The far cries of war, the deafening clamour for justice, the age-long tribal feud and the endless fight for dominance, and unity in Nigerian society decades ago seemed like a concept to be found only in textbooks and fairytales.

However, the Nigeria of today, despite all of the ills that bedevil her, seems to have evolved in the aspect of tolerance and accommodation of other cultures. 

Long ago, Yorubas would never allow their sons and daughters to marry Igbos. On the part of the Igbos too, there was no love lost, the disdain was mutual. Tales were invented that Igbos were cannibals, there was always someone who travelled with a friend to Igboland and was almost eaten but managed to escape. To this day, there hasn’t been a concrete link to justify that tale.

The Hausa people, mostly believed to be the most tolerant of every ethnic group in Nigeria were not left out of the tribal feud and for years up until now, the Hausas do not trust any other tribe to rule Nigeria.

Of course, this issue is not limited to the three major tribes in Nigeria, even local communities in the same state or region harboured hatred for themselves and have been at each other’s throat forever, but the story seems to be changing and this is due to one reason, LOVE.

The heart wants what it wants…

Love defies every logic, it does not obey any known natural law or the laws of physics and chemistry, it obeys only the laws of emotion. It is only love that makes one offer flowers to your worst enemy and a hand of help to one who seeks it even when they had planned to murder you in your sleep.

Take a look at her smile and feel the love in his heart…

The one-time battlefields have become playgrounds where weddings are held, cultures have mixed and traditions have been merged, the Nigeria of today boasts of many half-blood princes and princesses.

During the wars for land ownership, warriors have fallen in love with maidens from the opposing communities, then they realise there is more to life than fighting… Love is capable of healing.

More than ever, people feel more Nigerian because they have parents who are originally from different parts of the country and have fallen in love with someone miles away from home.

Look again at her smile and feel the love in his heart…

Parents who have sworn to disown their children for wanting to marry an “outsider” have become the biggest preachers of inter-tribal marriages.

Youngsters who have hated other tribes for no reason have seen the light in the tender love of a man or woman and changed their stance.

All of these have been achieved through inter-tribal marriages, which have been a result of love, the long-lasting commandment, and the first language of humanity.

An Ebira man makes the heart of an Edo girl flutter, a Tiv lady only wants to be in the arms of her Igbo boyfriend, while a beautiful Fatima from the North wants no one else but Alabi from Southwest

When you think of every evil that Nigeria faces on all fronts, remember, that love is a unifying factor and it conquers every adversity, believe and hopes that Nigeria will get it right someday.