here was a man in the North who was blessed with a large extended family. He was uneducated not by virtue of lack of schools in the North or being underprivileged growing up, but by the fact that he was an al-majiri (a belief system where the proponent live life without the sense of belonging, works for nothing but passes through life by begging for food, shelter from others and the only education they tend to get is from a religious seminary where such a mindset is passed along).
One day, he returned in the company of his older children who had been on the street doing the “regular business” of begging, to find his much younger children being tutored by an NYSC lad who lived close by. The man was enraged and rebuked the NYSC lad for attempting to enlighten his offspring because western education was deemed evil and as such, it is forbidden to proscribe to anyone there.
The man later reported the matter at the village council and the NYSC lad was transferred out of the region with immediate effect.
For those innocent children whose guilt was only the result of their birthplace, one can legitimately assume that Western education came to a stop at that point.
How do we know those children are not members of Boko Haram, the bloodthirsty herders, or other criminals that are currently terrorizing Nigerians? The preceding anecdote clearly demonstrates the significant divide between the North and the rest of us in terms of what constitutes true ideals that have genuine societal consequences.
It is little surprise that Sir Ahmadu Bello dubbed the North-South merger “the 1914 mistake.”
How much longer can we bear the consequences of this error and the North’s regressive effects on the rest of us? Under the current circumstances, it is irrational for Northern hegemonists and their self-serving collaborator quislings in the South to continue shouting at the top of their lungs that Nigeria is an indivisible entity without first doing what is required. This is a huge misconception. Nigeria is a country with multiple identities and it is divisible.We should quit dwelling in self-delusion.
According to a Yoruba adage, instead of the elephant being the leopard’s armor carrier, the hunting excursion will be done independently.
Is it not preferable if everyone goes their own path and life becomes meaningful rather than living in a forced association where practically everyone’s existence is meaningless?
The country’s condition is deteriorating to the point that the North and the rest of us might benefit from listening to Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s First Republic President. “Whether our beloved Nigeria will continue to remain unified as one country or will split into minute principalities relies now on two factors,” Zik implored in a broadcast. He continued,“I only have one request… if this embryo Republic must disintegrate, may the operation be quick and painless in the name of God.”
“Let it not be characterized by violence… if politicians fail to heed this warning, I will venture the prediction that the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s experience will be a child’s play if it ever comes to our turn to play such a tragic role…”, Zik concluded.
The harsh reality is that the current system is doomed to fail. It has never worked before. It is not going to work. The only way to save Nigeria as a single political entity is for the country to be restructured. This will encourage a symbiotic relationship rather than the current parasitic one.
In a true federation, each group will be permitted to develop at its own speed, allowing healthy competition to flourish as it did in the pre-independence era. The Western Region thus became the focus of all eyes under Chief Obafemi Awolowo as a result of dramatic, social, economic, and political events that were visible even to the blind and audible to the deaf.
Other regions in Nigeria made every effort to meet up with the enviable challenges posed by rapid development in Western Nigeria. Sir Ahmadu Bello in the North and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in the East both accomplished amazing achievements that benefited their people greatly. Unfortunately, the detrimental impacts of Northern dominance on the rest of us have almost erased those benefits.
Today’s Northern elite is unprepared to meet the obstacles of obtaining the resources they require. They are simply interested in feeding-bottle-federalism, in which they control the requisite resources, which are primarily generated in the South, and which are handed out to them on a regular basis without making any significant attempt to work for what they require.
It is purely a relationship that is parasitic at its core. For the development of the North, Ahmadu Bello did not rely on central allocation. He put in a lot of effort to get what he wanted.
Indeed, it appears that the abhorrent Ironsi Decree 34 of May 24, 1966, is only now being executed under the Buhari administration. Before issuing the ill-fated decree, Ironsi and his collaborators failed to take into account Nigeria’s unique characteristics as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country. When you compare the decree’s words and expectations to what is happening on the ground under the current administration, you will see that the decree’s spirit is dangerously hovering over the country. The North can reflect on its pivotal role in the conflagrations that the ill-fated edict eventually sparked, which did not spare Ironsi and nearly engulfed the entire country.
If the edict sparked such riots even before Ironsi’s implementation, anyone who thinks it will work today is living in a fool’s paradise. The North should not be fooled into believing that it will be immune to the needless conflagrations this time.
Because the Northern elite has grown accustomed to receiving periodic allocations from the center, they are willing to go to war to prevent the country’s restructuring, which will force them to work for what they require. The only option to the country’s reformation is for each faction to quietly go their separate ways, as Zik advised.