Who is after the North?
This week, I am reproducing an opinion I wrote a couple of years ago, which I think is still relevant today. However, I did a little editing to make room for emerging realities.
Yes, who is really after the north? Though I have had cause in the past to ask a similar question, I feel there is no better time to repeat the question than now, when all odds are against the region.
Just take a look, a critical one please, at the north as a region. You sure will not miss the picture of a region surrounded by actions and inactions that are clearly meant to weaken an area hitherto known for its different strengths.
With an interesting narrative that documents a history of divine intervention, grace and sheer mastery, the north has enjoyed a monopoly of what it takes to be, and remain central to factors of national relevance. And, this is thick enough to tickle in other regions a feeling of irrelevance that is actually a direct result of their collective inaction.
Take the South Eastern region for instance. The agitation for break up and the creation of Biafra could be as old as Nigeria itself, but the Igbos as a tribe are not in any way ready for the realities of self rule. They are primarily yet to contend with the evils of the civil war. Agreed, the civil war had its it’s great impacts on the whole of Nigeria, but while the northerners decided to shake it off and continue to learn their steps as they marched forward, the South East chose to cool off in the cooler and decided to remain there to a freezing point.
The case for the South West isn’t much different. With minds set on getting the best of every situation, the Yorubas lost focus, even as they marched right behind the Hausas. And so, with the belated realization that the Hausas are unbeatable in governance, the area that matters most, the two regions refused to toy a line of action that could lead to aim. Instead, they settled for the defeatist action of threat of separation, cessation or break up.
This perhaps is done in the widespread belief that a north stripped off of the strength of federating unit, is a region with clipped wings and disconnected life-wire. Therefore, it soon became a precondition for the actualization of their aim, that the north must be painted the devil’s colour. Just the case of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
So, taking cover under a recycled claim of northerners’ tight grip over power, we see unrealistic agitations for what they are not even ready for, and calmours for unconstitutional rights. For instance, the renewed agitation for a state of Biafra, the intermittent militancy by the Niger-Deltans, the current clamour for Odudua Republic and the creation of Amotekun are all dry jokes meant to destabilize a government, led by a man from a region perceived to have been leading it over others.
Sadly enough, to perfect a plan in this regard, the north itself is gradually being set against itself, so much that the region is today in a great deal of trouble. It is torn apart by induced rivalries that ensure the region and the people lack the peace it takes to actually think and identify who the real enemy of the north is.
Before now, the north as a region had a promising future, with highly intimidating potentials that in a way teased the envy in others and made the region a target for destruction. So, as it is today, the north is in all manners of crises. No thanks to conspiracy of persisting forces that played the region into an awaiting opportunity for action and a crack dawn on an area long earmarked for total destruction.
A region vast in arable land, intimidating numerical strength, seasoned politicians, tested and trusted administrators and a population fast playing catch up in areas the people are apparently weak in, is understandably a region to watch. This is even more so in a country where early regional politics had left in its trail divisive tendencies that find favours in calculated historical distortions and factual errors which continuously force an order of mistrust and fear in our supposed collective journey to greatness.
This order of mistrust also forces a brand of regional politics that created and successfully promoted the dirty antiques that form the trade mark of our body politics. For this, no thanks to our respective local champions who take advantage of this disorder to maintain a life-time relevance in the system.
It is this unfortunate fact that directly or indirectly ensures a puzzling line of national relevance that inevitably recognizes and maintains a circle of people with obviously worn out socio-political relevance and good will of any kind.
This fact is indeed not without its telling effects on the nation and its people. It does not only ensure that the north matches on the same spot, but it sees to it that Nigerians remain the unsuspecting, willing tools in the game of sheer chance and opportunity, where our collective wellbeing and development are no prime considerations.
Even far beyond this, it ensures that we are mercilessly denied the freshness of the changes needed for the meaningful break through that will eventually unveil and demystify the age-long mystery surrounding our deepening national crisis and divisive realities.
Then, buried beneath all this is a region swimming in the thick waters of troubles, a region pretty torn apart, its people sadly de-united, its socio-economic activities maliciously crippled, its infrastructures and institutions destroyed, its peace deliberately denied and the people’s sense of being and belonging successfully lost to a fast consuming uncertainty and lack of commitment from the rest of the nation
But even more painful is, the hope for succour for the region thins away with the daily emergence of fresh worries and threats.
I recall again the north of yester years, the north with people of resilience to calculated distractions. The north with people that had a wonderful ability for last minutes sacrifice that would finally strengthen them against the wish of the common enemy.
This had particularly kept the region united even at the instances of serious political storms that were clearly set to tear the region into warring factions.
But determined to take the destruction to a conclusive stage, consistent efforts were made to set up people, communities, tribes and religions against one another such that the resilience that had been a source of our unity is lost to the resultant mutual distrust and religious intolerance.
So, who really is after the North?
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