Mr Tinubu, You Have Inherited a Divided Nation…


By Prince Charles Dickson PhD

During the May 2023 Group of Seven (G7) summit, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, near where the meeting was held. Not doing so would have been an act of immense discourtesy. Despite many calls for an apology from the US for dropping an atomic bomb on a civilian population in 1945, US President Joe Biden has demurred. Instead, he wrote in the Peace Memorial guest book: ‘May the stories of this museum remind us of all of our obligations to build a future of peace’.

Apologies, amplified by the tensions of our time, take on interesting sociological and political roles. An apology would suggest that the 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were wrong and that the US did not end their war against Japan by taking the moral high ground. An apology would also contradict the US’s decision, backed fully by other Western powers over 70 years later, to maintain a military presence along the Asian coastline of the Pacific Ocean (a presence built on the back of the 1945 atomic bombings) and to use that military force to threaten China with weapons of mass destruction amassed in bases and ships close to China’s territorial waters. It is impossible to imagine a ‘future of peace’ if the US continues to maintain its aggressive military structure that runs from Japan to Australia, with the express intent of disciplining China.

In his radio address on 9 August 1945, US President Harry Truman said: ‘The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians. In reality, Hiroshima was not a ‘military base’: it was what US Secretary of War Henry Stimson called a ‘virgin target’, a place that had escaped the US firebombing of Japan so that it could be a worthwhile testing ground for the atomic bomb. In his diary, Stimson recorded a conversation with Truman in June about the reasoning behind targeting this city.

When he told Truman that he was ‘a little fearful that before we could get ready the Air Force might have Japan so thoroughly bombed out that the new weapon [the atomic bomb] would not have a fair background to show its strength’, the president ‘laughed and said he understood’.

Two-year-old Sadako Sasaki was one of 350,000 people living in Hiroshima at the time of the bombings. She died ten years later from cancers associated with radiation exposure from the bomb. Her story moved the Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet who wrote a poem against war and confrontation. Hikmet’s words should be a warning even now to Biden for laughing at the possibility of renewed military conflict against China:

I come and stand at every door.

But none can hear my silent tread.

I knock and yet remain unseen.

For I am dead for I am dead.

I’m only seven though I died.

In Hiroshima long ago.

I’m seven now as I was then.

When children die they do not grow.

My hair was scorched by swirling flame.

My eyes grew dim my eyes grew blind.

Death came and turned my bones to dust.

And that was scattered by the wind.

I need no fruit I need no rice.

I need no sweets nor even bread.

I ask for nothing for myself/

For I am dead for I am dead.

All that I need is that for peace.

You fight today you fight today.

So that the children of this world.

Can live and grow and laugh and play.

For those that have a depth of understanding, you will understand the lines above, but let me quickly state that all that is above is not exactly about China, the US, Japan, G7 or Europe for that matter; it has very little in fact to do with atomic bombs, Truman of the past, or Biden of then.

The above is about Nigeria of today, a country that is not a nation, a people that are battling to grasp shared value, one that has shared experiences but has refused to hold hands, to dialogue across the Niger, to look for consensus.

Our stereotypes have further been dragged; in the last eight years, our social, cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity has been stretched. These divisions that have historical roots have been badly handled in the country’s political and social landscape in the last decade.

Mr Tinubu must address our ethnic diversity; Nigeria is home to over 250 ethnic groups, each with its own language, traditions, and cultural practices. At no time has these ethnic diversities led to tensions and conflicts like now, especially when it comes to issues of resource allocation, power sharing, and representation.

Mr Tinubu and Shettima, his vice, has torn Nigerians apart by bringing to the fore our religious differences, with half the conversation around the entire campaign around the northern region being predominantly Muslim and the southern region mainly Christian, leading to the Muslim=Muslim ticket narrative.

We need to re-enact our long history of religious coexistence and remember how many communities still practice a combination of traditional religions alongside Islam or Christianity.

Mr President, there are socioeconomic disparities, with regions varying in terms of development, infrastructure, and access to basic services. The northern region, in particular, has faced challenges related to poverty, illiteracy, and underdevelopment compared to the more economically prosperous southern region. These socioeconomic disparities continue to exacerbate the sense of division and marginalization among different parts of the country, as the North has largely held power and the Southeast feels alienated.

