Nigeria is on a tripod of Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba; other minorities are conveniently absorbed in these groups to achieve certain purposes which are beyond the scope of this post. Let me start from the last in the list.
Yoruba: I have lived in the South West, particularly Lagos, for 10 years. I knew their FOCUS to be LAGOS – everybody had a vision to come to Lagos and make it. They had EDUCATION as a vehicle to make it more abundantly. So the direction of the Yoruba is Lagos and education a veritable vehicle for achievement. That is why they dominate the professions, commerce and government today.
Igbo: I lived in the South East, particularly Enugu, for 4 years. I had Asaba up to Niger Delta to the Atlantic as territory under my control in the course of my job. It was clear to me that the FOCUS there was ENTREPRENEURSHIP. They had MENTORING as a vehicle to make it more abundantly. So the direction of the Igbo is entrepreneurship and mentoring is a veritable vehicle for achievement. The Igbo also complimented this with education. That is why they dominate commerce and industry with government today. They are also in the professions in reasonable numbers.
Hausa: I was born and bred in the North. I schooled up to the university level in the North. I also did my NYSC in the North. I should know the North. What is the FOCUS of the North and a veritable vehicle for mass achievement? BLUE BLOOD!
From time, there was no greater measure of achievement than proximity to the local royalty. To wit, the North was and still is a class society.
But how many Blue Bloods are there to achieve a critical mass of the mundane proximity to the local Royal and for whatever achievement? And so it was that the struggle of the commoners that have the critical mass was to warm up to the royalty and get some recognition in the form of traditional titles and access to some unfair advantages (Alfarma). That is the reason that in the North we call Traditional Rulers “Mai Alfarma”
– owner and dispenser of privileges. So the direction of the North is ALFARMA and PROXIMITY to a Royalty as a veritable vehicle for achievement. That is reason Sardauna, of Sokoto Royalty which was the dominant Royalty in the North, became the political Head of the North.
ALL members of his cabinet had traditional titles and the commoners among them had titles thrust upon them by virtue of their relationships with their local Monarchs. But what has “Alfarma” helped Northerners to dominate? NOTHING!
Cry, The Beloved North!
Can the status quo in the North, Alfarma, sustain the North as a mode of Social Engineering and a model for Economic Emancipation? Hell no!!!
The Leadership in the North must wake up to the realities of Modern Nigeria. We can learn from our neighbours and embrace Mass Education, Commerce and Industry. Our desperate search for power, which we have used to characteristically dispense Alfarma to the total neglect of concrete achievements, is a huge distraction at this point in time as, I believe, the loss of power has opened our eyes to the injuries we have done to ourselves which we must work hard to correct – by copying the good methods of our neighbours to liberate ourselves from the shackles of poverty, ignorance and disease.
And we must start NOW – 2014! — feeling angry. ~ Muhammad Hussaini