Managing Nigeria’s Diversity for Inclusion, Von Wole Olaoye

For Jonathan, Nigeria’s size is not a fundamental problem, nor is the country’s colonial past. He argues that the problem is structural: “I share the opinion of many political commentators that the core of our challenge to national transformation is the problem of our political and governance structures and the inability to use our diversity for common prosperity.

Three pieces of news – the re-arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the indigenous peoples of Biafra (IPOB); storming the residence of Sunday Adeyemo, also known as Sunday Igboho; and the passing of the Petroleum Industry Bill by the National Assembly – almost the seminal treatise passed by former President Goodluck Jonathan on the 13th, into the backwaters of insignificance.

But wait, much of the turmoil that has taken place in public competitions and separatist agitations in Nigeria in recent years can probably be better explained by looking at how we got off the boat of federalism that took us to independence and brought interregional friendship, because a uniform system imposed by the military, which arrogantly assumes that for the Nigerian project one size, one garment, one shape and size must fit everyone.

The uniform system, which is anything but federal, does not work predictably. It will never work as long as Nigeria is populated by diverse ethnic groups with very unique historical experiences, more than 450 languages, and different ways of life. A system that recognizes these differences and allows the various components leeway to develop at their own pace and preserve their unique character in a large united federation – as was the case in the once negotiated independence constitution – seems to be the answer.

“From the independence and post-independence crises, the coups and counter-coups and the various republics to date, the rising disillusionment is the result of our inability to deal with our diversity and downplay our differences,” said Jonathan.

“It is evident that in some parts of our nation calls for fragmentation seem to be growing louder. This is because we have not been able to positively use and reconcile our enviable size and the ingenuity of our people and project our size, ”he explained.

Jonathan summed up our penchant for underperformance and the growing cry for separation as a result of our failure to properly manage our diversity and realize our potential.

He argued that a multiethnic country can only progress if there is a conscious attempt to convey a democratic sense of fairness, justice and justice and to guarantee minority groups access to political space.

The former president remarked, “By now we should have an advanced economy and the social system and standard services that support that economy, just like other nations like Singapore or Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates that share the same political and economic development with them. However, we are lagging so far behind them. “

Looking ahead, he said that the work of political leaders is very busy: “I can say that our leaders can do much more to eradicate ethnic sentiments in our society, to enthrone merit, and to build a system of that gives citizens equal opportunities to outdo each other. There has to be a united, strong and coherent Nigerian nation with patriotic citizens so that any structure or system can fulfill the promise of our common prosperity, ”he added.

For Jonathan, Nigeria’s size is not a fundamental problem, nor is the country’s colonial past. He argues that the problem is structural: “I share the opinion of many political commentators that the core of our challenge to national transformation is the problem of our political and governance structures and the inability to use our diversity for common prosperity.

“I believe that the political development of the leadership in Nigeria since independence has focused too much on tribal and religious lines and that still haunts us today.” He said that was the reason why he held a national conference in 2014.

“Where the minority does not consider themselves relevant, there is always a tendency to fulfill their destiny with a different approach. This is the beginning of endless agitation and resistance movements around the world, ”he said, adding that we need to undo the winner-take-everything approach in politics and weaken the enormous powers of the presidency.

Jonathan points out that community inequality ranges from states to states to local governments (and even to communities where certain minorities, because of their origins, can never dream of becoming leaders), argued Jonathan that there is a lot to be done at all levels in order to consciously shape inclusion in the system and to demonstrate it in action.

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Looking ahead, he said that the work of political leaders is very busy: “I can say that our leaders can do much more to eradicate ethnic sentiments in our society, to enthrone merit, and to build a system of that gives citizens equal opportunities to outdo each other. There has to be a united, strong and coherent Nigerian nation with patriotic citizens so that any structure or system can fulfill the promise of our common prosperity, ”he added.

The aspect of Jonathan’s talk that got pretty big coverage on social media was his reference to southwestern Nigeria as an area that could teach the rest of the country a thing or two about tolerance for religious and ethnic diversity.

There are countless examples that corroborate the former president. Just the other month, Reverend Br. Peter Adeyemi, younger brother of Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi (a leading Yoruba monarch and Muslim whose ancestors made pilgrimages to Mecca), was buried in Lagos. The Oyo monarchy was fully represented at the funeral. In some other parts of the world it is impossible to follow any belief other than the one one was born into.

What President Jonathan advocates is that the path to development and social cohesion be paved with tolerance and sacrifice. One size doesn’t fit everyone, not even in a family. It is therefore easy to see why any type of campaign based on ethnicity and religion is likely to fail in the Southwest because, as people say, “No religion can divide the family” – which is why it is perfectly understandable that The late Bishop Anthony Saliu Sanusi of the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode was fathered by the Chief Imam of Esure.

Diversity is a management approach that recognizes that we as individuals have differences and that those differences have value. Inclusion is part of a systematic strategy designed to help everyone achieve their potential. A more recent term that has grown in importance is anti-nepotism, defined as “supporting an anti-nepotist policy through action”.

Although I am not a Muslim, I do not need to be persuaded to perform filial duties towards elderly relatives during Ramadan and Sallah. It comes with the ‘family’ territory. Therefore, any tendency towards religious extremism in the Southwest is likely to fail.

Diversity in itself could be a strength if used and managed properly. In analyzing President Jonathan’s perspective, I found it helpful to take the brilliant point of view of British diversity expert Dr. Jonathan Ashong-Lamptey, whose views and recommendations on exploring diversity and anti-racism in the workplace reflect our situation. I take responsibility for this adjustment.

Diversity is a management approach that recognizes that we as individuals have differences and that those differences have value. Inclusion is part of a systematic strategy designed to help everyone achieve their potential. A more recent term that has grown in importance is anti-nepotism, defined as “supporting an anti-nepotist policy through action”. Political leaders can and should promote inclusion, manage diversity, and commit to anti-nepotism.

Diversity needs to be addressed internally. The following questions should be asked: To the people: is this a country where anyone can perform? About potential: can we create a culture where people can reach their full potential? On Performance: What is our National Diversity Policy?

We need to find a common point of reference and use it to build knowledge of what the perceptions of nepotism are and how we interpret them.

No matter what, we still have to have these difficult conversations in the overall interest of the country, but we have to take the time to understand cultural contexts. Not only are regional demographics and basic terminology changing, but also the basic philosophy around diversity and inclusion. Using a “copy-and-paste” approach from one region to another will not work.

So let’s act like adults and start talking about a more inclusive, shameless federal regime. If you want to continue peddling revisionist stories about indivisibility without striving for justice and fair play, you scratch your nose with the head of a cobra.

We all agree that there can be no peace without justice. The only small problem is that we forego promises for a long time and little positive action. Perhaps we should remember that calling for justice is not in opposition to patriotism. “I want to be able to love my country and still love justice,” as Albert Camus famously put it.

Wole Olaoye can be reached at [email protected]

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