This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: Sanusi's Musings About Ethno-Religious Groups

Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi's suggestion on Tuesday in Abuja that religious and ethnic organisations in the country should be banned for fanning insecurity was aimless and muddled. His assertion that such organisations were political associations dressed in ethno-religious garbs was also trivial.

The history of Nigeria is the history of the coming together of ethnic nationalities, largely through the kind of organisations that Sanusi now wants to be legislated out of existence. The problem with the country has never being its diversity, but the capacity of the leaders to manage the diversity. And experience all over the world has shown that the best way to manage diversity is to create conditions for the varied groups to do their own things and develop at their own paces for the ultimate good of the whole society.

Contrary to Sanusi's suggestion, the ethno-religious groups have proven to be veritable avenues for maintaining order in communities. Problems arise only when politicians begin to manipulate the groups for their inordinate interests.

Besides, the ethno-religious groups cannot be expected to be apolitical zombies. They exist as collections of interests and they would constantly respond to the conditions of the environment around them.

Contrary to the vain attempt to abolish diversity, Sanusi should use his office to try to find ways to help the various peoples of Nigeria develop normally with their God-given potentials.

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