Diversity Is Nigeria’s Strength By Mayowa Michael Adeleye

Why diversity is important ?

It’s easy, in a country like Nigeria, to take diversity for granted. In so many ways, it’s the air we breathe in Nigeria.

We’ve raised generation after generation of children who think nothing of hearing different languages and dialects spoken on the playground, marketplaces, offices and worship centres

Nigeria is stronger together and weaker in disunity. The diversity of our country earns Nigeria global recognition and respect.

Well, this. This is what makes Nigeria Nigerian.

Beyond the 36 states and FCT, Nigeria had over 300 ethnicities living together under one Federation of Nigeria.

Against that backdrop, the importance of diversity can sometimes be taken for granted. But there is no doubt that we’re a better country—a stronger, more successful country—because of it.

Just consider the words that people use to describe Nigeria: we’re accommodating, accepting, progressive Nigeria bound with prosperity.

There is a direct line between each of those attributes how Nigeria should successfully build a more diverse and inclusive society.

Nigeria is not the only nation that’s tried to do it.

Canada is one of the most diverse country on earth. Peaceful and Prosperous.

May you don’t know that One-fifth of Canadians were born elsewhere, and chose to immigrate to Canada. In Canadian largest city, more than half were born outside Canada?

But what’s made it work so well in Canada is the understanding that racial, religion and ethnicity diversities ain’t challenges to be overcome or difficulties to be tolerated. Rather, it’s a tremendous source of strength of Canada.

Every Nigerians must understand that in our diversity is our strength. The story of Nigeria should hence be a story of success —culturally, politically, economically—because of our diversity, not in spite of it.

In typical Nigerian fashion, we don’t celebrate this success often enough.

Now more than ever before, the world needs us to do just that.

Canada’s story has proven to many Nigerians that diversity and inclusion work. Not just as aspirational values, but as a proven path to peace and prosperity.

Nigeria is a giant in Africa today because of its size and diversity. Fragmented Nigerian states cannot earn such leadership status among black race.

It hasn’t always been easy. Nigeria has had stumbles along that path.

We need to recognize that for many minority regions in Nigeria, the Nigerian reality has not been—and is not today—easy, equitable or fair.

We need to acknowledge that our history includes darker moments: the self governing regional government systems, the true federalism of the 1st republic, the civil war barely 6 years after independence, the military coups and counter coups, the struggles to regain democracy, and to the current uninterrupted democracy of over 17 years…

Nigerians look back on these transgressions with regret and shame—as we should.

But our history was also filled with many positive moments.

When some people try to set us against each other, they weaken us. We are stronger together than apart. United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

God Bless The Federation Of Nigeria.

 

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and not of Aledeh.

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