Are Northern Oligarchs along with past and present Nigeria leaders consciously or unconsciously patronising, emasculating, demeaning or encouraging the marginalisation of the ordinary Northern child in return for political advantage and by so doing directly or indirectly encouraging strife and segregation among tribes and religions in Nigeria?
I ask this question because I heard again on the news that illiteracy and poverty are at their highest in Northern Nigeria and in particular, Sokoto the major base/target of Boko Haram. I wondered why. I recall reading something which claimed that whereas the Eastern, Southern and Western child is expected to score very high marks as strict entry criteria for higher education in Nigeria; the Northern child is expected to score as little as possible in order to encourage him/her to go to school.
If this is true, my view is that much as our leaders may think that they are doing these poor children a favour, they are actually taking power away from them and making them lazy. Thinking deep, they are invariably admitting or making these children accept that other children are smarter than them and they are naturally inadequate academically. I think that this is very patronising and somehow limits the children’s life chances. If they have enough sense to sell and hawk gworo (kolanut) and cigarettes and give or collect correct money and change to and from customers just like their Igbo Yoruba etc. counterparts then they have enough sense to study as hard as others, take life challenges and thrive in whatever they want to do without being pigeon holed and patronised. .
I think that this is another way in which Northern Oligarchs and other Nigerian leaders keep others down and out of leadership while they share our collective inheritance and must be discouraged. If leadership and affluence is good for some of the oligarchs and their children because they are educated then they must treat other children like their own and stop patronising and making them look mentally inadequate. If they can lead, then these children can lead too. The Northern child is as smart if not smarter than other children. They should therefore be given the chance and encouragement they deserve to succeed in life just like the children of the oligarchs who go to the best schools in the world. Their own children are called Northern elites. They come back to Nigeria to continue to maintain the dominion their fathers and forefathers have always maintained over others in Nigeria and especially in their Northern enclaves.
A child brought up with this inadequacy mind set is bound to be lacking in self-confidence and must be feeling inferior to their peers. This is bound to cause resentments perpetuating tribal, religious divide and hatred. This is so because by having higher expectations of one and less of the other we have already created a gulf making one feel powerful and important while the other must feel and accept that he/she is academically and otherwise inadequate.
I think that the new Minister of or for Education who himself is a very bright guy and educationist must look into this and change the law if this is true.
My thoughts but I may be wrong.JCO914