A PR consultant, Akin Fadeyi, has taken to his social media platform X to drop a reflective message for Nigerians over the current ethnic divisive narratives ongoing on social media by sharing his personal experiences to emphasize the need for unity and understanding among Nigeria’s diverse tribes.
Fadeyi recounted instances from his life that showcased positive interactions between different ethnic groups. He highlighted his landlord’s appreciation for his initiative in enhancing the property and a supportive network of Igbo colleagues during his tenure as Cadbury Nigeria Plc’s Media Relations Manager.
The narrative aimed to counteract the divisive narratives on social media, particularly between the Yoruba and Igbo ethnic groups. He acknowledged the positive encounters with individuals from both groups, emphasizing the importance of avoiding generalizations based on negative experiences.
The message delved into the broader issues facing Nigeria, such as the state of education, healthcare infrastructure, insecurity, and the condition of roads.
The root cause of tribal discord, according to Fadeyi, lies in the limitation of Nigerians’ exposure or experience. The message urged Nigerians to rise above the divisive rhetoric and focus on addressing the core issues affecting the nation.
Read his full message below.
My Landlord in Lagos from 2008 was the Chairman of the Ekene Dili Chukwu, Transportation and Logistics Company, the Late Chief Augustine Ejikeme Ilodibe. His caretaker who interfaces with us as Tenants is Mr. Lawrence Oriakuh.
One day, I realized our fence was too low and was susceptible to miscreants’ invasion. I mobilized Bricklayers and other Artisans to raise the Fence round the perimeters. Total materials and Labour cost was 96,000 Naira. Over 6 months later, I sent in my rent in total sum of what I normally paid. Ekene Dili Chukwu office called to inform me that I had a refund of 96,000. They thanked me again for taking care of their property. I told them to hold it and if okay, they could net it off my next rent. They agreed.
In 2002 after resuming as Cadbury Nigeria Plc’s Media Relations Manager, the Editor of Champion Newspapers in Lagos, Fred Chukwuelobe, Editor of NewAge, Onuoah Okey, Editor in Chief of Businessday, Stanley Egbochukwu and his Editor, who later became the Director, Corporate Affairs at the CBN, Isaac Okoroafor all made the newsrooms fascinating for me to visit. They offered me such tremendous Brotherly support, strengthening my capacity to understand the terrain and workings of their outlets. They were always there in times of corporate or external crisis.
My promotion in Cadbury was traceable to my media management competence and I cannot write the story of such superlative track records without mentioning these individuals. They are all Igbos. And because my experience with them is very positive, I’ll never generalize all Igbos as bad. I also have Igbo friends who have narrated impressive encounters with Yorubas.
Either a Yoruba Doctor in some hospital or a Yoruba Rescuer at an accident spot. No matter how much of hate we spew against Yorubas, their kind of individuals will always sing Yoruba praises. I think sometimes, the limitation in our exposure or experience define why we embrace Bigotry. I also know there are very exposed Elites who profit from the chaos of tribal disorder they ignite. Let’s be very honest: The virtual rhetoric we fuel on social Media where Yorubas go after Igbos and Igbos go after Yorubas is a symptom and not the root.
The root is the lost election. Those who lost have lost hope in a corporate Nigeria and are now very irritable and less tolerant, while those who won could have been better by demonstrating modesty and graciousness in victory. Have we even sat to think through our challenges as a nation? Education is at its lowest, Healthcare infrastructure at a deficit, insecurity has become a norm with dire consequences. Our roads are deathtraps. All of these are cutting down our life expectancy irrespective of tribe or language spoken.
Yet, our problem has been YORUBA IS NOT YOUR MATE or IGBO IS BE TTER THAN YOU. How did we fall this low? How did we forget that we’ve intermarried and so, for every insult we hurl at each other, we’re hurling it in the direction of our tribal relatives? How did we forget that the universe is so big, the earth as a planet is so small and we as individuals are just a SPECK in a fleeting life. Here today and gone tomorrow. WE CAN DO BETTER.
Let’s all remember: Yorubas, Igbos, Hausas have kidnappers; they have armed robbers; they have contract padding Agents and they cuddle many other vices. Same tribes have great Doctors, accomplished Lawyers, IT Gurus and Business magnates.
Some of the leaders we’re dying for are fellow Board members within multibillion businesses. Some of them align politically and realign whenever their interests are buttered.
When they realign within regions they need to win votes, we suddenly eat our words and follow suit? It means we’re not better than Pawns on their chessboards? We are better and can do better. I don’t have all the answers but I know after reading this, some of us may change and get off the destructive tribal Horse.
Let us stop majoring in minor: This energy we’re unleashing on Twitter for tribal jingoism, when are we going to unleash it to demand accountability from our State Governors? These energy we’re dissipating over tribal warfare, when are we going to ignite it to demand impactful legislation from our Senators and Reps? We are not what we know but what we’re willing to learn. Arrogance of know-it-all is sheer Hubris. We can do better. May all our tribes do well and may our land truly heal.