The Northern region of Nigeria, a region with most of the historical sites in Africa. Sites like: the Sokoto caliphate, the Kano emirate, etc. Also, a region with the highest population amongst all regions in Nigeria.
One thing that has kept this region in the news aside from terrorism and illiteracy is the high rate of poverty. In fact, a top political leader from Northern Nigeria, Kashim Shettima, once said: “In Nigeria, poverty wears a northern cap; if you are looking for a poor man, get somebody wearing a northern cap.” It is sadly the poorest region in Nigeria. Not for a year, but for years.
I had to study what this region does for some time while I study what other regions, the progressing regions, also do. This study led to me writing this very piece of article which your eyes take a voyage through. Here are the (my) key reasons of why the northern region of Nigeria swims in the pool of poverty :
1. Misplaced priority:
The Northern Nigeria region has 12 million out of school children with a very low literacy rate (Yobe (7.23 per cent); Zamfara (19.16 per cent); Katsina (10.36 per cent); Sokoto (15.01); Bauchi (19.26); Kebbi (20.51); and Niger (22.88)… All Northern Nigerian states ). But Kano state (38% literacy level), a state in Northern Nigeria, recently spent ₦300m+ on 1500 mass weddings.
The state government claims to have also assisted in payment of bride price and marriage preparations. Do you know what this means? Let me tell you, it means “1500 poor women were married off to probably 200 poor men with 2 to 3 wife’s already to have more almajiri’s”. The more children = the more almajiri = the more uneducated children = uneducated future leaders = more dive in the pool of poverty.
2. A wrong mindset:
In a heated argument with a friend of mine, Hausa from a Northern Nigeria state, Taraba. Taraba has a literacy level of 72%, trust they are quite different from the core. He said something, “You want to solve an issue in the north, solve the mindset first.”. Do you see? He knows something is wrong with the mindset up North. They increase the population for reasons if known by you, will definitely throw you off balance.
Once you mention illiteracy in Nigeria or terrorism it is like you’ve mentioned Northern Nigeria. The word illiteracy and terrorism as metamorphosed into becoming synonymous with the word Northern Nigeria. Unless this very problem, illiteracy, is tackled Northern Nigeria will never know the progress. Most of the greedy elite use this as an advantage as a catalyst to achieving their selfish goals.
If not for illiteracy, what will make a man blow up himself? You can not go to the west or the east and tell them to blow themselves or cause a riot for mundane reasons. You will be wasting your time. Most Nigerians have failed to realize, only few have come to know that if illiteracy is never solved in the north, Nigeria will never move forward because sadly they control who rules because of population.
Listed above are just some of the reasons I will share with you. I believe the rest is pretty obvious. Quick facts about the Northern Nigeria: The entire 19 states that make up the Northern region and also 78% of Nigeria’s Landmass and 53% of the population accounts for only 23% Nigeria’s GDP.
Article written By Isaac Somtoo