By Okanga Agila
Madness has no defined pattern. To insist on orderliness in insanity is asking for the impossible or the Biblical camel passing through the eye of a needle. I also know that personal idiosyncrasies cannot be garbed in general conviction for every person.
What has got me thinking is the insistence of Northern youths on the rightness of the three months quit notice they issued Nd’igbo resident in Northern Nigeria to relocate to their ancestral Southeast region of Nigeria. More arcane is the inclination of these youths to insult, hurl invectives and lampoon anybody who does not share this barbaric thought.
The latest signals from these Northern youths on intolerance against opposing voices to their recipe for violence and destabilization of Nigeria is the umbrage against a prominent Northerner. The iconic Nigerian and international business tycoon, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who is Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group came into their baseless crossfire when he counseled them to have a rethink over such manifest pomposity. So, the youths imagined that they have a greater stake in Northern Nigeria than Dangote.
Nothing is impossible in Nigeria. When Dangote pleaded with Nigerians to ignore the so called Arewa youths, who issued eviction order to the Igbos in the North as inconsequential, the near faceless northern youths went berserk, crazily insulting a man who is unpretentiously a pillar of their survival as a people and a region.
A public statement issued by the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) through its spokesman, Abdul-Azez Suleiman, these demented Northern youths described Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man in very despicable terms.
Nothing can ever be so disheartening like this apparent display of ingratitude and debauchery by these crooked Northern youths, incensed for inexplicable reasons. What I cannot fathom is that much as people have reasons for their madness or remain dogmatic in silliness, it is idiotic to compel followership by force. The weird thought that everybody must coercively accept the excuse or reason for certain genus of madness as exuded by CNG is not tenable anywhere.
Any attempt to decipher the mission of the statement on Dangote by these patently demented Northern youths leaves me with a nagging dilemma. I am really confused because youths claiming the toga of the conscience and voice of a large region like Northern Nigeria display the least grasp of the traditional afflictions of the region.
No one knowledgeable about the North would claim its problem is barrenness of morality. Morality has no placement in the science of development or the econometrics of the region. It is sloth and the unbridled appetite for violence, as even presently canvassed by the Northern youths that is the burden of the North. That’s why it is largely undeveloped. Islam or Christianity has taken care of moral values in the North.
If the North is presumed poor as they have canvassed, it’s because the youths have refused to copy the Dangote example, who, as a budding, energetic young man, traversed the nooks and crannies of Nigeria trading in small wares. And today, his business has appreciated in leaps and bounds, to place it high on the list of world recognized business conglomerates.
And like self-indictment, the youth’s preachments on upholding Northern values and its abuse by people like Dangote dissects and exposes their poverty of the mind. Nigerian borders are very porous, particularly in the North and so aliens, smuggle themselves into the country.
And the Northern youths strike me like such people. This is how Nigeriens illegally migrated into Nigeria and left us with Boko Haram insurgency. The insistence of members of the CNG on lighting up a conflagration in the North and Nigeria compels my deep suspicion in this direction.
And there are proofs. Precisely, if members of CNG are truly Northerners, they would understand that the culture of its people pay utmost respect and regard to elders. Even those influenced by drugs know the limits of madness and could not do as little as point a finger at an elder, much more unleash insults like the perverse minds in the CNG delight in doing. And like Dangote rightly qualified, just to earn underserved relevance.
The Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello never at any point canvassed such volatile or dissenting views on Nigeria. He preached peace and love; lived and died for the progress of the North and the unity of Nigeria. So, where have they borrowed the ideology of violence as means of resolution of disputes, on which platform they have tethered their present campaigns of hate against the Igbos or any group in Nigeria?
Dismissing Dangote as inconsequential is immaterial. He does not need their endorsement or consent to preside over his global business empire. The idea of patriotism is subjective; So, if the youths believe that the resort to hate speeches, segregation and campaigns for Nigeria’s break-up is patriotism, Dangote and millions of other Northerners do not believe in it, period!
They can go ahead and lick their wounds, but should neither drag others into their nightmare nor expect sympathy from sane minds. When they talk of Professor Ango Abdullahi in patriotic terms because of his support of their destructive intentions, it makes me seek.
Much I would not like to drag his personality into mud, it suffices to say, he remains the only Northerner of repute who has openly supported the insanity of the CNG. Even at that, he has done it criminally, by usurping the platform of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), taking undue advantage of his position as Spokesman of the group. NEF has widely disowned his comments on the eviction order to Igbo. If characters like Ango Abdullahi are the Northern elders CNG worship, it means the future of the North is irretrievably gambled to vultures.
And it is understandable. In the first place, the CNG membership itself is packaged on fraud because when you have Northern grandfathers and uncles above the age of sixty or septuagenarians’ , claiming to be youths for the sake of railroading a selfish and armchair revolution, they have no option than to support debased elders. So, the natural option is to make loud noise to be noticed, while they veil the fraudulence.
At their ages, Dangote had already become a notable name in business in Nigeria and Africa. Today, the Dangote Group has created countless jobs for idle youths like them all over Nigeria. And Northern youths are the majority beneficiaries. If the verbal restlessness of CNG members is a result of idleness, they are free to approach any of his companies for engagement. What will keep destroying the North is when youths spend productive age and hours spreading hate campaigns instead of investing in productive and lucrative ventures.
I do not see how the Igbos quitting the North would make its economy better. The solution is in productivity whether in business or farming. And Dangote is a model in this respect and CGN members shall do their souls some good if they emulate him.
History and posterity will gleefully remember Dangote as one Northerner who opened the doors of development and progress in the North. But on the flipside, these CNG members shall only be gloomily remembered as apostles of violence.
It’s unfortunate that the loquaciousness’ of CNG members has laid bare their cursed senses. Initially, Nigerians thought they had genuine convictions. But on the contrary, like IPOB’s leader Nnamdi Kanu, I now know violent youth activism in Nigeria is propelled by hunger and joblessness.
I plead with Dangote to get some trailer trucks ready for these idle CNG members to work, hauling cement, sugar and rice from his factories to markets around Nigeria for us to have some peace.
Working and indeed, hard work is the only way to develop and free the North from poverty, and not the hoopla of disintegration. While the Southeasterners’ have not abandoned the traditional occupation of their forefathers, like trading in “Okporoko” (stock fish); their half-educated counterparts in the North, especially in the CNG have forgotten the traditional occupation of our forefathers-cattle rearing and farming. Until they return to these, there can never be peace in their souls, but they cannot plunge the North nay Nigeria into violence.
Finally, Dangote is a self -fulfilled man in business and wealth. He has never been interested in politics, even now. He has been prodded several times to pick up Nigeria’s Presidency on a platter of gold, but he rejected it. He has no Trumpian instincts, which are only known to American’s in President Donald Trump. So, the grandparents camouflaging as youths in CNG should focus their tenuous and vindictive energies elsewhere.
Okanga, a traditional warrior contributed this piece from Agila, Benue State.