To understand why there seems to be a Northern domination of the Nigerian polity (as against Hausa or Fulani domination which is a myth), one has to read and understand the principle of unity found in Genesis 11:6 which reads:
“The LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”
The above verse of Scripture is the bedrock of the seeming Northern dominance in Nigeria. You see, even if a people are more intelligent and educated than their neighbors, they will nevertheless serve those neighbors if they are not united and the neighbor is united because unity is greater than both education and intelligence.
To understand the Northern psyche, try to join several social media fora. In such fora, you will find that Southern Nigerians are very indiscipline in the way they use their words to run down their own leaders and people. Nothing is sacrosanct to them.
Southerners can and have insulted their political, traditional and spiritual leaders using some of the foulest language on earth. I know of young Southern Nigerians who have called former President Jonathan ‘pig’ and Southern elders who have called his wife a ‘hippo’ and others who have used the most insulting words on the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
When we behave like this, we show ourselves as pedestrian to our Northern brothers. We indicate that we are a people of a lower culture because no matter how educated you are, if you cannot respect your own fathers (whether they deserve respect or not) then you are lower than an illiterate who respects his father.
In Exodus 20:12, God commanded us to honor our father and our mother. He did not say we should honor them because they are honorable or because they deserve respect. He said we should honor them because He as God commands it. And he attached a promise to that command-“Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”
Northerners understand this principle. The principle is that you should honor your own father and mother, not your neighbor’s father and mother. They are honoring their fathers and their mothers and that is why God is ensuring that they “will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” That is why they are ruling and leading and deservedly so!
And if you notice, the average Northerner will join you a Southerner to insult your own leaders and fathers. If you want to insult ex President Jonathan, they will join you. If you want to insult Pastor Oritsejafor or his successor, Pastor Ayokunle, they will join you. If you want to insult the Oba of Benin or the Ooni of Ife, they will join you. Even if you want to insult Southern leaders like Chief Olu Falae and Afenifere or Alex Ekwueme and Ohana’eze Nd’Igbo or even Chief E.K. Clark and the South South People’s Assembly, they will join you.
However, the minute the matter shifts to Northern leaders or elders or traditional rulers, the Northerner will show the stuff he is made out of and will not join you in insulting his or her elders and institutions. It does not matter if that particular leader, elder or traditional ruler is more guilty of an offense than his Southern counterpart. As long as he is Northern, the average Northerner, commendably, has the discipline to respect his own.
I urge you, if you are a Southerner, to think back to all those Northerners who joined you to insult and rubbish then President Goodluck Jonathan. Are they doing the same to President Buhari? Are they supporting you when you call attention to the President’s misdeeds?
Where are those Northerners who left the North to sit down with you in Ojota to dance to Pasuma Wonder as you demonstrated against Jonathan for removing the subsidy on petroleum products? Did you hear even a whisper from them when President Buhari did even what Jonathan did not do and increased fuel without increasing salary? (Jonathan increased salaries before increasing fuel price).
Or have you noticed that they are making excuses for the President? Are you seeing that the same persons who joined you in rubbishing Dr. Jonathan are calling on you to exercise patience with President Buhari?
What about when the Sultan of Sokoto defended Fulani herdsmen and asked the media not to criminalize them and said that criminals who kill people during fights for grazing grounds are to be differentiated from herdsmen, did your Northern neighbors pounce on him the way you pounced on Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor when he called on Christians to defend themselves against the radical Islamic sect of Boko Haram?
I remember young Southerners who called Pastor Oritsejafor every evil and foul name in the world when he said that. They were gleefully joined by their Northern neighbors. But now that the case has been reversed, have those who joined you to rubbish pastor Oritsejafor invited you to do same to the Sultan? Of course not!
You see, when you sell your own mother for a penny, you cannot expect your neighbor to price her for a pound. And when your neighbor sets the price of his mother at a pound, he will never sell her to you for a penny.
Those Southerners on Twitter and Facebook who were championing the downfall of then President Jonathan are now providing excuses to justify the downfall of our beloved Naira from ₦225 to a dollar where Jonathan left it to ₦470 against the dollar today.
As vile as you and I down south consider the late General Sani Abacha to be, he is still beloved up North so much so that more monuments and facilities are named after him in the North than are named after any other Northerner with the arguable exception of the late Murtala Mohammed.
This is a man of whom it has been established beyond every reasonable doubt that he was a thief and not just a thief but a blatant one of whom billions and hundreds of millions of dollars of his loot are still being repatriated today. Yet, when our corruption hating President Muhammadu Buhari went to pay homage to him on the tenth anniversary of his death, he said and I quote: “Abacha never stole”!
Yet today, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, will arrest those who served in the previous administration and without providing any evidence, Southerners will deride and convict these people simply because an EFCC “source” leaked to the press that they are guilty!
So, to all those who called Jonathan, who gave us the third fastest growing economy in the world, a ‘pig’, you can now see that your neighbors who laughed with you when you did that know in their heart that you are the real ‘pig’ because they will never trust a man like you who insults his own mother and father to please his friend with any type of power.
They may not like me, but I assure you, if push comes to shove, they will prefer me and others like me because they know that a man who respects his father and mother is a man who understands power!
And that, my friend, is the reason for the seeming political dominance of Northern Nigeria over Southern Nigeria. They are united and, because of their unity, “nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”
By Reno Omokri
Omokri is the founder of the Mind of Christ Christian Center in California, author of Shunpiking: No Shortcuts to God and Why Jesus Wept and the host of Transformation with Reno Omokri