Opinion: Algeria, Sudan and Homogeneity. ~ Kelechi Deca

There is this hypothesis many of the commentators here have been repeating as mantra, that it is easier for revolutions to happen in homogeneous societies than heterogeneous ones. I agree.

And most of those who push this idea, stretched it a bit farther using it as an example why revolution cannot take place in Nigeria, because we are a homogeneous nation.

They are of the persuassion that if Nigeria was made up of either one ethnicity, or one religion, things would have been different. I can’t argue against such position because no one can tell what could have been.

This belief stems mainly from the school of thought which posits that our measures of linguistic and ethnic fractionalization are highly correlated with latitude and GDP per capita. Therefore it is quite difficult to disentangle the effect of these three variables on the quality of government.

But if the above is factual, then countries like Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, United States, among others wouldn’t be prosperous nation states.

Also, if homogenuity is all that is required to leapfrog into stability and economic growth, Haiti, Yemen Somalia,Sao Tome, Comoros, Rwanda, Lesotho and Swaziland

But I disagree that Nigerians would have risen up with one voice against poor governance if we are a homogeneous society. What is hindering us is deeper than homogenuity, be it ethnic or religious.

How come many of our states that are ethnically homogeneous among the most underdeveloped?

How come even in states that are religiously homogeneous, we still have divisions, and even within churches, we observe and experience some of the most debilitating politics?

The premise for my skepticism is based on the fact that states that are homogeneous both in ethnicity, and in religion have endured some of the “worstest” kind of governance with even a whimper, enduring eight years of rape, and dehuminisation without protests, a single placard, or even civil disobedience.

I do not think Nigerians would be politically more active, participatory, or responsive to governance if we were a homogeneous nation. Our challenge has nothing to do with our ethnic heterogeneity. It has a lot to do with a political culture that is heavily compromised such that even within same ethnicity, there are no shared values or norms that can be a rallying force to uplift the society.

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