The APC has retained power but political differences, as the landscape is characterized by competition and power struggles between different political parties, regions, and interest groups. In the run-up to the last elections, political divisions aligned along ethnic and religious lines, leading to a complex web of allegiances and rivalries. Mr Tinubu must navigate firmly as these same-difference realities impact policy-making, governance, and the distribution of resources.

Despite these divisions, the new administration must draw from our rich history of cultural exchange, interethnic marriages, and collaborative efforts among different groups. Mr Tinubu must work out the country’s diversity as a source of strength, providing a foundation for vibrant arts, music, cuisine, and cultural heritage.

Efforts must be made to address these divisions and promote national unity through initiatives such as dialogue, interethnic and interreligious partnerships, and inclusive governance. The promotion of shared values, respect for diversity, equitable resource distribution, and fostering a sense of national identity are crucial for building a more unified and prosperous Nigeria; the Nnamdi Kalu debacle, Ibraheem Yaqoub El-Zakzaky, Boko Haram, Bandits, Kidnappers must be handled because Nigerians are divided and how Mr Tinubu navigates them—Only time will tell.

Related Stories

The Impact of Private Credit on African Livelihoods

By Kenny Nwosu When we think about the impact that private credit and other forms of financing have on African companies, we tend to think about things like business growth and success. But private capital’s impact, in particular, has gone far beyond that. Utilized properly, it can have an incredibly powerful and positive effect on the lives and livelihoods of ordinary Africans. That’s true not only when it comes to things like job creation. Private credit in the right sectors can make it much easier for Africans to get to their jobs, seek healthcare, have permanent, affordable energy, and many


Now That There Is No Immediate Threat of Floods in Nigeria

By Jerome-Mario Chijioke Utomi Seemingly good news came recently the way of Nigerians living in the flood-prone areas of the country. The message, which was from the new Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof Joseph Utsev, among other remarks, stated that ‘there is no immediate threat of flooding in the country. Utsev, who spoke to newsmen in Abuja on Friday, explained that the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had observed an increase in the volume of flow along the River Benue system, registering a flow level of 8.97 meters today. This, he said, was insignificant, as compared to a


Nigeria Immigration Service and Hire Purchase Passports

By Michael Owhoko, PhD With a thriving and fertile environment for extortion and racketeering, the process for obtaining the Nigerian passport has turned the booklet into a hire purchase document where applicants pay the official cost at the point of application, connoting preliminary downpayment, and thereafter compelled to pay a bribe as balance in instalments or in full, depending on the deal reached with Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) officials involved in this underhand deed.  This is the practice nationwide. Applicants who fail to comply with this process risk delayed services characterized by uncertainty, except for Very Important Persons (VIP) and


Oboreivwori, IYC And Ayakoromo Bridge Project

By Jerome-Mario Chijioke Utomi It is pedestrian information that the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Western Zone, comprising Delta, Edo and Ondo States, in a recent media statement signed by the trio of Comrade Doubra Collins Okotete (Zonal chairman), Comrade Olu Derimo (secretary) and Lugard Izoukumor (Information Officer), specifically called on Governor Oborevwori to commence work on the long-awaited Ayakoromor bridge project, the Ogulagha-Odimodi road project, the permanent site of the School of Marine Technology, Burutu among other critical projects. Indeed, while there exists glaring evidence that Oborevwori has, in the last 100 days of his administration in the state, demonstrated

More Stories

I Wept ‘Cause of Buhari’s Health, He Needs Prayers—Bisi Akande

By Dipo Olowookere Former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Bisi Akande, has appealed to Nigerians to pray fervently for the health of President Muhammadu Buhari. Mr Akande said the poor health of the President was already taking a toll on the health of Nigeria as a polity. “I did not see President Buhari at the wedding of his grandson in Kaduna last Saturday. I was sad and I wept,” the founding National Chairman of the ruling party said. He pointed out that Nigerians must pray for Mr Buhari because “health of the leader is intricately intertwined with


Germany Donates €16m to South Sudanese Refugees in Uganda

By Dipo Olowookere About €16 million has been donated to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to assist South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. The donation was made by the government of Germany to assist UNHCR provide nearly 1 million South Sudanese refugees with improved access to education, better housing and increased access to drinking water. UNHCR said the funds would be deployed over a period of three years, including €13 million in 2017, €2 million in 2018 and €1 million in 2019. “Germany has been a political, humanitarian and development partner for Uganda since long and will continue


