North: The Question Of Stereotype

By Jonathan Tiko Ambore

To begin with a caveat, this is a personal opinion and not a mere attempt to generalize the issues discussed. As someone from northern Nigeria, I can say that most people from the south see Northerners as people that are illiterate, rude, barbaric, violent, and whatnot, even without ever landing their foot in the North to see and learn from hands-on experience.

For example, I was at Edo state last year for the National Sports Festival where I got to meet new people from the South. When I told them I am Jonathan from Gombe state, overwhelmed with surprise, they inquired whether I am a Christian or not. This was even after telling them my name is Jonathan which is a Christian name.

This crystal underlines how ignorant of the North most people from the south are, and to be in the shoe of the very category of people my write-up is addressing, I choose to specify using “most” and “some” in most of my points.

This is a tragedy, and only honest attempts to put things on the right trajectory will bring the question of correcting the ills of stereotypes. More worrisome is how social Media continues to fuel the stereotyping of northerners by painting us black when in fact, people from the North are better people to live with.

By Jonathan Tiko Ambore

The vast majority of people that come from the South are always surprised and shocked by the goodness of people here in the North, as little kindness and hospitality are seen as a great deal for visitors because of the rarity of such in their place of comfort.

However, I will not blame people from the south for such brazen-faced behaviours towards people that are the nicest, instead, the big share of the blame should be jettisoned to the media for being a powerful force in proliferating the too-numerous stereotypes at our disposal.

The main purpose of this thread is for you to know that Northerners are good people. Don’t be deceived by what the selective media place in the public forum or what a few bigots selfishly promote.

Many Corp members hardly go back to their states when they come to the North for national service. They find the North more comfortable and accommodating for them to live for the rest of their time on earth than to go back to their hometowns. Southerners who live in the North prefer staying in the North a thousand times more than moving to the South. This is not to even talk about the numerous opportunities northerners offer to southerners living in the North.

Let us please stop promoting false narratives, and instead, let us please resort to promoting unity and love for one another. Division or whatever sort of stereotypes won’t take us anywhere. Together we can build a united Nigeria built upon the pillars of justice, equity, and fairness.

Jonathan Tiko Ambore is a Law student at Gombe State University. A writer, community mobilizer, and a die-hard Chess player.

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