A Nigerian should be able to live and work in a hospitable and safe environment in the North or South or East or West of Nigeria without suffering discrimination, says Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Abuja Archdiocese. Speaking recently on the high level of conflicts across the country, Archbishop Kaigama stressed that ethnicity has continued to thrive as a result of what he termed, “indigene” syndrome. Hear him, “Nigerians identify their States in terms of tribe, and we know that tribes in Nigeria see other tribes as opposition or competitors and so, parochial ethnic interests always prevail rather than the common good.
” According to him, twin problems of ethnic chauvinism and religious myopia added to poverty because of economic injustice are responsible for the conflicts, killings, destruction of farms, animals and even physical infrastructure across the country. “Surprisingly, even very educated, enlightened and well exposed Nigerians fail the test when it comes to issues of religion and tribe. The philosophy is: “We first and others after”. Sadly, this is a tragic recipe for disaster and continuous acrimony.” Using the lingering conflict between the Jukun and Tiv in Taraba State where he comes from, Archbishop Kaigama noted with sadness that the two have been needlessly at each other for decades; inflicting deadly blows, exterminating innocent lives and creating harsh economic hardship for the already poor populations. He called on the Government to site agricultural projects in the affected areas and equip the youth with modern farming tools that will keep them busy. This, according to him, will foster economic progress, social integration and peaceful coexistence.