I Olorunfemi Babatunde accepts you [put your name here] as my neighbour, to share the same country (Nigeria) with you peacefully, from this day forward, whether Muslim or Christian, whether Ibo, Hausa, Fulani, Igala, Yoruba etc with crude oil or no crude oil till death do us part.
The foundation on which successful marriages, friendships are built is acceptance, without it, no marriage, friendship will stand the test of time. The marriage vow exchanged by wedded couples typifies total acceptance.
By saying “I do” couples agree to stay, live with their perfect imperfections as put in John Legends song, “All of me”. By coming together as one, couples procreate, keep each other’s company, enjoy the good times and withstand the tides, waves of life together – as promised when making their vow, “for better, for worse”.
The place of my birth, Nigeria illustrates the result of lack of acceptance. 100 years after amalgamation the different ethnic groups that make up Nigeria have refused to accept one another, we have refused to live together as one. Issues like resource control, political difference, religious affiliations continue to tear us apart.
I am seizing this opportunity to plead with all the Major and Minor ethnic groups that make up Nigeria to come together as one – Nigeria will be great when we complement one another. We must accept that this country is made up of Christians, Muslims and traditional worshippers. Everyone free to practise his/her religion.
We must accept that whatever minerals, natural resources found in Nigeria irrespective of its location is for the good, benefit of all Nigerians. The natural resources we have is for our common good, it is not meant for some government officials, neither is it to enrich a selected few in the host community where such resources are located.
The crude oil in the South-East, and all other minerals, natural resources located in every part of Nigeria are for the benefit of Nigerians. You will agree with me that the South easterners cannot consume crude oil. What happens if the Hausa farmers in the north decides to sell a bulb of onion for 90 Naira (The same price as a litre of petrol)?
I plead with government to do the needful by ensuring that the exploration of crude oil in oil producing states conform with international, safe standards. Crude oil must not be explored at the detriment of the host communities, the safety of the environment, habitat should be upheld. It must also be ensured that host communities benefit economically. This is not to say that south easterners should see the crude oil as “theirs” – it is ours, for all Nigerians.
We must put an end to the unjustifiable division amongst us. A renowned astronaut once noted that while orbiting in space, he could not identify the lines that divide a continent from the other, the lines that divide us are imaginary, they do not exist!
Let us embrace unity, only then can we progress as a nation and make Nigeria great, a Giant among comity of nations.
Fellow Nigerian, accept me for who I am, I am Yoruba, a Christian, a catholic and most importantly I am human. I accept you for who you are. Let’s work together to make Nigeria great.
PART 2 – ACCEPTANCE AS INDIVIDUALS
Each time you look yourself in the mirror and say, “I wish I had a pointed nose, a fair skin…….” etc God is there saying to you, I make no mistakes, this is how i want it.
Individuals need to accept their personality. You need to appreciate who you are only then can you be the best you are created to be. The great philosopher Aristotle once said, “Man know thyself”. One of my interpretation to this charge is, “Man accept thyself”.
Until a man accept his strength, weaknesses only then can he make the best of his abilities.
Some individuals suffer low self-esteem as a result of not accepting who they are. Some people complain about their appearance, where they are from etc as a result they feel inferior to others who appear to have the looks, background they crave for.
If the “paintings” above describes you, I bring you goodnews, “You are the best of your kind”, you should be proud about this, isnt it? I also have to sound this note of warning, if you refuse to accept who you are, you will end up chasing shadows.
I charge you to look yourself in the mirror, embrace who God created you to be. Look forward to each day with enthusiasm and be the best you can be!