We Are Lagosians, By Bucky Hassan

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Lagos. The centre of excellence. The greatest city on earth. With a buzz and energy that cannot be replicated anywhere.
 
But this amazing city is under threat. The fabric of her peaceful existence is being ripped apart by unscrupulous politicians.
 
We all have a choice. We can let politicians divide us, or we can understand our shared values and dreams bind us.
 
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An Oba made a foolish remark. He invoked mammy and pappy water spirits against those not voting his candidate. Okay. Wrong. Very wrong. But what of the remarks we are all making afterwards? Some of the abuse i have seen on FB from both Yorubas and Igbos is sickening. It is NOT the Oba saying this horrible abuse but US. We are the ones hurling nasty tribal evil words at each other. We cannot blame anyone for the sickening tribalism in our hearts that is spewing out of our mouths.
 
We alone are responsible for our remarks. We alone are responsible for the hatred in our hearts. We are the ones trying to drive Lagos to war. Unless we learn to be responsible in our speech and our words, we will drive ourselves so far apart that there will be no going back.
 
Stop. Think. Reflect.
Before this election, we were not Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas – we were ALL Lagosians. Residents of the most unique city in Nigeria. Buzzing, cosmopolitan, welcoming no matter your tribe or religion.
 
But politicians have primed and stirred up hatred among us. They are pitching one ethnic group against the other. Let us remember that when the dust has settled, and the politicians are in power enjoying the perks of office, we will all still be forced to live side-by-side.
 
We will still be taking the same buses together, buying from the same markets, sending our children to the same schools, eating in the same 'Mama Puts', shouting the same 'Up Nepa', suffering the same heat, bitten by the same mosquitoes, haggling with the same meat-sellers, woken up by the same religious nuisances blaring their services.
 
Let us be smart. Let us reject violent words and hatred. Let us turn our backs on anyone who tries to divide us.
We are Lagosians. We are Nigerians.
 
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