by David Dimas,
Listening to one of Ben Murray-Bruce’s Common Sense series recently re-affirmed my belief that some of our leaders could fairly be said to be truly passionate about the future of Nigeria. At a time when youths across our nation are in dire need of inspiration, the distinguished Senator has stepped up to the challenge to provide the much-needed platform for true unison and patriotism.
As Nigerians, I dare say, we have been divided along some stereotyped barriers of religion and ethnicity rather than unity of purpose for too long. Ours is not a case of two different nations intricately at loggerheads by any means, but one of a people who have allowed impish reasoning to fester and divide us in the same land.
More worrisome, as also noted by Senator Murray-Bruce, is the continuous poisoning of our youths with bigotry and encouraging them to promote disunity on the basis of partisan politics, religion and ethnicity in the social media and other online forums.
Considering the fact that citizens are generally expected look up to their government for upright leadership, we expect ours to safeguard and promote our unity in diversity. That is beginning to transpire. In a time when division caused by machinations of greedy entities with vested interest in the outcome of disunity and chaos is gaining grounds, I dare say, Senator Murray-Bruce has demonstrated self-dedication to the theory of harmony by realizing and vocalizing the dangers disunity poses to Nigerians and the nation at large.
The late Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and educator Chinua Achebe once said “A functioning, robust democracy requires a healthy educated, participatory followership, and an educated, morally grounded leadership.” Looking at the demographics that form the “educated” class in Nigeria, you would think that the attempted proliferation of perverted opinions fueled by rumors, mistrust and irrationality would collapse from its own weightlessness. That thought is earnestly far from being true as we seem to have youths that are educated yet have their minds massively under the growing control of corrupt and incompetent leaders and their sycophants. Suggestions and opinions frequently raise war of words among readers. A peep into the comments section in most media reports or opinions such as this, or facebook pages related to national issues will give you a brilliant description of what I am talking about.
Since the future of every country greatly rests on the mental direction of her youths, safeguarding their psyche from disunity and control by conspiracy is a fundamental guarantee for a nation’s continual existence and development. The youths might fail Nigeria if we ignore the clarion being sounded by Senator Murray-Bruce and other well-meaning Nigerians.
Notably, unity among the youths is an idea known and feared by unqualified office seekers who would do anything just to hold on to power. With this in mind, these people understand that the only way the political playfield can provide a climate for their nefariousness is for them to control virtually every aspect of our psyche. As youths and vanguard for the nation’s development, we would be doing our generation a disservice by fraternizing with falsehood and fanaticism.
Nigeria is a land of many languages and multiple religions. The republic was a dream that began many years ago by many of our founding fathers with the hopes of creating one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity. As a result their efforts in spreading unity across the country gave birth to a language of inter-ethnic and economic communication in almost every region. Today, selfish leaders are championing the diluting of that national identity through politics of religion, regionalism and tribalism.
Far too often as Nigerians, we always love to bury our heads in the sand and hide behind the safety of our comfort zones while people who want more and more control over our intelligence the media spread stories with intent to throw the masses into dissension and turmoil. That is a dirty deed. When false ideologies and views exist amongst citizens, denial of one side’s ideology and approach might lead to confrontation. Our unique identities can help display the greatness of our national traits and put an end to the shameful history of disunity and acrimony.
Even though unity has always historically been the most difficult challenge to many countries and empires, no people in history have ever survived as a “Nation” with separate identities and spreading corrupt opinions within her people. From the Roman Empire, to modern day Syria, history is bursting with failed empires and States that broke up or fell apart due to lack of unity, national identity and solidarity amongst its people.
If people succumb to in-fighting and continue to do so in the face of falsity, they will never succeed in putting up a joint strategy against the enemy. Falsehood is highly resistant to correction once it gains acceptance and is adopted by an individual.
In reality, even animals ecosystem look out for each other. When one senses danger prowling, it immediately announces to the others of the threat by an impending intruder. By union the smallest states thrive, by discord the greatest are destroyed.
As an illustration, if a player in a football game starts ignoring the referee’s whistle and caution, the coaching grew will be forced to call him to order or substitute him to avoid getting a red card. It is time for our people of integrity, who form the nucleus of our political league, to unite in the struggle for the common cause of the nation regardless of the difference in ideology, political views and religious beliefs, and work collectively for the well-being of our fatherland by calling errant office holders to order.
Given these points, I urge fellow Nigerians, particularly the youths, to heed to this clarion call to free our minds from domination and subjugation by narcissistic leaders and propagandist of deception and discord. We the “participatory followership”, need to maintain a healthy mindset and develop strong sense of reasoning that will help us distinguish between fact and falsehood so as to avoid the chancy consequences of proliferating perverted opinions. If we fail in this, we may one day find ourselves as an educated people robbed of the will power required to pursue unity, liberty and happiness.
Author, Inspirational Speaker, Blogger, IT Consultant.
Laurel, Maryland, U.S.A