When the North Also Cry…

Filed under: National Issues |

They always say the rich also cry. They always say what goes around comes around. I never realized how true those phrases are in Nigeria’s situation until in recent times when the political table turned against northern Nigeria. I am not taking pleasure in what has currently befallen northern Nigeria because they are part of Nigeria; what happens to the eyes affects the nose, and vice versa. But in certain situations it is important that people look themselves in the face and tell one another the truth – maybe it could help in the expected healing or solving of the problems. People could learn from mistakes if someone else points them out with sincerity. The once so- called powerful, united, and rich north is now like crumbling bricks each day, and poverty and insecurity are crying out loud like never before in every streets and corners of the north.

Speaking of the truth, the north was never prepared for leadership handed on to them. The political life they lived was by the British breath blown into their nostril for hegemonic control over the south, which was in fact more prepared and ready to lead Nigeria. Sadly, they grabbed the power, they kept hold on it and never let go even when it was obvious they had failed the Nigerian state. Instead of using the power of leadership given to them effectively for the betterment of the state, they abused it in so many ways: institutionalized corruption, deprived their own people of education, and kept them in perpetual poverty.

Obviously, the north never had the interests in Nigeria as a nation. Rather, they were interested in how they could benefit from Nigeria. It is no wonder that the Sarduana or Ahmadu Bello called Nigeria “the mistake of 1914.” Truly, the creation of Nigeria as one entity in 1914 was a great mistake. Being aware of this mistake, the Sarduana did not fight with the rest of those Nigerians that want to correct the mistake instead he fought for what they can get from Nigeria in the interest of the north. He preached for “the north for the north” and instilled hatred in his people against the Igbos. His pristine vision was not that of Nigeria but that of the north, so the north accepted it and thrived that way against the development of Nigeria as one nation.

Also, the same north has remained the Achilles heel of Nigeria, but benefitting most from its farced existence as a nation. The first time in history that prominent and visionary Nigerians from the south pushed for the independence of Nigeria from the British, it was the north that sabotaged the movement under the banner “they were not ready.” From the 1950s until this day the north has remained a death trap for most Nigerians. The horrific killings of those from the south and the destruction of their properties have become part of the culture of the north. They hold the baton of ethnic and religious killings, which reflects the spirit of the north for the north, which they imbibed from their leaders. Today, the same north is once again taking Nigeria backward through Boko Haramic activities. Painfully the Igbos has paid the ultimate price in all of these crises created either directly or indirectly by the northerners.

But one sad thing that continues to amaze me is how the same Igbos who were denied of all they had and were given twenty pounds to start life after the Civil War are still being envied by those that took what they had from them. If there are people to be pitied most in Nigeria, it should be the Igbos who started off from nothing after that war. Yet, they worked hard to be where they are today, establishing most of their businesses and properties in the north, rather than appreciate their resilience, hard work, and entrepreneurial spirit, they become objects of hatred and violent attack by the same people benefitting from them. What an ignominy!

Still, it is always the north. Without them, Nigerians will not sleep or move forward, yet they refused to move forward themselves. Nigerians from the south have been patient with the north for so long, wanting to carry them along in the spirit of brotherhood, but they do not want to buy into that favor or to compromise a little bit. It is must be them or nothing else. In fact, they see themselves as the Nigerians, while the rest are the foreigners. That explains their mentality of “born to rule.”

Today no one can hear any other words apart from the loud cries from northern scholars and elites of how they have been pauperized or taken backwards as a result of losing power at the center. I keep questioning myself on what the north could have achieved in roughly twelve years of a southern leadership; could they have accomplished more than forty-years of progress in that same timeframe? Now, it hasbecome time of pointing fingers to the south for their backwardness and increasing pauperization. They have forgotten so soon that they had it all for more than forty- years, but their people still remain backward in every indices of development compared to the south that had eaten from their crumbs. The wealthiest people today in Nigeria are from the north, just as the poorest and educationally backward people have always been from the same north. How dare them accuse the south for the loss of power at the center and for the self-inflicted problems?

Another point worth mentioning here is how they fight the oil producing states in the country for earning more than they should. Well, no southern state earns more than it should if we must be honest with ourselves. However, the same north thrives on the lies of having the largest population in the country, giving them more local government and political offices, which are beneficial and accrue more revenues to them from the center. The day Nigeria will advance in technology to do things the way they are done in advanced societies – especially when it comes to census and keeping data on citizens – everyone will realized how the north have lived on big lies about their population figures. But they will fight to make sure Nigeria doesn’t advance to that level of exposing their lies, that is why they keep taking the whole country backward. One sure thing that always happens is change, which is already taking place in Nigeria. If it doesn’t come from within, it will come from without.

Nobody could have imagined that the north would someday cry as they do today. They were the gods sitting on the throne, dictating what happens; gradually power is slipping away from their hand and they have no answer to how and when it happened. The more Nigeria moves away from dictatorship to democratization, the north could suffer more blows, because democracy is not their style. Dictatorship is their own terrain even before the British came to that territory. The Igbos and the Yorubas are much more familiar with democracy, because it has always been part of their culture before the British came to colonize them. So now, they will be better in it than the north, and it will continue to make the north loose more grounds.

Except the north would adjust their way of thinking as to see the others as brothers to put Nigeria and Nigerians first, they will fall more in an abysmal pit of backwardness and poverty. At that their children will rise up against them as they are already doing to ask them to pay for what they have done. Unless the north gives others a chance to introduce change in the country, they may become nothing more than political relics in the future of Nigeria.

Follow writer on twitter: @drpoetafrica