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Religious and Tribal Intolerance: Who will bell the cat?


Once upon a time, there was a story attributable to the appearance of an Angel of God before three people: a Mallam, a Minister, and an Atheist. The Angel asked them to make a wish that would ensure peaceful co-existence among their people. 

The Mallam said he would wish that one religion prevailed, and no single Christians remained on the face of the earth. The Minister said he would wish that every Muslim perished from the face of the earth; while the Atheist said, “I shall be well pleased if you will attend to the wishes of these two.”

Metaphorically, this story depicts the height of religious intolerance, and tribal divide that is currently pervading our society in general, particularly, in Nigeria. This situation poses a serious concern to peace loving people of our great country, while some of our leaders or politicians remain indifferent. 

According to our biblical readings, a letter from St. Paul to the Ephesians (2: 19-22) extols us to regard one another as fellow citizens of the household of God or Allah, as the case may be, and not as strangers or visitors in our own land! 

There should be no room whatsoever for discrimination among the people of God, if we actually believe in what we profess as true Christians or true Muslims. 

In Nigeria, everyone should feel a sense of belonging, irrespective of wherever we found ourselves. There should be no excuse for favoritism, mediocrity, and discrimination in the appointment of people to serve their country!!

As people of “One Nigeria,” and as true Christians and Muslims, we are supposed to be each other’s keeper in the household of God; it should remain that way in practical terms.

It stands to reason that if the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari wants a “Change,” being the watch-word of his APC Party, invariably, he must strive assiduously to dismantle every barrier that cuts across the people of Nigeria. 

Regrettably, so far, there is little or no sign for such happening, but all hope is not gone. However, the late Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Either we live together in fraternity or we perish together as fools.” A word is enough for the wise, is a popular adage!!

Dr. H. U. Nwachukwu

Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

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