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The Oracle: Ethnic Nationalities and Emerging Challenges in Nigeria (Pt. 3)



By Mike Ozekhome


Ethnic conflict is an issue that, particularly during the last few decades or so, has crept to the forefront of international political debate. Issues that raise the most dust are those regarded essential for the existence and the validity of the state. The result revealed that the six geo-political zones of Nigeria namely; North West, North East, North Central, South West, South-South and South East zones have all witnessed all kinds of ethnic conflicts resulted from the same set of causes. Flowing from all of these, in a bid to address these ethnic nationalities challenges, the CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE AND ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) in collaboration with FRIEDRICH-EBERT-STIFTUNG (FES) NIGERIA with support from the European Union recently held a stakeholder’s consultative forum on Peace and Security Challenges in Nigeria themed “Ethnicity, Ethnic Crises and National Security: Casual Analysis and Management Strategies”.


According to Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), the Executive Director of CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE AND ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC), he stated at the forum that there was need for a new constitution that defined rights and privileges of citizenship in terms of residency rather than nativism, ancestry and religious background, adding that the new constitution must devolve power over resource distribution and development from an all-powerful central government to local constituencies to enthrone economic justice and equity.

He stated also that;

“This periodic event brings together key players within the security space to look critically and think of ways to resolve the ongoing fiasco on ethnicity and its implication on national security, which currently undermines human security in Nigeria and has largely become a threat to socio-economic and political culture of our co-existence. Nigeria with over 400 ethnic groups, over 1000 dialects, practicing several religions, with different cultures and histories came under the British imperialist in the 19th century. With the 1st of January, 1914 amalgamation of Southern and Northern Protectorate the foundation of a nation now called Nigeria was laid. Nigeria is now populated by over 200 million people and has adopted the federal system of government with 36 States and a Federal Capital Territory. Mismanagement of national resources and misrule by multi ethnic and multi-religious coalitions of successive rulers since independence have impoverished and denied opportunities to the majority of Nigerians. As a result, religious rhetoric blaming of members of other religious communities and proposals for religious reform as a solution to society’s ills have found purchase among the masses. This genuine, if misplaced, quest for a religious utopia has given some opportunistic political gladiators an excuse to curry legitimacy through politicized appeals to piety and religious fervor. Official graft needs to be tackled headlong, a new constitution that defines rights and privileges of citizenship in terms of residency rather than nativism, ancestry and religious background also needs to be crafted. This new constitution needs to devolve power over resource distribution and development from an all-powerful central government to local constituencies.

This will ensure economic justice and equity. It will also make central political power less attractive, less corrupt, and the contests over national political offices less contentious. The use of religious and ethnic appeals as tools of political mobilization will become less attractive and it will find a diminished reception in a climate of justice, equitable resource distribution, and equal opportunities for all”.

Worthy to note here is that, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), in collaboration with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) with the support from European Union (EU) has worked collectively to institutionalize a participatory system that is vibrant, robust and effective.

Another approach to curb these ethnic nationalities and its emerging challenges is the Kinetic and Non-kinetic Approach

According to the Defence Minister, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), when he highlighted some of the issues causing further division among the people include, absence of social justice, feelings of marginalization and lack of equality.

He also advocated the use of kinetic and non-kinetic approaches in addressing the issues, noting that force alone would not yield positive result, just as he called for dialogue, noting that the implications of separatist
agitations and other forms of insecurity on Nigeria were enormous.

Again, the Minister noted that, there is no doubt the country is confronted with multiple security challenges that are affecting socio-economic wellbeing and threatening the survival of the nation state. He listed the implications to include under development, social tension, displacement of citizens, destruction of private and public property, disruption of means of livelihood and educational system.

He said and I quote,

“There is no doubt that Nigeria is confronted with multiple security challenges, notably the Boko Haram terrorists in the North-east and militancy in the Niger Delta, increasing violence between herders and farmers, banditry and kidnapping especially in the North-west and Central regions as well as separatist agitations for Biafra and now Oduduwa Republics in the South Eastern and Western parts of the country respectively.

