By Ikechukwu Obi
I read people criticize non-Northerners who take interest in discussing the Emir of Kano saga and I wonder at that stretch of reason. Let me address them.
While I agree that deliberate amnesia is a psychological defence to a very harsh reality, I want to urge them to wake up to the reality that, regardless some of our deepest wishes of separation or isolation, fact is that at this moment, we’re still ONE country. That’s a very simple fact.
What affects one part of Nigeria often has a curious way of affecting others. In this Sanusi matter, what the man was preaching (which made many of his fellow Northern elite very uncomfortable) is the matter child marriage, excess children they cannot cater for, girl child education etc etc.
How does this concern you down South? Honestly if you can’t see this simple thing, then you need your head examined. Let me put it in the simplest language possible. The greater the poverty and illiteracy in the North, the less you in the South can get a government that will work for your good.
Apart from the plain fact that many Northerners now flood the South with its attendant economic dislocation (see what they’re using okada to do in Lagos; even in my village in Imo state, Northerners almost dominate okada business); another plain fact is that the distribution of resources in Nigeria will be skewed when you have such a staggering population of economically and educationally disabled people.
An example is by taking a good look at The Cable’s breakdown of how the $22.7bn loan will be spent and even though the details were not regionalized, it was obvious that the North East (for instance) got more special vehicle projects than any other region.
Implication? YOU, the I-Too-Know Unconcerned Southerner who thinks it’s not your business, YOU will be the one to pay back those loans when they mature! See how it concerns you now? Do you now see how the removal of an Emir who was at least an institutionalized voice in advocating a change in some of the funny traditions concerns you?
Chai, how can I simplify it further?
The more poverty and illiteracy fester in the most populous regions, the more Nigeria is gonna need bigger loans to solve them (which will never solve them anyway!) and the more YOU the ITK Southerner will have to pay back these loans which their elite will embezzle anyway because believe me, they don’t give a shit about their poverty-ridden masses. Before those displaced communities in the North East begin to be economically settled to be productive in paying back the debt, the 20yr maturity period for the loans would have been up. So who pays? YOU!
Let me simplify it further still.
If you think you’re OK in Lagos or PortHarcourt because you earn N15m PA, do you know that inflation sustained and fueled by remote causes of unproductivity, can render you a wretched millionaire in the long run? Worse, do you know that YOU the millionaire cannot travel freely in safety because of an explosion in crime brought about by the ignorance inherent in some of the things that the former Emir spoke up against?
Look, better wake up to the fact that events in one part of a country concerns every other part except two things happen now –
1. Nigeria is restructured in such a manner that each region is more responsible for itself than obtains at present
2. Nigeria breaks up into different countries
Until either of those two options happen, you’d better be concerned when you hear adverse news from those regions because you will be the one to pay for it.
Be concerned and join in trying to effect a change (for YOUR own good) via any of the two options proposed here. Your aloofness is like that of the tree who sees a storm coming and stays rooted in one spot.