There is no part of Nigeria without problems. The problems are mostly the same sort. The effects of bad governance demonstrated by how weak and ineffectual most of our institutions are.
When I was in primary school in the 80s, there were very few private schools. I went to a private school and I knew about a handful of others.
Now, every street has a school.
This is because the public schools are in sorry states. Therefore, most people would rather keep looking for the funds to send their kids to private schools than keep them in public ones. I will not be quick to dismiss government hospitals in Nigeria. But I know for a fact that how they are administered is the reason why so many private clinics are available.
Nigeria has issues that is deep rooted and widespread to every corner of the country.
The last few years have brought the country down to its knees. The poverty and hardship across the country has been felt by everyone. Insecurity is our normal shadow.
But no part of the country has been ravaged like the northern part of Nigeria.
Over a decade ago, Boko Haram made an appearance in Borno State. Since then, the group has made life difficult for the people especially in the North East. Zamfara and Katsina States have also been under a similar scourge that has been labelled banditry. Kaduna State keeps experiencing outbreaks of bloodshed intermittently. This is mostly targeted at Southern Kaduna.
So many people have been killed senselessly in the last decade in the North of Nigeria.
Villages have been ravaged, people kidnapped (of note, the Chibok Girls); farms overtaken and people exiled out of their homes. I will never forget the 25th February 2014 Buni Yadi massacre. Fifty-nine boys in Federal Government College, Buni Yadi were killed in cold bold by Boko Haram. The school was burnt to the ground. I still cannot believe that this happened. Tears fill my eyes when I remember how unfair all of it is.
Displaced people led to the creation of IDP camps.
I live in Lagos and so I can tell you of the vast number of Northern young men who have left the north to eke out a living doing menial jobs here. Certain parts of the North have been rendered inhabitable by the constant threat of attacks.
Also, interstate travel is something that has become risky business in the North.
The Kaduna to Abuja/Jos routes are only for the brave. It has gotten so bad that people prefer to travel by train. In fact, a train was rumoured to have been attacked while on the go.
People have been kidnapped and killed so many times that it isn’t news anymore.
Now bear it in mind that the North had a lot of problems before Islamic terrorism sunk its talons there. They are termed as educationally disadvantaged states. Their infant/maternal mortality rates have always been the highest in Nigeria.
The lack of infrastructure… A friend of mine served in one of the fringe Northern states some years back. He came back with tales of a village that still did trade by barter. There are whole villages without power, electricity or potable water.
If life is hard in Nigeria in general, I promise you it is harder for the Northerners. I am not speaking about the elites. Those ones who are privileged. I am speaking about the everyday person.
Interestingly, there is always a Northerner in the seat or close to the seat of power all through our history. But Northern leaders take all the loyalty of their subjects; give them alms and leave them still at the brink of poverty.
The educated ones are too afraid to do anything radical to change status quo. Rather, some of them staunchly maintain a rigid stance as it regards religion. Religion is a powerful political weapon in the North. It is used to maintain loyalty.
A North that had suffered and complained bitterly under the leadership of Goodluck Jonathan is willing to keep quiet under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, despite life becoming tougher for them.
This fealty means the North can burn to the ground with people in it and still; they would hesitate to hold the government accountable. Remember just a few weeks ago during the #End SARS protests that rocked Nigeria; the North insinuated that the rancor was simply a disguise to unseat the president.
Meanwhile, the North is a shadow of itself.
People getting killed daily.
Recently, it was reported that 124 children in Kaduna died of malnutrition.
Yet, it is a picture of an adult woman took showing her back that is creating a huge uproar.
Last I saw, even the IGP was aware of the ‘situation’.
I weep for the North.
Supposed blasphemy gets a unanimous cry for a death sentence.
Men, women and children are murdered and no one demands for justice.
Murderers who plundered, killed, kidnapped, raped and pillaged are ‘rehabilitated’ and forgiven. All this while the people they displaced remain in IDP camps.
It is the exposed back of Rahama Sadau that remains the biggest topic in the North.
May God deliver the North.
May He open their eyes to see the real evil that is encroaching their lands and stealing the future of the generations unborn. May they see how small the issue of the exposed back of Rahama is in the scheme of things. Let them fuel their outrage to the preservation of lives and property in their states.
And lastly, the North will forever be against the break-up of Nigeria.
If we break up, where will they run to hide from their problems?