Helpless North; By Mukhtar Jarmajo By Mukhtar Jarmajo
Northern Nigeria used to be a peaceful and an economically thriving place. It was a centre for trade. It was an arable land that fed the nation. Northern Nigeria in the past was an important stakeholder in the project Nigeria. It was a region upon which Nigeria relied on not just for food security and economic emancipation, but also for political leadership. It in the past determined the political
dimension the nation assumed. And because of high population, its decisions were respected and its voice heard from all corners of Nigeria.
Today however, all these are history as the region is now in a sorry state. The region and its people have fallen down and there seems no hope for any hope. Economic activities have knelt down just as poverty continues to greet us. Peace is no longer an understandable word here as nobody`s mind is at ease as I write. And because peace is a subset of security, we now don’t know anything about safety of life and property.
In short, there is so much confusion here in the North. The forces of darkness are on our lands with a diabolical agenda for us. These forces of darkness came at the moment our social system had suffered enough blow due to neglect of culture. There was thus not enough strength to resist them. And as it has lately been realised, their main agenda was to destroy the North both economically and politically so that it becomes a not important stakeholder in the project Nigeria.
They have infiltrated our polity and it seems they are on their way to accomplishing the diabolical agenda. The first two tools used to fight us were ethnicity and religion. A discord was established between us along religious and ethnic lines so that by the time our true enemy begins to fight us, we will point accusing finger labeling each other the enemy. With a recorded success in achieving this, the actual enemy is now fighting us from without. Hence the massacre and property destruction everywhere in the North particularly of course in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
The killings and property destruction in these states have reached such a level that we can`t deny being under attack. Thousands innocent lives have been killed and thousands more displaced. The worst aspect of it however, is that whilst the massacre lasts, virtually no one is making any concerted effort at calling a halt. Even the federal government, which the Constitution of the federation of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) placed on it the responsibility to ensure the safety of our lives and property seems not putting its best to stop the unfortunate situation from further deterioration.
However, whilst it may be agreed that the presidency have fail in carrying out its primary constitutional responsibility, it may as well be acknowledged that the Northern religious, social and political leaders failed the most. They failed to come together to save us from destruction. They reluctantly seat and watch their people suffer.
Our traditional rulers alone have the tool and sufficient power to initiate moves that can stop this but for reasons not far from greed and the desire to continue to enjoy the privileges attached to their thrones, they have failed to do anything to save us from the evils of the forces of darkness.
Where are Sultan Saad Abubakar of Sokoto, Ado Bayero of Kano, Shehu Idris of Zazzau, Shehu El-Kanemi of Borno, Rilwanu Suleimanu Adamu of Bauchi and the rest of our Emirs? They are in their palaces enjoying the privileges of their respective thrones whilst the North remains helpless. For us, they are now not more important than the courtiers in their palaces.
Much the same, the political class here have abandoned their responsibilities. For the reasons of greed and fear to offend the powers that be, not one politician has made any concerted attempt at saving the situation. It disappoints that with four former Heads of State, one former President, one former Vice-President and a serving Vice-President within the Yards of the North, the region remains helpless.
Where are Generals Yakubu Gowon, Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar? Where are Shehu Usman Aliyu Shagari, Atiku Abubakar and Namadi Sambo? They are all perambulating around the place parading themselves as elder statesmen whilst the North stands helpless.
They seem not to realise the extent to which the situation here has degenerated. Had they known that but for the polygamy marriage system practiced here in the North, the entire Northern population will virtually have been wiped out by now given the number of people killed, they would have swiftly act. Our leaders are yet to realize that enough economic damage has been done to us.
But it is time these leaders sit up to face the reality of the very challenge before us. They must come together to look into our problems with the requisite enthusiasm so that the best possible solutions are streamlined. They must come together to chart a course that will finally see us through this turbulent weather. They must bring the masses together to get the all important support they need.
Jarmajo wrote from Bauchi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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