I feel sorry for Northern Nigeria

Telling the truth is always good and the best truth telling is to tell
yourself the truth. If truth must be told, Northern Nigeria is in a
sorry state. It is a caricature of its former self thanks to the
cumulative effect of selfish and visionless leadership. Like the rest
of the country did for the southwest in 1999 during which all the
presidential candidates came from that zone, in 2019 all the major
political parties in their wisdom have agreed to field candidates of
northern extraction. It is therefore very important to not only look
at the number but also the quality of those being presented or
presenting themselves and also look at the challenges facing the
region now and going into the foreseeable future. The first task
was started last week on this page, the second is being attempted
below.
Agriculture is the main occupation of northerners as it is for most
parts of Africa. Today, it is becoming very difficult to go to farm in
many parts of the north. This is because kidnappers and armed
bandits attack the farmers. It is even worse for pastoralists as
cattle rustling has become rampant. What is the future of a people
who cannot feed themselves not because they don’t have fertile
land but because government cannot provide security for them?
Another thing is that the farmlands belonging to ordinary farmers
are being confiscated with active support of the leaders and given
to outsiders like it happened in Jigawa state where 12,000
Hectares of good farmland belonging to thousands of households
was given to a Chinese group to grow sugar cane for practically
peanuts.
The future of any society is with its youth. If the current crop of
northern youth are the future as it should, then the region is
doomed. The children of commoners are out of school while the
children of the elite are drug addicts. In fact, even those from low
class are drug addicts, it only depends on which drugs and how
much they can afford. Education whether in the western or eastern
sense has been destroyed completely as the schools are not
functioning and religious scholars are teaching extremism. Those
children of elite who are privileged to go out and study have turned
out to be neither African nor European. They have jettisoned their
cultural values and have imbibed the worst of the western culture.
They do not know their history they only know the latest European
league matches.
The worst challenge is lack of inter-communal harmony. The
people profess religion and each divine religion that we know, at
least Christianity and Islam, teaches peace, love and good
neighbourliness. When the holy books say love your neighbour it
did not say Muslim or Christian or Hausa or Berom. It simply said
neighbour. In fact, even animals as fellow creatures of the Great
Creator are to be treated with compassion according to all our
religious teachings. Today, in the name of religion there is tension
in every part of the north, whether inter-religious or intra-religious
due to sect differences.
Since the advent of the Buhari administration even inter-personal
relation is becoming vary sour. He surrounded himself with mainly
those he knew but many are not on speaking terms although
serving the same master in the same government. The fight
against corruption is restricted to only the northern arm of the
corrupt elite. Those who stole billions who are from the other parts
of the country are mostly walking free and have their assets in
their hands obviously free to fight the government at the
appropriate time while those of them from the north who stole far
less are the ones facing the law. Until every thief is treated equally
this will continue to be seen as selective justice.
Banking is at the centre of every modern economic activity. There
is no single bank that is owned by northerners. Over three years
since the Buhari regime came to office, it is even worse since
there is no deliberate effort to help the disadvantaged section to
catch up with the rest and start competing on equal footing. What
type of structure of the economy can we expect when one sub-
section of the country controls 17 banks out of the existing 23
while a major section does not control even half a bank? This is a
present and future danger.
And in the next ten to fifteen years the Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN) will be manned by absolutely useless people. This is
because since this government came to power, recruitment is not
done based on merit but based on list from powerful individuals
who put their mediocre children to this sensitive economic agency.
You always reap what you sow. The southwest is the most
advanced part of Nigeria because it has entrenched merit and has
made education a priority so that everyone knows his or her rights
and responsibilities. In the north, the only industry thriving and
providing employment for the street urchins and drug addicts is
political thuggery. No wonder every village and township has only
party flags and not any industry.
Benue is known as the food basket of the nation. It is in terrible
shape with various ethnic militias fighting each other. Plateau was
known as the home of peace and tourism with its serene weather
and good environment as well as hospitable people. It is now a
theatre of war between and among various ethnic and religious
groups. Borno was known as the home of culture and tradition. It
is now devastated by terrorists. Kaduna is the state of residence of
President Buhari and the capital of the north. It is being destroyed
by bandits. Kano is the political base of Buhari. It is devastated by
poverty and political thuggery. And the government looks
indifferent to all these or seems helpless and hopeless about it
since there is nothing concrete to address these yet.
The greatest asset of any society apart from its people is land. The
north controls 72 percent of Nigeria’s landmass but this is being
lost. Commercial activities, even petty trading, are being lost to
others. The people are not being deliberately equipped by the
various governments to become productive, to take the economy
of their communities in their hands and to be sufficiently educated
and equipped for the 21st century age of ICT economy. And the
worst thing is that with all these challenges confronting the region,
there is no clear leadership let alone coherent strategy to confront
them. History is on the side of the oppressed.

2 Comments

  1. Good

  2. Hmm

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