The news of youths in northern Nigeria providing an ultimatum and establishing a deadline for all Igbos in Northern Nigeria to vacate the region, came to me as a big shock and prompted this article. The past 2 years living and working in Nigeria, yet travelling the world, opened up my ability to brainstorm on some of the challenges that have plagued and continue to plague the growth of this great nation. From leadership, to education, to lost time that we will never get back, to segregation. The prior mentioned issues are massively of more importance but right now, we must discuss segregation.
We are all individually capable, individually filled with high-potentials, individually experienced and individually citizens of the area of the world we were born into. Categorizing all Igbos as unfit to live in a region, for whatever reason, is explicitly wrong. Similarly how we tend to categorize all women as cooks or all politicians as corrupt. The 30 year old man we don’t know can have the best potentials to lead our nation to greatness in comparison to a 70 year old man that should retire. The Hausa man that you prejudged as uneducated, can feed the nation. The Igbo woman you prejudge as a fight-monger, can broker peace between nations. Not all women are. Not all men are. Not all Christians are. Not all Muslims are. Not all Africans are. Not all expatriates are.
I have friends who are white. I have friends who are black. I have friends who are Catholic. I have friends who are Jewish. I have friends who are entrepreneurs. I have friends who are employees. I have friends who are Chinese. I have friends who are Moroccan. I have friends who are Hausas. I have friends who are Igbos. This! Appreciation of diversity, has been a significant contributor to the growth of great nations. Let’s judge every individual by their individual personalities and decisions not by where they come from, what religion they were born into or what influenced their lifestyle growing up.
I’d be happy to hear a reversal of the ultimatum. I’d be happy to see ethnic groups embrace other ethnic groups. To a greater Nigeria, to the unity of cultures, to the empowerment of our youth, to more greatness for the nation.
Olatorera Oniru is an assiduous entrepreneur passionate about all things Nigeria. As CEO of Dressmeoutlet.com, she is currently leading initiatives to positively change the realities of Nigeria whilst encouraging strong emergence of great unmatched talents from the country.