This is an Ibo philosophical aphorism: A child whose father is behind him gains awesome power during a fight. On this context, we can very well understand the braggadocio, strengths and the grandstanding of the youths and mindless, uninformed adults in the Northern part of Nigeria, who hide under various reasons, to unleash pains, damages and wanton killings on the innocent people ; majority sometimes, those from the south.
After the British rule, students of history will educate all of us that Nigeria was handed over to our Northern brothers for keep, and they became not only the gate keepers but the landlords, so admittance to the house of Nigeria became their exclusive rights and prerogatives; other brothers, the Southerners became strangers in a collective community owned by all. The civilian government metamorphosed to military jackboots and they indeed deployed awesome power, shared the booties to who they pleased and appropriated the lion share to themselves. General Danjuma is a billionaire as a result of oil blocks and show me any Ijaw/Ogoni man in his shoes.
Igbos have another saying that when the mother goat is eating, the children watch. It is not presumptions here to posit that during that hegemonic occupation, the southern brothers never got anything without the blessings of the Emirs. Who does not like power, which is aphrodisiac? As the band of brothers in the North became powerful, the dew of influence descended on their children, youths and even the popular wretched Alamajiris on the street.
Can anybody in Nigeria whisper to a fellow Nigeria any year that passed without violent protests, riots, maiming of innocent people, burning of property and killings, originating from the Northern Nigeria? The perpetrators came clean every time, and for the fact that there had never been any tangible consequences, they were, and are ever ready to do it time and time again. These agents of violence, killings and destructions have been given state cover, pardon and forgiveness, that they have never learnt a bitter lesson.
While the many countries all over the world have been in a hurry to develop, to provide employment to their teeming youth population, to fashion an economic blue prints that will match the time on hand, to push themselves to the brink of enduring democracy, to launch themselves to the prevailing cutting edge technology, Nigeria decided to sleep on the switch of human progress. And we make do with retrogression because the malam somewhere in Darazo or Misau distastes modern civilization, so the rest of us should trail at his fine woven babariga.
Time is changing, it is always in a flux, it is a moving train and any obstructor will be crushed to death. The change that took place in American when Obama was elected the president of USA has arrived to Nigeria; it is no more business as usual. Nigeria is on the move and the agents of darkness will not like it, they prefer the status quo, they still want Adamu Ciroma to dot every space in Nigeria, but I have a news for them: Goodluck Jonathan, Attahiru Jega and our Youth Corpers are now the new change agents, and they have come to stay in Nigeria, for a dawn of a new era, where even tribe and tongue may differ but in brother hood we stand. Nigerians are now wise and we have put the ugly fifty years of our nationhood behind us. We are matching away from Egypt to the land our Lord promised to us, the land of milk and honey.
President Goodluck Jonathan should understand that the nod to be our president for the next four years is from Nigerians and not from Otuke. He should take drastic steps to reclaim Nigeria from the evil agents, he should take decisions both popular and unpopular, to position Nigeria to the international standard. The perpetrators of the post election violence should be made to face the music; they should pay dearly for their actions. Enough is enough and this is the time to stop this Northern madness and rejuvenate the lost nation now.
I know the feelings in the north, the old brigade feels hollow, because they drink and meditate on power and now they have lost the power they have misused for years, the power that kept the nation in darkness for years and the power that has led to the poverty in the north, the power that has made the dreaded Niger Militants, Odua Peoples’ Congress, Arewa Consultative Forum and Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra. It was because of inequality, misrule and injustice that much ethnic stratification sprung up.
Who are the martyrs of 2011 election, the Youth Corpers? I did my service in Dukku in Bauchi State and I could never have imagined losing my life in selfless service to my nation. For an idiotic to kill a youth Corper, the hope of a family, the insurance of the parents is not a laughing matter. Any compensation below $1 million to the family of each Corper killed is not acceptable. Nigerians don’t want long greetings, long address and condolence letters to the families of the dead Corpers. $1 million will not bring the death of a loved one and human being has no price tag, but the money will alleviate the pains and tears of a mother, father and the siblings.
In the next four years, the nation should not talk of bad roads, lack of electricity, unemployment, dysfunctional social services, corruption, godfatherism, rudderless leadership, lack of pipe born water, kidnapping, militancy, armed robbery, road accidents, election rigging, bribery, poor educational system, violence, burning of churches and mosques, religious violence, stealing of our common wealth, oil bunkering, unnecessary poverty, lack of medical care, prostitution and child labor. We welcome a new Nigeria. Njakiri go back!!! (Thanks to Zeburudaya). GEJ, you cannot afford to let Nigeria down and the international community. The world is watching you. To Attahiru Jega, you have done well, to Youth Corpers; you are the light of the nation and to my fellow Nigerians, thank you for showing courage, determination and citizenship. Special greetings and homage should be paid to the Northerners that decided to opt for change and a new Nigeria.
Iwuanyanwu is a doctoral student at Argosy University, Los Angeles.