The graphic of the results of the Presidential elections on Saturday on Nigeriaelections.org provokes much thought. In a way, it reminds immediately one of the two Nigerias of colonial times - the north ruled on the QT via the convenience of the native authorities, the south heavily focused on Lagos as the commercial hub, with a completely different kind of colonial officer in each place. In the north, enthusiastic slightly waify Oxbridge-types, keen to learn hausa and wander around their domain on horseback. In the south, altogether more mercantile brutal deal-cutting types.
At least in the early to mid twentieth century, there was a balanced fiscal framework for Nigeria, with taxes from groundnuts, cocoa and palm oil going directly to the North, South-West and South-East respectively. The heavy reliance on oil revenues and the resulting resource curse since the 1970s has eroded all other sectors of the economy. The heavy CPC vote can be explained in many different ways - as a vote against abandoning zoning and a vote for a northern leader. On another level however, its a cry of pain from millions of wasted lives. The North desperately needs a viable development solution. It probably also needs fresh blood and fresh leadership. Where will the northern version of Fashola come from and when?