Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Emir of Kano, is undoubtedly a man both in the know and of heady accomplishments.
Let me quickly do this even if it might sound repetitive of his colourful profile as is in public domain.
Before his ascension to the throne of Kano Emirate, he was a career banker of no mean repute which he capped off as the governor of the apex bank in Nigeria.
He is alert and articulate too and always prepared to bare his mind on issues in national development in a manner that is sure to excite and gets us all talking.
So, as a public policy formulator and analyst he has scarcely failed us.
And that I strongly believe is not about to change anytime soon even as he takes on additional role of an opinion leader by the virtue of his new traditional office.
Of course, he has consistently been vocal over societal problems bedevilling the north especially since assumption of office.
Not long ago, he called attention to the fact that north has the most shambolic education system in the country.
In keeping up with that high tradition, the latest assertion from his ever busy intellectual cum analytic mill is that “northern Nigeria is the poorest globally; and that if Nigeria should break up it would be the worst hit”.
Another proof you might say of his ability to engage us with some good stuff time and again; and a good addition too to his cache of frank thoughts on Nigeria though it is tendentious to the north yet again which is understandable.
All these I believe are meant to be a call to action from the northern elites.
After all, charity they say begins at home!
But in my candid view, in a way this recent summations concerning the socio-political and economic present and destiny of the core north are largely pessimistic and dismissive of her potential for greatness.
Yes there are plenty of grounds for concerns in the developmental evolution of the north in comparison to other regions in the country.
But does that warrant this alarming outburst?
While it’s an issue that might get quite a number of public affairs analysts thinking and talking, I nevertheless do not think it is rich enough in newsy substance that should make us lose our sleep.
It is clearly a chase after the shadow and hasty too if you ask me.
To start with, is he telling us what we do not already know?
The answer will be a categorical ‘NO’ both beneath and on the surface of it.
While Emir Lamido is understandably speaking from the economic standpoint the summations yet is clearly laden with inexhaustible layers of perspectives begging to be explored.
I live in the Nigeria space and I am more than conversant with both the stated and unstated factors indexed which may have led to his arguable position.
Basically, I think the statements merely beg undeserved sympathy and excuses for the north and at the same time portraying the other regions as a privilege few that must be continuously blamed or milked if you like to pay for the pervasive irresponsibility, bigotry, ineptitude, rigidity and mediocrity of the north.
Already we all know what it takes to be great or successful as an individual or nation:
Manage your scarce resources, save and increase your store of Wealth over time. Chikena!
This is in addition to the fact that poverty and richness are both relative terms.
Among others, we have material poverty which is an offshoot of lack of economic opportunity; artistic poverty which is due in part to the individual inability to use or excite their natural creative endowments.
The worst form of poverty, however, is poverty of the mind.
It is the deliberate or circumstantial inability of a people to develop the intellectual wherewithal necessary for productive engagements with the resources of nature and humans as it were.
Similarly, richness or being rich is the possession of certain values in significant quantity. So, we speak of moral, spiritual, monetary riches to mention a few.
It is a fact of life that nobody or nation is totally poor or rich.
In the unquestionable wisdom of God, creation it must be understood is based on the principle of compensation.
While an individual or country may have advantage in one area; it would nevertheless be disadvantage in one or more areas.
So, nations work more on their areas of comparative advantage.
It is then a foregone conclusion that nobody has it all.
Same applies to the north like the rest of the country.
Therefore the north cannot be the poorest in the world in view of her vast natural and human resources.
The much talked about poverty that is said to be rampant in that section of the country is a creation of both individual and collective choices.
The choices that overtime include illiteracy, ignorance, disease, religious bigotry, prevalence of rent seeking class, carpet-baggers, selfish political class that is more concern with their own welfare over and above that of the people.
As for whether the north would be the worst hit in case,
God forbids, of Nigeria's dismemberment; though an eventuality
some people make no secret of.
It is neither here nor there.
The only thing I know that will make any nation of people whether north or south suffer in the event of a worst case scenario as disintegration conjured up by analyst Lamido is the refusal from now on to embrace attitudes, principles, and work ethics that are catalysts for unhindered growth and development.
But if that is to occur, I personally do not buy into the alarming sentiments as echoed by Emir Lamido which presuppose that northerners are parasites who will die off ultimately without its Nigerian host.
The summations therefore are a clear indictment of the failure of northern leaders past and present who
all along have paid lip service to important issues of north's development as against their own personal well beings.
Instead, they have consciously fed the contributory trolls of underdevelopment that have now grown monstrously out of control down the years.
They equally have done not just the north but Nigeria as whole a world of great disservice.
Today, colonies of beggars now exist everywhere in the country which comprises of mainly elements from the north.
The problem of almanjeris is legendary.
At the root of it all is the problem of ignorance which is not abating yet because it readily plays into the hands of greedy and manipulative northern elites ever desperate to perpetuate itself in position of authority because of power, prestige and pecks that come with it.
No wonder they are always up in opposition to the mere mention of Nigeria falling apart even peacefully.
They would prefer to remain as parasites in a faulty federation where unitary system is passed off as a federal system because of their selfish interests.
While in any case I do not see the country falling apart any time soon which will bring to pass the Emir's worst fears.
I, however, hope and pray the north will do itself a favour by urgently moving to uproot all underdevelopment
Indicators and tendencies which include but not limited to ignorance, religious bigotry and beggary culture.
Otherwise, true to the Emir's fears we might just wake up one morning only to discover the country
is no longer there..
And by then it would be to thy tent o Israel!
But everything being equal I sincerely believe the north can hold its own even in the event of the much dreaded breakup of the Nigeria on the condition that things are done right henceforth.
One last thing, forget what you see as abject poverty or privation out there, the people of the north with their vast farmable land and work rate are a bunch of wonderful souls who are yet to fully grasp the measure of their greatness hence they are disposed to grovel at the feet of others who to them are more blessed.
So no cause for alarm comrades up north, I can assure you that Nigeria is not going to break up any time soon; and even if it does by whatever means I see you being the best hit contrary to the alarming conclusion of your erudite son, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.