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*Nigeria's North: What Do They Want?
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
Yes, you heard me right: what do our Northern brothers want out of this amalgamation called Nigeria; does anyone actually understand what they really want? I do not, even when I’m convinced I do. The events unfolding on daily basis in Nigeria, right from the colonial days to date, have forced this question, which was never silent, to the forefront of all curiosities. It’s obvious that, like other tribes, ethnic, and ethno-religious groups in Nigeria, our Northern brothers also have an agenda and a focus in Nigeria. The desire of every zone in Nigeria, far above every other need, is to be rightly integrated into relevance as long as Nigeria remains one. However and obviously, the mandates of the majority of Northern Nigeria’s leaders are largely undefined or divergent of the always-thought goal of the senseless genocide against Biafrans: unity.
It will be noted that, from the time of the infamous amalgamation of what was then referred to as the Northern and the Southern protectorate into what is now known as Nigeria, the North has remained the most unwilling and the most appeased and appealed to for a “one Nigeria.” Fraudulent leadership crept into Nigeria for the simple goal of favoring and appeasing the North; the so-called Lord Fredrick Lugard of Britain, James Robertson, with Her Majesty’s approval, assured that. And by so doing, merits and progress were forever buried in Nigeria under the foundation of absolute falsehood. The first election ever held in Nigeria was fraudulent solely because of the unwritten law that the North must be favored above all others in Nigeria. The inflation of the North’s population was born out of that same ill-thought-out belief also. The consequences of these frauds, in a nation desperately fighting to sustain its unity, inspired the first coup, and then the so-called counter-coup which had no bearing to the first coup - so-called “carried out by the Igbos.” The massacre of over 30,000 Igbos in the North, the senseless war and the well-planned genocide by the Nigerian government with the full backing of Her Majesty were all in the bid to further press the claim of Nigeria as “an extension of Usman Dan Fodio’s estate.” Was the massacre reasonable and justified? And with the consequences ever piling up, can Nigeria give any reason today for going to war with Biafra? What about the war and inhumane bloodshed which has remained a major clog in the onward movement of Nigeria, was it justified? Is there anything that is worth looking at today and saying: “yes, we were able to achieve this through the genocide?” Well, I leave every Nigerian, beginning from the blood-thirsty Gowon, to answer that. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria
After the war, the Nigerian government, in their inhuman reasoning, assumed that the only way to keep their “father’s estate” (through the pretext of keeping Nigeria indivisible) would be to destabilize the South-East. And so, they set to work; every South-Easterner, no matter their status before the war, would have to start from scratch with the infamous 20. Next, other Nigerians were encouraged to openly and unashamedly seize all properties belonging to Ndigbo in other parts of Nigeria, and the government stood by them and called it “lawful;” calling all that Igbos had ever worked for since the amalgamation “abandoned property” even with the “no victor no vanquished” clause. Since the South-East readily embraced the early missionaries just as the South-West and other parts did, the government set into motion to force out schools from the churches-claiming that it would help to balance education in Nigeria. Who stopped the North from schooling when the South embraced it? And scarcely enough for them, the government had to go further to incite hatred between the South-East and their neighboring South-South; the government carved Igbo lands into other states and, thereby felt as having done something extensive to ‘pacify’ the North because, to them, “these people will always be in disagreement so we could have all the time we need to finish our master-plan.” My questions then, are: did any of these pacify the North; have all these injustices been enough to appease their ‘godness?’ You have that answer to give to your searching soul.
Today, sadly, as a South-Southerner with a middle name, Ebele, which could mean anything in any other language, became the president, the North is at it again. They have suddenly felt that their “father’s estate” is slipping through their fingers and not even a South-South man as the president could assure them that an Igbo will never be president in their “father’s estate.” Today, it is men who represent the North in the highest places of leadership in Nigeria who have sworn to kill every Igbo man and every other Nigerian who is not a Muslim. These so-called lawmakers and representatives of their respective constituents have been the very people championing the killing of other Nigerians in the North, including the Youth Corpers who were out to “serve” their country. Their instrument of terror, the so-called Boko Haram, has killed with impunity all over the North. The saddest part of it is that their leaders, from their Emir through other religious leaders (like the one who vowed that the North would go to war if Islamic banking is not instituted in Nigeria) to every other politician, have largely kept silent while these instruments of terror and death kill citizens of other faiths and tribes. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states, and Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
Boko Haram, as has been translated, roughly means: “Western education is sin.” As these revelations are forthcoming, it’s been said that the Senate have sworn to defend Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume until he is declared innocent and returned to continue the sponsoring of terror against other Nigerians. If a man who agrees that western education is sinful is a representative of a group in Nigeria to the general assembly, and if the Senate is shameless enough to stand by such a man, then the nation obviously has more to deal with than already known. For one, it’s a clear opposition to everything the western world stands for; this inference can be far-reaching. My questions are these: Nigeria was built largely to favor the North and disfavor other regions, the fraudulent first-ever election, the massacre, and the genocide of the 60s were carried out to the full to appeal to the North; and the abolition of mission’s right to schools was carried out solely to please the North as well.
The NYSC was instituted also to make sure graduates from other parts of Nigeria serve in the North (deceitfully put: to ensure proper integration): if all these sacrifices made only to maintain “one Nigeria” and to continually appease the godness of the North have not appeased them nor achieved anything to pacify whatever it has been which fuel their resentment for other tribes and religions, what then do they want? What was the reason for the war? If they are really tired of the so-called Nigeria and would want out, why not come out openly and declare so; what’s the essence of the senseless killings and destructions? Is it, perhaps, like one state that childishly called itself “born to rule,” all a campaign for total dominance, the spirit brought and entrenched in the North by the raiding stranger of the gone days called Usman Dan Fodio? It has remained obvious that Nigeria was never meant to be one as it was formed, and so many people have voiced their fears in the past against this amalgamation; but fear takes a man nowhere if he does not make a step to counter it. It is clear that Nigeria has remained one, largely to the advantage of the North, especially considering all the sacrifices made and rights forgone by other regions only to agree to every whim of the Northern leaders; why then are there all these manifestation of dissatisfaction and frustration from the North-even amongst the money-men? Reaching here with me, every true Nigerian, especially those close to history, will sigh with me and echo: What do our Northern brothers want; what do they really want?
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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