The role of tribalism and nepotism in unionism
One of the biggest issues the union has always been that of tribalism and nepotism.
Tribalism and nepotism are as old as humans.
It has so eaten into our union’s bone marrow, destroying the nucleus and the ozone layer of our unity and keeping us in a standstill position.
A mere thought of these issues should give a well-meaning unionist a sleepless night. Thinking that these are no issue to deliberate on and sweeping them under the desk as the same as thinking microorganisms don’t exist.
For a better understanding of this article we must deliberately and sincerely answer the following questions:
What is tribalism?
What is nepotism?
Why are civilized individuals caught in this uncivilized tradition?
The objectives of this piece are to show that tribalism and nepotism are serious problems that are constantly being ignored and played around with, which has caused a lot of damage, robbing the union of its unity, peace, and progress.
Looking at the effect of these two concepts, it is important to put into consideration the following stages:
Tribalism means behavior, attitudes that are based on being loyal to a tribe or other social group. (Wikipedia.org)
The Merrian-Webster dictionary also defines tribalism as the exaltation of one’s tribe above others. i.e is the feeling that one’s tribe is superior to some other tribe or tribes.
Nepotism, on the other hand, is showing favoritism for relatives or friends based upon that relationship, rather than, on an objective evaluation of ability, competence or suitability. For instance, voting into power relatives, ignoring competent and prepared individuals who are ready to work for the betterment of the union.
From the above definitions, permit me to define the terms thus;
Tribalism is the exaltation of one’s tribe over other
Nepotism is simply “square pegs in round holes”
For space constraint, permit to talk on one of the most pressing causes, which is;
Quest for power: Unionist(s) in general are major contributors to these vices bedeviling our union. During the campaign, unionist rely on the public’s weakness when It’s directed toward their tribal affiliations. Unionist (s) know they have little or nothing to offer when it comes to well being, satisfactory governance and union development, so they drift into playing the tribal card by so doing they skip the issue at stake. Little did they know that their actions cause more harm than good in the association which they aspire to lead or they are leading.
Let’s consider the rife in Liberia caused by Charles Taylor the wars started as tribal differences between Gio tribes from which Charles Taylor originated and Krahan tribe (the ruling party at that time) that were against him, later Mandigo tribe also joined the Krahan tribe in the fight against Charles Taylor. These petty quarrels among tribes lead to war in Liberia which lasted for decades.
Produces incompetent leaders: some associations on campus are lead by individuals who have little or no idea what leadership is, such individual is voted into power based on the influence his/her tribe has. Tribalism and nepotism instead of competency and ideology are the pedestals on which leaders on campus are measured.
Leads to system failure: the union is meant to stand between students and the management, the most association has failed on campus because they (leaders) shy aware of their responsibilities letting the students suffer, simply because they had no idea with it take to be a student leader.
Tolerance / peaceful co-existence should be preached; the ability to accept another’s fault, view, and opinion without hate or judgment.
Look for competency not tribe; in voting in leaders, voters should look out for competence and not tribal similarities.
Conclusively, tribalism and nepotism are issues that our union(s) on campus has faced and still facing. These vices slow or stops our progress and serve as a breeding ground for corruption.
The irony of life is that our leaders and aspirants who are supposed to show us the right path and lead us to success are the biggest participants in it.
I hate it, that you hate me, because, you hate where I came from.
We all have our faults, don’t be too quick to judge.
USHIE EMMANUEL (KEYMAN)