Lifesaving Reasons Why You Should Eat Dinner Early

By Adeniyi Ogunfowoke Eating dinner early and hitting your bed soon to get decent hours of sleep will prevent overeating at night. It is believed that late night dinner is linked to obesity. When you eat an early dinner, it will help to lose weight rapidly as you would know what you are eating and the amount of calorie intake. Hence, Jumia Food, Nigeria’s no.1 food ordering platform, identifies health benefits of early dinner. Weight control If you want to keep your weight under control, it is best to have an early dinner. You can eat what you like, even if


We’ve Commenced Disbursement of N10.9bn Palliatives—Buhari Tells UN

By Adedapo Adesanya President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration has commenced the distribution of palliatives worth N10.9 billion to households and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. The President made this known while delivering a speech virtually on the opening day of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly yesterday. According to the Nigerian leader, the disbursement of the sum is part of efforts to reduce the suffering of Nigerians imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. “In order to mitigate its impact on Nigerians, our administration has commenced the disbursement of the sum of N10.9


Fidelity Bank Holds Second Draw of GAIM 5 Promo

By Modupe Gbadeyanka The second draw of the Fidelity Bank Get Alert in Millions Season 5 promo (GAIM 5) has produced a new set of millionaires. The new millionaires at the recently-held draw in Victoria Island, Lagos were Ajoma Rachel, Stanley Sunday, Musbahu Kabiru, Usman Abdulkadir, John Uchechukwu, Oluwatayo Oladipupo, Esther Eloho, Sophia Sefera, Amarachi Sarah Anyacho, and Obi Chinelo. According to the Executive Director in charge of Lagos and Southwest Directorate of Fidelity Bank, Dr Ken Okpara, the lender is “always looking for opportunities to help our customers grow” as a bank that places customers at the centre of


Upbeat Earnings, Economic News May Fortify US Stocks

By Investors Hub The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a higher opening on Monday, with stocks poised to add to the strong gains posted last week. Early buying interest may be generated in reaction to upbeat quarterly results from financial giant Bank of America (BAC), which reported first quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates on strong loan growth. The markets may also benefit from the release of a Commerce Department report showing stronger than expected retail sales growth in the month of March. Geopolitical concerns may keep trading activity somewhat subdued, however, as traders digest the weekend?s U.S.-led


Minister Commissions NSE’s N500m Data Centre

By Modupe Gbadeyanka Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Ogbonnaya Onu on Monday commissioned the N500 million Data Centre of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos. At the launch, Mr Onu showered praises on the management of the local bourse for giving life to the country’s economy. The Minister also commended the leadership style of the Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr Oscar Onyema. Mr Onu said Federal Government will continue to provide enabling environment to investors, urging the NSE to list more technology companies on its platforms. He described the stock exchange as a vital part of


FG Must Perish Thoughts on Petrol Price Hike—PDP

By Modupe Gbadeyanka Federal Government and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have been warned not to consider increasing the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise known as petrol, at the moment. In a statement issued on Friday by its spokesperson, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party said the current pump price of N145 per litre was “already exorbitant” and that increasing price of the commodity now “would not only be criminal but inhuman and completely unacceptable.” PDP said investigations have shown that the Federal Government has been lying to Nigerians on oil related issues while using the NNPC

Recent Stories

September PMI: Nigeria’s Business Activity Improves

By Modupe Gbadeyanka Nigeria’s business activity improved in September despite cost pressures limiting demand, according to the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) released by Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc. The lender said in the period under review, the private sector had a reading of 51.1 points compared with the 50.2 points achieved in August 2023. It was the rise in business activity in the country was influenced by the growth in order, though the rates of expansion in each were only modest. New orders increased for the sixth month running in September as some firms signalled an improvement in demand. While


Agostini, Two Others Win 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics for Attosecond Pulses

By Adedapo Adesanya Three scientists will share the Nobel Prize in Physics as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences recognised Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier as this year’s recipients for experimental methods that generate attosecond pulses of light for the study of electron dynamics in matter. The three Nobel Laureates in Physics 2023 were recognised for their experiments, which have given humanity new tools for exploring the world of electrons inside atoms and molecules. BREAKING NEWSThe Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 2023 #NobelPrize in Physics to Pierre Agostini, Ferenc Krausz and Anne L’Huillier


