By Ena Ofugara
One of my father’s favourite idioms is “the taste of the pudding is in the eating”. Okay, I did not know what pudding was as a kid and could not ask him then. Jay Z has a different way of putting it. He says “check the scoreboard. So today, while I have been at the forefront of people saying we southerners are getting it wrong, I want to taste the pudding or check the scoreboard between the North and South and really find out whose ways unltimately is good for their people and land.
First, let me itemize the things we complain the south does and what the North does instead that we seem to envy.
1. The south has no respect for elders
2. The south has no respect for religious leaders
3. The south allows her corrupt sons and daughters to be jailed
4. The south is disunited.
Again, I confess to be the champion of this school of thought. I have written endlessly of demonization of Okotie Eboh, Cecilia Ibru etc etc. However, man must continue to question his own assertions and reasoning especially in the face of data.
One of my closest Facebook inboxers inspired this post. He is Igbo and he is abroad. He said to me “Ena, even if Hausa-Fulani have all the oil and money in the country, they will never compare to southerners. There is nothing about their way and religion to admire”.
Now let us look at the scoreboard. The latest is the recent WAEC result. ALl the SOuth Eastern states were top ten. Delta and Edo were eight and third. These areas are the areas that the people are never given a pass on corruption or easily employed or appointed. Lagos was sixth.
With all the things we praise the North for, how well did they do? Are those things we envy not the very reason for their continued backwardness?
No really, when an Emir can marry six year old girls and not be questioned,
When Alhaji ALhaji can take all Nigeria’s wealth to invest in south Africa
When that oil billionaire Muhammed Idimi can take oil wealth he can use to develop the North to dash 14 million dollars to Lynn University in RICH RICH Florida when Unimaid is suffering.
These attitude of Northern Billionaires negates their ownership of 90 percent of our oil wells. Yet their people do not criticize them. RANKA DEDE greets them.
But our own millionaires, even if it is drugs from Malaysia, or as is often the case, hardwork from snow, they bring the wealth home and send a brother and a sister to school. They establish small scale industries and shops. They build hostels near universities.
So again, check the scoreboard. With the North owning all our oil, check Borno, check Yobe, check Katsina, now compare it to any state in the south. With all the gerrymandering that gives their empty local governments allocations, how developed are they?
The truth remains that “WHERE PEOPLE HAVE A CULTURE THAT MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO QUESTION THEIR LEADERS, DEVELOPMENT WILL HARDLY EXIST” Imagine Shetima is being projected for president when if he was in the south, his second tenure would have hung in the balance. Such is the North.
It is in this light that I smile now that Ibori is being challenged. After his initial welcome, Deltans are questioning him and his decisions. This is not the North. We do not worship men.
So yes, we may talk about Northern Unity. But at what cost? We may envy them as they defend their theives, but what has it done for them? We may envy their owning of all the oil wells, but does that make the average Aminu better than the average Uche or Yinka?
If only PETER OBI can be president. If only. They aren’t better than us. PETER OBI CAN BE PRESIDENT.