The implications of these separatist agitations and other forms of insecurity on Nigeria are enormous. These include socio-economic implications such as under development, social tension, displacement of citizens, destruction of private and public property, disruption of means of livelihood and educational system. Others are fanning the embers of disunity, overstretching of security agencies and loss of lives. Therefore, the combination of the above implications is continuous cycle of insecurity that has led to heighten tension and violence that is capable of affecting the survival and corporate existence of the country. The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies who are constitutionally saddled with the responsibility of protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria as well as maintaining law and order have continued to confront these challenges through both kinetic and non-kinetic instruments’’.

Specifically, the Constitution, clearly charged the Armed Forces with the primary role of defending Nigeria from external aggression and maintaining its territorial integrity as well as securing is borders from violation on land, sea and air. The Constitution passes the Armed Forces the secondary role of suppressing insurrection and act in aid of civil authorities to restore law and order when called upon to do so by the President. This secondary role provides the basis operations in the country.

However, it is worth noting that the efforts of the Armed Forces and other security agencies using the kinetic means as suggested by the Honorable Minister alone, may not bring the peace and security we all desire in the country. Kinetic and non-kinetic measures must be applied to complement each other.

Comparatively, the non- kinetic measures could take the form of addressing all the major causes of insecurity and discontent through genuine dialogue, economic empowerment, good governance, provision of employment and social infrastructure. Other non-kinetic means include fighting corruption, extreme poverty, hunger and maladministration, provision of equal opportunities to all citizens as well as addressing perceived to the current multi-dimensional security challenges facing our nation.

Quite frankly, some of these security challenges are posing serious threats to the corporate existence of our country and some of these suggestions will assist appropriate authority to address all forms of insecurity implementable solutions that would engender effective policies towards addressing the myriad of security challenges facing Nigeria today.

Amongst all that have been stated concerning this ethnic nationalities and emerging challenges thereof, it is however important to get the lawmakers view on it thus;

“It is promoted by the political elites, embraced by the young and the old, passed from generation to generation, and even has base in the constitution. This explains the assumption that conflicts in Nigeria is motivated by ethnic competition Nigerians must ask, how did we get here, what and who are responsible? Why are other countries (India, Indonesia, Brazil, United States, Switzerland, Belgium, China, etc.) which are as diverse as Nigeria not half as obsessed with their diversity? The ethnic diversity of Nigeria has more or less been a threat rather than a source of national pride and development as countries above have experienced. Why?

Ethnic tensions are boiling over. At the center of it all are herdsmen who for as long as anyone can remember have roamed the country grazing their cattle. Even as a little boy, growing up in my community in Adamawa, I recall coming across the harmless looking herders who usually only had a stick slung languidly across their shoulders. These days, a new generation ply their trade caressing AK47 rifles to ward off threats. Over the years the damage done to farmlands as they traversed the land became a flashpoint. Now, they are regularly accused of being involved in the booming kidnapping business. It’s hard to dismiss this accusation because of testimonies of countless victims on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway and other parts of the country as to the ethnicity of their captors. Unfortunately, despite public outcry in many states, official response has never adequately addressed the problem. This is not the best time to succumb to sentiments. Refusing to address the issues at stake in an honest and unbiased way is the worse form of injustice. For instance, to suggest that what is happening is just a blind attack or ethnic profiling on any ethnic group is unhelpful.

Finally, the constant reference to tribal animosities and differences affects the youth’s psyche and has created a pattern or legacy of hate and suspicion which the successive generation carries like a mantle. Ethnic and religious intolerance has exposed the nation to bizarre conflict experiences with loss of lives and properties, creating uncertainties in the polity. Boko Haram insurgent group is a classic example of the outcome of a long stretch of ethnic distrust and rivalry. Nigeria must not go the way of Sudan, Central Africa Republic, Mali, Somalia, etc. Nigeria has a testimony of resilience and the fact that, even though there are so many distrusts and suspicion, the people still believe in the indivisibility of the country.”


