Have you found yourself in the midst of people that spoke a language that is alien to you? How did you feel when the conversation was lengthy and you couldn't contribute? Not meaning you have no idea of what it was they discussed. Somewhat the language is not similar to your everyday conversation.
Building the Nigeria Dream through Quality Communication and Accountable Leadership by By Mr Akor Phillip Paul (The Cosmopolitan)
Just before we talk about our dear nation. I would like to point out that there's no developed nation that has or is not going through a form of miscommunication between its people.
I guess including yours faithfully I have been in such situations where I couldn't speak. Not like I had a speech impediment. Nada! The ability for one to speak and be heard, and you do same in return, is one of the easiest ways of defining effective communication, right?
How about we picture this in a broader way. In an attempt to build and maintain a national identity, language transaction is considered to be the primary determinant of success, alongside is the knowledge. In a national way. In the lens and perspective of our dear country Nigeria. Just before we talk about our dear nation. I would like to point out that there's no developed nation that has or is not going through a form of miscommunication between its people.
Since the amalgamation of the southern and northern protectorate in 1914, what now exists as Nigeria has gone through several debates, dialogue, lobbying, communications by factions, aggregation of regional interest, political interest etc. As a people, we grew beyond colonialism, colonial masters and the remnant of the invasion of the British. Fast forwarding to the independence of Nigeria in 1960, when Nigerian began to rule herself by its indigenous people. Here we see how poor communication has been one of our major setbacks. The people from the southern part can’t confine in culture and socialization from those from the north. Apparently, most reasons being that they are not inhabitants of the same political ideology, religion, and culture. Thus, bringing a gap to communication as a development in Nigeria.
The 1966 Nigerian coup d'état began on 15 January 1966, when mutinous Nigerian soldiers led by Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and Emmanuel Ifeajuna killed 22 people including the Prime Minister of Nigeria, many senior politicians, and many other senior Army officers. Transcending in reaction is also the Nigeria Civil War of 1967 which brought a wide spread genocide on the people of Eastern Nigerians in quest for Biafra. Although 50 years have passed since the first coup and civil war in Nigeria was staged, but their legacy haunts the country even till today.
This first revolt against the government of Nigeria has rooted an invisible character of rebel within the Nigeria political space, which till date has suffered the Ibos from emerging on the sit of National power. This is political communication written bold against the people of the eastern part of Nigeria
As Nigerians, we are hurt and most of us need an elixir to heal. This can only be actualized through dialogues embedded in effective communication for nation-Building.
What do we consider effective communication for nation building? Nation-building can be seen as the process through which the territories of the modern state and those of the national community become harmonious.
The desired outcome is to achieve national integration and unified solidarity. A soft power mechanism that is very much viable. Strategic communication for nation-building has been one of the most successful ways developed nations over the years have been able to maneuver their ways in times of national dispute. This technique which is partly equivalent to cold calling in business where a company uses its clients, this still poses a great means to integration. I had a conversation with a friend and we spoke about several administrations that have in the time passed ruled this great nation of ours.
We came to an obscure-apparent conclusion that poor communication of the Nigeria dream to every Nigerians has been some of the reason why our dear nation is where it is today. The military is in communication war with the civilians, the Hausa's don't understand the Igbo's, the Yoruba to the Ibibio’s. Likewise, the Igala's to the Nupes among others. Don't get me wrong with these illustrations. Here I'm not referring to the dialect spoken by these indigenous tribes, by my thoughts, I mean the wants, opinions, feelings, desire, beliefs etc. of these people.
Nigeria is a country of over 200 million people and still counting. With over 250 ethnic groups, the most populous and politically influential being Hausa-Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv 2.5%. It also has over 500 languages, with English being the official language. We can state for a fact despite nineteen years of democracy, the country has made slow progress. Making it not attaining its full potential. Right from the first military coup in 1967 till date, Nigeria is still faced with the same challenges of insecurity, healthcare, infrastructural deficit, stagnating economy and GDP are the reality we live with.
National integration is one of the possible ways Nigeria can attain oneness. The atmosphere for the Nigerian citizens must be created. This is only possible when we can see ourselves as a replica of the larger state. Here, all the aggrieved parties must come to understand themselves first before others. Communication for Development that is rooted to the wants, interests and feelings of every Nigerian is one way to amplify the masses voice, facilitate meaningful participation, and foster social change.
Over and over again we see how Nigerians place their tribes before the state. Also, national interest before ethnic and regional interest. This has limited and shrunk our growth as the giant and pace setter of Africa that we are. If we can genuinely put aside some interest that doesn't do us national good and focus on those that put our country first then we can amount to our potential.
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