Editor’s note: Since independence, Nigeria has had to deal with different national issues that have threatened to tear the country apart.
In this opinion by Israel Ebije, he points out that different regions have pointed out what they want from Nigeria but that the north is yet to move forward or have a direction.
The Northern part of Nigeria comprising 19 states is most populous region in the country. The region has endless arable lands for agriculture, the groundnut pyramid era is a veritable testament to the agro-based bastion of the region. The region has also produced most numbers of leaders at the center than any other in the country.
With its advantage as the most populated region in Nigeria, a powerful position in determining which region, which personality gets the presidency, the region however seems lost in the mix of evolving demands of other regions. The North appears only fixated on leadership rather than a position substantial enough to provide it with safe haven incase other regions succeed in acquiring their demands anyway possible.
From the perspective of leadership, the North seem fixated on the glowing legacies of late Sadaunan of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, and have been so lost in that past that it is yet to wake into the realities of today world of change in leadership icons. President Muhammadu Buhari may have come close to a present day leader of valor, but the past appears more juicy to the religion. An adage states that, “whoever remembers the past is not enjoying the present”.
The Yoruba’s have moved away from the glowing era of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, today they have Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The Ibo’s (at least a chunk of them) have left the iconic symbol of Chief Odumegu Ojukwu for Nnamdi Kanu on their determination for a Republic of Biafra. The North has failed to provide a potent alternative for Sir Ahmadu Bello, a factor responsible for lack of unified direction of the region.
If the South east are demanding for secession, the South West, confederacy, the south-south, resource control, what does the Northern region of Nigeria want? The North appears to be having the most patriotic position to keep Nigeria focused on the path of remaining as one nation with collective aspirations, but deep down, the polarity level of various regions, what becomes of the North if other regions have their share of agitations actualized?
The north must start looking for a thinking cap, it must establish its position with safety nets to cushion itself incase the growing fragmented aspirations of other regions strangulates the life out of it, leaving the region with only one choice – a position to wield its own direction, which might be too late sooner or later.