Start with yourself, it always works. Take parts in meeting and parades promoting Nigerian, but not tribal unity. Meet friends from other cultures, marry a girl from the other tribe and develop the idea of the difference between tribes as a positive idea. Tell your thoughts at the family reunion dinner and share them with a friend. Do your best to introduce peace and equality into your Nigerian culture. So, there is the problem of ethnic hatred. But today many people claim that this is not the hatred between people, but the hatred among politicians. That is why we proposed the best ways to solve ethnic problems on the level of the political reformation. As you see, every person can contribute to solving this problem. Fortunately, Nigeria is a democratic country at least formally but ruled by its people, and if people do not want hatred, no other factors can influence it.

You personally can contribute to cultural integration. Become a volunteer, travel around Nigeria and promote your culture, tell its stories and present its history and unusual believes. You can also contribute to media and Internet propaganda. Write posts about your own intercultural experience and support groups and articles about ethnic integration and ways of solving the problems of ethnicity in Nigeria to overcome the problems of ethnicity in Nigeria and reach the principal goal – national unity, it is necessary to unite people in as many aspects of life as it is possible.

(To be continued).

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Voice of Emancipation: Thriving in a Global Crisis




By Kayode Emola

The last year has been a nightmare for the common man, finding himself responsible for footing the bills of high inflation, high interest, and the cost of living crisis, in the midst of a number of trying situations. Many Western leaders want us to believe that these all stem from the conflict in Russia; yet they cannot justify how, in these same circumstances, the rich are getting richer, and energy companies are declaring hefty profits. Whilst at the same time, the poor around the world have been left behind to fend for themselves through all of these tribulations.

Many of us are oblivious to the wider picture, unconcerned with the global financial tsunami that is currently stirring. However, we are all feeling the effects of inflation and the rising costs of everyday items; none of us is insulated, even in our ignorance. Therefore, I am going to discuss a few of the global events and potential ways to mitigate the challenges. For those who are conscious, this may serve as a precaution to prevent them from falling into a ditch; whilst for the less aware, maybe a note of caution will manage to bring them back on track.

It is undeniable that inflation is biting hard, causing prices of everyday goods to spiral out of control. A large contributory factor in this was the recklessly excessive printing of money by countries in Europe and America during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, with their economies suffering, it raises speculation about whether this has given the West a hidden agenda in terms of their approach to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Unquestionably, in the circumstance of war, certain parties are guaranteed to profit, namely, those whose business interests lie in the production of munitions. One may therefore infer that such parties would have a vested interest in prolonging the conflict, rather than dispensing with rapid and decisive intervention.

No one can justify Russia’s use of force; however, a more meaningful approach could have been taken to avert the war. Russia had amassed troops at the border of Ukraine for over a month, thinking that this will give it leverage in negotiating with NATO and the European Union (EU) for Ukraine’s continued exclusion from these entities.

Perhaps if the United Nation had intervened in time, the situation could have been de-escalated in a timely and professional manner. Instead, Russia felt unheard by the Western democracies; and, as a result, we all are paying the high price, whether we like it or not. The thought that the war is likely to go on for several more years is one that should chill the spine of every person around the world.

What is currently Happening?

Recently, we have seen the impact caused by the current crisis on the banking sector. Rising inflation has caused central banks to raise interest rates worldwide. Peripheral banks that had sold long-term products at lower interest rates now have to pay the difference themselves, thereby potentially jeopardising their own financial stability.

Secondly, banks that have invested in long-term government bonds have seen the value of those bonds fall. This has not only put customers’ money at risk, but the market response to the two conditions has caused two internationally renowned global banks (Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse) to have to be forcefully taken over. Furthermore, the Germany-based Deutsch bank is also having trouble. It takes only one event or mistake for everything to spiral out of control, and the whole house falls like a pack of cards.

