Friday Sermon: I begin with the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
Any society that is really determined to move forward and to excel in major aspects must develop the habit of self-introspection in order to carefully identify her problems, the possible causes and eventually proffering a sustainable solution, otherwise it will whine and whine and continuously play the victim mentality until it is sent back to the stone age.
Wisdom dictates that goals be set, strategies be put in place and a willing resolution be made to attain greatness amidst overwhelming impoverishment.
This is not a critical writing but just an expression of the reality of what the north is exposed to due to certain actions or inactions of some of her elites that had/has been opportune to be in positions good enough to take the region out of her woes and perceived backwardness.
Alas! It is hoped that each individual will wake up to his responsibility and contribute positively to developing the ever increasing population desperate for assistance. There is rather a negative trait that has plagued the region which if not addressed will throw it deeper into disarray, notwithstanding the effort and sincere commitment of some individuals and organizations ensuring that greatness and the human development index of the region becomes laudable.
The trait of greed, selfishness, envy and lack of strength to see others genuinely develop from being financially dependent to becoming independent and bosses of their own.
No society grows if it is sustained on welfarism. Sadly this seems to be the main objective of most elites today, that it is more soothing to them to give stipends to the poor and to pay for their medical bills and Hajj and Umrah expenses and rams and cows when it is festive period instead of creating real job opportunities that will give them sense of fulfillment and will prevent them from begging and depending on others.
Worse still, they simply prefer seeing them at the entrance of their houses and flooding their offices and this massages their ego more. The society is in such a quagmire because most of her elites prefer to do business with outsiders than with those close to them even when they are qualified.
Ever wondered why there is much poverty in the midst of abundance? because to some being rich is a family affair and it should never go otherwise, those from extremely poor background have no business being introduced to job opportunities because the mentality is, they are to remain poor forever.
The elites here and perhaps in most societies, are afraid of a dominant effect of one poor child becoming rich and many more such that the once upon a time downtrodden is now maintaining same social status with them. Whenever there is a job opportunity, they push it to their kids and in-laws even when they are not in need but to them this is more fulfilling than to help the son of a pauper. All the big agencies and parastatals have the children of the elites because elitism is a cult.
Observing the society keenly, it can safely be said that most wealthy individuals prefer to leave their less privileged friends (sometimes even childhood friends) in a state of abject poverty than help them climb the social and financial ladder. These poor friends are left only with the privilege of having free access to these elites without any meaningful benefit other than a day’s meal.
How can north tackle the almajiri issue when most elites do not have the mindset of helping those within their midst to grow? How many scholarship schemes from philanthropic individuals? How many medical centres subsidized for the poor from these elites? How many agricultural incentives from these elites? How many schools set up to educate these teeming time-bombs?
How many business plans have been actualized by the poor through the elites, how many qualified poor kids have access to government jobs? The list is long and painful but again the elites are quick to condemn the almajiris without doing anything tangible to curb this menace.
Someone said, “take a look at the Igbos with their mentorship and communal business sense they have excelled financially.” To give a man a job that earns him 20,000 naira monthly is better than to give him 100,000 naira when there is the opportunity to secure him a job.
The love for power and status coupled with a blind lust for wealth and unprecedented greed has thrown the region backward that those naturally in the position to help prefer to see others beg them perpetually and they boast of giving people money as against showing them how to make money.
The advice here is that until and unless, the act of benefitting others regardless of background becomes deeply rooted in the minds of those in the position to help, the north has a long stressful journey ahead.
Mr Abdul can be reached on twitter: @Penabdull, instagram: @Penabdul