It’s true that no one has a monopoly of bad luck. When it becomes self-inflicted, the rest of us can only look on…for a while. That is the case in Northern Nigeria at the moment.
In the last 12 years or so, the North has been under attack from terrorists. Abeg, let’s call them by their real names. These are not bandits. Bandits don’t raid children and take them hostage and mistreat them while in captivity. They don’t slaughter farmers with impunity; they don’t raid whole communities and take their time to cart away human and livestock and leave messages that they are ‘terrorists operating on the northern flank.’
No…Bandits have a code of honour; you know, they have a genuine reason to be heard. They don’t settle scores with blood and gore. Terrorists do.
Now, where do you think hundreds of these mini terrorists sprang from?
To answer, let’s start by telling our Northern Nigeria leaders past and present a few home truths. You have failed your people, woefully! To you belongs the leadership of this nation. You occupy and have occupied, for the better part of our independence, the highest and choicest and best positions of authority in Nigeria. Yet, you left your people behind.
You prefer to keep them uneducated and backward because it serves your political purposes. Now, it’s all coming back to bite you in the butt.
Let’s also not forget those Imams; the so-called religious leaders who prompt their followers, nay, fire up their followers, to believe their enemies are the Christians in the south. You are also makers of these time bombs going off in your faces.
To you too, the educated elite, the ina ru wa na brigade, those who by their passive attitude emboldened the crises. When you are neither hot nor cold, you are worse than they that are hot or cold. You look the other way when these illiterates plunder and rape and destroy and kill their imagined enemies. You don’t school them. In fact, you are not outraged by their misconception of who the real enemy is; illiteracy and its sickening hold on your people.
Instead, you let it serve you. Now you are all running helter-skelter, crying ‘bandits, bandits’ to the terrorists you enabled.
Now, more schools are shut down from fear of terrorist attacks in Nigeria. Zamfara, Katsina, Kano are shutting down schools. Whole villages are evacuated because of terrorist attacks. Farmlands emptied out because Fulani herdsmen aren’t terrorists; they are just your marginalized Nigerians who have a right to every piece of earth in Nigeria. Now, Imams and mosques and pregnant women are snatched from their homes at midday by terrorists you claim need amnesty.
Did we not warn you?
Did we not plead with you to rein in the Almajiris and the poverty-stricken who have suddenly grown emboldened and ravenous for blood and gore? Also, did we not raise alarm at the mind-boggling number of poor and displaced persons ballooning in the North?
Did we not beg you to send these ones to schools instead of letting them grow into a multitude whose only existence is to genuflect at your ‘generosity’ over their lives?
Did we not remind you that your region has had the highest number of out-of-school children in the last 30 years and more; which is why the country still upholds the quota system and now with more schools shutting down up North and parents saying. No more schools for their wards. Haven’t you just sent back your region downhill that even the good Lord can’t find it?
The terrorists you bred and refused to educate will not let you educate anyone else for some time to come. You can no longer point accusing fingers at anyone because your man is at the helm of affairs. You can’t reduce this argument to “it’s because the south is in power that is why…”
Uh huh, that boat has sailed!
So why aren’t your youth in Northern Nigeria out protesting…even if peacefully?
Why aren’t they tearing down Twitter, alarmed that education, life in general is under attack and; therefore, your future, under attack? Why aren’t your fathers and mothers and uncles and aunties downing tools and saying ‘no more!’
Why aren’t your women marching to government houses to demand that your governors and politicians; most of whom have relocated their families to Abuja, do something about the protection of lives; or even protest in your region?
Why is Abuja silent and not tingling with anxious, angry, scared, citizens of Northern Nigeria?
Why are Northern politicians in the two houses still paying lip service to this terrorism going on in their region?
Do you think this will blow away like harmattan winds?
This won’t just blow away. That is why the South must gear up.
Dear Southern people of Nigeria, this is also your problem too! Never think these terrorist attacks are a Northern Nigeria problem. Oh no! If one region is under attack, the rest of us are not safe!
This is the time to stop pointing fingers. Stop blaming the lack of foresight demonstrated by past Northern leaders and some current ones and tackle terrorists the way the rest of the world treats them. Never, ever negotiate with terrorists. They only understand one language – sophisticated weaponry, strategic thinking, special trained forces equipped with modern artillery…
Go and ask America.