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THE THRONE DOESN'T MAKE THE KING...NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN NIGERIANS

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A witch proclaims her presence and an invalid does not make away; he must have money for sacrifices at home. (One needs not fear a scourge for which one has the remedy.)

Durung the week, came across this beautiful essay by Thomas L. Friedman, 'Pass The Books. Hold The Oil'. It is a recommended read. http://www.burningpot.com/component/content/article/315-frontpage/1900-pass-the-books-hold-the-oil

Friedman says...Every so often someone asks me: “What’s your favorite country, other than your own?” I’ve always had the same answer: Taiwan. “Taiwan? Why Taiwan?” people ask.

"Very simple: Because Taiwan is a barren rock in a typhoon-laden sea with no natural resources to live off of — it even has to import sand and gravel from China for construction— yet it has the fourth-largest financial reserves in the world. Because rather than digging in the ground and mining whatever comes up, Taiwan has mined its 23 million people, their talent, energy and intelligence — men and women. I always tell my friends in Taiwan: “You’re the luckiest people in the world. How did you get so lucky? You have no oil, no iron ore, no forests, no diamonds, no gold, just a few small deposits of coal and natural gas… The real definition of goodluck I dare add.

In Nigeria, almost 40 years and still counting it has been either cocoa wealth, iron ore, or groundnut wealth, oil wealth and corrupt wealth derived through political office or access to leadership and the public tilt, not the peoples’ wealth. As tore I tore through Friedman's argument, a cursory look at Nigerian news on derivation/revenue sharing in the last one week tells the whole story of a sinking nation.

The irrevocable fact remains that we are a land ravaged on the North by extremism, terrorism, and other ...isms, bordered by her Southern neighbors with dwindling economic fortunes, plenty oil in one axis, a thieving leadership massaging their gluttonous lives with its proceeds. On all divides a populace largely under-changed and poorly educated as to what the nation really stands for?

While many say the agitation for a review of the revenue formula by northern elite is an opportunity for a review of the fiscal terms of the nation’s federalism. The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF says it is as a result of the increasing financial disparity between the north and the south.

The north argues that the Niger Delta states have lost their leverage on oil revenue, given the fact that 78% of the nation’s oil revenues were now obtained offshore.

The S/South sees it all as an opportunity to redress what they claim as the inadequacy of funds to the oil rich region. Others say, the increasing disparity in economic fortunes is not just a matter of economic wisdom but a matter of political expediency.

However what do the ordinary masses say or even know, than perpetual poverty irrespective of region, religion and creed.

The Northern governors’ clamor and S/South counterparts’ response is reflective of a desperate effort of a failed leadership which has so far steered the affairs of country aimlessly. Visit both regions and you will have daily conversations with an impoverished populace.

Written By Prince Charles Dickson

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