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Nigeria: Let the sleeping dogs lie

MERCY, love, empathy, care, compassion and forgiveness are the many attributes that can build a nation. The Bible cautions that a house that is not in unity shall never stand. And I believe that if it doesn’t stand, it cannot have good leadership, if it doesn’t possess good leadership, it cannot develop, if it doesn’t develop, it cannot be at peace within itself.

The quality of mercy is twice blessed; it blesses the giver and the receiver. Let Nigerians give a smile against hate, after-all a smile costs nothing, it relieves the receiver and is equally harmless to the giver. The heat and the uncomfortable suspicions along ethnic and regional lines are a terrible trend that I hope is not passed to the coming generations. Our founding fathers’ graves are not at peace.

We must disabuse our minds from those issues that divide us, but deliver our consciousness to the general good and development of Nigeria without rancour and social stratification. Crime in Nigeria is not associated with any tribe. As we have good people with high moral standards among the educated and non-educated alike across tribes, race, religion, sex, etc., so do we have anti-social wicked elements in each of the categories. A tribe is a tribe and a man a man. A poem by Usman A. G. (ABU) entitled The Fulani, best describes an average Fulani and the only concern of a Fulani from ages which is far from crime.

The FULANI

Why don’t you live in towns?

Who will look after my cattle?

Why  don’t you go and fight for the country?

Who will look after my cattle?

Why don’t you buy a car with your money?

Who will look after my cattle?

Why don’t you provide good shelter for yourself?

Who will look after my cattle?

Why do you depend on cattle?

 Who then will look after my cattle?

Other tribes are also exceptional people in hospitality and liberalism, making Nigeria a fertile ground for productive multi-ethnic relations. How then can we solve this menace without blaming any party and without examining who is waxing or waning. Emotional Intelligence is a tool we need now and very increasingly important in today’s complex world of hate, especially as the quality of human interactions continue to dwindle globally through unpopular divisive concepts materialising through discrimination: Racism, xenophobia, ethnicity, gender, inequality, color, religion, demography, etc.

This, sadly, has made social isolation through social stratification and loneliness thrive in a chronic atmosphere of suspicion. It is, however, observed that this trend is not an African phenomenon, we have seen it in the developed world of Europe, Americas, Asia; but unfortunately it is poorly managed with serious consequential hullabaloo leaving on its trail tears and blood in Africa and the Middle East.

Hate is a sustained propagation of dislike against a group based on certain perceptions. It mostly arises from economic, historical, political and ideological differences between or among a people. The United Nations secretary general in a recent remark which he titled: “The Wild Fire of Hate Speech” at the launch of The United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action On Hate Speech, remarked that: “A menacing wave of intolerance and hate-based violence is targeting worshippers of many faiths across the globe.

“Sadly – and disturbingly – such vicious incidents are becoming all too familiar. In recent months, we have seen Jews murdered in synagogues, their gravestones defaced with swastikas; Muslims gunned down in mosques, their religious sites vandalised; Christians killed at prayer, their churches torched.

Beyond these horrific attacks, increasingly loathsome rhetoric is being aimed not only at religious groups but also minorities, migrants, refugees, women and any so-called ‘other’.

“As the wildfire of hate spreads, social media is being exploited for bigotry. Neo-Nazi and White supremacist movements are growing.

“And incendiary rhetoric is being weaponised for political gain. Hate is moving into the mainstream in liberal democracies and authoritarian regimes alike – and casting a shadow over our common humanity”.

Emotional Intelligence is defined as the capacity to understand yourself, to recognise your emotional reactions to situations and to also value and understand the emotions of others in a way that promote ‘self’ and simultaneously ‘others.’ Love your neighbour as yourself, says the Holy Bible.

At this point, we must begin to analyse and proffer solutions or constructive criticisms not because it is politic but because it is right while we humbly apply the knowledge in the components of Emotional Intelligence which are: Self awareness, empathy, self-regulation, love, communication, motivation and social skills to patriotically manage, quench and eliminate tension and hate but entrench mutual respect in our country.

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