The northern stars would be well served to find its voice, and it would do well to find it before it is too late. The evil that you have condoned by your silence, every evil that you have stood by and allowed, shall one day find abode in your residence…
I could never make sense of Geography as a subject. I never passed or even came close, and I was only too happy to be rid of it the moment I was handed the opportunity. But I have never managed to forget about the Northern Star. Perhaps because the phrase escaped the confines of geography and is the global measurement of constancy and predictability, it is ingrained in my memory, but it has nothing to do with the geography lessons that I endured as a student in my youth.
I have borrowed the phrase for my literary exercise today, and I am using it with a double entendre in mind: the northern part of the Nigerian state, and its elite and middle classes are the ones that I have referred to as the Northern Stars, and they are the subjects of my exertions. I wish to speak to their constancy, which they have shared with the geographic northern star, in the hope that they might unlike the Northern Star, change their course, and save their lands.
Silence may be interpreted as consent, and the constancy in the configuration of the inconstant northern Nigerian stars, have been the silence of the north, even as the north is burning, and even as the fire issuing from the north, is burning down the Nigerian state. The north has been constantly and predictably silent. The northern parts of Nigeria was once the most peaceful of its parts, and it was also the part that exhibited the least of the fractious tendencies of the remaining parts. This is no longer the case, and the north is today the poster child of Nigerian insanities.
The North East is a theater of war, and vast swathes of its lands are in the hands of one terrorist insurgent group or the other. The northwest has become the roaming fields of Fulani gunmen, bandits, and terrorists. The north central, the Nigerian food basket, has become a killing field for Fulani militias, and the River Benue flows red, with the blood of the innocent. The Plateaus of Jos and the Mambilla, have blood flowing freely from the orgies of violence and bloodletting that has overtaken it. The north is burning, and it is burning up the rest of Nigeria.
Human societies have always been propelled by selfish interests. Humanity has not advanced as a function of altruism, but when selfish interests are not enlightened, human societies have been destroyed. Hegemonic powers have always shaped the trajectories of states, and the history of every country would reveal the dominance of one hegemony or the other; Nigeria is not an exception, and it has been the subject of the northern hegemony from the days of the British colonialists. Question is; how has Nigeria fared under the hegemony of the north?
Societies are not destroyed by the actions of evil men, it has always been destroyed by the silence of the good and the indifferent. The Nigerian state is dying under the weight of national hypocrisy, but the constant indices remains the silence of the northern stars. As the north is ravaged by Islamist terrorism, Fulani lawlessness, banditry, and unbridled criminality, the one thing that has been constant is the silence of the northern stars.
When Nnamdi Kanu was abducted and brought back to face the injustices of the Nigerian Criminal justice system, the imbecilic Atanni General was deliberate in announcing his capture in the language of those whose prerogatives he threatens, and the murderous invasion of Sunday Igboho’s home was a continuation of the heavy handed response of the Nigerian state to the demands of the southern parts of the country for equity and justice. The north cheered as though it had won the peace, and as though these actions were of consequential benefits to the traumatized peoples of Zamfarastan, and one would be forgiven for thinking that Kankara is located in Abia State. In the cauldron of your religious intolerance, you have birthed Boko Haram, and today, ISWAP has gained a foothold in the north, and your endorsement of nepotism amidst the failure to educate the next generation, has emboldened the Dan Keremis of this world. Your silence renders you complicit.
The northern stars would be well served to find its voice, and it would do well to find it before it is too late. The evil that you have condoned by your silence, every evil that you have stood by and allowed, shall one day find abode in your residence. The mad men being ignored today, the insanities being cheered, and the evils being condoned in the cauldron of northern class complicity, which has held tongues and stilled consciences, shall one day be sufficient to go round. Breakfast shall be served hot and fresh, to everybody, soon enough. It is not enough that you have not endorsed the madness, know that your silence has rendered you complicit in the ongoing crimes against humanity in Nigeria. Shikena!