Opinion: There is no such thing as a united North

by Abdulmalik Ibrahim Tijani


However, unlike many a northern youths, I will not be cajoled and hoodwinked into voting out a corrupt Fedora hat wearing Ijaw fisherman for an equally corrupt ‘aboki’ farmer.

I am a strong proponent for the rights of a group of people with a common header to seek a sense of self identity peculiar to itself. Indeed it is only natural and paramount for such groups to coalesce and speak with one voice in its push for what it deems it deserves. The right to self identity is indeed necessary and should be encouraged as long as it does not prove injurious to the well being and continued existence of other parties outside of that group which seeks it.

Recently I happened to stumble upon an interview the Governor of Sokoto state Aliyu Wammako granted some local newspaper I can’t remember which; where he espoused on the need for the North to come together and unite so that there wouldn’t be a repeat of past elections where its ‘illustrious sons and daughters’ seemed to be divided among themselves which eventually cost it dearly. Normally one is used to hearing such balderdash being thrown out by political leaders from both sides of the divide and would simply just ignore the ignominy therein; but somehow this stuck and got me thinking.

I wondered which North Mr. Wammako is here referring to. Is it the North where the majority lives below the poverty line or the North where its principal actors fly private jets at the least prompting?? Is it the North where half the youth population is without jobs or the one where sons of corrupt government officials organize street races with obnoxious luxury cars??? I dare ask Mr. Wammako again, is it the North where 70 year old Malam Tanko would have to journey from his rural enclave of Alkaleri to Bauchi city for common malarial treatment or the North where the niece of the Wife of the Special Assistant to the Chief of staff of a State Governor can afford to have her medical check-up in Dubai from the purse of the State government??? Which North please dear Governor Sir, the North where University students from Sokoto state queue up for days to receive meager stipends in the name of scholarships or the one where your wards attend the best schools in Europe and America???

Until we begin to give thoughts to these questions and more, I’m afraid the political class would continue to take us on their roller coaster ride of selfish interest, lies, deceit and contempt.

I’ll admit that growing up, I have always identified with political parties and candidates who seem ‘more’ northern. I had this unchecked euphoria of misplaced passions where I’m ignorantly impressed by the colorful call by Northern politicians for unity among northerners during election years. What unity if I may ask; unity in prosperity or unity of perpetual lordship of a group over the other? They traverse the rural hills and villages of the North deceiving the gullible villagers to buy into this grand collective agenda for the common good of all Northerners. That is how thieves and con artists rode on the clean and honest back of Buhari’s Northern candidature to become Governors and lawmakers only to perpetuate and commit tremendous evil thereafter.

As a young man blessed with the gift of reason like most people, I choose to use mine to see the issues with perfect clarity. I refuse to be swayed blindly by the band wagon of ‘sai dan arewa’. To be certain, I am a fierce critic of the Goodluck-led government. I have lost confidence in his leadership style, I do not believe he has it in his belly to steer the Nigerian ship to safer havens. I will most certainly not vote for him in the coming elections.

However, unlike many a northern youths, I will not be cajoled and hoodwinked into voting out a corrupt Fedora hat wearing Ijaw fisherman for an equally corrupt ‘aboki’ farmer. As young men and women who firmly believe the future is ours, we must resist the urge to give in to the primordial tactics employed by these relics of leaders to further divide us along delicate ethnic lines for their self serving interests. As we head for yet another electoral session, we must raise the bar to that of proper assessments based on credibility and competence.

Now lastly, if we all could purge ourselves of a little emotion and SINCERELY ask ourselves; ‘other than some false pride which seems to becloud reason, what have northern leaders, past and present been able to achieve for its citizens that warrants this warped ‘craze’ for some delusional call for ‘one’ north to wrestle power from the south? Ask yourself, is it the thirst of pure unbridled power that we seek as a region or a leader who is able to critically look at the massive poverty in the North and decide to confront it head on??? If your inkling is swayed towards the former, then I’m sorry my friend, you and I are not from the same ‘North”. So my friends, the next time a pot bellied desperado mounts the podium and shouts ‘one North, you simply ask him; please which North Sir?

So help us God.


This post was published with permission from Abusidiqu.com

 Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (0)

  1. Hmm good piece. Incomplete though. Is there no hope for the north then. You have written as if no worthy person can be found in the north

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