There are a lot of lessons to be carried from the 2015 elections, but for me one of the most important lessons was the deep rooted tribalism pervading the Nigerian society.
It was relatively easy to predict what state would fall to what party by just looking from ethnic lenses. Yes, the northerners (Hausa/Fulani) had ample reasons to vote out Jonathan, but so did the South-easterners (Igbos) who voted against Buhari for the same reasons the northerners voted for him…because he is an Hausa man.
As a result, certain Pro-Jonathan individuals launched verbal attacks on the Hausas and some Pro-Buhari individuals did the same to the Igbos, one unscrupulous excuse of a human being even went as far as making genocidal rants on Twitter. The unfortunate thing is that not all Hausas voted for Buhari and not all Igbos voted for Buhari.
This problem has plagued us for so long that we went as far as instituting federal character in our constitution. But that sometimes did more harm than good where productivity is concerned.
I suggest that Buhari shouldn’t leave office without ridding this country of state of origin. It should be replaced with state of residence and people should be allowed to belong to wherever they choose. A Yoruba man that has spent years of his life and has invested a lot of money in form of taxes and other business endeavors into the Imo state economy should not be looked at with disdain should he choose to run for governor one day.
Inter-ethnic marriages should be encouraged in our homes, schools and societies. No one should be discouraged from marrying “dirty Yorubas”, “stingy Igbos”, “Illiterate Hausa” or even “witchy Edos” because we know these stereotypes don’t always hold water. We should tolerate each other, Igbos shouldn’t think Yorubas are loud and superficial and Yorubas shouldn’t think Igbos are disrespectful.
Most importantly Buharis policies should take a page from Jonathan’s paper goals and achievements. He should focus on National development, aggressively creating infrastructure in the north and south east with the same intensity. He should however not allow his administration be an administration that just tells us the almajiris schools they built, but an administration where the common man, whether in North, East or South feels the dividens of democracy.