January 19, 2021


AfricaTopForum – News Around Africa

North is bleeding

2 min read

By Muhammad Sagir


SIR: Adam Smith, in his famous book – An Inquiry into the nature and causes of wealth of Nations touched upon what he called the Water-Diamond-Paradox.

As we all know, without water, one cannot live, even if there is diamond; but today, diamond is more valuable than water, despite that it is unessential to human life. With that, Smith concluded that “Value in Use” and “Value in Exchange” were irrationally separated.

Adam Smith is a proponent of Labour Theory of Value, a theory which states that, “the price of a good reflected the amount of labour and resources required to bring it to market.” Therefore, diamond requires huge resource to bring it to market, unlike water that requires less resource before reaching the society.

Even though, humanity can live with or without diamond, but they can’t live without water.

Security is defined as the state of being free from danger. This means that, there’s security when one has no iota of fear of losing one life, right and property in the society he lives. Security guarantees peace of mind, job opportunities and encourage investors; therefore, every society that lost security has lost those three things mentioned.

Food security is one of the objectives touted by the Buhari administration and Northern Nigeria’s main pride is farming. But today, many farmers in vast sections of Northern Nigeria are afraid of visiting their farm lands, for the fear of losing their lives. Then, how can food security be achieved?

Recently, in Zabarmari village, Borno State, over 40 people were slaughtered like animals, for no other reasons other than not paying Boko Haram levies and living under the Nigerian government. Yet, the commander-in-chief could only express “GRIEF”. But during the #ENDSARS protests, he was quick to address the nation and express his sadness. Is it that the lives of the farmers are not important?

Today, the North has the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Inspector General of Police, Minister of Defence, Director General, Department of State Security and National Intelligence Agency, and above all, the president!

A region with combination of such top security captains couldn’t stop the bloodshed in their own region; how do we expect them to protect the whole country from external attack?

How do we expect North to develop economically, when investors in agro-allied has no certainty in returns of their investment due to the current deteriorating insecurity?

Were Adam Smith to be alive today, I would have told him that in his discussion of water-diamond paradox; in a peaceful society, diamond is more valuable than water, but to the people of Zamfara, Birnin Gwari, villages of Borno and other places ravaged by persistent insecurity, water is more valuable than diamond.

Our simple demand to the president is not the usual presidential expression of shock after lives have been lost but action to fulfill those promises he made about securing our lives and properties.

  • Muhammad Sagir,