I had the rare privilege of being in Ilorin for the first time over the weekend and to say I was surprised would be an understatement. From the clean, wide roads to the nearly empty streets.
Coming from Lagos, one would think there was an outbreak of some sort and almost everyone left town in a hurry and I suspect you’d find a lot of Ilorin indigenes in Lagos. But truth be told, this is your typical Ilorin, capital of Kwara State, a town predominantly populated by Muslims, with its fair share of Christians ofcourse.
What drew my attention was the peaceful cohabitation between Christians and Muslims with minimal friction. Peaceful enough that I saw Muslims in church and at the offering box!!!! Garbed in their Islamic attire which distinguished them.
One factor I can point at for this phenomenon is their ability to look beyond their differing religious orientations, knowing fully well that they belong to the same ethnic fold.
I have always known that religion is a divisive tool in most societies but this isn’t the case in Ilorin. What better lesson can mainstream Nigeria learn from this? Because at the end of the day, Nigeria’s problem is not ethnicity but rather our ability to look beyond our religious differences, identifying the salient points in those religions that fosters peace, mutual respect and tolerance.
I am of the opinion that if we can for once view each other as siblings with the single goal of ensuring Nigeria’s going concern, there won’t be space for the few who have refused to see beyond their ethnic noses.
And trust me to go scouting! You won’t believe who I found……. This is one person football lovers would love to meet. Update coming soon.
NB: I forgot to add that the drivers are reckless, I guess this stems from the town not being too populated and too many rams roaming about like they were being reared for sacrifice lol!
Have you all a blessed week.