Nigeria is an amazing country that is home to amazing people. However, there is also somewhat of a paradox happening. On the one hand, people are trying to unite but, on the other hand, their ethnic and religious diversity makes this almost impossible. Yet for people like Esther Nenadi, who has work as part of the Nigerian government and aims to continue to do so, this is something that should be built on rather than something that should halt progress.
The Greatness of Nigeria According to Nenadi
Every corner of Nigeria is home to warm and wonderful people. Lord Lugard created modern-day Nigeria in 1914, amalgamating Northern and Southern Nigeria, two British protectorates. Before this, however, the territory itself was home to many different tribes and people, with their own chosen directions. Those different tribes and people were in contact with each other, generally peacefully, while retaining their own culture and political background.
The Igbo were perhaps the most organized people. They had a decentralized type of government in which different clans that shared a culture and language were together, yet separate. Igbo territory is the eastern part of Nigeria and their history is long and interesting. The north, meanwhile, is home to the Housa. Most of the west is made up of the Yoruba, although may small tribes also exist here.
Today, all these tribes have been joined together under one Nigeria. At the same time, all the tribes want to retain their own cultural and historical independence and progress. Esther Nenadi, meanwhile, believes that this is something that should be celebrated. Yes, unity is something that should be worked towards, but that doesn’t mean tribalism cannot exist anymore either. She believes both are possible, a unity in which people can be proud of their historical and cultural heritage, while joining together under a single Nigerian banner.
That said, a lot of people feel tribalism causes a type of “us” versus “them” mentality. This, unfortunately, has caused a lot of problems in Nigeria, which has been plagued by unrest and civil war for many years. Yet, Nenadi believes that Nigerians understand that having unity is the most important thing and she believes that the time is right for people to remember their ethnic origin, while focusing on unification at the same time. For her, this starts with the education of children, who should learn firstly about the history of Nigeria as a whole. By ensuring children are educated and have opportunities, they will develop into adults who put the country of Nigeria, rather than their own tribal group, before all else. There is not magic formula to achieve this, nor will it happen overnight. However, it is clear that Nigerians are tired of being divided and want to become united instead.
Throughout her career as an educator and politician, Esther Nenadi has worked tirelessly towards achieving greatness for Nigeria. Even in her own life, she focuses on unity, being married to a Muslim man as a Christian woman herself. She wants to be a role model for the Nigeria of tomorrow.