By Taiwo Olapade
I am not sure if it was a mistake that people of different backgrounds, religions, and ethnic affiliations were brought together in 1914 by the British colonialists under the guise of Amalgamation.
However, what is certain is the fact that the colonial masters (British government) did so for their own selfish political and economic gains.
The founding fathers of the nation, including the Sardauna of Sokoto, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Aminu Kano, and Obafemi Awolowo, never imagined the high level of division and hatred that exists amongst us now as a people. Does it mean that there was no quarrel or reason for disagreement among themselves then?
The United States of America is the strongest country and the choice destination in the world today because it was developed over the years by people from different countries.
The beauty of the US that is the talk of the town today took over 200 years to achieve. Of course, like the popular adage; Rome was never built in a day. It takes years, dedication, and commitment to achieve that.
It is expected that Nigerians will imbibe the spirit of the Super Eagles to further strengthen our unity in diversity so we can lay to rest sectionalism, religious bigotry, and ethnic bias that has dominated the space for decades and torn us apart in our fatherland.
The Captain of the Super Eagles, Ahmed Musa, did not kick a ball during the just concluded AFCON Nations Cup in Ivory Coast but was in the team due to vast experience and to ensure unity among colleagues.
No one bothered about the religion or ethnic affiliation of the make-up Captain in William Troost-Ekon who had a great performance throughout the tournament since the ultimate wish of the team is for Nigeria to win the Trophy.
What is more important to Nigerians and the Team is victory and not the identity of Igbos, Hausas, or Yorubas that made up the Team.
The fundamental objective of government as enshrined in Chapter 14 of the 1999 constitution as amended is security of lives and property as well as provision for the welfare of the people.
Nigerians, not until recent years, never bothered about where our President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Ministers come from so long they have the capacity to deliver on their duties in the overall benefits of the people.
But today, the first question on the lips of most Nigerians is where is he from or what religion does he practice. These primordial sentiments, of course, will take us nowhere.
What Nigerians want from government or our political leaders is purely performance.
The names of our founding fathers continue to remain relevant and for reference purposes because of the selfless service and commitments to security and welfare of all.
The names of late former Lagos State Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, late NAFDAC DG, Prof Dora Akunyili, and the current JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyode have remained indelible in our history not because of the religion they practiced, not because of their tribes but largely because of their outstanding performance in the service of the fatherland.
Nigerians across the board benefited immensely from their doggedness, transparency, and the fear of God which was their watchword.
If we allow the spirit of the Super Eagles of oneness and unity of purpose to reverberate in us, surely, we will overcome most of our common challenges and change our narrative to a land flourishing of milk and honey.