As a prominent figure in African Union, Gaddafi’s shortsighted solution is the greatest leadership failure on his part. It dilutes and contradicts the zeal behind the drive to African unification, where free movements of people would be a permanently entrenched right. As a leader, and a champion of Pan-African ideals in modern day Africa, his utterances ought to epitomize unity not disunity, tolerance, not intolerance. The infamous divide-and-rule tactics employed by the colonialists against Africa has done the continent no good in any way. It has rather divided us as a continent against our unity and ourselves. That must not be repeated in any form today.

What Nigeria needs is a way to peaceful co-existence based on respect and tolerance as the Bible and the Quran that they claim to be ardent followers… clearly postulate. It is hypocritical and ironic on the part of Christians and Muslims to continue killing each other in order to find favour with God.

Africans must come to the conscious awareness that their African identity precedes their religious affiliations Christianity or Islam. Their ancestors in pre-colonial Africa were Africans and human beings long before the advent of Islam or Christianity. It would constitute a shameful gesture to bequeath posterity a legacy of intolerance, conflict and division based on an imported heritage. As Chinua Achebe put it explicitly, “… He came quietly and peacefully with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.”

Many things bind the South and the North together than those that supposedly separate them. It is better to think of unity, and explore costly solutions that would last, rather than cheap ones that would not.

By Kwame E. Bidi


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