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Sultan: Discourse on Nigeria’s unity driven by ignorance, emotion

Sultan: Discourse on Nigeria’s unity driven by ignorance, emotion
December 01
18:15 2021

Muhammadu Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, says the discourse on the country’s unity is driven by ignorance and emotion rather than knowledge.

Speaking on Wednesday at a national unity summit organised by the National Prosperity Movement (NPM) in Abuja, Abubakar said the discussion on Nigeria’s unity should be informed and driven by facts.

Represented by Shehu Yamusa III, Emir of Keffi, the sultan said the focus of discourse on unity should be on the right issues with the aim of promoting understanding.

“It appears that one major problem we have around our national unity and cohesion in this country is that the discourse even among the educated is driven more by ignorance and emotions than knowledge,” he said.

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“The discourse has to be an informed one driven by facts and figures, otherwise we would find ourselves boxed into dialogue of the daft where no one understands the other.

“We also have to avoid confusing unity with uniformity. We don’t have to be uniform to be united. The length of our fingers are not the same because each finger has a unique role to perform.”

The monarch also said the country’s diversity should be celebrated.

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“This can only happen if we ask our scholars to lead the debate. Some of us that went to unity schools and served in the military find it difficult to understand where the unnecessary hatred is coming from,” he said.

On his part, Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti, said fostering unity in diversity requires attention to equity, justice, fair play, and merit.

“We should also be clear that unity benefits considerably from vertical and horizontal solidarity as a key building block, lest we end up with a tyranny of meritocracy,” Fayemi said.

“We know from the best experiences in history that solidarity cements a sense of shared destiny among the people who make up a country.

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“Contrary to popular claims that have been deployed to make the case for disintegration and separatism, solidarity does not negate merit or sideline professionalism.”

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