I was about to go to bed, when I heard the chimes of an email came to my phone from our National Headquarters of the Nigerian Society of Engineers. I quickly opened it to see what it is. On opening, the first thing that captured my attention was the heading.MOVEMENT OF KADA2018 NATIONAL CONFERENCE/AGM. Then the message.
Dear Engr. Mustapha Ibrahim, MNSE, we wish to notify you that the AGM/ Engineering Conference earlier slated for Kaduna has been postponed… Immediately I finished reading the email, I became sober.
From above, this year AGM/ Engineering Conference was to be held in Kaduna not until the recent madness of unrest that engulfed the capital. AGM/Engineering Conference is an annual gathering of all engineers in the country to come and have a great discussion about the way forward for engineering in Nigeria by the coming together of serious minded engineers and policy makers.
Even before this now, there were people that have had cold feet about the choice of the host venue: where you hear engineers questioning the security situation of Abuja-Kaduna road that was infested by kidnappers. The organizers of the event have been working round the clock to see to the success of the annual event. But, that was not to be. We ( northerners) have taken the gun to shoot ourselves in the leg once more. The AGM HSS been taken off Northern Nigeria and now to be held in Abuja.
But, why am I writing this? I am writing this because I am seeing in my eye a lost opportunity to showcase what the once capital of northern Nigeria has. Needless to say that such a gathering that will bring in over 30,000 bright engineering minds with attendant benefit to the economy of a region has been moved to Abuja. Truth be told, I am not faulting anyone on the shift but ourselves in northern Nigeria.
Its only God that will deliver us from us. Just one morning, Kaduna residents woke up just like any other day, only to be confronted by the evil of the devils among us that use religions and ethnicity, to give us a bad name. If not for the timely intervention of God via the Governor Nasir Elrufai, only God know how far the madness would have snowballed to. I am grossly disappointed in our actions and inactions on simple creed of ‘to live and let’s live.’
But, come to think of it, what is the remote cause of our perpetual backslide into the abyss of poverty? To me, its nothing than our stupid use of religion to cause insecurity and nobody cares. Truly I am so sober that this golden chance is slipping off our hand.
At this juncture, I am calling on those that matters in northern Nigeria to call us to order and let’s call a spade by its name. I said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I am tired of being brandished as a terrorist or an impatient soul. Privilege has taken me round this country, I have seen and heard how other regions are living in harmonious relationship when it comes to the use of religion and ethnicity.
May I use this opportunity to thank the President NSE Engr Adekunle Mokuolu for doing all his best to see that Kaduna is the host; Governor Nasir Elrufai for seeing that the madness was nip at the bud and the NSE Council for at least giving us the privilege to host at first instance. If not that we are the the albatross to ourselves, by next two weeks or so plus, we are all to converge in Kaduna to fraternize with our friends, brothers and sisters across the Niger, where our Mai ruwa, shoe shiners, mai rake, mai gyada, cab drivers hoteliers, food vendors, cloth sellers and all sorts will have a change in fortune to at least smile to the bank. But that is not to be, because of our insecurity caused by our stupidity in religions that causes our backwardness economically.
It is better we come together to start talking, or we all perish in our stupidity. A stitch in time saves nine.
I rest my case with a heavy heart.
Engr Ibrahim Mustapha MNSE is a former Executive committee member of NSE Minna Branch. He is currently aspiring to contest for House of Representatives (Chanchaga Federal Constituency) under ANRP in next year election to represent his people.