So Go to School, Get a Job
The emir of Kano, as always, recently set the traditional and social media afire with his arguably controversial, cut-out-of-context declaration that we northerners are poor because we practise polygamy. Of course I partly agree with the emir bearing in mind that the emir had those who bite more than they can chew in mind. There is absolutely no excuse for anyone to go for more than one wife if he cannot cater for more than one. Even the Holy Qur’an clearly states that more one wife is for those who can do justice to the wives. Certainly being just and fair to them all includes the financial well-being to provide for all their wifely needs. Ask Islamic scholars the conditions for keeping one wife, then extend all the conditions to the other three for you to understand the enormity of the justice required. Well, while the debate was raging, someone posted on his Facebook wall to say that in his opinion, the reason why we, the northerners are poor is because we don’s speak English. He added that a lot of opportunities bypass us due to our poor grasp of English. Of course I suspected he was joking.
Well, I don’t believe in that opinion either. But indeed it was an opinion: a subjective one at that.
However, the recent banning of Okada riding in Lagos state that forced thousands of northerners rushing back to the north in droves calls for reflection. We are indeed still far behind educationally and employment-wise. In most northern states, the southerners not only dominate all the banking and company jobs, but also the federal government jobs and most of the more lucrative business ventures around. They are equally part of most of the state government jobs, especially the education and the health sectors. I am by no means saying if they are qualified they should not be employed. I am by no means saying that we the northerners don’t have equal playing grounds to go to school and get good jobs. No. What I am saying is that we are not doing enough. What I am saying we are lagging seriously in several respects. Our federal institutions of higher learning I think tell the story of these two people the northerners and the southerners.
Definitely a lot of us are waking up. So many of us are making strides in different sectors of life. But like Oliver Twist, it is not enough. We need to do more. Perhaps going to school these days does not guarantee success. Evidently, going to school holds no assurance for gainful employment. There may be cases of first class (northern) graduates rot away unproductively for lack of opportunity. Still, truly educated people do not have to wait for government jobs if they are not available. In this age of entrepreneurship, truly educated people create jobs for others in spite of all odds. Our southern brothers are a testimony to that fact. They succeed even if they do not have government jobs. So, go to school and create a job!
Usman Zakari Ibrahim
+2348032602050 ( SMS only)