Northern Nigeria is an autonomous division within Nigeria, a zone sitting geographically on 719,435 Square Kilometers of land or 79% of Nigeria’s landmass and has around 392 numbers of ethnic groups (North West 54 North Central 123 North East 205) and almost 75 million or 53.6% of Nigeria’s population is no doubt the biggest zone in Nigeria.
So far the zone has gone through the thick and tides of time posing a big treat to its optimal capacity and overall survival.
Several studies carried out to seek an understanding of the numerous challenges ravaging the zone ranging from high illiteracy lever standing at 70%, largest handicap, children immunization against dangerous childhood disease just around 10% and the Boko Haram insurgency.
The Boko Haram insurgency might indeed be termed to be political in its design but the fact that it is been hosted in the North is a big treat. Question coming to mind is why will the people of the north allow the Boko Haram infest so deep within their habitats? This is simply the result of high illiteracy level in the north. The north is thought religious but the happenings points to an opposite direction. It is really shocking that a region that had produced wonderful Nigeria leader in the past, leaders like Sir Tafa Balewa, Umaru Dikko, Shehu Shagari, Sadauna and many more, so what went wrong to have bestowed such a faith on this region?
Looking deep into the current situation in the north, a careful observer will see a degradation and fallout of gross negligence of some sort by prominent statesman who had allowed the aggressive nature of an average Hausa man escalate too far.
Other regions also play host to some civil unrest such as the Ife and Modakeke fiasco, Offa and Erin-Ile battle and Okene unrest to mention a few but the point of interest in these civil unrest is that all prominent persons such as traditional rulers and politicians whose region were affected immediately starts a cleanup program so that such events are never to be witnessed ever again in the future, they don’t leave things in the hands of faith and pure negligence unlike most northern counterparts.
Series of war has broken out in the northern part of Nigeria, am sure we will remember
-The 2000 Kaduna riots of 21 February-23 May, where around 2,000 –5,000 died and reason is said to be Religious riots between Christians and Muslims over the introduction of sharia law in Kaduna State, start of the religious riots phase of the Sharia Conflict in Nigeria.
-Yelwa massacre of February-May 2004, Yelwa, Shendam and Kano where 975 were reported dead and reason was religiously motivated killings between Christians and Muslims.
2013 Baga massacre of 19-20 April 2013, Baga, Borno and a total of 228 were killed, although Identity of the perpetrators remains unclear; some blame the Nigerian military while others blame the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram
Kaje civil unrest and many other more but after all these civil unrest, there has never been an orientation program or rehabilitation of the victims and the participants, a young boy who saw killings of tens of people in his presence grows up to become a wild animal and worst of it is if he actually participated in the killing.
We shouldn’t have been here if these northern youth had not been exposed to a wild life right from the start of their lives, a visit to the north will amaze once sense of what responsible parenting means in the north, one will see a pack of boys in their early teens popularly called ‘alumagiri’ savaging around all for the purpose of surviving without any close understanding to what ‘good life‘really means nor entails.
Who do we fault for the sorrowful and meaningless life these kids are subjected to? A young boy of age 14 from the north would already had visited 20 state in the country by following truck loads of goods without any real life expectancy.
August 12, 2015 is the World Youth Day and I ask what would the northern youths be celebrating?
Is it the unproductive life they have inherited or the shamble environment they now live in?
The move by the Senate President Bukola Saraki in identifying with the people of the north by his recent visit to the zone and the call on international community to help rebuild the north is a step in the right direction which all stakeholders must take a cue from.
The north needs massive infrastructural development but most importantly mental rehabilitation to guide against another brutal killing sect in the future, we must be ready to capture the traumatized youths and re-orientate them. The negligence of the past is exactly what led to the situation we are in right now.
Why has the north been so marginalized and dusted to the background of mental capacity building where training of highly educated and prosperous youths is energized and channeled to helping their respective environment? This is another area the government must look into by making sure that northern youths are trained to understand the beauty in staying alive and being purposeful and at the same time be productive.
Sadly the north that had once been the economic hub of this great nation is now been ravage by war, poverty illiteracy, diseases, high infant mortality and if the current happenings are not adequately managed to capture the victims, the north might just be a breeding place for a more sophisticated killing machine.
I beg to ask why kids from north shouldn’t adequately be able to compete with kids from the west, south, and east?
IS NORTH NOT NIGERIA?