By Farouk Martins Aresa…
When we are wrong we must accept the fact like this writer: that no power could defeat South-south and North-central if they are united. Guess what, they voted against Buhari for President and he still won. Even worse, the country could have been paralyzed without majority votes for Buhari in the whole South and North-central. The postmortem could have been the walking dead folks of a country called Nigeria. We survived!
The Southern ethnics can’t wait to be exploited as usual. North must stay out of it, but respect the rotation of power from the North to the South. Speculations are rampant in the South confirmed by Yerima Shettima President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum. Population to overwhelm the political system and elect a Northern President in 2023 is not enough. Ijaw, Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo President has not improved the sorry state of their folks. Bellicose Northern politicians must be warned right now as early as possible.
We all know how Boko Haram started. Adamu Ciroma and his gang promised to make governance difficult if Jonathan won. Boko Haram started attacking Christians and their churches. They gradually graduated to all Southerners and then North-central became a target. It was not only Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen continued these atrocities across the land. Today, most of the victims of Boko Haram are Northerners. Be careful what you pray for, it may come back and haunt you.
There is hope. Look at how the political godfathers fell out of grace in Imo, Kano, Ondo, Kwara and Oyo as good prospects. Those godfathers that are sitting pretty are in for surprises because Nigerians are finally becoming sophisticated voters. They would like to believe they delivered their regions to their parties. But none of them could claim absolute power anymore after the humbling results from their backyards.
What is becoming clearer is that our politicians have no ideology, manifesto, program or the interest of their people when switching from one party that suit their voracious needs to another. When some of them had to take out loans from godfathers, banks, relatives or friends, they must pay back. In most cases, voters are left with choice between evils.
Fortunately, majority votes from the South-west saved the day in this election. It could be looked at from various or different perspectives. Buhari was popular in most Northern states, no doubt. But Nigeria constitution and laws had foreseen this dangerous trend by injecting at least 25% in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states before we can declare a President the winner. Otherwise, we could have gone back to the old parliamentary system when we had a coalition Government between the North and South.
Indeed, one of the reasons Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe gave for forming a coalition with the Northern People’s Congress rather than Action Group was to ameliorate the North and South dichotomy into unity instead of a fractional Government along regional lines of North and South. So, Balewa, formed a coalition government with the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC).
Whatever others might read into it, parties from the North and South made sense as Tafawa Balewa was ready to form the Opposition against NCNC/AG coalition. The fear right now is that some Northern politicians may be so ambitious and impugned, they would not concede the next Presidency to the South. Even if they do, Yoruba and Igbo would vote against one another. They still impugned the characters of one another with two Northerners for President. South-West had eggs in both parties, North-East in one.
Read also: A Post 2019 General Election Discussion
Ironically, Action Group used to be comfortable in the Opposition. Actually, all the accomplishments AG made in the West were during their time in Opposition without oil income. It must be remembered that most of the Bendel states then enjoyed the same benefits as those we now know as the West. What oil income has done is to break the fraternity within the old Western Region, indeed Nigeria. Be careful what you ask for!
Therefore, it was the East that came to the rescue of the Northern President then. Now it is the West that has come to the rescue of another Northern President. In view of the danger Northern votes without North-central and Southern votes could have cause. Western votes have preserved the same semblance of unity Azikiwe based his reasons on. This time the agitation of bad vibes in the air is thicker and getting worse than ever.
When the West was broken up, carving out Mid-West, it was called a treacherous plot to divide and conquer. Nevertheless, AG captured Bendel under Ambrose Ali as the AG Governor. This is the same complaint we hear today from our brothers and sisters in the old Eastern Region. States creation within the old Eastern block is characterized as a deliberate means of breaking and diluting the power of Ndi Igbo in unity. Just like the complaint of the West. South-south have Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa mixed in their states.
The North can also complain that the old One North One Destiny no longer exists since the breakup of the Northern Region. No time has this suspicion proven right than in this last Election for the President, when the old North lost North-central! Well, some may differ: it’s not new. Joseph Tarka had always opposed the North just as Solomon Lar. It was Lar that delivered Plateau to Zik’s NPP in addition to two Eastern states in 1979.
Aminu Kano’s NEPU and PRP was another torn in the flesh for Ahmadu Bello’s NPC because of his popularity among the Talikawa in the North. Waziri Ibrahim (Politics without Bitterness) from Borno also deserted NPC to form NPP that was later delivered on Zik’s lap by Adeniran Ogunsanya. Waziri then formed another party called GNPP. In the 1979 Election, Aminu Kanu got Kano while Waziri Ibrahim won Borno State.
Nevertheless, most people believe that Buhari is the better choice since corruption has eaten too deep into our psyche. Yet, he may lack power to honor rotation or block power grabbers from the North using Arewa Youths. These young people are used to worship elders that waste their future illegitimately. Elders use repulsive gains as personal right. So, we wonder why young agbero thugs are taking over political posts as decent youths sacrifice their lives by crossing the deserts and sea or use loved ones for rituals.
How long Buhari would stay or who he hands over power to may be torpedoed by hawks from the North capitalizing on Southern disarray to conquer. So, the Presidency may be up for grab after Buhari relinquishes power. When Yoruba was slated as Speaker to replace Olubunmi Etteh, Tambuwal ramota. When Femi Gbajabiamila was slated to be Senate President, Saraki ramota! Parties may plan, cunning men disposes!
Therefore, no matter how we look at it, the so-called minorities within the giants of Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba have found their voices in numbers and they are exercising it with their political votes. Nobody, votes or state can be taken for granted anymore. The North-central and the South-south may have lost this time, they are going to determine the next President. It was the magic combination Obasanjo used for his second term.
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