Re: How did we get here?
Imust commend Deborarh Phillips for her objective submissions that Nigeria is a country built on oneness, love and tolerance despite our diversity, in her letter to the editor in the Monday September 25, edition of Daily Trust. In fact, the two major religions practiced in Nigeria Islam and Christianity–preach peace and love.
Language, ethnicity, background and religion have never been excuses to hate one another as far as the true teachings of our dear religions are concerned. Islam particularly advices us to love our neighbours as we would love ourselves no matter the race or religion; as a matter of fact, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was reported to have mentioned that he never thought his life would come to an end without having the revelation that one’s neighbour could inherit him.
I was particularly caught by your fourth paragraph where you mentioned the over-debated issue of quit notice by the Northern Youth Coalition some months ago (which for me is a matter that should be allowed to rest as the issue has been successfully arrested for now). I must say that you didn’t do justice to the objectivity of your letter with that assertion.
I am particularly not in any way supporting their action by asking our Igbo brothers and sisters to vacate the North. Likewise, I am not blaming them for their action. The love, oneness and unity built and sustained by our fore fathers were first destroyed by our eastern and southern compatriots.
For a fact, we have kept our promise for unity and oneness in the North. You live in Kano and you have spent a precious part of your life in the North and I don’t think you have ever witnessed a situation where an Igbo man was treated differently. Ninety five per cent of Sabon Gari area in Kano is dominated by the Igbo; same as Panisau, where they purchase viable plot of lands and build mansions; not to talk of Badawa area. Even in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, where I come from, we live with them in harmony.
Finally, I will like to call your attention to the fact that North and Islam have always symbolized peace (forget the bad eggs who misunderstand the teachings of Islam and call themselves Muslims). Therefore, if Nigeria has to continue as one our eastern counterparts have to change their ways by respecting and loving our people living in their regions as we do their brothers living with us.
We have to also respect our elders and our president who has warned against proliferation of hate speech and actions that are capable of threatening our unity and peace as a nation.