People have seen their electricity and gas bills triple in recent months; and pump prices of diesel and petrol have been similarly impacted. An average household in the UK that was previously paying less than £80 per calendar month are now paying in excess of £300 pcm just to keep their homes warm. Despite all of this, major energy companies are still declaring serious growth and profit. Just this week, it was reported that the chief executive of British Gas, Chris O’Shea, had been awarded a performance bonus of £1.4m last year, bringing his salary for 2022 up to £4.5m. Yet concurrently millions of ordinary people are unable to afford to even heat their homes.

Not only are energy costs increasing aggressively, but the central banks’ rising interest rates have led to mortgage rates returning to levels not seen since 2006, prior to the financial crisis. This has caused monthly mortgage repayment figures to rise by over £450 pcm, in some cases, a situation which is clearly unsustainable in the long run.

For my Yoruba folks, what does this mean for our survival? The mere fact that we are in Nigeria already sets us at a disadvantage when attempting to navigate the choppy waters of the global crisis. Despite the enormous challenges facing the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria last week increased its interest rates to 18%.

It is becoming clear that we must find a way to create our own financial system, in order to mitigate against soaring interest rates and inflation. We must put measures in place to ensure that the disastrous naira redesign policy, which devastated millions of our people, cannot recur in the future. A self-contained financial ecosystem built on blockchain technology would allow us to protect ourselves from hostile government policies. This would also help our people safeguard money for a rainy day.

Ultimately, we Yoruba need our own financial system. However, this is likely to be impossible until we exit from Nigeria. In the meantime, whilst we await the birth of our Yoruba nation, I implore us all to be aware that we are living in precarious times wherein only the prepared can survive. This is not the time to embark on frivolous spending, but rather the time to be careful and judicious with our finances. Protect your upside and ensure that your downside is covered, so that when the storms get heavier, you will be able to not only survive but thrive, when others are complaining.

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Adding Value

Adding Value: Get Connected to Succeed by Henry Ukazu




Dear Destiny Friends,

One of the best things that can happen to any person is getting connected. Not only that, but having the best of connections. Connections come in various ways. There is always a distinct difference in the way you connect with yourself, children, parents, friends, colleagues, mentors, strangers, teachers, and boss. One must know what works with these people to connect with them, otherwise it might be difficult to get your desire, especially when it relates to opportunities.

You cannot underscore the importance of human or personal relationships. Despite getting formal education, good grades, and being the best in what you do, you must make an intentional effort to put yourself out there, and this entails relating with people both formally and informally.

The importance of human connection cannot be overemphasized; it’s just like a man who wants to get close to a lady. You must understand the love language, which can be words affirmation, gifts, acts of services or physical touch. All these entail connecting with the other person in the way they understand. When you use words instead of gifts, the lady might not respond positively; when you use gifts instead of time, you might miss the person, same way if you use words, gifts, physical touch but don’t show little act of service, she might see you as an unattractive being. This is why connection is very important.

Apart from being educated and doing what you need to do to succeed, did you know you need connection to succeed? Yes, you need connection to succeed because you might be the best singer, but if you don’t get an opportunity to sing, nobody might hear your voice. You might be the best writer, but if nobody gives you an opportunity to write, your work might not see the light of the day. We all need an opportunity to showcase our work to get publicity. The big question we need to ask ourselves is how do we connect to people?

Connection works in different ways. Everyone needs to have a connection. Your connection can be God, who you relate with spiritually; it can also be a mentor or benefactor who has the platform or access to the publicity you need. Most people even connect to a “god” who assists them with false wealth or opportunity. Your connection can be from the school you attended, social engagement/networking group you belong to or even strangers you meet on the streets. If you can engage them in fruitful conversation, you are setting up yourself for success

Connection can also be through a referral, recommendation, through marketing efforts, or an established platform. It could also be via your online presence where you share your work (article or videos)

To have the success you want, you need a connection with yourself, others, and your work. For connection to be effective, you must understand how your public, private and secret life works. Your public life is the way you relate with people while in public space, your private life relates with the way you relate with your family and close friends, while your secret life relates with the way you relate with yourself. Only you know this part of you, that’s why self discovery is very important. Let me explain how this works.


