By Mahfuz Mundadu

In response to the urgent call for unity in the Muslim community and indeed the entire nation, it is disheartening to witness dissent from individuals who should champion such a noble endeavour. The sentiments expressed by Professor Sani Rijiyar Lemo, suggesting that unity is unattainable due to differing perspectives, are not only discouraging but also dangerously misguided.

Being a Professor is quite an exhilarating experience. It is about delving deep into our area of expertise, sharing our knowledge with eager minds and inspiring the next generation of thinkers, as against whimsical melancholy. When a Professor deviates from the standard of academic rigour and begins relying on fallacies and unsubstantiated arguments, as in zagin sahabbai, it is certainly regrettable.

Professor Sani’s dissent reverberates through the halls of academia, thus, challenging the very essence of our collective endeavour. As a scholar, Professor Sani Rijiyar Lemo is entrusted not only with knowledge but also with the responsibility to shape minds and hearts. In this delicate balance, he must tread upon the precipice of understanding or discord.

Unity is not synonymous with uniformity. In fact, it thrives on diversity. Our nation, like any other, is composed of individuals with varied backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. And there is virtually nothing you can do to eliminate these. As such, embracing this diversity is not only essential but enriching. It fosters creativity, and resilience, qualities crucial for addressing the multifaceted challenges Muslim community and the nation at large.

The belief held by Professor Sani that unity is elusive when confronted with diverse perspectives is a clear manifestation of cognitive dissonance as in cerebral deficit. Indeed, the world is a kaleidoscope of viewpoints, each tinted by personal experiences, cultural nuances, and historical context. But is unity truly incompatible with this vibrant tapestry? Not really. The moment we recognize that every viewpoint enriches our collective wisdom, we move beyond mere tolerance. We embrace the beauty of multiplicity. The symphony of voices that harmonise despite their differences.

Enmity, like a corrosive acid, eats away at our shared fabric. It festers in the crevices of pride and ignorance. When we choose enmity, we forsake the very essence of our humanity. The Professor’s assertion that unity is unattainable due to differing perspectives reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the concept. Unity does not require everyone to share the same opinions or beliefs. Rather, it entails a willingness to respect and acknowledge the validity of diverse viewpoints while working towards common goals.

Moreover, labelling opposing perspectives as a fair target for vituperation only serves to perpetuate division and hinder constructive dialogue. It is imperative to recognise that differing viewpoints contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of issues and facilitate holistic intellectual rejuvenation.

Instead of dismissing dissenting voices, we should embrace them as opportunities for growth and learning. Such is a mark of intellectual maturity. Constructive discourse allows us to challenge our own assumptions, refine our perspectives, and ultimately arrive at more informed decisions.

Fostering unity requires proactive efforts to bridge divides and build trust among community members. This necessitates empathy, humility, and a commitment to seeking common ground. It is through genuine dialogue and mutual respect that lasting unity can be forged.

History is replete with examples of societies overcoming seemingly insurmountable differences to achieve remarkable unity and progress. These instances demonstrate the transformative power of unity in the face of adversity. While the road to unity may be challenging, it is not insurmountable. It requires a collective commitment to embracing diversity, fostering dialogue, and cultivating empathy. Let us reject divisive rhetoric and instead embrace the richness of our differences as we strive towards a more united and prosperous community.

Imagine a mosaic—an intricate arrangement of disparate pieces, each contributing to the whole. Unity need not obliterate diversity; rather, it thrives on it. Our shared humanity binds us, transcending the boundaries of ideology and perception.

Professor Sheikh, please learn to be an asset to the nation not a liability.


Mundadu, the Editor of The Newspaper, is a Kaduna-based Public Analyst and Commentator


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