Restructuring: ‘The North’ Must Jump, Not Wait To Be Pushed

Prof. Ango Abdullahi

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the recent treasonable quit order issued by some so-called northern youth groups who asked Nigerians of Igbo ethnic origin to leave the northern part of the country by October 1, 2017.
We are also of the view that the support for the group’s block-headed order by their backers – open and clandestine – is condemnable. We are especially shocked that a former Vice Chancellor (VC) of the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, now a chieftain of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), came out of the woodwork to validate the youth’s secessionist order with the moral authority – for all that is worth in contemporary Nigeria – of the ACF .
If the youth lose their heads, archetypal mores demand of elders to call them to order. Prof. Ango Abdullahi’s endorsement therefore must be seen as what it is – a discretion of old age and the peerless wisdom expected of it.
All educated minds expect a chasm of excellent difference between the thoughts and conducts of a former VC of a university cum a man of advanced age like Prof. Ango Abudullahi, and an unlettered Mairuwa (water vendor). Prof. Ango Abudullahi’s utterances on the illegal order are clearly at variance with his advertised level of education as a professor and experience as an accomplished academic, public administrator, etc. over the years. These ought to have combined to make him into a fine mind from which deep, elevated, nation-building thoughts emanate.
Here the egg can claim to be smarter than the hen. Prof, Ango Abdullahi’s backing for the conducts of the errant ‘northern youths’ calls to question his claims to erudition and the right to an exalted pedestal among our nation’s pantheon of statesmen and stateswomen. To paraphrase Nietzsche, Ango Abdullahi has repaid his teachers badly by remaining a pupil. He snatches disgrace from the jaws of honour. With elders like him in charge of the region’s affairs, we see no glimmer of hope for Northern Nigeria.
The bright minds of “the North” (Following the strident disclaimers which trailed the leave order, we advise the reader to qualify the geographical, ethnic and class stretch of ‘the North’ as this seemingly all-encompassing nomenclature for everybody of Northern Nigeria’s origin is doubtful, even amorphous. As it stands today, ‘the North’ means various things to various people, e.g. ‘North West’, ‘Northern Political Elites’ “the Fulani Hegemony” , “the Northern Ruling Class”, etc, depending on user and intent of use. )
Proud scions of “The North” must reclaim their region from people like Ango Abdullahi; it is an urgent, patriotic duty for all of Arewa, especially the youths with good heads on their shoulders.
With its historical and political symbolism, we find it curious that the so-called “northern youths” made that illegal order from Arewa House, Kaduna. This parallels a situation where, say, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) makes a subversive order from Chatham House, London or even No 10 Downing Street!
It is also shocking that the so-called “northern youths” set the appropriation of all Ndigbo property, landed and otherwise, as their ultimate prize, and raison d’etat, for the thoughtless order! These youths are certainly barbarians! If not, they would know that a disembowelled Nigeria does not automatically rob anyone of their rights to their legally acquired properties outside his or her region of origin. The only way this could occur is if the Northern Nigeria of these primitive youths will be a self-sufficient, closed Banana Republic where no foreigner shall own any property.
For the enlightenment of these cave-age youths and their allies, let it be known that in the very unlikely situation of Nigeria’s disintegration, properties hitherto owned by ‘former Nigerians’ and others in any part of the defunct country remain their lawful possessions. This is guaranteed by global conventions. All the ‘new countries’ post-Nigeria, including Northern Nigeria, can only nationalise or seize these foreign-owned properties to their own peril.
The era of “abandoned property” is gone for good, for the loss of such properties can only be temporary. The robbed property owners shall simply drag your ‘new country’ before a court in Europe or the United States (U.S.) in a class action suit to get full value for their properties. And since your ‘new country’ would have received the share of its Nigerian patrimony, including landed properties in other parts of the world, these would simply be turned over to those you robbed of their properties as full recompense for your primitivism!
The claim that the so-called northern youth’s order was calculated political brinkmanship in the face of secessionist agitations in the South-East is untenable and at best silly. If this is the way “northern youths” want to play politics in 21st Century Nigeria, then the region is doomed, for its future – the youths – are simply badly prepared and ill-equipped for Nigerian politics in this century, unlike their illustrious progenitors. Sir Ahmadu Bello and Alhaji Aminu Kano must be turning in their graves!
Some have also claimed that the so-called “northern youths” issued the matching order to Ndigbo because of the clamour for a restructuring of Nigeria, which, in their warp logic, is aimed at emasculating “the North”. Their faulty reasoning goes thus: ‘Ndigbo are behind the call for restructuring. If we expel them from the North, then Nigeria will continue as usual, but only this time without the Igbo.” The profundity of this thoughtlessness is striking.
We dare predict that any pull-out of the smallest ethnic group in Nigeria from the federation shall signal the beginning of the end for our corporate existence as one, indivisible nation.
This newspaper supports the call for the restructuring of Nigeria (For our position on restructuring, see The Dream Daily editorial of June 2016 titled, “Nigeria, Perestroika, New Vision, New Nation.” This is available at:
It is clear to all reasonable Nigerians and aliens in this country that Nigeria is not working as currently structured, and that a fundamental rejig of its structures is a foregone conclusion if the nation is to survive as a corporate entity. Anyone who cannot deal with this simple fact is only in denial and likely benefits from the current corrupt, crumbly structure of Nigeria.
In truth, those who oppose the restructuring of Nigeria are only interested in the pecuniary gains they get from this nation as it is today – a bumbling giant hanging on precariously to the fast diminishing crude oil in the Niger Delta and the daily shrinking petro-dollar the country eke out of oil. However, the rape of a region’s natural resource by the rest regions cannot be the only basis for nationhood in the 21st Century.
It is in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians to restructure this country. No region will benefit more or less from restructuring Nigeria along true, total fiscal and physical federalism. If indeed “the North” is in fear of restructuring, we say this fear is misplaced.
Any opposition to restructuring from “the North” can only make other parts of the country clamouring for it to dig deeper into their trenches, even as it will also feed the widely circulated narrative of the parasitic dependence of Arewa on Niger Delta’s oil in particular and southern resources in general. The bright minds of Northern Nigeria origin must accept this claim as false, and prove it by getting “the North” back on the tract of sustainable development using the region’s huge human and natural resources in a fiscally and physically restructured Nigeria.
Indeed, “The North” must jump at restructuring Nigeria, and not wait to be pushed to accept the inevitable. The controlled fall is better than a free fall.

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