If Other Regions Of The Country Will Emulate The North
When I reflect on Nigerian history and our antecedents as a giant and robust nation, I wondered why the good things we garnished are fading or we throwing away the good things we established with our own hands. It is a sad scenario. Very pathetic events that culminated to the ruin of our nation.
Before the Independence and after the Independence and the discovery and exploration of crude oil. The Northern Nigeria was the heart of the country; It was the engine of our economy and the feeding hand of the entire nation. The agricultural prospect in the Northerner part of the country which with it the colonies and our indigenous leaders established the country to a powerful and a giant nation in the whole of Africa, and ironically, now, the North is seen as the parasite of the nation because of something the region harbored and labored is not in their centre, and despite all segregation, the North stays calm for the unity and the development of the country
Before Nigerian Independence, the heroes and the patriotic Nigerians were united to champion the country to an independent state. Though, there was politics and disagreement in some quarters of the nation before the independence but there was peace, unity and stability among the masses before division creek into the minds of others.
There was no do or die political affairs in the country and in the North, there was a very good example of Northern polity. In the North, Ahmadu Bello Sardauna anointed Sir Abubakar Tabawa Balewa to occupy his position as the Prime Minister of Nigeria for the progress of the Northern people. That was the nature of Arewa political interest. As late Dan Masanin Kano said, 'to serve but not to be served'.
The North was a united and indispensable nation that worked toward a goal without difference of purpose. I read, Sardauna considered suitability as the basis of assignment not eligibility and that was how the North flourished and developed.
After the rejoice of Independence, in just six years, the region plunged into mayhem and anarchy. Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu Kaduna, an Igbo, who was born and raised in the North with other four majors dethroned and killed notable northern leaders including Sardauna and Sir Tabawa Balewa in a military coup and the north remained peaceful while it mourned it slain leaders.
Since before the independence of Nigeria there was disagreement and disloyalty to our national integration because the North was challenged for having two years to prepare for the 1960 Independence, and the first coup in Nigeria that overthrown a democratic government of just six years had explained the rift in our pretence.
1967 was another beginning of warfare upto 1970 to thread the country to a stabilized entity. The civilian war led by General Yakubu Gowon lasted for almost three years to bring back the strings of the country's unity but it manifest succumbed to the death of more than one million Nigerians with high casualty.
The the North like other regions in Nigeria, produced many northern presidents both army and civilians and like what happened to Sardauna and Balewa, General Murtala Muhammad Ramat and General Sani Abacha were assassinated on the throne of power, but, come rain come sunshine, the country did not boil and the North remained the pacesetter of its people and the country because of its size and population. Though the peaceful North was pest with insecurity that began in 2004 with the advent of Boko Haram sect. The peaceful and united North was put into chaos and destructive trend but the Northerners have never become violent with all those predicament that befell them and neither stumble on anyone because of their misfortunes. The incessant banditry and kidnapping are not pointed to anyone but to the criminals, and, however, a criminal has no religion neither a tribe or identity.
But, nowadays a cow is an identity of trouble and some tribes in the North are prescribed as nuisance which all these are abuse to the constitution and the Universal Human Rights Decrees.
The North is tearing and her people are living with turmoil and fear in any place they go just for their identity; North.
At this time, the Northerners in the south are hiding their identity because of interests. The constitutional right of Human Freedom is denied and mobility is impeded for egocentricism.
There was ethno-religious cleasing in Osun because a common citizen directed the Fulani-Northerner to vacate the state, while, his own tribe are lavishly enjoying the constitutional freedom of Nigeria in the North. Moreover, more than 12 Northerners were killed in Imo state in the quest for Biafran nation, while knowing that the indigent and common Northerners living in the South cannot give the Igbo a sovereignty of Biafra. But, as many will say, it is an intended provocation to inflame the country for a common purpose. Like the African Proverb says, 'there is no smoke without fire', but every story has its end.
And, as God has it, there has never been a fuss in any part of the Northern country from all the sparks erupting in other parts of the country.
The North is facing a lot of challenges and is not ready for any fracas. I believe no retaliation will come from the North. And, as the government is putting all hands on deck the Northern forums and associations are doing their best to contain peace in the country and just like what Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF said, Nigeria is a home of all and security of the Northerners in everywhere should be protected.
The life of every Nigerian matters, while we are more progressive united than divided. It is our collective responsibility to nurture the spirit of our progress, and it is never wise to devise an illegal means for a gain of interest.
The constitution is at our finger tips, available to all, to check and toe the line of actions. Courts are there to resolve our grievances, and it is never an ideal decision to take the laws into our own hands.
We are intellectuals and elites, and we have rules and regulations governing our affairs and activities and only primitive people decide and act upon their nerves.
Killing and sabotage should not be the remedy to our problems just for us to laugh last.
In Nigeria, if the North decided to go for Northerner-Northerner ticket, it can be successful because of the 19 states and the population. This can be possible when the Northern presidential contestant won in all the 19 states and a second round of election is done and at least one vote is gotten from other states. But, for the nation's unity it has never happen, but, eventhough, with the highest population and vast land, the North agreed on rotational presidency for the progress of the country and supported many non-Northerners to be presidents of the country.
I strongly believed, Nigeria will eliminate it woes when we see ourselves as one, work for our progress even if we are not part of the system and respect the rules of our laws, and the authority must ensure compliance to these values.
The constitution of this country is bigger than anyone and only good examples on offenders can breed good leadership for the country, and surely, if other regions of this country will emulate the North, Nigeria will forever be a progressive and united nation.
Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim Goronyo is a member of Global Peace Ambassadors, India and writes from Kaduna
He can be reached via [email protected]