Self Leadership is a skill that needs to be developed if you are to maximize the potential you were given. You cannot connect with yourself if you don’t understand yourself. It is important to state that self-connection is the most fundamental and crucial of all connections because it will allow you to bring out the best in you, which means you’ll be able to tap into a purpose that lights up your life. It may come in the form of inner guidance, intuition etc. This connection is personal and can only be understood by you.


As generally stated, success comes with a team. You need people to succeed in life. Without people in your life, your life might be hollow, especially when you need to get work done and can’t do it alone. While most problems you encounter stem from a connection to people, you wouldn’t want to live without them. It is instructive to note that connecting with the right people is hard and getting them to do things for you is even harder.


You can connect with other people with your work. The desire to produce, contribute or create is in each and everyone of us. We all want the opportunity to engage in work that gives us great pleasure while being valued and handsomely rewarded. It is when you do your work perfectly well that your value will be noticed and appreciated.

A critical area of connecting with people is networking. Networking is about establishing, building, and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you meet. Like I always say, we live in a connected and social economy with the invention of the internet and social media where the world is now a global village.

Do you know that networking has gone global? Yes, who you know might open the door for you, but who knows you will give you the seat. This is because you might know former President Obama, but the big question is, does Obama know you? You might know Henry Ukazu due to his global works on youths and Human Capacity Development, but does Henry Ukazu know you?

Experts agree that the most connected people are often the most successful. When you invest in your relationships -professional and personal – it can pay you back dividends throughout the course of your career because networking is a currency.

Networking is essential since it will help you develop and improve your skill set, stay on top of the latest trends in your industry, prospective mentors, partners, and clients, and gain access to the necessary resources that will foster your career development.

In conclusion, take time out today to think about the connections you have in your life and ask yourself, am I plugged into the right connection that will connect me to the success I desire? That should be your food for thought.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s a Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate and creative writer. He’s the author of the acclaimed book Design Your Destiny – Actualizing Your Birthright to Success. He can be reached

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The Flames of Character: Maximize your ‘Self’ for Global Impacts




By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“The word ‘SELF’ connotes:

Sharing with


Loving unconditionally, and

Finding peace in your old age.

Your ‘SELF’ is what makes you or mar you. it is up to you to decide what to do with your “SELF””–  Tolulope A. Adegoke, Ph.D., MNIM, FIMC, CMC, CMS

If you do not think about the future, you may not have a brighter one.

If you cannot take a major step, you cannot have a future.

It is you acting deliberately in line with your goals.

Character is who you are when no one is watching. Charm is a woman’s strength, while strength is a man’s charm

Our job is not to see through one another, but to see one another through.

One of the most difficult thing to give away is kindness, because it is like a baton which usually return in unexpected manners.

When we hurt, there is no sweeter revenge than to forgive.

For every minute of anger, it is said that sixty (60) seconds of happiness is lost.

So, why worry? Chances make our parents, but choices make our friends.

Although, our tongues weigh practically nothing,

But how come so few a people can bridle it.

If you need a position, you must be positioned enough to have a mission.

If you need to fulfil your mission, you must have a clear vision.

Refuel your vision, through meditation for rejuvenation and revitalization.

To arrive at your mission, you must embrace stable or consistent submission.

If you must achieve your vision, then you must suspend the television for a while.

If you desire to be on the television, you must avoid the television as an addiction.

The height of your position is determined by the visions that you are exposed to.

And to have acute breakthroughs, you must actively breakthrough in your thoughts and in your words (and works).

One major thing that must break for you to go through is the ‘SELF’ in you…

The word ‘SELF’ connotes:

Sharing with Everyone, Loving unconditionally, and Finding peace in your old age.

Your ‘SELF’ is what makes you or mar you. it is up to you to decide what to do with your ‘SELF’.

Listen and download Spoken word single (MP3), titled: “CHARACTER” By Tolulope A. Adegoke via the link below:

OR contact:

Thank you!

Dr. Tolulope A. Adegoke is an accredited ISO 20700 Effective Leadership Trainer

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