Any Northern Nigerian commentator accusing the South of driving a wedge between Northern Christians and Northern Muslims is a simply being dishonest and the truth is very far from his mouth. For the purpose of this article I am going to lump the far Northern states together with core Northern states otherwise called the Middle Belt. It is the Northerners that are their own enemies as they by themselves bring wedge between themselves. As recent as 1999, the far Northern states decided to introduce the sharia legal system with fanfare. In Kaduna State for example, thousands were killed. As it is today most if not all the former governors who launched sharia with fanfare still have corruption case files with the EFCC. One is reputed to have stolen N36 billion from his state coffers. Needless to say that sharia has fizzled out in all the 12 sharia states predicted by Chief Obasanjo.
Just recently after the presidential election in April 2011, the whole of Northern Nigeria was on fire again, with the attendance killing, looting and burning of people's properties, Churches and Mosques all over the North.Those of who have followed the Sheik Lemu panel proceedings would have known that there was no state in the far North and the Middle Belt that was not affected by the CPC rioters. The worst affected states were Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.
Kaduna State's case is most pathetic where is there accusation and counter accusation of Massacre in Kaduna, Zaria Makarfi, Kafanchan Soba, Giwa and Zonkwa.Victims from Adamawa State also presented a pathetic story to the panel that the CPC supporters burnt the whole markets in Mubi, Michika and Yola. The main towns in the state and Numan.Some of the eleven NYSC members killed in Bauchi are even from Kwara, Kogi and Benue States. The family of PDP Chairman of Gombe was wiped out completely in Gombe town.Since the 1980s various Islamic sects have sprang up in the North with various Islamic ideologies that encourage hatred in the community. Those groups that easily come to mind are Maitatsine, Kalo Kato, and most recently Boko Haram.These groups are fancied and sponsored by influential Northerners for their selfish agenda.
Unfortunately for the North too most of its elite thrive on divide and rule who continue to divide the North farther apart along religious lines. Presently it is only in the far Northern Nigeria cities you have people living along religious lines. Bombs have been added to the many Northern Nigeria woes in addition to Almajiri, beggars, desertification and religious upheavals. Year in, year out, the North is backward in education, yet recently the ACF, Borno elders and their mouthpiece is in total support of Boko Haram. Is there any group of persons still blaming Southern Nigeria for the woes of the North? Are Southerners the sponsors of Boko haram? Are they the sponsors of the Almajiri system? Are Southerners the sponsors of crises in Jos? In fact Southerners too are victims of vicious cabal in the North who feed fat on ethno-religious crises that they sponosor. All the money allocated for the nomadic education, where is it? All the 38/9 years North was in power at the Federal level, what is there in the North to show for it? All there is in the North to show for it is polarized towns and cities along religious line. Name them, Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi, Maiduguri and even smaller towns and villages.
There is this adage that says unless you know where the rain started beating you; you will not know where it stopped beating you.Some of will continue to emphasize that as recent as in the 1980s, there was one united Northern Nigeria where there was no Muslim, Christian or even pagan. Whatever you merit you will have. In the Shagari government, Professor Ishaya Audu a pure Hausa Christian was a senior minister. John Kadiya was a minister. John Yahya Mamman a staunch Hausa Christian from Kano was an Ambassador. Since the Kafanchan riot of 1987, the Northern monolith was shattered by Northerners themselves. Their new found love now is religion.
All these resources wasted in promoting foreign religions can be used in waging war against desertification which is fast overrunning the North. There is hardly any news items in BBC Hausa service these days without farmers from far Northern states of Jigawa, Katsina, Yobe, Kebbi and Zamfara amongst others crying for lack of rain. From 2008 to date, probably about 100,000 people might have been killed in the various religious and political crises in Northern Nigeria. What a waste.I suggest that the Northern governors' forum if there are serious and have genuine love for their people should set up a truth and reconciliation commission akin to what happened in South Africa post apartheid.
Blaming the South for the self inflicted woes of Northerners is the most foolishly thing to do in my opinion.
Northerners are their own enemies as they gradually turn the North into a Somalia.