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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Discourse 342. Professor Itse Sagay on Derivation: A Conflict Between Language and Status

Discourse 342
By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde

Professor Itse Sagay on Derivation: The Conflict Between Language and Status


Those who read Law in Nigerian universities know Professor Itse Sagay very well through his numerous textbooks especially on constitutional law. Personally, I have not come across an author on law like him. My thumps were always up whenever I read any of his books as a student of law.

I have had contact with him when I was writing a column on the back page of ThisDay way back in 2003. He was very delighted with my piece: Professor Sagay, Buy the Bride a Single Bed, whoch i wrote in reaction to his argument on a "double-decker" federalism. Though I was arguing for federalism on behalf of the North in that article, the respect I had for Professor Sagay had to guide my diction such that my rendition easily became exceptionally polite.

But like Dr. Tilde, Professor Sagay too is human. Even as one of the best brains that Nigeria ever produced, the Professor has recently been slipping down from the statesmanship and moderation which his intellectual position heavily demands from him to something less emulating to me. In the following passage, he was quoted speaking like when his student Dr. Tilde abandons caution in defence of the North or his Fulani herdsmen, or like Dokubo Asari in defence of a south-south 100% oil derivation. Listen to my esteemed Professor:

“I have been following the debate like others; unfortunately, those who speak on behalf of the Niger Delta on the issue have failed to hit the nail on the head. They should be bold enough to ask their northern colleagues, where does the nation’s revenue come from - instead of caressing the issue rather cautiously.

"The northern part of this country does not contribute anything to the national purse. If the area that produces the resources has just a token of 13 percent, the remaining 87 percent is free gift to the entire nation, particularly the North that has nothing to show for its existence. At the Political Reform Conference in 2005, we went to the Federal Ministry of Finance to get figures and facts about what each of the zones contributed to the commonwealth. What we saw was amazing; the North-West brings nothing, the same with the North-Central and North-East. The South-East and South-West brings minor but the South-South contributes 91 percent.

"The posture of the northern governors is the height of ingratitude and insult on the people of the oil-producing areas because they would have been bankrupt if not for the revenue that has been accruing to them from the proceeds of oil and gas.

"This is a wake-up call on the people of the oil-bearing region. For instance this is the time to come together and fight intellectually for the anomaly in the uneven allocation of oil blocs in the country. You will observe that because of the long stay of the north in power at the centre, they manipulated the process and cornered these blocs to the disadvantage of the south; today, you have all juicy oil blocs in the hands of the north. Now that Jonathan is there, I would not want to sound being immodest by calling for a revocation of the blocs allocated to the northern businessmen, but from the look of things, they have decided to take the entire South for a ride, so Jonathan should ensure that he corrects this imbalance by allocating more oil-blocs to people in the South to make up for the inequity in the sector." (from a posting made by Bunyi Fatoye-Matory in 'Yanarewa Yahoogroups, but originally written by one Enyimba Himself enyimba1ofaba@aol.com)"

All of a sudden the South-south, emboldened by the Jonathan Presidency and the oil resources from its region, has decided to take the whole North and its people for an enemy. And simply because of what northern politicians and Jonathan have done in the PDP, or for what its governors have said recently on reviewing the revenue allocation formula, every northerner deserve a target of their invectives and unrefined language: "North that has nothing to show for its existence." Haba, my Professor. This is sinking too much. This must not be your words.

As long as such unguarded attacks on the North would come from people like Alhaji Dokubo Asari who are at the bottom of the society's intellect, they would not even ruffle a feather of a bird in the North, much less stir a concern among its people. But when the cream of our society like Professor Sagay joins in the fray, then there is concern for worry, not for the North but for the country and South-south in particular for some few simple reasons that I will pause to dwell on now.

People at the level of Asari may have no idea of the intricate linkages and mutual  dependencies in the life of a nation. All they may know is the garbage that the North is a parasite: it brings nothing to the federal coffers, as reflected in the 'evidence' of Professor Sagay - "the North-West brings nothing, the same with the North-Central and North-East. The South-East and South-West brings minor but the South-South contributes 91 percent." we can always pardon Asari. He is not an economist, neither is he a professor, not even in dream. His greatest achievement known to Nigerians is that he was a Niger-Delta gangster.

