Re: Regionalism, a grand Utopia
By Muhammad Aliyu
Friday May 04, 2012

I refer to Amanze Obi’s BROKEN TONGUES with the above caption. Having gone through your article yesterday with the above captioned, i will not hesitate to say that the problem of Nigeria is not horizontal but vertical as put forward by the renowned scholar late Dr Bala Usman. The ruling class keeps on making policies, formulating ideas, yet things appear to be going worst day by day.

Consequently, you can see why we are faulting you writers that always take pleasure in writing incisive sectional and sensational topics of discord among the down trodden Nigerians, thus advancing the political class chances of deceits against the Nigerian populace.

As you have rightly pointed out that “Nigerians are used to unworkable ideas” this is the end result of having a group of people that constituted themselves into so call leaders of the people without really having their interest in mind, as such, they can go to any length in getting their personal interest satisfied that is why i always wonder if God has really destined Nigeria to progress at all.

Looking at Nigerians, one will observe that our thinking does not really differ very much from what it used to be before, during, and even at independence. At a time when other part of the world are talking about economic, technological  and well being of its people, we here in Nigeria are narrowing to our primitive idea of sectional and tribal champions. It is not surprising that the country is being racked horribly by corruption. We are not interested of leaving any legacy for our children yet unborn.

I was particularly disappointed when i read on a page of newspaper a comment credited to the respected former vice president Alex Ekweme that he wants to see an Ibo president in Nigeria before he dies. For an elderly statesman to have this comment credited to him really shows that something is wrong with our psychic as Nigerians.

I must be honest to point out that there are other respectful Nigerians who also share in the same thinking across its geographical divide be it north or south but we must be honest to admit that such thinking is retrogressive. Iam not against any Ibo being president or any other tribe across length and breadth of Nigeria provided such president is the one that will have deep concern for my brother down trodden Ibo man in the village, he should have good water, good road, good education for his children, security for his life and property and that of his family, he should be free from discrimination where ever he choose to reside in Nigeria as well as good future for his business.

Such president should be someone who should be ready to make the necessary sacrifice for the good future of Nigeria not the one that will make Nigeria a “big for nothing in the eyes of the world”. If northern presidents or Head of states as you may call it have failed Nigerians as it is widely canvass in the media, then, what we expect to see is a southern president that is ever ready to deliver the goods and take us to the promise land irrespective of religious, sectional or class affiliation not a president that will stand in queue waiting for his turn to take slot on a platter of gold to be crown by a few clique at the expense of Nigerians. It is also not surprising that this group that constituted themselves into clique thereby deceived Nigerians by arguing that their group has national outlook and integration.

While they sponsor Nigerians taking dagger at each other, they sit comfortably at Abuja sharing the dividend of deceits. However one thing keeps bugging my mind about the Nigerian makeup so much so that i always debate in my mind that is it because we belong to different geographical divide that is why we don’t have the feeling of the country at heart? Is it truly a geographical mistake as believe by a few Nigerians? Is it actually a mistake of 1914?

Is it true that we are not meant to be together? As for the first question, a good student of history i believe, should be able to convince average Nigerians that dated back to pre-colonial era there has been commercial link between the west and the vast majority of the north especially the core Hausa areas and this has continued till date some of those people engaged has long settled and established in those areas for decades, a group of people that saw nothing good in each other would have severed any type of link that will bring them together long ago.

It is this enemy of Nigeria that is still working hard to realize their devilish act today. In all the successive crises that follow, Nigerians are not leaving where they are residing because they hate their neighbors, but because they want to be safe. During crises, Nigerians are seen hiding their neighbors for safety where ever such crises erupted, so, a great majority of Nigerians wants to live in with one another.

So where the problem does lies? Yes, to my opinion and to the best of my knowledge the problem is with our elites. Just as the colonial elite rule and kept us permanently divided for their own selfish end, so also is our own indigenous elite especially the political ones who not only continue in the same trend as the colonial elites, but work audaciously towards self destruction.

It is at this juncture that i would like to call on brilliant journalist like you Mr Amanze to beware of this elites who always cash in on any loop hole available to advance their mischief. Should i say long live Nigeria? I rest my case.

Aliyu writes from Lagos

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