North Must Get It Right! – By Usman Abdullahi Koli

August 28, 2020
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Why do we keep saying; North and South? It tells us that there are divisions. There is a sharp, wide and bitter bridge between Northern and Southern Nigeria, we know. The North is deeply impoverished; the South is far more prosperous. But who is milking the North?

North is a region that is undoing itself by looking other side of its natural endowments. Despite the existence of many economic resources like; tin, kaolin, a variety of agricultural produce and enormous fertile land. Paradoxically, the people remain in abject poverty – leading to multifaceted crises of insurgency, electoral violence and other forms of crime.

What’s the North doing with this enormous land? The region needs to prioritise agriculture, trade, industry and general infrastructure. Doing this will corroborate the effort of Sir Ahmadu Bello initiation of industrialisation– the textile mills, groundnut mills.

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On Politics, no doubt that the Northern region has put forward, several versatile and well known politicians and nationalists. These people have made it to the stardom and are fully recognised and engaged within and outside the continent.

After the independence, Nation’s only Prime minister  (Sir. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa) came from the North. , late Sir. Ahmadu Bello who had played a very vital role in ensuring a secured  Nigeria in terms of security, development, education, health and transportation –which we still find useful today.

A quick flashback to military rule in Nigeria, we had several republic like other African Nations but North had produced 1/3 of heads of state we had. To mention ;  Gen. Yakubu Gowon, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Gen. Murtala Muhammad, Gen. Sani Abacha, Gen. Muhammad Buhari, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar among others are all products of sickening North. Though, they have contributed greatly and left a beautiful legacies behind. Their giant efforts are second to none as far as Nigeria is concerned.

On the other hand, to Democratic dispensations, Late. Shehu Shagari was a northerner, Late. Umaru Musa Yar’adua and President Muhammad Buhari are people from the region. On political opportunities, The Northern region has held and still holding many prestigious and influential positions. It is previleged to have produced capable heads of MDAs, heads of security agencies.

It first produced PTF and EFCC boss. Among other merciful positions we have had include; a CBN Governor from Kano State, Sunusi Lamido Sunusi; INEC Chairmen from Kebbi, Prof. Attahiru Jega and Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, the current INEC boss from Bauchi states. The recent past Senate presidents,  Bukola Saraki from Kwara state and the current president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawal, from Yobe State belong to the region. It is also fortunate to have had the former the 8th and 6th National Assembly Speakers, Ghali NaAbba and Dogara Yakubu. Why shouldn’t North get it right? With human and natural resources?

Captians of industries and philanthropists

When it comes to affluence and businesses people, we have the likes of Aliko Dangote, Abdulsamad Isyaka Rabiu, Mangal, Rahmaniya, among other prominent business moguls who are recognised globally are all northerners for their landmark achievements. Having Aliko Dangote as the richest man in Africa is, without doubt, worthy of pride. The north is blessed with rare privileges.

Northern Nigeria is a land of knowledge and wisdom. To clarify this; Late. Aminu Kano was a political activist, Sir. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was named the Golden voice of Africa for his excellent English accent, Late. Maitama Sule was a political and socio analyst, activist, unionist; Prof. Iya Abubakar would not be forgotten, Sa’adu Zungur, Bakari Dukku, are all knowledgeable people. It is said that those with knowledgeable people lead and are the best in a way of life.

Furthermore, we have been blessed with talented individuals such as Prof. Ango Abdullahi, Hon. Faruk Adamu Aliyu, Engr. Buba Galadima, Late Abba Kyari among others. For the technocrats, who have traversed the different political evolution and who have shown boldly that they care for the north, we have former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Ex-Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, Aminu Tambuwal, Nasir El-Rufai, Abdullahi Ganduje, Bala Muhammed (Kauran Bauchi), Ibrahim Dankwambo among others. Later in the subsequent piece, I will provide my reasons for saying they care for the North.

With 56.4 per cent of the country’s population according to 1922 Census, the first after Nigeria was amalgamated, yet the North is left behind, we got no father nor shoulder to cry on. One imagines why the North is deep in insecurity, business failure, redundancy, failed education system, tribal war and uncertain tomorrow?

Why? The former Emir of Kano, Sanusi once said, “If the North does not change, the North will destroy itself”. And yes we are at the verge of destroying the very fabric of our social structure, if we don’t think long and deep with a view to revolutionising our barrage of problems.

The problems the northern part is having ranging from educated illiterate who leading us, religious leaders who mislead us because of the mischievous greediness, politicians who have no plant for us except for themselves and their kinsmen, educated people who hide their knowledge because they don’t want their students to triumph.

Think of how blessed we have been since independence to have produced high caliber of persons who ruled over, yet our hospitals are like zoo. Our schools are like parks, our roads are in bad shape, health sector was poorly suffering and educational setback is consuming us.

It is oblivious that presently, 81 percent of Buhari’s appointees are Northerners, we have the Minister of Defence and yet peace have failed to restore in the north, banditry, kidnappings, rapes are all matter of discussion. The Education minister came from the blessed north, I wonder why some schools and classes are not too conducive for learning. Facts show that some of President’s capital projects are taken to the south or even executed but what has the north gained after all the efforts we made to ensure his victory?

Having the likes of talented and well educated people in the north, who have extraordinary wealth of experience could be said to be unfair, for we were left in the pool of illiteracy and we can’t even dare to secure a way out of it. Because as far as we try, those leaders will get us back.

Back then, with their F9 in WAEC and NECO, they were opportune to get work in the government but now instead of them to render same services with your upper credit in Diploma or HND they will reject you and dump you only because of the mindset that you will overshadow them.

In the South, a politician can sponsor 10,000 students to study and be good products only because they want their future to be great. A good example is Rochas Foundation that spreads across the Country. I once asked, Does south have Almajiris or rejected children who are exposed to poverty and negligence of parents? I answered myself no, A question again I asked myself  is “was Rochas richer, nicer than many richest persons in the north” if not why only him.

To talk of the Almajiris, the Jonathan administration had built 19 almajiris school in the north, in sympathy to the children and to carter for their needs and be under guard and control.

Again, The Jonathan government built 6 federal universities in the north, only to strengthen the level of education in arewa land and to see that we have a brighter future ahead. Yes, we have some people who care for the north but only been criticised by the masses. Atiku Abubakar have provided job opportunities to hundreds of thousand youth in the country particularly in the north, Rabiu Kwankwaso has sponsored over 15, 000 students to study in and outside the country.

Because kwankwaso once said, the north had fallen, the only way it would rise again is to have educated leaders of tomorrow. Kudos to you sir, Atiku and Kwankwaso have exhibited their efforts and its highly appreciated.

Again, Gov. Elrufai of Kaduna state has done something impressive, he ensured that in kaduna no quack teacher is allowed to teach students, indeed that will help the students to have sound knowledge. Governor Bala Mohammed has also shown youth inclusion in governance by appointing over 10 youths into his cabinet, that will pave the way for the youth to excel.

Another issue of concern is that,  our religious leaders only care for themselves to get money for their children and create chaos in the name of religion and mislead us, we don’t understand this untill now.

Unless we rediscover ourselves and learn a lesson from our failures, the north will be the worst place to live on Earth. We need to understand the value and power of education. Our well to do individuals should invest in education. However, much education consumes, paying off is assured.

It’s pertinent to take exploration into the annals of our glory days when Nigeria was great ruled by great men of honour and patriotism, with a view to emulating them. Only when this happens the North will resusitate its greatness.

Usman Abdullahi Koli, Writes from Mass Communication Department, ATAPOLY Bauchi

mernoukoli@gmail.com

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