But Professor Sagay knows that federal purse is not the only wealth of Nigeria and neither is oil even its most important commodity. The North is simply not just a bunch of parasites that produce nothing before, now or in the future. It is not also a portion of the country that owns nothing. It all depends on what economic index one is looking at. I make bold to say that to the ordinary Nigerian, including such Nigerian in the Niger Delta, resources other than oil count more to his economy. Take the daily earning of any ordinary Nigerian in Calabar, Sokoto, Ogbomosho, Maiduguri, Umuahia or Jos. How much of it was the trickkle that reached him from oil?

Let me make it clear that owenership of oil bloc does not concern the ordinary Nigerian in the North or south. Until now, I only knew TY Danjuma among Nigerians who own oil blocs. And if Jonathan allocates all new oil blocs to Niger Deltans I will not object to that. In fact, I will support it because one can argue that they are the legitimate owners of the land above. In any case, what better right does a Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo have over such blocs than a Niger Deltan? Moreover, that does not affect the commission that goes to the purse of the federal government.

My only concern here is that when Jonathan makes that allocation, I can swear by my honour that none will go to reputable people like Professor Sagay. Most of them will go to militants like Asari and Tampolo that the President is so scared of. We are witnesses to bow he is awarding them billions of naira contracts and even conceding the security of our maritime domain to them. These militants are the layest curse of the Niger Delta and Jonathan is incapable of facing them.

The second thing is on the value and nature of oil itself and which people make so much fuss about. No one is saying oil is valueless. In Nigeria it is used in the last four decades especially to finance government projects, institutions and salaries. Most of its revenue however is pilfered by the elite or wasted to the extent that many analysts have arrived at the conclusion that it is a curse. The fact is that with or without oil, Nigerians will continue to exist and run governments in one form or another, as they did before the discovery of oil and as they will do for thousands of years after the now precious south-south oil has finished or the commodity has ceased to be relevant as a source of energy.

I just wonder how the ephemeral nature of oil has escaped the notice of the Niger Deltans. People like Asari speak as if the commodity will be here or relevant forever. Nigerian reserves are not bottomless. Even Saudi Arabia does not think of an infinite reserve. Oil will finish or cease to be relevant within the next 70 to 100 years. Europe is busy renting swathes of Sahara desert in preparation for its future energy supply from harvesting the sun while some people here are speaking of oil as if it will remain forever.

And few of them who are aware of this fact miss the point when they argue that they must be allowed its monopoly in order to develop their region better in preparation for the day when the oil would not be there. Again, foul. They think that what the oil will accord them in the next 30 to 50 years is enough to last them until the end of time. They are not thinking of many generations ahead.

The majority think of now. The few cautious ones think of only one or two generations ahead. Fewer still, whom we have not heard yet since the inception of this debate, think of generations two hundred or five hundred years ahead. They forget that investing in one corporate Nigeria and consolidating linkages with its various peoples is wiser than clinging to a commodity of limited lifespan.

A person from Calabar, for example, who cares for generations of Niger Deltans five hundred years from now will dispassionately examine the Nigerian atlas and see the size of the North and its unending natural endowments vis-a-vis those of his zone. He will bring forward in his intelligent mind what is permanent and what is not in the dynamics of human needs and economy. Such a mind would not fail to reach one inevitable outcome: the North that is 3/4 of the entire Nigerian map, with its diverse people, mountains, rivers, flat arable land, minerals, culture, etc, is an asset to this country in the long run and not a liability. Such a wise mind will not fail to align will whoever inhabits that massive land for the sake of his future generations. The role which the North played in making him the owner of his zone will not escape his memory. And when he hears the Asaris among his people generalize that the Northerners are ungrateful when their governor's call for a review revenue sharing formula or whatever, he would not join them but quickly caution them against using foul language in their objection.

If the shortlived prospect of oil would call the Niger Deltans to caution, the shorter tenacity of Jonathan presidency should lead them to humility. They do not have the numbers to rule the country forever. At most, 2019, Jonathan must give way to somebody. And whatever the intrigues, in a democracy the numbers of the North will not remain irrelevant forever even in a restructured Nigeria. Power has a way of misleading the mind to the illusion of confusing the moment with the future. The indiscrete mind will see the former as permanent and the latter irrelevant. But suddenly, time with its flying nature soon awakes him to the reality of facing the future he ignored and the consequences of his unguarded past.

Perhaps, it is in realization of that awaiting reality that ethnicists like Professor Wole Soyinka revived the clamour for a sovereign national conference. They want a weak future federal government, not the powerful one that Obasanjo or Jonathan has enjoyed. Are they not returning us to the same federalism which agitators against Hausa-Fulani hegemony were happy to desecrate in 1966?

I cannot hold brief for Nigeria, nor am I in position to speak for the North. But some things are pretty clear to me. If what we have said above about the life of nations is true, I think its people should have nothing to fear even in event of a breakup. Many of them would prefer that because they are tired of the underdevelopment of the region as a result of our focus on oil, the laziness it engenders and the corruption of life it enforces. Those that may object to a break up would be those among the elite who partake in looting the treasury, oil magnets and the corrupt among governors, politicians and businessmen. 

The ordinary northerner cannot be intimidated by the ongoing noise. He remains calm. He is not afraid of the future as much as he is displeased with the present. However, one thing is sure: When push comes to shove and the country is divided, his condition in the long run will not be worse than that of other regions. In fact, what he needs to succeed would not be oil but a restoration of the system that will ensure transparency in governance, rule of law and equal opportunity. Oil should be the least concern of the North. It can extract it according to need from the Chad and upper Benue basins as Chad and Niger have started doing while the people would focus on more important aspects of life. But I do not think we need to go this far. For me every part of Nigeria is an asset; its diversity of peoples and resources are an asset, not a burden if we will be patient enough to harness them as other nations have done. I have argued this at length in Nigeria Between Marriage and Divorce (see link below)

Let me put everything in a nutshell by way of analogy. The relationship between the parts of any nation is simple. It is based on sharing, as expressed in every living system. How would the brain function without importing glucose which it consumes more than any other organ but of which it does not produce even a molecule? How would the rest of the body function if the brain hoades the information it processes after the sensory organs have come to it, cup in hand, with the raw data they acquired begging for directives that will rescue the body? Can the liver monopolise the food it processed at the expense of other organs or can the heart refuse other organs blood? Any contemplation of these selfish actions means destabilization of the body or even its instant death. Now, is it such destabilization and death that some of us wish for Nigeria?

I think in this art of nature there are templates for us to copy when we form organizations and systems like Nigeria. However, they are templates which cannot be read by opportunistic thugs and criminals but by great minds like those of Professor Sagay. That is why when the great speaks with the tone and substance of the base and lowly, it instigated a deep melancholy in me that I could not contain, but was compelled to share it with my esteemed readers in the imperfect prose that characterize my reflections on the problems of my country as my stammer makes my speech pitifully ineloquent to my listeners. In doing so, I was less eager to point at the error of my mentor than I was saddened by the statements accredited to him. In all my days as a student of law, I always enjoyed looking up to his towering figure. He must not force me to look down upon him in the domain of national discourse when he dwarfs his intellectual might to the level of the likes of Dokubo Asari.

Bauchi,
12 March 2012

Related articles

1. Nigeria Between Marriage and Divorce
http://fridaydiscourse.blogspot.com/2010/05/discourse-287-nigeria-between-marriage.html

2. Professor Sagay: Buy the Bride a Single Bed
http://fridaydiscourse.blogspot.com/2010/05/professor-sagay-buy-bride-single-bed.html

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that information. Hope the prof will understand where you are coming from. If it was me I would have aligned him to asari, cos he acted in the same way asari viewed the situation

Nura M. Daura said...

Dr. Tilde, as always, Thank you and may Allah continue to guide & protect you ameen.
I have always been an advocate of One United Nigeria devoid of Tribalism and Religious intolerance. But to be frank, I am a changed person for the simple reason of what the shallow minded South-South people/the agitators of SNC think & say about me (a Northerner). Everyone of us know that the agitators of SNC have a hidden agenda of wanting Nigeria divided because of the parasitic nature of the North. It is annoying what we read on papers and hear on the radio about the issue of derivation and revenue sharing formula. For me, OIL is a curse on the country, it does more of harm to us than benefit. Countries that have no oil thrive far better than the so called oil rich nation. Enough is enough, let them go with their oil.
I am now calling on Mr. President to quickly call for a Referrendum on whether or not Nigeria should remain one. Mark my word, I'll vote for "YES". The North will do better without the Oil.

Zakariyya said...

Another wonderful piece from Dr Tilde. We need a change our "cash and carry mentality". The idea of the North being parasite and thinking of some people in the south that if Nigeria divides, the will continue to live in paradise is very myopic to say the least. May Allah(SWT) open their heart to see reason.

Anonymous said...

I swear Oil is sweet.

Adanji05 said...

Dr Allah Ya Kara Maka Lafiya..this is a very nice one.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing this to our attention, all of us. It's about time someone told them what they need to be told.

Aliyu Umar said...

Dr, The issues of what happen when the oil becomes dry is not supposed to be of concern to we northerners, rather we should start thinking of how we can live independently of resources from any part of the country. It's very sad and unfortunate that we have vision less and useless set of people as leaders in the North today. They care about nothing except their immediate families. They are now singing of marginalization in revenue sharing, what have they done with the little they 've been collecting? They want more so that the looting will continue.Nigeria will never be good as long as people are just going to Abuja every month end and sign for a free money. I support the south-south people let them have 100% control of their oil money now and stop abusing us because most masses of the north are not really benefiting from the free oil money. A word is enough for a wise!

Dr.Emmanuel Msheliza said...

Dr.Tilde Sir, Very incisive and unbiased analysis. But sir, the problem is with the so called northern elites who further divide the north along ethnic and religious lines there by weakening the already BATTERED bond of northern unity. I for one is a victim of Northern discrimination against a fellow Northerner by (name witheld) because of my religion. So blame the religious and tribal bigots claiming to be Northern leader for such Venomous Vituperations against the north by Prof. Sagay. They know our weakness. SHIKENAN!!!!

Umar Sulaiman said...

Those who choose to be selectively myopic in thinking or deliberately refuse to reason objectively on issues concerning the Unity of Nigeria as a nation because of a finite Natural resources are engendering their posterity. Their posterity will not forgive them

Anonymous said...

Allah Rene, Dr.
You have said it all. Don't mind the learned professor. He will always speak like any Niger Deltan when it comes to the sentiment of oil or its control.
The long and short of it is that they want to break away and have 100 percent control of their resources. I am not bothered even if the break up happens today. Like Senator Waku said, let them drink their oil. The irony of it is that so long as the crooks among them remain in charge of their affairs nothing will change. Give them all the money in this world it will not touch the lives of the common man there. Does the common man in Delta State now enjoy portable drinking water because the state receives more money from the federal allocation than Jigawa State? In the event of the break up it is our own crooks that will experience change of fortune.
I hope Sagay's contribution will wake up our own elders that will want to insist of "pulaaku" or "kara" to all the people all the time.

Abbati Bako said...

I think, Nigeria generate revenue between $45b to $35b annually from oil; an amount of 90% of her annual revenue income. But one may wonder that the said amount is owned (as a paper fortune) by single individual in developed nations. Say people like Carlos, Bill Gates or Warren Buffet possess twice Nigeria's annual income as their bussiness capital. So, one may ask, what is so special in oil income? Second, expert assert that oil contribute only 10% of world economy while 90% of world economy are accounted by trade and services. Therefore, oil is just a wheel/oiling the trade (ships, cars, trains, tubs, metros and aeroplanes) and services pure and simple. Third, Japan has been operating 49 refineries but they have no single oil well for commercial production. Last, in reality, what makes other nations developed in the world is good leadersip, patriotism and committed policies/agenda not oil. The problems with our leaders: not coming into terms and conditions of reality, fact and sincerity on any matter based on new researches,innovations and creativity. References/further reading------Robert Gilpin,Global Political Economy, 2001, N/Y-----Paul Collier, The Bottom Billion, 2007, London------George Frideman, The Next Hundred Years (100) 2009, N/Y------John Belis & others, The Globalization Of World Politics, 2008, N/Y.

Anonymous said...

Haba Mallam Tilde. From your comments under the article, it shows you and Dr Sagay suffer from the same problem. All those you mentioned as having victimized could have victimized you for a variety of reasons. You deliberately chose their religion as an identifier. Have you never been victimized by a Muslim or had a Christian benefactor. With comments like this, I guess one can understand why someone will not consider you worthy of a 2.1.

Anonymous said...

ALIYU,SARKINNYAKIN AREWA !

