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North’s gradual decline to naught

Take it or leave it, Northern Nigeria is fast nosediving towards its nadir, its serenity has since been hijacked by turmoil, its very fabric weakened…

Take it or leave it, Northern Nigeria is fast nosediving towards its nadir, its serenity has since been hijacked by turmoil, its very fabric weakened and shattered by its numerous adversities. It reeks of self-delusion, systematic betrayal, utter neglect and desolation, to cut it short the North is in a quandary, what went wrong?

Once towering, purposeful and promising, the North had had as its leaders’ visionaries whose sole preoccupation was moving it on a path to greatness, those pioneer leaders were selfless towards uniting and uplifting the standards of their people. Thereafter leadership lost its essence, confusion and division sets in. New leaders adorned in flying robes bask in public wealth while the led wallow in penury. The trust and tolerance that largely underpin North’s multi-ethnic and multi-religious coexistence faded with senseless tribal hostilities, reckless religious upheavals – excessive religiosity devoid of spirituality often cause the faithfuls lose their cool and murderously clash with each other to assert their ‘dominion’.

Education which is a potent weapon for a people’s advancement was bastardized instead of being prioritized, resulting to an army of  out of school children roaming the streets aimlessly, thus setting the stage for an atmosphere of a nagging poverty and insecurity, for these children grow up uncultured, crude in thinking and attitude, and  susceptible to all kinds of criminality. Unemployment for both the educated and uneducated is endemic, rendering minds idle for the wiles of the devil. As at 2015 a UNICEF survey revealed that the North houses 69% of Nigeria’s 13.2 million out of school children! Several Northern communities are largely abandoned without the most basic infrastructure to signal government’s presence, save for election materials taken to them quadrennially to curry favour for endorsement.

Most Northern politicians utilize the poverty they created to induce voters into ‘electing’ them to leadership positions. They cherish the meekness, and servility that characterize the northern setting, for that ensured that they perpetuate their retardative reign. Youths that ought to be the torchbearers and harbingers of progressivism lost their vitality and exuberance, choosing instead to become lemmings, part of the largely mute elites only lament without mapping out and engineering a reversal to the decline off the cliff. Our predicaments are a culmination of all these systemic neglects.

Just when the storm of insurgency is yet to fully subside despite relative progress made to stifle Boko Haram’s potency for attacks in the region, another scourge of rustling, kidnappings and banditry takes the centre stage. Daredevil and vicious marauders evolve within our midst undetected and untamed; they strike at will leaving in the wake of such attacks sorrow, tears and blood. Travellers are waylaid and kidnapped along major national arteries within the region, their families and friends forced to cough up huge sums of money as ransoms. For several villages and towns across states like Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto, the rising sun heralds another moment of uncertainty and restlessness, while the night conceals within its darkness terror and despair because criminals might be lurking around to terminate lives and destroy properties, nobody seems free from the forceful abduction of kidnappers.

In all the ensuing quagmire, authority appears helpless, unable to put a stop to these menaces. Persistent acts of destruction of lives and properties are indicators of a government’s ineptitude, outright relinquishment and abdication of responsibility. Government must own up and rise to the challenges impeding the wellbeing of its citizens domiciled in the Northern region. Security operatives staking their lives day and night to safeguard fellow compatriots must be emboldened by the provision of modern equipment capable of aiding and coasting them to victory against crime and criminals, alleged complicity of bad elements within the security framework compromising and hampering concerted efforts to curb crime must be tackled responsibly.

Ibrahim Zangina.

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