I HAVE reflected very much on diversity and the essential unity of our humanity in the past 24 four hours. Television images from home have been very disturbing. The tragic and unacceptable killings of people worshipping during this season of goodwill have triggered my stroll on the shores of hindsight.
And the earliest lessons I have learnt, include the discovery that there can be no one way of being human; while there is no inferior or superior human experience, only a variety of these experiences and each is valid. All are contributions to the treasure house of human experience.
It is remarkable for me, that growing up in the very conservative religious settings of my home during the 1960s helped me to validate these values that I have spoken about.
My forebears were Fulbe Jihadist scholars with roots in the Empire building traditions of the old Western Sudan. We retain a profound sense of history about those traditions. Nevertheless, I always marvel at the level of tolerance and respect for other values.
As a growing kid, we had living in our compound in Ilorin, a certain Mr. Gabriel, a Yoruba man, who seemed permanently drunk every Saturday night. But unfailingly, every Sunday morning, my Uncle, Ahmadu, who also taught us the Qur’an, would knock on Gabriel’s window, reminding him that he had to go to church.