My Problem with the North
It is always a wise advice to ask people to be careful of what they ask for, from the Lord or even a mere wish list. You will be surprise that it may come to past, that which you ask. A case in point was after my graduation from the university and it was time for
NYSC. All the graduands in my department were praying to be posted to the oil producing areas, Lagos and Kaduna, to practice their professions and my only prayer was to be posted to anywhere in the core North, to learn Hausa and the culture of the people; at least one of the noble objectives for the establishment of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Many looked at me as crazy, a Petrochemical Engineering graduate, praying to go and do what in a place like Kano, Yobe, Yola or Bauchi. I ended up being posted to Bauchi State.
After the orientation, in Bauchi Town, I was posted to Dukku Secondary School, in Dukku Local Government Area. It was a national call, so I took my bag and headed to that area and I met the principal, who welcomed me and he gave me accommodation. It was a good experience as I mixed with everybody there, fellow Corpers, indigenous teachers both Christians and Muslims. I remember, a fellow Corper, named Rabiu and another from Gongola, all Muslims, Joshua and his wife, Shalom and few other Christian brothers. During the weekends, I travelled to Misau, Darazo, Azare and few other cities I cannot recall the names, to be with fellow Corpers I met in the orientation camp. Life was good, and Nigeria was good. I attended church few times and mosque service on Fridays, to have experience, and I spent time with Sariki of Dukku, who welcome us with open hand. At the school, I taught chemistry, physics and mathematics and I did my best to help the students, but many were not interested in sciences, and even school.
The good experience I had during my youth service has been replaced with madness, hatred, anarchy and violence that Youth Corpers are now murdered like cows and the whole core north turned into Afghanistan. I love Nigeria to be one, but it seems that lunatics and their sponsors are hell- bent to dismember Nigeria; and the way I am seeing it, their wish may be realized come 2015.
North, as I am writing is inhabited by some smart people, radicals and lunatics. What is happening now is attrition between the smart ones, the radicals and the lunatics. The lunatics are sponsored by the radicals, so the smart ones who want peace are swallowed up and the consequences are the maiming, bombing, killing and wanton destruction. Will anyone blame me if I write that Islam is a religion of violence? These lunatics always say that they are doing God's work, but according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, violence, killing, maiming and destruction belong to the devil, the father of all lies. If anybody insults Jesus Christ in my presence, as a Christian, I will leave such war to be waged by God Himself; I will not fight God's war. If anybody burns the portrait of Jesus Christ or burn the Bible, I will not wage a war, because it is God's war. I believe my God is living and in due time, He will fight His war by Himself, and He made it explicitly clear in Deuteronomy 1:30, Exodus 14:14 and 2 Chronicles 20:15-17, the battle is His.
Why is it that if anybody hauls an insult at Mohammed or burns the Koran, all Muslims will troop to the streets all over the world to fight the war the so called Mohammed is supposed to fight? It seems to me that they are not worshiping God but Prophet Mohammed, who was a mere human being. It is becoming increasing self evident that there is no peace wherever you found misinformed Muslims. These children of Ishmael and Hagar are agents of violence. How can one kill himself or herself by strapping bombs around the waist or somewhere in the body to kill others including self? The stupid belief is that they are pleasing Allah and they will be in heaven; these are crops of idiots, deranged and useless lunatics. These are group of people who are not supposed to live among decent people but with animals in the caves. Unfortunately, these are the species that have taken over the north, and they now dictate to the civilized and highly educated clean Muslims in the north. It is also disheartening that some misplaced radicals in the north are using them to settle scores politically.
My problem with the north is that it seems that many of them are suffering from attention deficit disorder (ADD) and more acutely, hyperactive attention deficit disorder (HADD). They do not hear or discern that come 2015, the north will never rule Nigeria and if they insist on ruling Nigeria, they will only rule Bauchi, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Yobe, Yola, and Bornu without even the Christians there. The whole of Middle Belt will not join them. Adamu Ciroma and Co. have to realize that no amount of bombing will stampede Jonathan not to contest in 2015. Igbos are still waiting in the wings to test the presidency. Shagari, Buhari, Babangida, Aabacha and Abubakar in quick succession is a history.
I would like Nigeria to be one, but not at the expense of other ethnic nationalities. There are a lot of benefits in working Nigeria to remain one, if not for any other thing, the size of the market. Multiculturalism is the way of the present and the future. There is unity in diversity and check out Japan, which is paying the price of shutting other countries out of its clime and see the prosperity of Canada, which has opened its gate to diversity; these two countries are at the extreme points. The Hausas need the Igbos, the Ijaws need the Kanuris, and the Fulanis need the Ibibios while the Yorubas need the Igalas. We all need one another to make Nigeria great and prosperous, but all it takes are fair game, respect, patience, probity and gratitude.
We have inter-married to the point that we are just now like fingers held together by the fist. Greed and corruption are the twin brothers that strive to kill Nigeria. Oil, oil and oil, that is all the politicians care for and when they sit on it, they steal all of us dry and wretched. Japan, China, and Korea have no crude oil, but they are prospering more than Nigeria. What happened to the groundnut pyramids, cocoa and palm oil that our fore fathers used to build universities, sent our nationals to oversea scholarships and developed the regions? Nigeria is not cursed, but it is all about foolishness.
Jonathan has to uphold the oath he swore when he took office, to protect the citizens of Nigeria and everybody should be free to practice whatever religion he or her chooses. Fearing the elements in the North to declare a blanket state of emergency in the troubled areas will not endear him to the peaceful Nigerians and the international communities. Bush made it clear that you don't need to reason with people who have no respect for human lives, you don't negotiate with them. The president does not need the stamp of the Senators and the House of the Assembly to use his executive powers to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians wherever they are. I thank him for sacking the former docile security adviser. These elements of anarchy in the north should be defeated.
Chukwuma Iwuanyanwu writes from Argosy Graduate Business School, Los Angeles.