reasons.
I wasn’t born when the country experienced the 1967-70 civil war but history taught us. What is happening now is exactly what led us to war in those days. The agitation, intolerance, hatred and distrust among multi-ethnic Nigerians are beyond imaginations. Nigeria has done more good for us,but it seems we are no longer interested in staying together.
The country is moving fast towards becoming Somalia, the social space is too loose to the extent everyone can say or write whatsoever comes to his way and this is generating a lot of uncertainty and tension in the country. A very good example is the attitude of some of the so called social media influencers that always manufacture stories marrying them with deep fake videos and pictures to create hatred against a particular group of society. While some so called elites and regional elders are busy polluting the minds of the young ones to destroy the present Nigeria
Our social space is polluted with fake news, misinformation and hate speech, some young people who do know the country very well sitting in the comfort of their bedroom using mobile phones with cheap data analyzing the affairs of the country.
We have a local minding educational system, the national youth service corps programme is no longer achievable, people are attached to their environment, it can easily find someone born in one community, attend primary school up to university level at the same and also as youth corps member in the same community. How do you expect such person to understand Nigeria, he may probably grow with very narrow minded thinking.
Some Journalists and media organizations are also contributing immensely towards dividing the country along the ethno-religious line, their headlines and nature of coverage are very poor and uncalled for. They seem to be interested in inciting Nigerians against one another rather than actually adhering to their journalism ethics and as fourth estate of realm as provided by the constitution.
Though, I will not be surprised since we handed over the media organizations in the hands of bigots and ethnic jingoism twho always apply divide and rule in order to achieve their political and selfish interest.
The true love of Nigeria is eroding in the minds of many and few of us don’t believe in Nigeria any more, the poor democratic governance and flexibility of our policies are creating more avenues for some unpatriotic elements among us to harvest hatred and intolerance in the country. People are no longer discussing issues of good governance and nation building, everyone wants his kinsmen to be in power. How can we develop with this kind mindset since competency and integrity are no longer considered in leadership recruitment process?
Ruling elites are manipulating our religious differences for their personal reason, ethicize, criminalise and media stereotyping have become the order of the day pushing us into a war which we cannot control. People are no longer trusting one another, even appointments into academic cycles like in universities are based on religious and ethnic sentiment.Are we building religious empire or states ?
Our institutions are no longer functioning the way they are supposed to be because we reduced ourselves to religious champions, everything in Nigeria is now politicized and ethicized. No wonder we have a very wide distance in our societies, people are no longer being posted to different parts of Nigeria to work instead they want to stay in their village and apportion blames to other ethnic groups.
At 21 century, Nigeria needs to move forward,most of the countries now are talking about research and development not issue of national unity and ethno-religious conflicts
We need a constructive dialogue in order to know what has gone wrong in the country and how to amend. We need to embrace one another regardless of religious or ethnic difference for nation building. Some religion and ethnic war Lords are hell bend to set the country on fire. We should not dance to their tone.
Idris Mohammed writes from Mass Communication Department Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto. He tweets @Edrees4P
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily