By Joseph Edgar . . .
Just like when Bill Clinton told the Americans during one of his election campaigns that it was the economy, I am also now telling Nigerians that it is a class war, period.
Our sufferings and frustrations are not because we belong to any section of the country or because we are Igbos as the hapless Nnamdi Kanu and his ilk would have us believe. It is simply because we remain the grass under the feet of a collection of elephants in a continuous struggle for power, both political and economic.
Our low level of education and enlightenment continues to put us in positions of servitude to be used and misused by the elites whose membership cut across ethnic lines and are kept together by their collective greed.
The Marxists pushed this position in the 70s and we refused to see it. I have been mulling these thoughts and have decided to expand on it as I now have incontrovertible evidence that our oppressors do not take their decisions based on the integrity or otherwise of the people they claim to represent but are driven by the urge for the primitive and continuous accumulation of power and wealth.
My people, I watched this documentary on Nigeria and it was very clear that the civil war, several coups and economic bastardization that we have faced since we gained independence have been direct consequences of this struggle. Let me illustrate, I have always wondered why Fela, the late genius hated with a passion the military, especially Obasanjo and Yar’Adua. The link is very clear, his mother was part of the independence push in the 50s. She attended most of the talks both in UK and in Nigeria. She fought gallantly and even dethroned a sitting monarch in the wake of her powerful incursions into politics. But immediately we gained independence she went into obscurity, cheated out of the fruits of her struggle culminating in her final humiliation by the OBJ Junta. This was Fela’s grouse, how can his mother be so treated by these ‘vagabonds’ after all she had done for this country.
So what did he do, he fell back on the masses, taking advantage of their illiteracy and a need for release as a result of their massive poverty and suffering to rail against another section of the elitist club with which he was a major member by reason of his bourgeois birth. He wore the pants, smoked the weed all in his bid to show that he belonged to the masses. He succeeded to an extent but in death, his people came for him and took him away from the masses. They rewarded his family with political appointments, immortalization of his family name and all sort. Even today the Lagos state Government has given up, although on lease as I hear, a major part of our national historical monument – the Lagos Prison for his family to manage and maintain through his eldest daughter who is in a relationship with a talented Architect.
People, please open your eyes to the games of our masters. Another illustration is that of MKO Abiola, the purported winner of the June 12 Presidential Elections. He always regaled us with stories of his poverty, his poor upbringing and all. He did all these to curry the support of the masses in his fight against his colleagues as he struggled for power. He was not poor even in his youth, he was educated by Fela’s father in a school meant for elites and their children. Obasanjo attended the same school, hope you are seeing the link, sent abroad to study and came back to join the Lagos University Teaching hospital from where he moved to some multinational company, and still as a very young man bought his first company.
As a bonafide member of the elitist club, his colleagues in the military gave him all sorts of contracts making him one of the richest Nigerians of all time. During this time, he made very shallow contributions to the welfare of the masses. Making gratitious donations which were in no way compared to the massive wealth he had amassed through his prostituting with the military membership of the elitist club. All this was to hoodwink us and make us believe that he was a trusted ally.
But his entire charade was blown open when he was bluntly told by his colleagues that the Presidency was not ‘for sale’. However in his stubbornness he continued, relying on the bridge he had built between himself and the people to deliver the Presidency. This failed him for he underestimated the power of his cabal of wolves, his ambitions were frustrated by the military junta and he jumped to the masses for help like they always do, but we had been thoroughly weakened by his activities and that of his cohorts in the elitist movement and he invariably lost his life.
The linkages are very strong. The same people and their children have been ruling us both politically and economically. They only jump at ethnic and tribal colorations when they lose out in their intra class struggle. Falling back on the poor people to fight for them, claiming to have been cheated because they belong to a certain tribe but conveniently forgetting to state clearly that they were just poor strategist in a club the majority of us will never belong.
Let’s look at Ojukwu the leader of the Biafran Secessionist movement. His father was at the time the richest Nigerian. Ojukwu lived a life of privilege and attended the best schools. His education gave him an advantage over the other members who were firmly divided into three class subdivisions within the elitist movement- the political, economic and military. Ojukwu played in all the spheres and did not understand why he should be subjugated to Gowon who played in only one space and was not as educated.
The pogrom in the North and the continued massacre of the Igbos gave him the firm vehicle and platform to carry out what to me and some scholars was a purely egoistic crusade which led to the killing of over two million Nigerians. After the war, what did we hear, ‘no victor no vanquished’, Ojukwu had run away with his famous Mercedes Benz to live a life of luxury in exile. This kind of camaraderie was a slap on the face of all those who had lost their lives, suffered untold suffering and saw their destinies thwarted. But what would you expect after a fight between ‘two brothers’.
