A fair share of people in Nigeria do not actually know that there is so much diversity in the north. More diversity than there is in the whole of NIGERIA. Some people believe that we are of one tribe and one language. That is why when they hear of clashes in the north, they always say things like “why are they killing themselves?” “Why are they fighting when they have the same belief?” The truth is that, there are different cultures and history has show that people with divers ways are prone to clash.
However, as a northerner I already choose to see good even in the bad and one of the few things that unites the north is the festive celebrations. This includes Christmas and Sallah. I grew up celebrating both because I come from a family that is diverse. These periods where very significant for us because that is the period, everybody in the family, despite cultural and religious differences sit and rejoice. This was one of the ways tolerance was imbedded in us.
The period of Ramadan Is also one that we respect.
Where I live, I saw churches giving out food every evening to people who have fasted and didn’t have a meal to break. I saw churches give resting place to people who needed to take a nap ora place to sleep at night. This kind act showed that even religious entities have a role to play in promoting unity and tolerance. The act of this church touched so many people that the started to contribute to what was being given out.
The truth is that we might not all see eye to eye (and to be very honest this nation can only move with diverse views) but we can coexist in peace. Our way must not be the way others take. We need to have a childlike manner when dealing with diversity. Sometimes all we need is a little understanding and this is what we should teach our young ones. Children don’t know hate till you teach it to them.