Alia says Nigeria’s diversity too treasured to be managed

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia has said that Nigeria’s diversity is too treasured to be managed, rather, it should be cherished.

Governor Alia stated this at the Arewa House in Kaduna on Thursday, while addressing Arewa Think Tank, during their One-Day Lecture to celebrate the One Year Achievements of the Administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Speaking on the theme, “Our Diversity, Our Strength”, the Governor regretted that diversity in Nigeria is often viewed through the lens of division, a source of tension and conflict.

He stated however that, “it is essential to recognise that diversity is a double-edged sword, that if embraced properly, can become our greatest asset. The key lies in understanding and harnessing our differences to build a more robust, united and prosperous Nigeria.”

He explained that President Tinubu’s economic policies are also hinged on Nigeria’s diversity, saying the administration has launched numerous initiatives to support local businesses and artisans from different cultural backgrounds,adding that by promoting local industries and traditional crafts, the government has not only boosted the economy, but also preserved Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

He pointed out that the new National Anthem, which was recently signed into law, has said it all in its first stanza, lines 3 and 4 where it states that “…Though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood, we stand,…”, adding that diversity fuels innovation.

Explaining further, Governor Alia said, “When people from varied backgrounds come together, they bring different perspectives, experiences and ideas. This confluence of thought drives creativity and problem-solving, which are critical for economic growth. Nigeria’s diverse population should be a powerhouse for entrepreneurship and innovation, fostering industries that are as varied as our people.”

Emphasizing on the importance of diversity, the Governor said “let us not take Nigeria’s diversity for granted as it offers immense opportunities for growth and unity. The richness of Nigeria’s ethnic, linguistic, religious and cultural diversity when harnessed effectively can lead to unparalleled growth and unity, showcasing Nigeria as a beacon of diversity and strength on the global stage. Our diversity should be our power, and our strength, should be in our unity. When we recognise, appreciate and accept this fact, then there would be no them and us.”

He urged Nigerians to continue to celebrate the richness country’s diversity, saying Nigeria as a Nation with more than 250 ethnic groups, with different dialects, religions and cultures, shows the country’s identity and potential.

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