The North that is still Home to all… By Haruspice

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People like us dive into very controversial issues not because we do not fear the backlash but because we have to set certain records right and deconstrue agelong biases and prejudices. For fear of losing favour or being politically correct people look far away from speaking to truth. And whoever distant himself from the truth suffers the harvest of falsehoods.

I have lived life enough to say in Nigeria, we have been very unfair to ourselves. We coined dangerous prejudices of ourselves and live every year regurgitating our fault lines.

I will be as practical as possible in this piece; I have travelled around Nigeria to know the sociological framework of every region. The north with all the deliberate labels against her stands as one of the most cosmopolitan regions in Nigeria. It is in this same region you find almost all the tribes of Nigeria. As little as a child 40 years ago, I already knew tribes called Ibibio, Idoma, Jukun, Bendel, Tiv, Igbo, ikwere, Calabar, nupe who resided on my street in Zaria called Tudun Jukun. Yes, we had all these people enveloped by this Hausa land in Zaria. Guess what? For all the years together, they thrived in pursuant of their personal aspirations. Not for once were they Islamized. 40 years and counting, Uju, Yohana, Jijige, Nma, Chinwe that we all shared childhood memories on the street of Sani NTC Zaria are still Christians!

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I went to Ahmadu Bello University Zaria where I could pick Igbo language more than the Hausa language yet the school is cocooned in the belly of Zaria, a city of Hausas and more Muslim dwellers. Let me shock you, the time I spent there saw Eragbe Anslem an Edo guy as student president, Joshua Wang from Plateau as student president, Alex Mamchika Atta a Jukun guy student president, the only northern student leader Ahmed Terab didn’t even end his tenure! At the faculty level, we had Ikenna Oguejiofor from Anambra, Ata Asu from Cross River, Late Andy Okpee from Benue, Johnpaul from Plateau, John Tongshinen Gozhak from plateau, Isaiah Ifeanyi Osita from Anambra, Simon Ejembi from Benue as students presidents all in Zaria! All these people reigned supreme in a land considered intolerant to others. You may want to argue with the usual rhetoric that perhaps these guys made it top because of the academic docility of the host students, hell no, in almost all the classes we had northern guys leading in academic excellence.

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I took on this lane to bring forth the general unfair label that the north is an intolerable land infested by bigots and tribal irredentists. To be candid, the north wears more a befitting garment of tolerance than any region of the country. It is in the north you have the Eze Igbo of Kano, Oba of Yoruba of Sokoto, Obong of Calabar in Bauchi but a taboo to have the emir of Sudan in Edo, Sarkin Hausawa in Aba!

It is in the north you have assemblages of churches in almost every street but a sacrilege to have a central mosque in Onitsha, Ikot Ekpene, Langtang etc. You hardly hear the Muslims complain of being Christianize by the Christians that hold crusades, evangelism, prayer sessions, door to door outreach yet the Christians are quick to cry that the Muslims want to Islamize them! You use English to propagate your teachings, these people solemnize in muted tunes using the Arabic which you don’t even understand even if they mount the minaret yet you fear being converted. How can a Fulani herder who doesn’t even know the time of prayers succeed in Islamizing you that have all the padded intellect? Unfounded fears can make a learned mind collapse his thinking faculty. Never allow yourself to be manipulated by the merchants of antics.

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No region can dominate the other unless you sell your brains for pittance, only weak minds abandon their religion in search of supposed light. The light you desire is in your heart, I don’t need anyone to tell me about God when he is the air I breathe, the water that quenches my thirst and the grace that propels me! My religion is my God and everything he represents is my God. Stop hiding under religion to sustain your hate for fellow humans.

Frankly musing




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