The competition between the elites led to massive recruitments on all sides. The North carried out their Northernization policy, using the famed Barewa College as a bastion for recruitment into the civil service and the military school in Zaria for recruitment into the military. The west embarked on theirs too sending their scions out to the UK on scholarships mostly to study Law. That is why you hear of people like Fani Kayode being a third generation Cambridge educated lawyer. The Easterners also had theirs with what was then called the Argonauts, this was the Azikiwe led young Igbo Turks who were mostly educated and trained in the U.S steeped in the radicalism of the civil rights movements. Today you will see their children and descendants still holding forte.
People like Bola Tinubu, El Rufai, Buba Marwa, Dasuki, Femi Otedola, Aliko Dangote, Bello Osagie, Udo Udoma are all direct descendants and beneficiaries of the bastion of elitist control.
How do these elitists perpetuate themselves in power? Simple! Education, and in some cases, marriage. They have identified very early the importance of education, hence the continuous push for their children and chosen ones to get the very best in education and tutelage. They go to the very best schools in the world and get the kind of exposure that common people’s children will never get. In the olden days it was through scholarships opened to party members’ children and wards, today its making sure recruitment into choice jobs was strictly based on the level and quality of education preferably overseas degrees. Tell me, how will a Shomolu man’s son, no matter how brilliant compete.
They have also perfected the art of intra class marriage. They marry themselves ensuring continuity and spreading of bloodlines although firmly within the elitist circle. Any attempt to marry out of this class is rebuffed and frustrated until the usurper packs his bags and runs away.
Clear illustration, look at the Management of Forte Oil and the pedigree of its chairman, you will see what we are saying. From the Group Managing Director to the Chief Financial Officer, they are children with strong pedigree that can be traced back two generations. They also parade very strong educational qualifications and tremendous exposure. So how will someone who went to Makoko Comprehensive and graduated from our ASUU strike bedeviled institutions compete favorably with these people? So you see, it’s a class war my people.
Otedola himself comes from a strong pedigree that could be traced to the Awoist free education and scholarship platforms of the old western region, his father being one of the wealthiest people in the land emerged as the first ‘sleeping’ Governor of Lagos State and eventually today Femi is one of the wealthiest black men in the world. He is also perpetuating the elitist lineage by sending his own kids to the very best schools in the world, recruiting only the very best that his money can afford from a very shallow pool of labour and effectively limiting the rest of us no matter where we come from; Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo or Ibibio to the servitude that remains our fate.
Now that it’s rosy, we are not hearing that he is enjoying all of these because he is a Yoruba man o. By the time, he experiences a small hiccup, maybe a little intra class struggle, he would fall back on his people and scream for war that these Hausa people want to take his firm because he is Yoruba.
This is where Nnamdi Kanu is getting it all wrong. His people are not suffering because they are Igbos, they are suffering because of their position in the societal hierarchy which decides who stays where, no matter where you come from. Why do you think the South Eastern governors will never support his position, it’s because it may cause an imbalance of power and a restriction to resources. The Igbo elites will always look at Nnamdi Kanu as an orphan and treat him as such.
People, we are all suffering; Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbira, Ijaw. A poor man is a poor man. The same sickness in Onitsha is the same sickness in Kano. Have you seen the poverty in the North, have you been to Makoko in Lagos, have you been to the slums of Aba. We are fighting like fools because we do not know who the enemy is.
Biafra will not put food on the tables of the poor disenfranchised Igbo man, Biafra will not give him infrastructure, send his children to school or even give him a voice. The issue can never be Biafra, the issue is elitist suppression and full control of the levers of the economy emasculating the masses throughout Nigeria.
If you doubt me, let us allow Biafra go and you will immediately see the permutation replay itself with the rebirth of these same elitist people creating a new hierarchy and entrenching the same issues that led to the creation of Biafra. Another illustration; IBB’s rash of new states did not solve the issues but indeed created a new set of minorities still suffering from lack. I was a minority in the old Cross River State and still remain minority in the new Akwa Ibom State with my grandfather’s house still not joined to the national grid. So what are we talking about?
The solution is education. We must break the walls of illiteracy by liberalizing education. Let’s enlighten everybody so that we all can at least see issues in its true form instead of its present coloration along ethnic and tribal lines.
It is a class war, and the sooner we realize this, the closer we will get to the Uhuru.
RipplesNigeria …without borders, without fears
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