Maliki said...

Malam Tilde, the likes of Sagay have very short memory or none of it. But for the gallant fight by the North to liberate a significant portion of the south=south from the domination of the Yoruba "race" by curving the mid-west, perhaphs he would have been st best a cook, a houseboy or something like that. He should be eternally grateful; but I'm not suprised he is otherwise. The North has comtributed much more than oil to his life-it liberated him and restored his diginity.

Aminu Y. Bombiyo said...

Dr. saying it as it is, has been ur trade mark. Whoever knows or interacts with U, must notice this Fine quality of yours.
It's also a rare miracle that despite your stammer, you hardly get provoked. Words Such as the cowardly anonymous' above stires a good laugh in U in place of a furious reaction.

concernednigerian said...

Your argument is totally bereft of objectivity simply because you are unable to place yourself in the position of your victims, namely, the people of the Niger Delta whose means of livelihood has been severely impaired as a result of oil exploration. What do they have to show for it? Absolutely nothing. But there are 'indigenes' in Abuja where the oil wealth was sunk who are now quarrelling over what district is named after whom? Do you think the people of the Niger Delta would not have appreciated it if the same rulers from the North that diverted the oil wealth to Abuja had built a mini Abuja in the Niger Delta? We find the average Northerner to be insensitive, selfish and totally repulsive. You spoke of the interdependence of the various parts of the country but Professor Sagay has told you of the concentration of oil blocs in the hands of Northerners. How does that foster cooperation among the various peoples of the country? How many times have Southern minority people acceded to the Presidency of this country? So why the hue and cry to the extent that even Northerners suspected of standing for what is right by supporting Jonathan were objects of attack on grounds that it was the turn of the Northerners. Is there any Northerner that has not ruled Nigeria? Look the amalgamation has not brought anything to Nigeria. It has made the Northerner to be lazy, envious, greedy and totally bereft of the capacity to formulate a strategy to contribute meaningfully to the economic well being of the country. Those who suffer pollution and degradation for the common good will not be eager to place the disbursement of revenue in the hands of those whose parts of the country are economically redundant. 2015 is pregnant with unforeseen consequences. We will protect the oil of the Niger Delta with our blood. It is no more available for every Ahmed, Tilde and Haruna. The time to rejuvenate the economy of the North is now.

Anonymous said...

Anon

Dr Tilde you wrote

"I am an example. I suffered terrible discrimination thrice in the hand of three northern Christians from Kwara state and a fourth one from a Christian brother from southern Zaria."

Note how you differentiate between the "Yoruba" from Kwara & "your brother from Southern Zaria" as if the folks form Kwara are 2nd class citizens?

See most people love the average Northern but have become tired of being seen and treated as 2nd class citizens. Northern Muslims do not see and treat their Southern brothers of the Muslim Ummah as equals they look down on them. Its hateful but that is the truth. Nigerians have all of a sudden become experts at discrimination. We hate &/or look down on each other but embrace other nationals. Why is there no long term successful business venture between north & south? When it comes to marriage, its almost impossible to see "core" northern ladies (Christian or Muslim) marry southern Nigerian men. But alot of northern men (Christian & Muslim) marry alot of southern Nigerian women. There are so many things wrong with the Nigerian "dream" Its a nightmare. We need to create and nuture a real Nigerian dream where anybody can settle anywhere work raise a family and stay as long as he/she wants and be treated as a citizen not some despicable animal. In terms of acceptance i agree that the north is much more accommodating in this regard that any other part of Nigeria but we should not be stuck in the past but seek to improve and develop the present so we can bequeath a great country to our children

Abdussalam El-Suleiman said...

"If wishes were horses, everyone would ride one". The calmness of the lion has been mistaken for a weakness. My dear Dr. and readers, we have to forgive our erudite Prof. In a nation ruled by ineptitude and mediocrity, it is very easy to slip and condescend to an unpopular opium of the lowly among the society.
Thank you Dr. once again and I pray we shall all live to harvest our good intention. No resource is better than HUMAN resource. Oh! Allah, grant us wisdom and love for one another.

ABU said...

Who is afraid of the SNC? Who is scared of the sustenance of the 13% resource control formula for the NDelta? Who is afraid if our 'poor' northern Nigeria is made a new country? Of course the Isa Yuguda's and the IBB's for obvious reasons. I am not because I know we can begin from the scratches and the earlier the better for us and the generation of our children. But I have stopped holding for a region called AREWA.

Auwal Gambo said...

This is very good piece Dr. I have always wonder whenever i look at the deteriorating state of the north since the discovery of oil.what are the benefits when comparison is made before and after(I'm talking about the level of poverty). this oil money honey or poison?

Babansai said...

Yes, it is also very bitter and a curse. Look at Iraq, Libya and Sudan. They have plenty of oil but are they happy? Do they enjoy its sweetness? Break Nigeria like Sudan and the south will be fighting like Southern Sudan because I cannot see a Yorubaman an Ijawman and an Igboman sleeping on the SAME BED! It is IMPOSSIBLE! The Northern is the binding force and factor in corporate Nigeria. The south can "eat" their oil while the North will eat their rice, maize, beans and vegetables and buy their fuel from Niger republic pending our oil explorstion in Chad, Benue and Bauchi.

Aminu Mahmoud said...

Let us critically look at the percentages allocated in the 2012 budget by all the 19 Northern states.It is pity despite all the insults we have been recieving the present set of Northern Leaders are not ready to change their mind on reckless spending, look at what happened in Sokoto when the Acting Governor squandered billion within a short time in the name of Zabe.They are not ready to move the region forward and therefore the onus is on us to prepare well engage in Politics and change our destiny and that of our children born and unborn otherwise the seed of hatred been sown by our neigbours is fast geminating in multitudes even a Professor could become so low and degraded calling us names talkless of stout like Dokubo.If we are organize the revenue from sales of Food to the south and taxes from their busineses in the North could sustain our Danfodio Republic

Ismaila said...

Greetings Dr Tilde.

I agree with you that Nigeria is a pluralistic society made up of different peoples, cultures, tribes, religions, laws and natural resources, political affiliations e.t.c and that our diversity is certainly more of a strength than a weakness.

In my opinion, all those recently making so much noise about derivation and revenue sharing formula are the benefactors and beneficiaries who share freely from our national cake and are just struggling to out-do each other so as to get even more resources to whet their insatiable appetite.

These people are no more than an infinitesimal minority of Nigerians (a population of perhaps no more than half a million people) who have managed to acquire and hold political power by all means for purpose of distributing patronage to their families, friends and few supporters and while also dishing out punishment of illiteracy, poverty, squalor, disease, unemployment, poor wages, child and maternal mortality e.t.c to the teeming majority of Nigerian masses who are considered opponents.

The associations and relationships between these power-brokers transcends political affiliations, geo-political divides, tribal or religious affiliations. They are bound mainly by the Naira and Dollar signs which are their symbols of common unity and identity.

Talking about the north is talking about Nigeria. The major problem in the north and in Nigeria as a whole is corruption and bad governance - period!!!

The Nigerian masses - christians, muslims, animists or atheists whether from Niger Delta, South-South, South-East, South-West or North are ALL equally suffering from this common problem.

Our challenge is clear and inescapable, Nigerians must come together to put tribe, religion and politics aside, pull together not pull apart, using our diversity as a strength and agree on a plan to make Nigeria a better place for all citizens by standing up firmly in the fight against corruption and resolutely demanding good governance from our elected officials who must either perform or give way.

There is no doubt sir, the problem in the north is real, very serious but is not insurmountable. The solution will be painful. There is no easy way out.

What we should have to do if we must begin to slow the tide is perhaps look at EDUCATION to provide some mass-mentoring for our uneducated or poorly educated grown ups as well as ensure better quality teaching with effective guidance and counselling for our school going youngsters.

One thing I know is that our multitude of hopeless jobless northern masses must first and very urgently accept the hard, painful and inescapable reality of their cluelessness about how we can get out of our current problems. Next, they have to individually and collectively resolve to genuinely seek the help of those among us who can offer better ideas. The era of denial is over.

I do not pretend to have any answers. But I believe we, those of us that are privileged to have had better opportunities, must start somewhere in search of possible solutions to the problems of the north and by extension the problems of Nigeria as a whole.

Maybe we begin by having serious conversations in small groups that will offer realistic practicable and very aggressive proposals that will be as serious as the problems we face. We then publicise the initial proposals and enlist the ingenuity and determination of our other people to rise to the challenge and contribute to the debate. Every Nigerian & indeed any non-Nigerian that has an interest will be free to have a say.

