The North Vs South-South


“And except God intervenes in our national irresponsibility (we’ve overworked him all these years) Nigeria is dancing on the floor of EXTINCTION” – Yinka.

What is playing out is a case of two extremes tugging viciously at the core of our unresolved national question: At one end is a section who has never held power, but has now fortuitously got into the realpolitik of the power configuration for the first time, and is therefore fiddling within that space for an appropriate engagement or containment strategy. At the other end is one who has always held power, is used to its spoils and its advantages, but is not used to being out of that space, especially given that power is its only claim to the commanding height, and is therefore fighting tooth and nail to retrieve what is considered a precious asset.

When the president of a nation is busy talking like the spokesman of MEND, denying and affirming positions like an insider, holding meetings with over a hundred Niger Delta militants, and constantly reminding the nation of his Ijaw origin and the oil wealth that is located there.

When an Ijaw elder statesman quickly jumps into the fray and talks like the new landlord, with the key to the villa in his pocket, and when another with a distinguished University of Ibadan education, one who had served the nation among others as a CBN Governor, a Minister, a frontline ‘one nation, one destiny, politician, and should otherwise be found within the ranks of true statesmen, is now issuing threats on behalf of his own narrow section, the situation is indeed pointing in very ominous directions.

What happened to that long-cherished political marriage between the North and the South-South? Has it always been a game of deceit, or the quest for power is tearing the marriage apart?

Meanwhile, standing in the middle is a country that has always pretended to be walking together in one destiny, but is now being pushed very recklessly and vociferously to the precipice. The country has come under the grips of strong and in some cases, misguided personal ambitions, ethnic protectionism, and a vicious political zero-sum game, all combining to further push the country down the hill.

It has merely taken issues surrounding an up-coming election and an independence day bomb blast to expose the underbelly of that phantom creation called Nigeria. How can a country continue to take these constant assaults and yet remain adamant about resolving the critical issues of nationhood? Things are unravelling right before our very eyes and it’s like we are all being reminded, once again, that everyone should really ‘carry his mother’s breasts’ (ki olomu d’omu iya e gbe).

Where lie the redeeming forces?

Diipo Famakinwa