Unity In Diversity
I AM Omoni Oboli and I represent Naija! It’s so hard to speak about anything outside the realm of politics these days. Every word spoken can be interpreted to mean an affirmation of one candidate against another: the word ‘change’ in any statement draws a certain group towards any speaker or writer in anticipation of their garnering support for their intended candidate, or the word ‘progress’ which does the same for the opposing side. So I guess I will also somehow steer a bit towards politics till our appetite has been satiated on the Valentine’s day polls, but please read the entire texts in context before thinking that the words I use are for your candidate or the other.
The battle seems to be for the few undecided eligible voters who are still looking to see who will convincingly earn their vote, because the rest of the people seem to be dogged about their conviction towards their desired candidates. Many stick to their choices purely for the joy or novelty of seeing the incumbent leave office, without any significant conviction to affirm their choices. Others say that they hate the situation of the country so much that they want anything else, good or bad. Some have weighed it out and say that they would rather hold on to what they have now, that could be better or the same, instead of swimming in untested waters. Others say that they are convinced that the incumbent is not what hey want. Finally, others have said that they cannot for the life of them change from what they are seeing work in many areas to an unknown and unclear future. Thank God for the ability to make those choices today freely, whether right or wrong.
Four years is a long time to give to anyone without a clear and precise mandate. New is good if it is seen and understood by the majority, guided by logical and defined parameters, so that the people can be more decisive on whom they believe they can deliver four years of their life and livelihood to. It is such a huge responsibility to shoulder that we should not take it lightly when we seek to get others on our side to make that same decision. Therefore, lies and false statements, which are prevalent in the politics of today must be separated from the truth by a more discerning people who can truthfully present the facts to the public who can then make a more informed decision that would favour the whole nation.
Nigeria is our country, and we should be careful not to let falsehood be the foundation of any candidate’s ascension to the sit of power. If the foundation is faulty, we will be the ones to suffer the repercussions of those illinformed choices.
I am grateful for the huge exposure of our people to the intense crash course on the subject of our great country. Though there are many unconfirmed stories, we will be the wiser after this election when all the information we have gathered will be properly sifted through proper scrutiny without the heavy bias of our candidates of choice. This means that by the next election, we will be even more discerning of who the right candidates are and the realistic or unrealistic nature of their promises or mandates. Whether our candidates win or lose, Nigeria will gain.
The most important thing to note is that while we may religiously follow our candidates, our loyalty should be to our nation. Note that we do not have a nation without a people, so our loyalty should be with the people. That means that violence in any form, and divisiveness in any form should be frowned at. Let’s create a Nigeria where our differences become our strength rather our weakness. Our children should be able to see the example that would follow them into the future of our great nation to make a better society where the North, South, East and West of our nation are united in our diversity. Let us be able to rise above the candidature of any party to send a signal to them that they are accountable to us. Win or lose, the president, governors and all office holders are working for us to manage our resources so that we all can prosper in our land.
We should put aside every malice and bitter rivalry against each other so that we don’t sow seeds of discord that would mar our nation irrevocably for us and our generations to come. We should not be at war with each other, but learn to respect our diversity as a people, using it as a weapon against disunity. We are better than that. Let truth prevail, and let our standards of judgement for the candidates be with equity.
I have always said that one place you can see unity in diversity at work is on a movie set, where you see people are working as a team to make a movie from every tribe, tongue and geopolitical zone for the viewing pleasure of others from various tribes, tongues and geopolitical zones. It’s a beautiful thing to see that when you’re on a set of any movie there’s no division, just a division of labour. We all are working to make one great movie for the profit and celebration of all. Let’s put that to practice in Nigeria.
Let this election start to stir in our hearts the need for true unity in diversity in the community of our nation in Jesus name! Keep smiling!