Posted on July 6, 2016
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation
and the 9th most populous country in
the world, (I Stand to be corrected) with
an estimated population of 150million.
Nigeria as a plural society with several
ethnic groups (over 350) and religions
which makes her prone to a situation
that might be unpleasant. Given that it is
in human nature that people tend to
offend one another in one way or the
other especially people of different
background and mentality amalgamated
to live together as one. This lends
credence to the subject matter that at the
face of the current contemporary
Nigeria’s economic and political
situation, should tolerance take pre-
eminence and if so what will
characterize the need for tolerance in
Taking cognizance of the historical
antecedent of this country till date,
which serves as a prelude to the present
unpleasant and unsatisfactory situation,
it has provided an extraordinary set of
pressures and events. That which
features: Imposition of colonial rule,
independence, interethnic and
interregional competition or even
violence, military coups, a civil war, an
oil boom that had government and
individuals spending recklessly and
often with corrupt intentions, drought
and a debt crisis that led to a drastic
recession and lowered standards of
living. Hence people tend to cleave to
what they know. Many adhered to
regional loyalties, ethnicity, kin, and to
patron-client relation that protected
them in an unstable and insecure
environment. Consequently from the
foregoing many became hardened,
frustrated, desperate, and unmerciful;
stone hearted, furious, vengefully
motivated, unforgiving etc. All can be
said to have given vent to the present
situation of the country.
The situation of the contemporary
Nigeria society is summarily terrible. The
daily deteriorating situations and events
are evident on the pages of our
newspapers and news headlines. This
paralyzing malady ranges from cases of
kidnappings, killings, raping, bombings,
injustice, crises, destructions,
immoralities, rituals, robberies, boko
haram menace, militants operations etc.
What confronts one is how to advocate
the concept of tolerance even at the face
of this terrible situation which I can
describe as “survival of the fittest”. The
last administration recorded the highest
number of bloodsheds and disasters that
cannot even be exhausted in this paper.
Corruption itself is now said to be “a
citizen” of this country, oppressions of
the masses, marginalization of the poor,
discriminations, cheatings, to mention
but a few. Many families have been
deserted, properties destroyed, many
dreams are in their early grave and a lot
of destinies are cut short, all because
they are victims of the unfortunate
circumstances that engulfed our country
It is unarguably difficult to preach to the
varying victims of this country, taking
into consideration how traumatized they
seem to be. However, this discourse still
recognizes the need for tolerance in the
face of these situations, in order to
promote peaceful co-existence. The fact
remains that Vengeance begets
vengeance. I strongly posit that tolerance
matters although it is not easy, but this
appears to be the only way we can put
an end to further bloodsheds and
controversies. The heart that forgives
and tolerate is said to be the heart that
is free, no wonder an anonymous quote
says that “forgiveness implies setting a
prisoner free and realizing that the
prisoner was oneself”. The game is
“Survival of the fittest” but the rule is
By Zaccheaus Gbenga Ayobami. First Published on