Is Nigeria a nation or geographic location?
By: Danaudi Comrade
The Amalgamation of the North and the Southern protectorates by Sir Fredrick Luggard in 1914 has left behind many unanswered questions 107 years after. Many Scholars has continued to criticize the decision of the former Nigerian Governor General for the current challenges that continue to kept us away from each other. Perhaps,Their opinions are supported with the nature of our diversity that has plunged the country into ugly chaos.
I subscribe to the opinion that Nigeria is not a nation but a mere Geographical location that only differentiates between the North and South as our cultures has continued to define us differently. We hardly and never agreed on our identity as an one indivisible country because the regrettable experience of the 1967 Civil War is one among many reasons that justifies this very assertion that Nigeria is not more than a Geographical location.
According to an English learners Dictionary, A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, a common culture and, in many cases, a shared territory. A nation has also been defined as a cultural-political community that has become conscious of its autonomy, unity and particular interests. The above definition by context and by contrast clearly subject Nigeria is unfortunate to find itself as a country considering the current happenings.
Nigeria is ethnically heterogeneous and culturally pluralistic in nature with an estimated of 400 spoken languages and with more than 350 ethnic nationalities with many clamoring for self recognition. This self determination was the reason we fought the unfortunate civil war in 1967 and with the resurgence of the Indigenous people of Biafra in the South East by Maxi Nnamdi Kanu and Yoruba nation by Sunday Ighoho is an unarguable discussion that we are still moving in parallel direction.
These Modern day agitators in the Southern Part of the country are not different from Boko Haram and Bandits elements in the Northern Nigeria. Nigerian State of Sovereignty was fought and won by our great patriots who then shared together the zeal on oneness and patriotism irrespective of their tribes, tribes and religion. Our National archives has polished us with documents and details on how the Mighty North shoulder the the country’s responsibilities without threatening the hungry South then to survive.
Has our Northern elites aware of this carnage against the Mighty North? If yes ,What are the doing to consolidate on our current economic downturns? The Largest Ranch in Africa is being built in Ekiti, The largest cotton farm in West Africa is coming up in Iseyin, Oyo State, A high grade oil yielding GROUNDNUT farm is in production in Edo/Delta, Obasanjo is setting up the largest tomato green house in the world, The South now fly to Niayame procure beans, transport through Benin Republic and Ondo is setting up goats colony to rear the highly productive Southern Africa breed.
In a week ,Nigeria will be 61 years old at the time the treat of Secession is increasing, tensions, killings and destruction of properties owned by Northerners in the Southern part is been displayed in an open space. We are celebrating our independence amidst treat and conflict of interest ranging from, who owns the country? Who owns the Resources? We want to collect our Tax and let the North go hungry, we want our country,the banned of an open grazing, We must produce the President otherwise and to many to mention contents of this nature.
The Northerners Particularly the young generation are left only with questions without an objective answer due to the increasing threatening of the region to act against the will of even the Constitutional provisions that binded the multi-ecthnic country together. It is evident that the successive clueless leadership in the North is gradually given us the beaten of its live. I remember that the one of the finest Nigerian brains and patriots that once lives Late Maitama Sule Dan Masanin Kano consistently said , a country that does not study its past will hardly adjust the present mistakes no has an instinct to plan for the future.
The Northern oligarchy that decides the faith of power in Nigeria has bastardize our youth to lacking focus, the proper knowledge to life and general living culture for survival in the 21st century, where our elders are filled with pomposity and disagreement among themselves. We shouldn’t be blaming the South for whatever they do or say about the North, it is because we’re giving them every reason to see us like this or treat us the best way we should be treated. What is the role of our traditional rulers? The billionaires and the professors? The political warlords and the power bloc mafias? The retired Generals and the King Kongs? Who are the proud Northern leaders, phase setters, agenda designers and Qibla compass of the North?
The North has indeed lost a voice and the region is gradually becoming leaderless in the hands of the living deaths that can hardly act beyond issuing Press Statements. The recent decision of Rivers and Lagos States Governments VAT Struggles has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that for decades the North numerous opportunities to be at the corridors of Power has not heal a single wound. It has been said the it is not everything that is face can be change but nothing can be change until it is face. It means both the South and the North has rare opportunity to change things to suits their egos otherwise one will definitely be begging for arms for power and for economic survival. Just last week another treat resurfaced again in Enugu in join communique read by the Governor of Ondo State Rotimi Akeredolu that 2023 must come from the South region. What is this telling you ? What is democracy? How does a President emerge? It is by the highest of votes cast or by treats ? .
The North is now a subject of mockery in the face of our regional Dailies that are coined by tribal, acetylcholine and unprofessional journalist who always understands only a language of hatred and division. I hope, we are still fresh with the sentimental reportages on issues relating to the region.They have made the world to believes that nothing good is coming and will forever comes from the North with their headlines (Almajiris, Uneducated North ,Boko Haram North, Banditry North, Out of School Children North, Poverty North and Herdsmen North ,Child marriage and Gender base violence North and to many to mention captions that always downgrade the Mighty North.
We all know that right from the era of precolonial days ,the North is the most educated region but today our own leaders has been thrown the mighty in to a dustbin with their continued silent and inactions. Illiteracy is an inability to read and write but the Muslim dominant North has rich history of reading, translating and written in an Arabic language decades before the coming of the colonial masters. it means the Northern Poverty and illiteracy is another fobier created by the Southern extremist to downgrade the North in the eyes of the world to which they are gradually succeeding.
The Youths in the North that has the spirit of patriotism has been chased away by our Political elites and are been replaced by those who have been destroyed by all sorts of alcoholism and drugs. Today ,our leaders are helpless and despite the pains we are going through as young people, we cannot believe to say there is no hope. The North has become a subject of regional discourse without regards to our accommodating nature when compare to our counterparts in the South. The ongoing Insecurity Situation in the North is alarming and to those who think it is because of the region high level of illiteracy must first of all answer the questions, why was Students chased out of an Examination hall by IPOB in the South East? Why do we records high looting during the #endsarsprotesters in the South despite their level of education and economic advantage? .
The Northern billionaires has failed to invest in the Media and today as the South keep hurting the North with their annoying headlines. The little owne Media houses in the North had become accomplice to the ongoing campaign of clumny against their region because of acquittance and money .Who cares and who dares when the ‘Arewa poor’ are fatally injured or if the image of the region is faltered? Who raised a daring finger whenever the sanctity of our institutions are rubbished or insulted?. May be for political ambition and affiliation, or fear not to be dragged by Journalists and the media, nobody want to be called extremists, Arewa loyalist, conservative, preservationist or diehard patriot to the North.
The ball is now in our courts as young people ,it is either we do right thing by taking actions or we surrender to the treats of the South be become second class citizens in our own country that our parents and grandparents labour for. I want to believe that no Nigerian is more Nigerian than any Nigerian either because of his religion,tribes or regional identity. If truly, Nigeria is a nation then treat cannot cost the North the Presidency in 2023. Where do we go from here? How will our people be oriented towards sustaining this Advocacy? Do we have TV stations like Arise by Reuben Abati, Channels by Toni Momo, TVC by Tinubu,AIT owned by Raymond Dokpesi and to many to mention of their likes. May be we can burst of Daily trust but hope you are reading their lead stories these days. Do you have any Media firm owned by Northerners that compete with the above mentioned Southern owned Media firms? .
Sani Danaudi Mohammed
Activist, Writer and Developmental Analyst.
Writes from Bauchi.