Monday, 10 March 2014
A Rejoinder To “We The Stupid Southerners” - By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo
My Dear Brother, Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo: Good morning, Sir. I read your article published by this medium titled “We the Stupid Southerners”. It was an interesting reading to which I would like to respond as contained herein. How I wish I could meet you face-to-face for us to discuss this our Nigerian Project in at least some more humorous way. However, this meeting is not a pre-requisite for me to make my point to your innate conviction, regardless of what your mouth/pen may utter/'scribe'.
This is because you have already agreed with me that the matter is not as simple as you have presented it. To quote your respected self: ...QUOTE - I know the matter is more complicated than this. I know there are Christians in the North. I know it is not absolutely a matter of North and South. I know it has been said that there is a silent majority in the North that is welcoming and willing to live in peace with others.- QUOTE ... If you knew all these, then what are these old , belated and over-used North and Muslim things that you are still talking about and what are your objectives for such a topic at this time when the Nigerian President is a Southerner and appears to be trying his best with his team. Have you forgotten that, in the immediate past when the Nigerian President (Yar'adua) was a Northerner, it was in the South that he had a cause to grant an amnesty to some militants for a lingering militant crisis?
Please, Sir, for the avoidance of doubt, I am a Northern Muslim. I do not feel happy whenever I come across Nigerians who display ignorance about their country in a manner akin to foreigners; such foreigners who would suggest that a solution to Nigeria's problem is to divide the country into 2 - the Muslim North and the Christian South. If I may ask, who has ever known the population of Christians in the North, and Muslims in the South; do you know? What is even the population of Nigeria, who knows; with the type of censuses that the FGN's "census" would state that Lagos State has less than 10 million while Lagos' State Govt's "census" would provide a figure of over 17 million? Then Mr or Mrs UN would just extrapolate from whatever is at its disposal and quote just any figure.
Please, Sir, I assume that you are acting on your own, not fronting for any agent-provocateurs. Otherwise, I would not be reacting. First of all, you demonstrated so much ignorance about the purpose for the creation of man, hence, you are also either ignorant of his history or you have deliberately chosen to demonstrate such ignorance for reasons yet to be determined. Thus, it would seem that you want an easy way out. I am sorry, Sir, there is no easy way out of Nigeria's problems some of which are not of Nigerian origins; don't try to deceive the Ibos or Southerners for whom you are posturing as a voice, so that you do not inadvertently deceive the world in the process.
A genuine approach to solving Nigeria's problem would require some degree of circumspect that is strongly rooted in sincerity, and emboldened by a sound educational background that has great respect for some knowledge of human history; especially, as it affects the history of precedence, and foresight. All these would have to be evidently grounded in selflessness, as against the objective of attaining cheap popularity.
Sir, you must know that it is not the nature of man to be uni-directional in anything he does. Thus, you must look round before you talk. The World of the Angels is different from the World of Mankind; the angels lack the inherent capacity to deviate from Truth and Righteousness, while Man is granted a Limited Free Will, by virtue of which he can do what he likes and be made to account for his actions. This is God's decree which was promulgated out of His abundant wisdom, with neither a Senate nor House of Representatives. And it will remain so.
I have no doubt in my mind that Mr Okonkwo has hardly ever visited Northern Nigeria; at least not in the last decade. You are only a news reader. Even then, Sir, you seem to be reading only news about the North; those aspects of Northern news that fit your pre-conception. Otherwise, you would have known, by now, that most Northerners are more worried than you about these problems which are not limited to the North and most of which are not of Northern origin. How would Mr Okonkwo rate the animal act of the recent gang raping at Abia State University; with the perpetrators video-recording such an act and broadcasting it around the civilised world, and then the State Govt had the affront to declare that it was fake? What was your contribution in the Sahara media to this incident that happened in front of your house? this was not an isolated incident.
Sir, we should not assess the World of Man as if we were in the angelic world. It is normal, in man's world, for example, for the US (the World Police Force, the Father and Mother of Democracy and Human Rights)to Veto the Palestinian bid for Independence (She is posed to do so and the world believes she would do so) and also withdrew its contributions to UNESCO for accepting Palestinian membership. It would sometimes use UN (that is responsible for preventing wars)to attack any country of its choice, and sometimes it went ahead to do so of its own accord. Yet all these countries (The Palestinian nation which is older than the US, Israel that has undergone metamorphosis at different times, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Germany, Italy, Japan, etc)have continued to meet on the same floor of the UN; such a thing is normal in the Human World only, where we live.
Sir, with due sincerity, anybody who is alive to his responsibilities should have known by now that the World of Humans is passing through a tumultuous stage since the last 2 decades or there-about; Nigeria is only having its own share of the global turbulent crises which cut across political and socio-economic spheres. So, no matter how aggrieved we feel on some sensitive issues, we should endeavour to express such feelings with maturity. Nigeria is an Artificial creation which was permitted by Nature and may have come to stay. So, let us think more about how we can help the system to positively manage our diversity.
Lastly, the Mandela advice: Nigerians should be wary of people who seek for cheap popularity by designing easy ways out of our complex national problems as a result of Intellectual Laziness. A Complex Problem requires a Complex Solution.
Thank you, Sir, Mr Okonkwo and Sahara Reporters, for giving me this opportunity.
Muhammad Ibn Umar