Does anyone still remember Aliyu Mohammed Sani? That was the fanatic supporter of Mr President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) who vowed to jump into a gutter and drink the drainage water if his hero was reelected and did he make good his giddy-moment promise. Sani, a self-described painter from Bauchi, became an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons when his orisa emerged from a dirty poll by all lowest standards and he, celebrating the well-acknowledged electoral heist, emerged from the pool water in front of his house, as dirty as the victory he was celebrating, all covered with amoeba and amuredodo (odious odds and ends from the contaminated water). When rumour emerged Sani had answered the final call days after his stunt, it was a proud Buharist, who spoke with the media, still celebrating his “feat” at the feet of his god in Abuja, who knew him not. Yes, the president’s men fought over Sani. His act was dubbed courageous, a perfect example of unbroken bond with someone he believes in and a shining light to other worshippers in the presidency’s groove. They weren’t completely wrong.
Sani is the very crime the political leadership has been committing against the people of the North and instead of Hajia Hafsat Baba, blaming parents of almajiri and rapping them for poor parenting, a mess which she claimed governments in the North are now developing the biceps to clean and clear, el-Rufai’s commissioner should do a simple psycho-analysis of the supposed symbiotic relationship between the Muhammadu in Abuja and the gutter-guzzling Mohammed in Bauchi, to see how much the political leadership in the zone, had damaged and is still damaging the psyche make-up,of an average commoner in the North.
Hajia will be taking everybody back, engaging in the blame game. Those who did stuff, know what they did. Those who exploited the deliberate debilitating social gap, created via religious and cultural deprivations, knew the evil they had done. The current owner-occupiers of the minds of the ordinary folks in the North, know what they have reaped in political windfall, only that except God be merciful there is always a whirlwind that usually comes with stealing the future away from the ones you have deliberately taken the liberating truth from.
Don’t get me wrong, western education isn’t a cut-and-dry equal to a liberated mind. In fact, some educated fellows are worse than an average street-roaming, classroom-dodging almajiri. When you think of a man like Andrew Yakubu (remember him?, cos too much earth-shaking events befall Nigeria so consistently that what should shake the ground for a very long time, only lands with a thud on our sub-conscious?), and his stone-age thievery act of loading sleaze bags of money inside the broken walls of his ancestors’ home, you want to thank God for a peaceable almajiri who enjoys the serenity of a mind untroubled by hidden loot, once hunger matter is settled.
It is that hunger matter that the political class and leadership thought could be eternally settled at the level of handing out, dirty plates to able-bodied youth, to keep begging for leftovers, scavenging from dumpsites or being fed with crumbs at the entrances of the moneyed men of succeeding generations. Such arrangements would never endure. That reality is here now and even the profiting class, knows that it is a nervous phase for everyone.
The Word of God says if the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do? We weren’t told, but inferences can be made and for those with genuine interest to end the menace confronting the North, pragmatism, rooted in massive sacrifices, must be at the root of the proposed regional solution to the North’s excretive mess, not official grandstanding and empty high-sounding policies, with zero soft-touch for the real victims of the crime, committed for ages, by the now-scrambling elite.
By now, I expect the North’s political leadership to avoid the supposed solutions of the past, i.e, almajiri schools, nomadic education, law banning street begging, threat to jail almajirai’s parents et al. Na who dat hep? as the street, would slam, the obviously ineffectual official responses. And it won’t be because somewhat genuine efforts didn’t go into making them work. At least, it was obvious that Goodluck Jonathan administration pursued its almajiri education policy with verve, though the targeted end-result which was vote-endearment for a second term in office, wasn’t in doubt from the beginning. At least, the mere fact that someone’s political survival was dependent on the successes of the policy, was a reliable gauge that serious efforts would have gone into making it work. Unfortunately, the Northern elite who sabotaged what should have at least benefited their own, even if a Southerner was going to reap benefits too were also seeking political benefits. So, politics ruined the laudable project, and many others like it, on both sides and expectedly, the man in the middle, the pawn called the almajiri, suffered for the greed of politicians. That is the point lost on Madam commissioner.
Can someone also tell Mr Aminu Tambuwal to hold it a bit, on his so-called Indonesia Pondok model, aimed at solving the almajiri problem in his Sokoto State, before we start hearing of millions of Euro as invested seed-money. While his newest passion sounds interesting, with history of workability elsewhere, the premises are worlds-apart. Indonesia was once poor, then became prosperous and now using the scheme, to lift the slow-walkers, into shared prosperity and common future. Nigeria was once rich, so rich, money wasn’t the problem, according to the then keeper of our common purse. Jack should know. It was a unitary system where the boss was truly the boss. But the Northern society decided to deliberately leave the larger portion of it back, in penury and abject mental and emotional hopelessness. Now, the country is broke, so Pondok, is like kondo (baton) here. If Tambuwal swings it anyhow, those hungry and angry chaps would teach him. They brook no official delinquency. A hungry man is angry, chikena.
The problem on the ground in the North is a peculiar mess that requires vicarious brainwave, like the one exhibited by Emir Sanusi, which even got him thinking Eugenics, as a solution to a raped yesterday, a ripped-off today and a stolen tomorrow.
(To be continued).