What is the bane of our nationhood: Corruption, Hegemony or ethno-religious indoctrination and Blindness?
The insurgence in the north today is a source of great worry to any sane human being. Suggestions/reasons have been put forward by 'sympathizers' of this deadly group. From the Proponents of the 'unequal' revenue sharing formula to those who blame it on high level of poverty in the north to the not-so-clear injustice or something of that sort implied by some elders of the north in their recent plea to the said group. From the foregoing its apparent that these sympathizers seem to suggest or support the views of the last sympathizers.
Well, out of 51years of Nigeria's post independence, almost 36years had northerners at the helm of affairs. Almost 16 of these were under military rulership, free from deliberations of parliaments. Yet, the North was deprived...
The talk about petroleum revenue sharing formula, find out what region over 80% of indigenous oil company owners hail from.
If an honest list of Nigeria's richest people were to b compiled, find out the region that would have the greater portion. Yet the north was deprived...
However,it is quite true that some of the poorest people in Nigeria are in the north. The point is, this is stale news, the impoverishment has been severe since the days of their kins held power. Yet the north was deprived...
Then I ask, deprived of what? Why the sudden agitation? What is really new?
I take a look at history and the only new thing I discover is a change in what seemed a trend. Prior to 1999, power had never been away from the north for more than 4 consecutive years. Today,its almost 13years safe for 2years. Is this what the north has deprived of? Or is there something more apparent I'm not able to see? But hey, it can't be power, its no regions birth right. Or are their those that consider it theirs?
Historically, the colonialist had greater ease in the north obviously because of its pyramidal flow of authority, as such had better camaraderie with its leaders consequent in the favors granted them subsequently. These concessions were further endorsed by other Nigerians in petting the northern political class into accepting the call for Independence of Nigeria. Today, those privileges are considered rights as some statements have indicated. I have argued with those who feel the north is blessed with leadership traits. How sad! I'm sure many share this view, failing to understand that what lies in the north is subservient followership, not necessarily leadership. Hence the difficulties experienced when an attempt is made to extend this to other Nigerians of less servile nature.
Tis no longer news that the amalgamation of Nigeria wasn't in the best interest of Nigerians but for the amalgamators. But Nigeria has remain a nation, notwithstanding shaky pedestal upon which it stands. 40years after a major civil war it still stands. The unity which we proclaim is indeed attained,but at various levels. There is unity among the so-called masses who suffer the difficulties,pains and woes inflicted on us by the ruling/political class. There is unity among these ruling class regardless of the ethnicity or creed. We've seen power rotate among a group of people and their proteges, without ethno-religious affiliation. We have seen politicians breath fire in unison on us regardless our culture or religion because we dared to speak against one of their evils. Yet when they have issues between them, spilling of our (masses) blood by ourselves settles the problems. Since this insurgence how many top politicians were affected? How many of
such people suffered losses because of militant activities? The so called masses, suffering the same pains with the perpetrators are those affected.
Today, many clamor for separation of the country as though that would be the ultimate solution. I ask, is there none of your so-called sons among these crop of political/ethno-religious criminals? What region in Nigeria has had its economy and people's welfare strongly enhanced because of the political presence of its 'sons'? Sons you have nothing in common with. Is it the West after their sons eight years plus 4 years in power. Or is it the North from decades of leadership. Any arguement today quickly results in blind sentimental show of emotions, thus clouding the reality and the truth and granting strength to those who continue to use us.
Suffice it to say that unless and until we stop seeing our unity along religious and ethnic lines and realise that our dividing line is on social/political class, we would continue to be manipulated by this agents of darkness to our own detriment. We must rise above ethnicity, we must rise above religious blindfolds, we must drop the opium of wrongly placed sentiments if we are ever to succeed.