For an Egalitarian and Just Northern Nigeria.
The saying goes that the most constant thing in life is change. That cannot be far from the truth as far as Northern Nigeria is concerned. T here is equally no need to over emphasize that there is strength in number. In every society change for good is always resisted. Rich slave merchants we were made to understand resisted the abolition of slave trade in Europe. United Northern Nigeria or even Federal Republic of Nigeria is surely desirable but everybody must be treated equally.
What some of us are totally against are when some sections are classified as core north and others peripheral north. Be that as it may. We have an existing more acceptable and equitable regional system on ground now, the six geo-political zones; North-west, North-east, North-central, South-west, South-south and South-east. Any honest politician who wants the Nigerian unity in diversity will agree that the six geo-political zone system will solve that riddle finally.
Whosoever is thinking of rotational presidency must think along that line amongst the six geo-political zones.
It is simply postponing the evil day for some few people to preach one north when the contrary is the case. The whole truth is that Southern Nigeria is more united than the North as they do not discriminate against themselves on religious or ethnic bias. That is why Lagos State has local government Chairmen of Igbo origin.
The only way forward for us to have one united Northern Nigeria is for all to be treated equally in appointment in all Federal Institutions in the North. Let all northern institutions be equal opportunity institutions in terms of admission to all universities in the north. Is it not an irony that we are clamoring for presidency to be rotated to the north, while some bigots are using religious sentiment against Patrick Yakowa who became the governor of Kaduna State by providence. If people think that it is the turn of the north because the south had the presidency for eight years. Why is it not the turn of Southern Kaduna since the Zaria division has had the governor all the time? Why doesn't such principle apply in Kebbi, Bauchi , Kwara, Adamawa , Borno , Gombe , Yobe and even Katsina States I have asked times without number?
Let us democratize the north first then we will be smart to take the example to the national level.
The Sardauna of Sokoto Sir Ahmadu Bello is always quoted to have told Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe that 'Let us understand our differences (and respect our values and cultural differences). Please I added to the original statement. The above statement by Sir Ahmadu Bello aptly applies to Northern Nigeria more than anywhere else. Let us all understand our difference and respect one another. Give everybody his or her due rights and even privileges tribe and religion notwithstanding.
Last week my much respected big brother and friend Dr Aliyu Tilde e-mailed me with a heading 'Respect, Respect, Respect!' and I instantly replied him and I apologized.
Of the over 250 much talked about ethnic groups in Nigeria , over 60% are in Northern Nigeria. You may be aware Adamawa State has about 103 while Plateau State has 52. All Northern Nigeria ethnic groups must learn to respect one another.
It is a confirmed fact in Southern Nigeria of today, the three geo-political zones of South-west, South-south, and South-east is well rooted in the psychic and minds of Southerners . The north must now build on its own three geo-political zones of North-east, North-west and North-central zones.
For us to have a united Northern Nigeria, we must learn to respect each others' cultural values.
Yes we may have differences on the basis of ideals and even philosophies but by providence we are all Nigerians .
Gone are the days where one race will feel superior to another. As we can see globally these days, no particular group can claim to have monopoly of knowledge, wealth or even violence.
The earlier we all learn to respect each other in the north the better for us all.
Before then the middle belt of Nigeria is a recognized entity whether culturally or geographical.
Like Barack Obama said in his ' The Audacity of Hope ', there is certain liberation that comes from realizing that no matter what you write, somebody will be angry at you not the least the reactionaries.