• December 22, 2023

Tribalism – a deterent to national development 

Tribalism – a deterent to national development 
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By Alhaji MB Jalloh

Since the dawn of human history, has anyone been given the opportunity to choose their race, tribe and homeland? Undoubtedly, the answer is a resounding NO.

What everyone MUST know is that the divine wisdom behind our creation into nations and tribes is exclusively for us to know and identify one another and that the best people amongst us are the most pious, as stated by Allah the Almighty in His holy Quran.

Now, fellow Sierra Leoneans, if the above divine wisdom is clear to us, why should we hate, antagonize, marginalize, victimize, or even kill others based on tribal or regional sentiments or other factors? Tribalism violates every religious principle of equality and unity.

Indeed, if we see each other as Sierra Leoneans and not as tribes and regions, we can begin to harmonize our common aspirations and work solely for the progress of Sierra Leone. Only by embracing our individualities and recognizing what each and every one of us can offer, can we actualize our potentials.

Tribalism has destroyed our national cohesiveness and stalled years of progress. We must uproot it from our society and discourage this pernicious and dangerous practice. It has not worked before and shall never work.

National cohesion is fractured when society is structured on tribal hegemony because the vast majority of citizens are excluded and become non – participant in the future of their country.

In a country where tribalism is the order of the day, experts are denied the opportunities to participate or serve in nation building because of the psychological disease of tribalism.

Tribalism is immoral, and it divides any nation. Go to Rwanda and see how united and cohesive that nation has become. You may not believe that this is a nation that was engulfed in the infamous genocide of 1994 that claimed the lives of almost a million Rwandans.

Thanks to the incumbent President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, who banned the use of tribalism as a cause or a tool to victimize one another. It’s so admirable to see the Tutsis and Hutus of Rwanda, the arch enemies of yesterday, embracing each other in a display of true brotherhood, solidarity and friendliness as one and indivisible nation working and living side by side with a common goal, which is to make Rwanda a heaven for all.

Kigali, the Rwandan capital, is said to be the cleanliest city in Africa today. This could not and would not have been accomplished without the unity that President Paul Kagame fostered within his nation.

No doubt, many Africans are yearning for a Paul Kagame in their respective countries. Many Africans want leaders that would be competent enough to eradicate this tribal cancer in most parts of the continent, which has woefully eaten up the fabric of a good number of African nations.

In the words of former president of Mozambique, Samora Machel: “For a nation to live, tribes must die”. He observed that Africa’s biggest obstacles to growth and development is the culture of tribalism.

Tribalistic Presidents create a future that becomes a haven of violence, anarchy and conflict.  Leaders who harbour such a negative attitude will continue to fail in bringing citizens together and lose their moral forthrightness in governing.

Africans need leaders whose primary task shall be to uproot the seeds of discord of their nations so that they would be able to unify the rank and files from the length and breadth of their lands.

I think the countries practicing tribalism in Africa are in dire need of Messiah leaders that would look at their nations from the lense of unity and togetherness that would reflect and realize that they were elected to serve their nations in their entirety without bias for or against any specific tribe or ethnicity.

Practicing tribalism would take Africa nowhere; rather, it would further plunge the continent into the abyss of anarchy and regression.

Undoubtedly, leaders who encourage or practice tribalism shall be haunted by the ugly and destructive legacy they leave behind, and history will have no mercy on them.

The author can be reached on 00966567672815

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