AS with many things Nigerian, those that should listen never do and those that should do something are never bothered. The word of Malcolm X sums up my next few paragraphs: “You’re not supposed to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it”.
The myth ‘Aboki’ is supposedly an Hausa term that is used to describe the man up North; he may be Hausa, Nupe, Berom, Fulani, Shua, but largely he is ignorantly Hausa to all and poor; he is either a gateman, water vendor, tea seller, yam seller, sugarcane seller, fuel black marketer or black market forex dealer to that list.
Whatever he is, he is a symbolism today to other Nigerians of violence and false face of Islam. He is understandably misunderstood, add the herdsmen narrative. No other time than now has the North faced an identity crisis and fight within herself. Who are the Hausa, who are the Fulani and how about the Hausa/Fulani, what really is the place of the Islam North, real, media creation and how about the Christians in the North, in specific terms, Hausa Christians, Fulani Born Again?
Is the North still united, as was the case? What about her oligarchy and a few leftist socialist activists that set the Talakawa agenda? What needs to be understood about the almajiri system and institutional begging in the North? Is it really about marginalisation? Who marginalized who? What did we really do with power, one which we have held on to, but remain largely economically and educational defunct and marginalised?
Nigeria currently is on the top of the most unequal countries, the poverty in the North is in stark contrast with the reality in the South, whether it is better access to healthcare or education. The Human Development Index of the states in the North compared with the South is suicidal. In the North we tend to spend less on our citizens than the South.
The good thing is that the North has vast amount of arable land, very young, fast growing and talented population, vast amount of natural resources, etc. A prosperous and peaceful North is key to Nigeria’s prosperity and greatness. However, we need to bash ourselves, the larger North, the smaller Arewa need to stop lying to itself and her people.
I will end this admonition again in the words of one of the sons of the North, T.Y Danjuma: “We need to think more, pray more, plan more, work harder, relate better and talk less. Battles are better fought and won through wisdom and strategy than through inflammable pronouncements and political tantrums.”
This is to the North, but it does apply to Nigeria, the current hate quotient is high. For how long? Only time will tell.
By Prince Charles Dickson PhD