Monday, April 18, 2011

North and South

The graphic of the results of the Presidential elections on Saturday on 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?


Oguro,  6:40 pm  

Nigeria desperately needs to be developed as a whole!!! not just the north.

Lesley,  6:52 pm  

It could just be the voice of an entitled people crying over their loss. The rivalry between north and south is very real. In 1912 one reason the two territories were amalgamted was because the north region had been consistently running at a deficit. The north has ruled Nigeria for almost 40 years. their people should not be poor or suffering and the last poverty figures I saw show poverty has been decreasing in the north for decades. Some folks I spoke to once asked an insightful question: if northern presidents could not been able to develop the north how do we expect or trust them to develop the whole country?

Chinenye,  7:00 pm  

Map of Presidential results at INEC hq showing PDP - CPC majorities in the country show a country cut in half #Nigeriadecides"....
This has been a source of strength in the past and can be tomorrow. Nigeria has always been on Top5 list of countries with muslim/christian population. Many families are mixed and have lived, inter-married in atmosphere of love. Then came Kano, Jos, Kaduna, ...

Chibundu 7:01 pm  

Don't forget that PDP got above 25% in a lot of Northern states, I know Katsina was one of these, Buhari's own state. It's not as simple as the North South divide. If anything the problem is in the South where PDP took as much as 98% of the vote in some states. People's minds need to be broadened down there.

However, CPC made a huge showing in Lagos, coming a respectable second so again, it goes to show that the results are not as polarised as would immediately meet the eye.

Fanen Ahua 2:35 am  

Were you sleeping when you wrote this? You surmise that "the results mean that the North needs a Fashola".


SAM E.,  12:45 pm  

The map does not tell the full story. There should be a different shade of colour where Jonathan got 25% and above in the North. The voters who make up the 25% and over that Jonathan got in the North are not aliens. They are Northerners. There is a generation growing up in the North that is not given to this polarized Nigeria that many would would want us believe is still there. The only problem I have with them is their silence anytime there is this stupid rampage going on.
How on earth did Buhari expect to be President by counting on only Northern votes considering that you need to have 25% votes in 2/3rd of the states and the FCT to be president. Like it or not Jonathan has a national mandate and the nation is not as divided as this map shows. The president campaigned in each state of the country and the fact is there are Northerners who voted for Jonathan because they indeed like him as president.

chuxsa,  3:06 pm  

Referendum anyone??? Looks like a map of a possible North and South Nigeria to me...

Godwyne 3:37 pm  

It should never be too bitter or too difficult for the northerners to accept the results. If Jonathan had been hand-picked or appointed into office, then they would have had the right to challenge his position but because he was elected by the people with an overwhelming victory over the other contestants, I think there is really little or nothing the northerners can do to oppose his leadership of the country. The northerners know that they could still challenge the results of the election through the courts and other legal opportunities. I hate to recommend a forceful stop to the violence but it is increasingly looking like that is the ONLY option at the moment, sadly so!


Anonymous,  7:35 am  

Though from the south, i voted for Buhari because i wanted a change from the PDP rule and he deserved a 2nd chance regardless of his past mistakes or sins.

I saw Nigeria as one, but with what happened in the North were 43 people dead including over 10 corpers, i have come to realize what Ghadaffi said earlier on as true; UNLESS THIS COUNTRY SPLITS, THERE WOULD BE NO PEACE BTW THE CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS.

Why would a certain people believe power belongs to them only? Kill at will..,,no shred of humanity in them? I wept as i listened to the rampage going on....the question is, WHO WOULD START THE REVOLUTION? Definitely not me, because i hate bloodshed but one day would come when the northerners would push we southerners to the wall and they would feel our wrath..& the ANIMALS IN HUMAN FLESH WOULD BE SEPARATED SO THAT THEY CAN CONTINUE TO LIVE IN THEIR BARBARIC EXISTENCE!

Anonymous,  6:15 pm  

all the world over is politics the same, I like this 'parable'and wish all africans room for a couple of beers

Melvin,  10:24 am  

This is the danger of "a simple story".
It conveniently sidesteps the fact that JG is an Ijaw, a minority even in the so called unified south.

It ignores the fact that ACN and CPC were hobbled by the last minute strategic failure of alliance talks.

I am from the west and I can tell you that from the poll of my friends, if that alliance had worked, the "south" would have voted with the north, just as it did with Abiola and Obasanjo.

Of all people, Jeremy should know that. This so called north-south dichotomy is mostly lazy thinking.

Jack 5:21 pm  

Nigeria, i believe is in need of desperate development as a whole like mentioned above. In terms of infrastructure it is seriously behind and i believe there is so much potential in Nigeria. The lack of these siimple thiings leads to mass emmigration and therefore brain drain

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