Merry Christmas in arrears and a prosperous New Year to all Nigerians, beginning from our leader and President Muhammadu Buhari. We give God Almighty praise for His grace and mercies, having seen us through from the 1st of January 2021 to the 31st of December, 2021. It has not been by might nor power, but by the benevolence of God himself, the most merciful, the most magnificent.
A lot of things have happened ,positively and negatively. Some have shaped the course of history while others have distorted and changed the course of history. A lot of progress has been made and at the same time, some damages have been made on some of the progresses already made. Not one person takes the glory of the beautiful progress made and not one person can take the blame for all the lapses in the country. All of us are guilty at different levels. While some are more guilty than others, all the same, everyone has his or her blame to take. While politicians have their own, civil servants have their own. The clergy, traditional rulers, students, market women, teachers, drivers, children, husbands, wives, etc have all played and still playing roles that undermine the collective image, security, interests, and objectives of the nation. So therefore, everyone of us, within the different categories so mentioned, must review their roles as individuals and groups, families, etc towards the development and progress of the country. No role is too small neither is any role too big in promoting the good cause of the nation.
We must behave as never before if we want to move forward. None of us created him or herself and therefore we must all subject ourselves to the supremacy of the same one God who is the creator of heaven and earth and everything thereof. Whether you are a Christian or muslim, or a pagan, the universal rule is the same: love your neighbor as yourself. We have no choice to do otherwise and we have no discretion not to do so. God has created us so differently and assembled us in same places for a purpose and because we are humans, the guidelines of life are solely in our hands to work it out for ur own peace, progress, stability and pleasure. Have you seen a Christian man loving a muslim girl as if there is no tomorrow? Have you seen a muslim man loving a Christian girsl as if heaven will fall? That’s how we are supposed to live on this earth. The mystery of life and co-existence is far beyond our understanding and therefore ours is is but to seek to live in peace with one another. Even common sense tells us so much about this and yet sometimes we do things as if we have no respect for the supreme God who brought all of us to this world.
For me, the profession of journalism has taught me so much about the life and its composition. There are only few professions like journalism which are unity base. The other is football. You can name others. One of my best footballers is Musa Ahmed, a muslim and I am a Christian.
We have played God in this country to the extend that we have slowed down our progress and development by ourselves using sentiments to undermine our collective potentials and prowess. As a journalist, what is expected of you are quality stores that would attract headlines. No editor worth his or her salt will look for a reporter of the same religion or ethnicity to rely on him or her for stories. The editor will fail and woefully too. We peer review ourselves and check the content of what we dish out everyday and rate ourselves based on objectivity and neutrality. That’s why you hardly see a journalist who betrays his ethics and does not get the bashing of his colleagues.
Why can’t Nigeria and Nigerians think the journalist way? By this am not in any way insinuating that there are no compromises within the profession. Of course there are bad eggs in every profession, ethnic and religious groupings but the level of such institutional malpractice is very low within the profession because of the level of oversight ,self check and objective assessment.
As we move into the new year 2022, things must change for the better. Every single effort is worth the count. Nobody’s role is more than the other. One virus can infect the entire community and therefore we must develop and nurture the desired quality and level of patriotism needed for growth and development. We must see the society and larger community as bigger than individual tribes and religions. We must see each other as human beings and not as mere political animals for us to succeed.
The only way we can hold political actors to ransom is to be objective and not sentimentally inclined to our destructive prejudices. We must be self disciplined to the point of promoting merit against any form of action or decision. The more the people are divided on such sentiments the more easy it is for political leaders to further penetrate and divide them for the worst.
The new year and new years to come must be seen differently. The bitter experiences of development and peace which has divided us and taken us backward must teach us lessons of cooperation and integration for the benefit of our commonwealth. There are no markets or schools for the Christian and the muslim. There are no economic policies that are exclusive to either religions or ethnic blocks. We are created and assembled together by divine arrangement and so we must find ways of living together in peace for our own good and development. It is extremely primitive to identify with ur local prejudices for purposes of taking advantage at the expense of collective development.
Yours sincerely hopes and pray that our new conduct, borne out of the sufferings we have wilfully but ignorantly subjected ourselves to, will make us adjust for the sake of our humanity and the God who created all of us. That is the only way by which we can tolerate and respect each other, understand ourselves better and work for humanity which does not have a colour of religion, tribe or ethnicity.