The misconception of ethnicity and religion has brought Jos, the capital of Plateau State, down from the high height of the tourist town of Nigeria to a terrible hotbed of “red spills”.
Today, many communities on the plateau face terrifyingly serious conflicts related to the ethnicity or religion that people are talking about.
Violent eruptions of ethnicity and religion have, over time, posed grave dangers for the people of the state, innocent commuters paying the ultimate price for a conflict they know nothing about. Worse, they are only involved because of their ethnicity, religion or cultural orientation.
The people of the state have dissenting views regarding ethnicity and religion to such an extent that they have become extremely intolerant of their opposing beliefs and values, so that predominantly Christian areas located in strategic locations are prohibited to followers of Islam and vice versa.
It will cost an earthquake to see, for example, members of the Hausa-Fulani Muslim majority supporting ideas emanating from the Berom tribal group, the overwhelming majority of which are Christians.
Clearly, no religious group is willing to sincerely embrace another in the state, making every minor disagreement capable of triggering palpable tension among the population.
As it stands, a number of places in the state are currently labeled as “no-go zones”. This means that they can only be inhabited by a certain group of people.
The growing level of hatred has led to the gruesome killings of numerous civilians and the destruction of property in recent years, which is certainly due to a misunderstanding of religious ideals and a misrepresentation of ethnic philosophies and values.
The Plateau is, for example, much less diverse than the Lagos or Rivers States where millions of Muslims, Christians, natives, settlers and foreigners of different faiths and cultures live together peacefully.
The Lagosians and the inhabitants of Port Harcourt have, despite their socio-cultural disparities, chosen to live in peace and never to be polarized along ethnic or religious lines.
It is instructive to note that the two cities are more developed, more integrated and much more pleasant to live in than Plateau, where lately, the inhabitants seem more determined to take revenge than to dialogue.
The conflict is contrary to the preaching of Islam and Christianity and very strange to the practice of any African tradition.
It is therefore high time that all the Muslims and Christians of the Plateau, the natives and the settlers understand that “we are all better than any of us” in order to put an end to the merciless killings and destruction.
In addition, Plateau authorities must do all in their power to restore the state’s declining glory as a “House of Peace and Tourism” and ensure that people harness diversity for the better. of all.
Shekarau sent this piece via [email protected]