Nigeria: Let’s think unity

by Odimegwu Onwumere

Peace, unity, reconciliation and forgiveness are what we Nigerians
should stand to acknowledge through wisdom, kindness, liberty, justice,
fairness, love: and work to overcome the negative through the creation of a
positive mindset that would lead us to a positive environment.

We knew that there is more power in unity than in division, more to love
than in hate. I read a story by a lady who said in the following lines:
“Once when I was young, maybe more than once, when I was extremely
disrespectful to my mother, my father angrily called me “garbage” in our
native Hokkien dialect.

“It worked really well. I felt terrible and deeply ashamed of what I had
done. But it didn’t damage my self esteem or anything like that. I knew
exactly how highly he thought of me. I didn’t actually think I was
worthless or feel like a piece of garbage.

“As an adult, I once did the same thing to Sophie, calling her garbage in
English when she acted extremely disrespectful toward me. When I mentioned
I had done this at a dinner party, I was immediately ostracized. One guest
named Marcy got so upset she broke down in tears and had to leave early.

“My friend Susan, the host, tried to rehabilitate me with the remaining

“Oh dear, it’s just a misunderstanding. Amy was speaking
metaphorically-right, Amy? You didn’t actually call Sophie ‘garbage.'” “Um,
yes I did. But it’s all in the context,” I tried to explain. “It’s a
Chinese immigrant thing.”

This is typical of our country, Nigeria. We are like the lady and her
father in the story. We have been called ‘garbage’ and in return, we call
those who called us ‘garbage’ the same. But two wrongs, they say, do not
make a right.

It is my wish that if there is any website we must host about Nigeria, that
website must be for peace and unity. Not for bitterness. We already have
the 2015 elections in our hand, yet we seem not to be after the issues that
matter to our collective welfare, but our different political parties and

We cannot achieve harmony, peace and happiness as well as spiritual, social
happenings in Nigeria if we do not shelve hatred by the side and welcome
all and sundry as one. Just as it is written in the bible, so also it is
written in Koran and in other writs.

According to religious scholars: Islam teaches us through its two main
authentic sources: The Glorious Qur’an and the Prophetic sayings that we
can attain peace of mind, happiness, and salvation, by knowing and
believing in the one true God (Allah) willingly and wholeheartedly… (Am
only quoting the book…).

Our universality requires that we embrace unity and love and forgive all
who may have offended us in one way or the other and also go to plead for
forgiveness from those we may have offended. It is written: “Submit
yourselves therefore to God.” (God here to me means peace and unity,
reconciliation and forgiveness, wisdom, kindness, liberty, justice, and
fairness, love, work… Not a sky daddy).

And when we submit ourselves respectively to God, we will not see members
of the different political parties as rivals, but as Nigeria sons and
daughters. We will work in tandem as one family for the growth of the

We should not be behaving like those who are far away from civilization.
Nigeria is ours and should not be made a jungle of a sort due to our
different political aspirations and interests. When we look up far off in
the distance, we would see hope. But no one can bring the Utopian world
around us if we do not work towards having such around us and making sure
that we bring it.

It is not a Spartan babble that this treatise is made up of. We have to be
in the front string to build the very-well towers. We cannot continue to
fight with narrow minds. We must compel ourselves to change our mindsets
about what we think our country should be. We should outgrow the level of
bickering and tinkering and looking for whom to make prey.

I beseech all and sundry to pursue excellence and stop this argument, this
fusion of wars, but focus on the way forward for the country. We are a
great people that should not rub mud on the face and yet looking for who to

One Chuck Palahniuk said: The trick to forgetting the big picture is to
look at everything close-up. The shortcut to closing a door is to bury
yourself in the details. This is how we must look to (providence). As if
everything’s just fine.

It is time we knew that escaping from turbulent situations in our country,
if we allow them to occur; we are not going to face them with smiles on our
faces. We would know that peace is always better to troubles. Muhammad
Iqbal has warned humanity to rise above sectional interests and private
ambitions… Pass from matter to spirit. Matter is diversity; spirit is
light, life and unity.

Like the lady in the above story was reconciled to her friends after she
was ostracized, I would therefore suggest that as a matter of urgency we
have to tow the line of peace and unity, reconciliation and forgiveness,
wisdom, kindness, liberty, justice, and fairness, love, work… in order to
settle ones and for all, the political brigandage in our bellowed Nigeria.

We have to take a clue from the statement by Yehuda Berg, which suggests: I
do believe that the original sources of all religions should be taught,
because with that we will find our similarities, not just our differences.
I believe that if Mohammed, Buddha, Jesus, and Moses all got together they
would be best of friends because the spiritual basis of all religions is
something that builds unity.

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