If there is any one word that has become a serious threat to patriotism for Nigerians, it is tribalism.
In Nigeria, ethnicity or tribalism is a social phenomenon associated with the identity of members of a competing communal group(s) seeking to protect and advance their interest in a political system. The relevant communal factor may be language, culture, race, religion and/or common history. Sadly tribalism has played manifesting roles in Nigerian politics since the pre-colonial era and is arguably one of the important causes of conflict and an overall obstacle to economic development of the country. Sadly, the foundation of Nigeria’s party politics was tribally-oriented as portrayed in the First until Fourth Republics.
The tragedy with the Nigerian situation is that it is the highly educated people, those who really should know better, that propagate tribalism; A lot of them write that they don’t even believe in Nigeria. They refer to their own tribes in lofty and bombastic terms, calling them ‘races’ or ‘ethnic nationalities’
The damaging effects of tribalism, I’m sure, are well known. It promotes mediocrity and suppresses merit, encourages corruption by giving much needed cover and immunity for perpetrators, stands in the way of national cohesion and consensus, creates a distraction away from serious national issues and often contributes to communal violence.
It is clearly evident that this country can only progress with a visionary leader that has been tried and trusted given the peculiar nature of Nigeria. The leadership style of Sen. Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, is built and derived from his charisma, positive influence, selfless service and laudable track-record of achievements. The former Kaduna State Governor and Immediate past Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfia has been described as a visionary, detribalized and soft spoken but charismatic Nigerian.
Makarfi, has benevolently attracted to himself a call to serve because he has enshrined himself, through his good deeds, in the hearts and minds of the good people of Kaduna state and Nigeria as a whole.
He was governor from 1999 to 2007 (Kaduna State which can be described as a small Nigeria with Christians predominately in the south and Muslims in the Northern part of the state) Makarfi with an unassuming nature and magnetic strength of character, remarkably piloted the affairs of the state by placing it back on the path of accelerated socio-economic development, and gave all a sense of belonging during his tenure. A typical but celebrated example of his magnanimity as a governor was the creation of additional chiefdoms, which liberated some ethnic groups in the state from years of subjugation and colonization despite strong opposition. Even as a lawmaker, the welfare need of his people has always been uppermost in his humane heart.
During his tenure as PDP caretaker Chairman, Makarfi carried himself as an epitome of legendary humility and calmness, a consensus molder and bridge builder, a dedicated patriot and nationalist, an astute pro-people politician and unrepentant democrat, a cheerful giver of both self and resources, and an indefatigable elder statesman of repute.
Also, in the politics of Kaduna state, his unrivaled political dexterity and acumen is second to none and the envy of his critics, while at the national level, he possesses an uncommon capacity to build and mold consensus across ethno-religious and political divide. This has earned him widespread respect not just in his home state but also nationally.
The characteristics that make-up the sterling personality and character of Ahmed Makarfi, a detribalized true Nigerian with the well-being of his fellow countrymen enshrined in his heart. There is no more powerful motivation for others than a leader who sets an example and loves his country seamlessly. He is a noble man that the 2019 presidential cap will accurately fit, in order to give a sense of hope to the new generation and inspiration to posterity.
By Oluwaseyi O
Makafri Media Support Group