Nigeria Targets 22% ICT Contribution to GDP by 2027

By Adedapo Adesanya Nigeria plans to increase the net contribution of the telecommunications sector to the gross domestic product (GDP) by 22 per cent by the end of 2027. This is part of efforts announced by the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, Mr Bosun Tijani, in the ministry’s 31-page Strategic Blueprint document titled Accelerating our Collective Prosperity through Technical Efficiency, seen by Business Post. In the document, the ministry noted that “As telecommunications continues to evolve in line with new technology and associated opportunities, it is critical to revamp our national approach to account for changing imperatives and


Union Bank, Fate Foundation Empower SMEs in Nigeria

By Modupe Gbadeyanka Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria recently had the opportunity to gain more knowledge on how to scale their operations at a training organised by the Fate Foundation Alumni Conference. The event, in its 8th edition, was bankrolled by one of the leading financial institutions in the country, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. It was gathered that at the programme, participants, including chief executive officers of major businesses, SME and MSME owners, exhibitors, and Fate Foundation Alumni shared knowledge on crucial topical subjects essential for entrepreneurial growth and success from seasoned entrepreneurial leaders and influencers. At


Stock Market Witnesses N30.379 billion Transactions in Four Days

By Dipo Olowookere Transactions worth N30.379 billion were recorded at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited last week, which had four trading sessions due to the public holiday observed last Wednesday for Eid-el Maulud. Data obtained by Business Post showed that the stock market posted these trades from the sale of 3.911 billion shares in 38,536 deals. When compared with the preceding week, which had five trading days, the value of transactions weakened by 36.00 per cent, as investors bought and sold 2.933 billion shares valued at N47.449 billion in 44,654 deals. A breakdown indicated that the financial services industry led


Schneider Electric Shares Insights on Improving Customer Satisfaction

In recognition of Customer Service Week 2023 (October 2 – 6), Schneider Electric shares valuable insights on improving customer satisfaction. Ajibola Akindele, Country President, Schneider Electric, West Africa, shares strategies and insights on how Schneider Electric has built long-lasting customer relations over the years through customer satisfaction. How would you describe Customer Service? The heart of Schneider Electric is its customer service. It represents our guiding principles and is essential to how we conduct business every day. At Schneider Electric, we consider providing exceptional customer service to be more than just a department, but rather a part of who we


NDIC Begins Payment of N16.18bn to Depositors of 20 Failed Banks

By Adedapo Adesanya The Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has disclosed playing N16.18 billion in liquidation dividends to depositors, creditors, and stakeholders of 20 banks in liquidation. According to a statement from the corporation’s Director of Communication and Public Affairs, Mr Bashir Nuhu, this follows impressive recoveries from debtors and the realisation of assets of banks in liquidation. As a result, the NDIC, which is responsible for protecting depositors and guaranteeing the settlement of insured funds when a deposit-taking financial institution can no longer repay their deposits, said it had commenced verification and payment of stakeholders covered by the declarations


NASD Index Rises 0.83% in Week 39

By Adedapo Adesanya The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange closed Week 39 mixed as the unlisted securities index rose by 0.83 per cent, while the market capitalisation depreciated by 2.63 per cent after VFD Group Plc finally delisted after three years of trading on the platform. According to data from the bourse, the NASD index went up by 6.70 points to 815.65 points from 808.95 points, while the value of the exchange shrank by N30 billion to N1.110 trillion from N1.140 trillion. In the week, Nipco Plc improved its value by 9.8 per cent to close at N95.00 per share


Norwegian Start-up Invests $13m in WATT Renewable

By Aduragbemi Omiyale A Norwegian start-up, Empower New Energy, has injected about $13 million into a Nigerian hybrid solar solutions provider, WATT Renewable Corporation, to reduce the country’s carbon footprint through innovative technologies. A statement from WATT said the funds would be used to improve the renewable energy portfolio, adding an impressive 8MW of installed generating capacity and 14.3MWh of storage capacity through end-to-end services and operation of towers in Nigeria. The firm stated that this is set to make a substantial impact on the availability and reliability of clean energy in the region and reduce the consumption of diesel


Naira Value Appreciates at P2P as Bitcoin Trades Above $27000

By Adedapo Adesanya The Naira appreciated against the US Dollar in the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) wing of the foreign exchange market on Monday, October 2, as the official market, the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window closed for the Independence Day holiday. In the P2P segment, the Nigerian Naira appreciated against the American currency by N3 to sell at N998/$1 compared with the preceding session’s value of N1,001/$1. In the same vein, the local currency improved its value against the US Dollar on Tuesday by N1 to sell at N1001/$1 versus the previous session’s exchange rate of N1002/$1. During the Independence Day