Nigerian Myth 101: The South's Poverty Is The North's Fault?

by Paul I. Adujie

I abhor corruption! It deprives the world of resources needed for common good or greater good for all Nigerians. Because Nigeria is dear to my heart and because Nigeria is where my heart is, the mention of Nigeria and corruption in the same sentence riles and agitate me inordinately

It gets worse when fellow Nigerians attempt through their holier than thou proclamations, insist that one region wrought corruption, underdevelopment and all other ills on Nigeria while the morally pristine regions, just stood by helplessly and looked!

In the heated agitations for resource control, there is an increased frenzy of accusations being traded by prominent agitators and politicians from the North and South “DIVIDE”

The resource control “champions” with their “us versus them” emotive argumentations would want the world to believe that corruption is an Hausa-Fulani word invented and perfected by Nigerians from the North and Nigeria’s current underdevelopment is solely the responsibility of “those” North people alone, after all, they produced military heads of government frequently enough!

So that you hear corruption being perpetrated you are required to believe it is Nigerian from the North that is doing it? Next that you learn of a corrupt police officer in Nigeria, think “those” Northerners”

The next time we learn about a state governor that thought it a good thing to celebrate his father’s birthday in three continents, you must think of those Northerners and you must happily ignore the fact that the domain over which this governor presides, receives more revenue from federal government, based on the new increases derivation formula and yet no better roads or public facilities, but why bother to analyze all these when it is a lot easier to believe those from the North are the ones depriving Edo state of good roads and all the other goodies made possible for Northerners with petrol money? Someone should show me what is better in Warri, Port Harcourt or Benin and Akure or Owerri? Since the higher 13% derivation formula was implemented.

I am quite conversantly aware of the impact of oil exploration and exploitation, hence “good corporate citizenship and responsibility, America compared to Nigeria”

I remain opposed to winner takes all …. derivation formula…. what did they add, what value did they add to crude oil? And this, “us versus them” North versus South arguments is disservice!

I believe in one Nigeria and advocates of derivation formula are toggling with disintegration, especially with their current attitude and ultimatums. I have in the past referred to the chicken and golden eggs and pollution of ponds and farmlands while suggesting full and complete compensation be paid, as well as needed development to oil producing areas.

I have also previously commented on environmental degradation ought to be avoided, or completely compensated, or in the alternative, Nigeria must ensure, that those whose domain house the chicken that lays our national golden eggs, are fed cared for adequately; Pollution in fish ponds, farmlands are eliminated. And side effects as consequence of gas flaring are tackled. Oil exploration and exploitation must be conducted in the most environmentally friendly method possible, given the current state of science and technology.

All Nigerians, especially the political leadership and the elite must stop manipulating the average Nigerians, they must stop leaving acid of hatred in the blood of poor gullible Nigerians, as these political leaders and elite, always appear to collude to engender bad feelings, mutual suspicions, with their regular trade marks, with their Us versus Them arguments, which is frequently how both sides have presented the pros and cons of resource control in Nigeria, which at best, delicate an issue, just as it requires looking beyond today, and looking at the big picture! “

The truth is, when national infrastructure decay from wanton and unbridled neglect, as a result of decades of abandonment by our local, state and federal governments, the consequences are borne by all Nigerians, regardless of origin, birth or state and region of residence, and this reminds me again, that a constitutional amendment is needed to abolish and make illegal, the origin, settler and citizen dichotomies, a Nigerian citizen is a Nigerian citizen is a Nigerian citizen!

The effect of bad governance affects all Nigerians with equal deprivations, damaged roads left in disrepair and the resulting crater-like gullies that persisted on Nigerian highways for decades and accidents on these unsafe roads are not selective as to effect!

Road accidents has claimed many Nigerian lives regardless of region or religion , the only difference may only be that roads in Niger Delta and rain forest region are liable to completely disintegrate, as flood speeds up broken surfaces and when neglected as many of our roads have been in past two decades, all Nigerians travel through our bad roads!

Nigeria Airways no longer flies for either Northerners or for Southerners, it no longer flies for Nigerians period!

Nigerians ought to see the national tragedy in our failure to recognize our failures, but instead we engage in uselessly futile efforts of finger pointing and blame games

Nigerians must rethink of the effects of our attitudes towards other Nigerians. Nigerians must make conscious efforts towards national cohesion as replacement for divisiveness and winner takes all dispositions of the prodigal son mindsets.

If Nigerians must engage in blame games, Nigerians must then blame Nigerians, And not Northerners and or Southerners as some sorts of distinct evil group from mars or even hell?

We must learn to treat our afflictions and our ills as a collective, it utterly useless to pretend that our ills are caused only by a particular region of Nigeria, it simply absurd! We should instead look for solutions without compounding our ills with sectionalizing them. Our challenges are no fault of Cameroonians or Ghanaians. That means, solutions would not be by them or come from them

A Nigerian Minister who is inept or Customs officer who demands graft, police officers, Bankers etc and all who would engage in bad business or professional practice are unworthy Nigerians, they are not Northerners/Southerners, Such persons are just perverse opportunists!

All Nigerians must stop the current holier-than-thou attitudes, because as it is, when Nigeria wins, we all win!

Northerners and Southerners who indulge themselves in the heightening of tensions in our land, those who exemplify and exacerbate disunity among Nigerians, are not doing Nigeria any favors!

Some Nigerians are in total denial, the sorts that permit them to conclude lazily and falsely, that Nigeria’s myriad challenges currently being faced are caused by Northerners

The truth is in fact that problems of mismanagements are caused by all bad leaderships and leadership is not limited to whoever is president and that means previous presidents of Northern or Southern origins, middle level executives, decision makers and implementers, managers at all levels etc, true, leaders set the tone, but there is more.

It is greedy and lazy to think, even though, petrol exists without the efforts and with no value added, by residents or citizens of oil producing states, other than mere accident of birth? They somehow should own or control a disproportionate share of Nigeria’s oil wealth?

Why demand mere compensation for pollution and environmental degradation when you can unreasonably insist that the national resource under your domain was ordained by God for you and you alone?

Whenever now we

think corrupt Customs officials? we must assume a reference to those Nigerians from the North, hey it is just a matter of convenience abi? Adamu, Bala Kachalla etc are the corrupt Nigerians and not Amadi or Bola and Onome?

And of course armed robberies and other social vices in Nigeria are caused by those Nigerians from the “Wrong” side of town and country? Those Northerners are ubiquitously virtue-less

The former IGP who currently facing charges and trial for corruption must surely be from you guessed it? The North!

But seriously, why do Nigerians continue to persist in the hoax and delusion that permit some of them to be in brazen denial? The sort of total denial that enables some to conclude that our myriad challenges have been caused by a particular region and ethnic group?

You may also like


Muheeb Adesile July 3, 2007 - 9:38 am

true federalism & not this mess we seemingly abandoneed ourselves in! let the federating units get stronger & nigeria would be better for it. u can only cherish what u work hard to earn. let each region or whatever it is called develop its potentials, which am sure would be guarded jealously. we did it before, we can do it again!

Anonymous January 17, 2006 - 8:28 am

Since Nigeria is dear to your heart, why do you live in New York

Anonymous July 19, 2005 - 1:25 pm

This is a lame argument from a typical Northerner on the issue of resource control. The bottomline of all the commentaries on resource control is why the North is so passionately against the 25 formula being demanded by the South-south. The million dollar question therefore is this: Do the Northerners think they will perish if the South-southerners get the 25 formular If the answer is no then the North should join the rest of Nigeria in supporting the quest of the S/south. But if the answer is yes then it's a big shame!


Leave a Comment