NIPR advocates Inter-ethnic Marriages for National Unity
The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has called for more marriages across different ethnic groups in Nigeria so as to encourage deeper cohesion despite the country’s diversity and growing fault lines.
The President of NIPR, Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo, who spoke when he hosted members of the Association of Inter-Ethnic Married Nigerians (AIMN) in Abuja, maintained that Nigerians should look beyond ethnicity and religion when making major decisions.
He argued that when properly harnessed, diversity could be a very strong force for good virtues, noting that there’s hardly anyone who chose their religions or tribes-something humans do not have control over.
“Now, we have lived in a better country than this. We have lived in a country where our ethnic divisions, our religious diversity, and our geographical accidents didn’t matter to us, because if they actually mattered, we wouldn’t have married the people that we married.
“So those are the times that we remain nostalgic about-where you could go around and be friends with anyone. This was the country we all grew up in, but at some point, something snapped and allowed suspicion to come in and threaten to divide us,” Sirajo lamented.
While expressing worry that Nigeria is reaching a boiling point, he stressed that the NIPR could no longer fold its arms and watch things degenerate because of certain centrifugal forces which he said are pulling it from all directions.
He argued that without unity, the country would not achieve its potential, explaining that the most expressive and spiritual union that God created, which is marriage, should be used to unite the country.
Sirajo called on Nigerians that believe in the country to live by example, and thanked the association for using the platform to foster the integration of the country.
According to him, “We should by now at 61 (Nigerian independence), have outgrown the question of where you are from as long as you are from Nigeria. As a matter of fact, we should have by now gone beyond that and started to do our own visa lottery, inviting people from other places as long as they have something to offer.”
President of AIMN, Mr. Jacob Obi, in his remark, said he strongly believed that inter-ethnic marriages would encourage peace, as it would lessen the division in the society and bring about trust among various ethnicities and religions in Nigeria.
“The main reason why the association was formed was to use marriage as a concept to drive unity, because unity in Nigeria is really fragile,” he said.