Why north must work to address identity chauvinism


By Aliyu Aminu Ahmed

If Northern Nigeria wants to develop, then it must eliminate tribal identity completely. You are a northerner, and that’s all; we are one family. Tribal identity is a substantial barrier to Northern Nigeria’s development. Tribalism is a key source of division in society, with over 250 separate ethnic groups. Cultural and traditional divisions can lead to conflicts and instability, impeding the country’s economic, social, and political growth.

Tribalism can also produce exclusive groups that regard others as inferior, resulting in mistrust and enmity between different ethnic groups and impeding progress toward a cohesive, inclusive society.
Furthermore, tribal identification constrains people’s perceptions and worldviews. It makes it difficult for people to see the big picture and appreciate the diversity of their own country.

This lack of empathy and understanding for other groups stifles cooperation and collaboration, making it difficult to execute critical development reforms or policies. If tribal identity is viewed as a threat to a particular group’s culture or way of life, it can produce opposition to change, making it even more difficult to encourage progress.

Another downside of tribal identification is the marginalization of particular groups within a society. Those who do not belong to the dominant tribe are more likely to face discrimination, marginalization, and limited growth prospects. As a result, huge discrepancies in resource availability emerge, making economic progress difficult to attain.

Marginalized populations have reduced access to education, healthcare, and other key resources required for survival.
To eliminate tribal identity, all parties must work together. Regional government officials, civil society organizations, and individuals must collaborate to promote national unity, tolerance, and respect for diversity. They should also work aggressively to break down the boundaries that tribal identification creates. This can be accomplished through investing in mass mobilization and strategic awareness, investing in education, healthcare, and other vital resources that promote social mobility and eliminate gaps among ethnic groups. Policies and initiatives that promote inclusivity and equality while simultaneously addressing the negative issues like as corruption and nepotism, which deepen tribal divisions, must be developed. Northern Nigeria can develop a more inclusive, successful society that serves all Nigerians by working together to remove tribal identification.

We have unique opportunity now before it is too late.

Ahmed, an activist writes from Yola.


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