I don’t consider the Kaduna Declaration or any of the other secessionist threats as the ranting of some few disgruntled youth groups, but a real threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria as one indivisible and indissoluble country. After all the contraption that we call Nigeria today is a product of a forced marriage largely between historically independent ethnic nationalities which have consistently been working against the solidification of the union through several acts of commission and omission in the course of their century old beleaguered cohabitation.
Regardless of whether these separatists on the opposite sides of the isle succeed in dividing us or not, Nigeria may never be the same again; agitations will continue to intensify for resource control, restructuring, true federalism and balkanization. In all of these, the North or Arewa, as the champions of the new republic may wish to call it, is at the receiving end, not due to lack of recourses; both human and materials, but because the people are not competitive enough in all spheres of human endeavors. Even for things that the North has comparative advantage such as agriculture and solid minerals, most of them still remain under developed or untapped, mainly due to lack of seriousness and dearth of indigenous technology.
While others want their own autonomy exclusively based on their ethnic identities; Ijaw, Yoruba (Oduduwa), Igbo (Biafra}, etc, some Northerners take refuge under a bogus Arewa that does not in any way have any semblance of unity apart from mutual distrust, communal/religious clashes and intolerant religious extremism even within the house of Islam. We keep on deceiving ourselves that we are one, while in actual sense, the North is the most divided and volatile region of Nigeria. Instead of the Hausa, Kanuri, Tiv, Nupe, Jukun, etc to agitate for their autonomy in reverence to their historical empires, the elites keep on portraying the North as one and go to sleep while ethnic and religiously motivated killings continue all over the North.
There are many reasons to support the claim that ‘one North’ does not exist any longer, as it was dead and buried with the great Sardauna. The truth is, even within its three geo-political zones, unassailable differences exist, which made some elites from the Middle Belt and other minorities from the other two zones to converge on Abuja only last week to advocate for restructuring of the North. They insist that southern Kaduna, Southern Borno, southern Kebbi among other minority zones should merge with the Middle Belt. Whether the Hausas like it or not, Nigeria will never be the same again and in this context they are the target of both the Biafrans and other non- Muslim Northern minorities.
To survive and become relevant in a restructured or balkanized federation, the Hausas and their allies must begin to address their inadequacies:
1. General poverty;
2. High birth rates;
3. Poor education;
4. Almajirci and other forms of begging;
5. Intolerant religious extremism;
6. Farmers/Herders’ conflicts;
7. Extreme conservatism;
8. Women exclusion;
9. Dependency syndrome;
10. Care free attitude.
The Caliphate (or any other relevant powers) should declare a state of emergency on education that will make it compulsory for all school age children, sanction almajiranci, regulate free range herding, encourage birth control, preach tolerance among Islamic sects, liberate the women and inculcate the spirit of hard work among the populace. That is my take.
Engr. Abdurrazaq Nakore, FNSE