Managing ethno-religious differences: Other regions can learn from Southwest – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

For Nigeria to move past the restraints of ethno-religious colouration of its political space, citizens of other regions should take a cue from the South-west, President Muhammadu Buhari urged Monday.

The president’s admonition was part of his New Year nationwide address to Nigerians, during which he touched on economic developments, power generation, restructuring, security and 2019 elections.

Mr. Buhari said the South-west, which is predominantly inhabited by the Yoruba, has become the cradle of religious and tribal tolerance in the country.

“As the electioneering season approaches, politicians must avoid exploiting ethnicity and religion by linking ethnicity with religion and religion with politics. Such must be avoided at all costs if we are to live in harmony.

“In this respect, the rest of Nigeria could learn from the South Western States who have successfully internalized religion, ethnicity and politics,” Mr. Buhari said.

The Yoruba are believed to have managed, arguably more than the other major ethic groups, to absorb as many Christians as Muslims, although there are no definitive statistics about religious spread within the region. The integration has made it common for households to have both Muslims and Christians.

Okowa Campaign AD

As 2019 approaches, the president hopes the ethnic and tribal sentiments that often get in the way of social cohesion in other parts of the country would be minimised.

“Political discourse should be conducted with civility, decorum and in a constitutional manner,” he said. “We all have a collective responsibility to strengthen our democracy and entrench the rule of law.”

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility


Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: New Discovery! Click Here To See A Miracle Device That Can Cure DIABETES, BLOOD PRESSURE, STROKE, ARTHRITIS, PAINS, OBESITY And 50 Other CHRONIC DISEASES Without Drugs Or Herbs.. Click Here Now To See It

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.