Cultural quiz for Kogi State pupils
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Timothy Asobele, S.J.
Upper Standard Publications, Lagos State
Many Scholars and highly placed Nigerians believe that the social conflict and political instability in Nigeria are as a result of Nigeria's ethnic, cultural, f Itgious and multi-lingual pluralism. Some even believe that national integration for national development which should harness the diverse pluri-cultural goodies is Impossible because of ethnic pluralism. A group of Nigerian Scholars believe that conflicts that threaten Nigeria's march towards nationhood should be traced to the existence of separateness of our cultural groups. It is true that the study of complex composite societies is a difficult task. It is also true that conflict can come about from incompatible value systems. So can it come about from a common value system. It is our belief that what is happening in Nigerian is not Igbo culture competing with Nupe culture, Hausa culture and Yoruba culture with Tiv culture, Urhobo culture with Idoma culture, Edo culture with Ibibio culture, Jukun culture with Ibibio culture, Idoma culture with Egun culture, Igala culture with Ebira culture, Borgu culture with Fulani culture, Gambari culture with Esako culture. It is true that ethnicity as a group differences along known boundaries and citizens interaction across ethnic borderlines can lead to misunderstanding which too often leads to war. A cursory look at conflict points of the world will lead us to believe that most of them stemmed from ethnicity. The French in Canada are fighting an irredentist cultural battle against the English. The Irish are doing the same against the English. This observation is valid in Katanga, in Shaba province of Zaire, the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia, ANC Vs Nkatha Zulu cultural groups, Liberia, Western Sahara, Angola, Somalia, Uganda, etc. We believe like the Late Sardauna of Sokoto, the Premier of Northern Nigeria that "we must not forget our differences but we should strive to understand our differences." Ethnicity or cultural difference in Sir Ahmadu Bello's thinking can provide a force for healthy competition for economic development, concord and peace and progress if we undertake to study these positive aspects of our differences.
Timothy Asobele, S.J. (2007).Cultural quiz for Kogi State pupils. Foreword by E. O. ABISOYE Major-General (rtd) Ogbajiri of Ogori.