May 17, 2021

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What the North Needs to Consider

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RESTRUCTURING

The agitation for restructuring is gaining currency by the day, as the Federation seems not to be working. The earlier we identify a workable solution and negotiate with other sub regional groups the better.

THE FALLACY OF “ONE NORTH”
There is no longer a one monolithic North. With religious, political and social tensions across the North, the differences between the diversed peoples of the North, are so pronounced that we cannot continue to deceive ourselves that we are one, when there is mutual distrust and suspicion. The three geopolitical zones that made up the former Northern region could be experimented as separate entities in a restructured country.

ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION
Climate change and unsustainable human activities such as open cast mining, over- cultivation and over- grazing have combined to wreck havoc on the once fertile and arable lands of the North. When the land can no longer sustain the traditional economic activities of the people, migration to the cities and southwards into other territories as well as banditry will increase.

POPULATION EXPLOSION
How northern population is growing exponentially without commensurate improvement in the economy is a source of concern. A situation where the average number of people per head or per family or household may be about 10, with only one bread winner, will only exercerbate poverty, illiteracy and disease. These are leading causes of insecurity which is now manifesting itself in communal clashes, kidnappings, insurgency, begging and almajiri phenomenon. We must find a way of controlling our population per family.

RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM
There is an increasing level of religious extremism and intolerance between the major religions and also between the various sects of Islam in the North. Sometimes, these are expressed in violent ways leading to clashes. Some external forces are exploiting the situation to export some of their extremist ideologies which the youth embrace to start a violent campaign of establishing a puritanical utopian state. We. must find a way of tolerating each other and curbing extremist religious ideologies.

ELITE COMPLICITY
The elite that is made up of the aristocrats, beaurocrats, politicians and the business moguls have conspired to control the resources and political power at the Federal and states. The majority of the masses are left to wallow in abject poverty. The middle class is almost wiped out in the North. The ruling class is not doing much in education, industrialization, health care, infrastructure and employment. The development indices in the northern states are apauling, to say the least, compared to what is obtainable in the south. These elitist class must reduce their selfishness and begin to identify with the rest of the people.

Engr. Abdurrazaq Nakore

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