Take it or leave it Northern Nigeria is fast nosediving towards its nadir, its serenity has since been hijacked by turmoil, its very fabric weakened and shattered by its numerous adversities. It reeks of self delusion, systematic betrayal, utter neglect and desolation, to cut it short the north is in a quandary, what went wrong?
Once towering, purposeful and promising, the north had had as its leaders visionaries whose sole preoccupation is moving the north on a path to greatness, those pioneer leaders were selfless towards uniting and uplifting the standards of their people. Thereafter leadership lost its essence, confusion and division sets in, new leaders adorned in flying robes bask in public wealth while the led wallow in penury. The trust and tolerance that largely underpin north’s multi-ethnic and multi-religious coexstence faded with senseless tribal hostilities and reckless religious upheavals – excessive religiosity devoid of spirituality often cause the faithfuls lose their cool and murderously clash with each other to assert their ‘dominion’.
Education which is a potent weapon for a people’s advancement was bastardized instead of being prioritized, resulting to an army of out of school children roaming the streets aimlessly, thus setting the stage for an atmosphere of a nagging poverty and insecurity, for these children grow up uncultured, crude in thinking and attitude, and susceptible to all kinds of criminality. Unemployment for both the educated and uneducated is endemic, rendering minds idle for the wiles of the devil. As at 2015 a UNICEF survey revealed that the North houses 69% of Nigeria’s 13.2 million out of school children! Several Northern communities are largely abandoned without the most basic infrastructure to signal government’s presence, save for election materials taken to them quadrennially to curry favor for endorsement.
Most Northern politicians utilize the poverty they created to induce voters into ‘electing’ them to leadership positions. They cherish the meekness, and servility that characterize the northern setting, for that ensured that they perpetuate their retardative reign. Youths that ought to be the torchbearers and harbingers of progressivism lost their vitality and exuberance, choosing instead to become lemmings, part of the largely mute elites only lament without mapping out and engineering a reversal to the decline off the cliff. Our predicaments are a culmination of all these systemic neglect.
Just when the storm of insurgency is yet to fully subside despite relative progress made to stifle Boko Haram’s potency for attacks in the region, another scourge of Rustling, Kidnappings and Banditry takes the centre stage. Daredevil and vicious marauders evolve within our midst undetected and untamed, they strike at will leaving in the wake of such attacks sorrow, tears and blood. Travellers are waylaid and kidnapped along major national arteries within the region, their families and friends forced to cough up huge sums of money as ransoms. For several villages and towns across states like Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto, the rising sun heralds another moment of uncertainty and restlessness, while the night conceal within its darkness terror and despair because criminals might be lurking around to terminate lives and destroy properties, nobody seems free from the forceful abduction of kidnappers.
In all the ensuing quagmire, authority appears helpless, unable to put a stop to these menaces. Persistent acts of destruction of lives and properties are indicators of a government’s ineptitude, outright relinquishment and abnegation of responsibility. Government must own up and rise to the challenges impeding the well being of its citizens domiciled in the Northern region. Security operatives staking their lives day and night to safeguard fellow compatriots must be emboldened by the provision of modern equipments capable of aiding and coasting them to victory against crime and criiminals, alleged complicity of bad elements within the security architecture compromising and hampering concerted efforts to curb crime must be tackled responsibly.
Northern governors must act beyond rhetorics and orchestration of ostentatious meetings without corresponding results by rolling out concrete programs aimed at enhancing and alleviating the suffering of their people, education must be prioritized, justice must be dispensed to assuage hostilies between different components of communities, governance must be broadened to accomodate the most remoteest of places.
Northern elites must wake up from their deep slumber by grooming and mentoring younger minds. Youths on the other hand must ward off sycophancy, instead of worshiping those in power, we must hold them accountable by probing their actions, in an era where social media is becoming inevitable, we must utilize it to amplify our perceived grievances to rightful authorities for further action.
Zangina tweets @IbrahimZangina2
The views expressed in this post are those of the author and in no way reflect those of Nigerian Diary