But we must begin to act now if we want to secure a better future for all our fellow citizens and make Nigeria greater. We cannot continue to rely on government or our so called leaders or keep blaming past leaders, foreign countries or the elites for not helping the less advantaged.

We cannot continue to remain passive or put off hard choices any longer. We have a duty to give our children and grandchildren a better life and posterity will judge us.

Anonymous said...

Sine your eyes!
Just take a look at the nations known to be world economies vis-a-viz Japan, Taiwan, China, The Asian Tigers, etc with the exception of a few like the scandinavian countries, human development is what make them economic powers today and not oil. Take a critical look of the trend today, that anywhere(developing countries) there is oil, crisis and conflicts are very imminent including our country Nigeria.
Advise that our political leaders should re focus their attention the human capital development rather than the oil which to my mind has become a curse for Nigeria than blessing.The calling of names and insults on regions and personalities is heating up the polity to the extend that some are thinking Nigeria belongs to them alone as such the others should not voice their concerns.
It is high time for the regions to articulate their resources and contribute meaningfully to the nation rather than wait for monthly stipend from the oil proceeds.
A word is enough for the wise.

Anonymous said...


There recently was a meeting convened in Minna for Northern leaders and leaders of thought. It was on this morning's (Friday 16th, 2012) front page of a Northern daily newspaper. This write-up from you tells me clearly why you (or people like you) will not feature in such a meeting. Unlike the conveners and attendees of that and similar recent gatherings, a greater majority of Northerners care very little about who owns what ill-gained oil block or fear that it might be revoked.

Dr> Tilde, Whoever feeds fat on the current Nigerian arrangement will not see, or agree with, these issues from the same perspective as you have elucidated in your piece.

The way things are now, 99% percent of northerners stand to be better off with any arrangement that unleashes their hard work and creativity - Niger Delta keeping their oil may be just one of such arrangements.

I welcome federalism of any sort (true, false or loose) in Nigeria. I am of the strong belief that any component part of this great country, be it a region, state, tribe or individual, that is ready to feed from their sweat will not be the loser in a federalist arrangement.

Oil contributes 90% of our revenue as a nation. Likewise, 90% of the corruption, laziness and indolence that has characterises us as nation can be traced to the curse of oil.

Anonymous said...

Dr. I share your views on Prof. Let's assume he did not say so, even though he did not deny that. On your analysis about the future of Nigeria vis-a-vis the northern part thereof, anybody who believes in God and who knows how just God is, must deep inside his mind know that the northern part of this country, with it's teeming population is not left without nothing. Time will tell and history will judge you right.

Shamsuddeen said...

To! idan dai da kwadayi da wulakanci. Da fatan wannan Blog din zai zamar mana gargadi mu tashi tsaye muyi developing din wuraren mu. The sooner we realize this the better. Everyone should take a time to check on how Lagos State is generating almost equivalent of what the whole Niger Delta region is generating.
Thanks a lot, once again.

Anonymous said...

Dr Tilde,
Pls tell the prof, the people in the south-south did not work for the oil and gas to be in their area. It is God Given Wealth to all Nigerians. Or you may ask the prof how much effort did they put for the oil to be in the Niger-Delter? No effort whatsoever.therefore they cannot deny me my share
of the action just because there is no oil in my area..
Ali

Anonymous said...

Haba Dr. Why do you bother yourself with all the ants rantings from the South about oil? The oil will one day surely finish just like the cows, agricultural produce......etc etc etc from the north to feed the south have finished. I tell you ours will still be better because even at this moment we can find large numbers of unproductive donkeys to truck to the south for their meat. No matter what you do to these people they will insult you even as they have their dinners from our farms and hard labour. I refused for one to get disappointing with anyone of them including their most educated. I wished the time to get split came before now. Long live the north!

Anonymous said...

Kayi min dai dai mai baiwan rubutu. Allah sa Niger Deltans su gane.

Barr. Mannir Dahiru said...

Just finished reading ur discourse. Couldn't find z time all these while but thank God I did. It's enlightening as well as interesting. It makes one want to cry for the wastages of our leaders particularly of northern extraction. May Allah salvage us the talakawas, amen.