OpinionOPINION: Northern Nigeria And Drunken Stories

OPINION: Northern Nigeria And Drunken Stories

April 15, (THEWILL) – “When a people have suffered for too long, they will drink fairytales on fairylands with insatiable gullibility.” (Hamilton Ayuk).

I will start this admonishment with a guest in whom many have found love. When we got promoted he was there, he has been there, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer he was there.

That time when Ali woke up and found a text message on his partner’s phone and realised she was cheating, my guest was there to help him cry and lick his wounds.

Glo

A brand that has been on the top for the whole existence of humanity. He believes he always delivers and he is consistent. You can always count on his results when you engage him, because of those two things he has gained the trust of people who adore him.

The only product that can be sold with a negative tagline. Excessive consumption of me is bad for your health. People read that, take two seconds to think and still go ahead to consume me. Try that with another brand and see if anyone will buy it. I am world-class, but I have challenges, I put stress on the liver. I overwork the liver many say, but in return, I ask, what is the liver supposed to be doing, if not working?

And trust me, when I say that this is not about alcohol. Read it again and again. You will get the drift.

So again, I am writing about the North, North of Nigeria. As with many things Nigerian, those that should listen, never do, those that should do something are never bothered. So, again let me remind us perhaps.

The words of Malcolm X sum up my next few paragraphs: “You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.”

A northern president from Katsina State for eight years, before he came there was no single IDP. All our local governments were safe. Now out of Katsina State’s 34 local governments, 22, that is 65% of Katsina is under siege.

Borno State is more secure and safer than Katsina and we have a president who is from Katsina. That is the failing of us Northerners. We need to look at ourselves, now we have a leadership structure whose number two is from the north, a speaker of the house who is number four. An SGF, who is from the north, most senior military chiefs from the north. Ministers for defence and that of Police from the north and the national security advisor from the north.

The bulk stops at the president’s desk (if I hear). The north has no excuse not to bring peace to her land. The north has to look at herself in the mirror, especially those in government, lock themselves in the room and ask, “people, how do we solve this problem”. The president cannot bring peace to the north, he can’t even bring it either in the south. ‘We’ must take responsibility and the truth is that we are not ready.

The military cannot bring peace, banditry cannot be won on the battlefield, we are only bringing the military to clean our mess, fifteen years of Boko Haram, nine years of banditry, northern leadership must rise beyond the relocation of CBN to Lagos and regrets of voting BAT. We must be tired of the continuous kidnapping of our school children, it is the leadership of the north that fuels. Schools without roofs, poor health infrastructure, etc; we can keep blaming everyone but ourselves, yet truth be told, we must be willing to change the narrative. The rankadede phenomenon that aids and abet bizzare statistics in out of school children, almajiri children must be a hard conversation we want to have and have we must.

The North continues to face an identity crisis and fight within herself. Who are the Hausas, who are the Fulanis and how about the Hausa/Fulanis, what really is the place of the Islam North, real, media creation and how about the Christians in the North in specific terms of Hausa Christians, Fulani Born Again?

Is the North still united, as was the case, what about her oligarchy and a few leftist socialist activists that set the Talakawa agenda, what happened? What needs to be understood about the almajiri system and institutional begging in the North? Is it really about marginalisation, who marginalised who, Abacha, Shagari or IBB, Yar’Adu or Buhari, what did we really do with power, one which we have held on to but remain largely economically and educationally defunct and marginalised?

The North and the agitating Middle Belt is an emotional wreck, a perfect picture of an abused bride, we keep gulping alcohol to hide the reality.

If the North decides to exit from Nigeria, will the other component parts fight to keep it and would it be really 19 states, is Plateau North, when there’s no love lost between the Plateau people and the North, does Taraba believe in North, Southern Kaduna, parts of Nasarawa, Benue, Kogi, etc?

When Zamfara’s mines are gold for the asking and we could develop a self-sufficient and exportable agrarian community? Stories of precious stones litter the Plateau, Nasarawa or the rich Mambilla Plateau. We have Dangote as the richest and we boast of the poorest communities.

So much is wrong with the North. I challenge my brothers from Katsina/Jigawa/Kebbi/Zamfara, etc to tell me two companies that make N30 million a month after salaries are paid and utilities are sorted.

What and where have the trillions of 24 years gone to in the North? Universities out of private initiative litter the South and up here what are we doing?

The South-west despite Tinubu’s crookedness is chasing a semblance of regional integration; the South-east and South-south are not left out. States have even gone ahead to show/use their emblem/insignia and are creating identities. We are still seen as Fulani herdsmen asking for reserves on other people’s lands and seeking nomadic education because we can’t do regular school.

We need to bash ourselves, the larger North, the smaller Arewa need to stop lying to itself and her people, there are current realities, where do we fit into it?

I will end this admonition in the words of one of the problem sons of the North, Bro. TY Danjuma, “We need to think more, pray more, plan more, work harder, RELATE BETTER, and talk less. Battles are better fought and won through wisdom and strategy than through inflammable pronouncements and political tantrums.” This is to the North but it does apply to Nigeria, the current hate quotient is high, for how long? Abegi give me one bottle, and—May Nigeria win.

*** Written by Prince Charles Dickson, PhD

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