By Abdulmumin Sangari
Let’s not be deceived as we have been since 1999. Politics is a game of number and strategy worldwide. USA which has been practicing democracy for over 200 hundred years adopts ‘power shift’ only on ballot box on general election not by consensus. Our elites in the north must not be carried away by personal interests at the detriment of democracy– “ government of the people, for the people and by the people”. They must use their political binoculars and properly and see who would be their political allies. With covid-19 today, the entire north and the nation’s policlinic would be concomitantly devastated, things will not remain as usual in the political and economic life of the north. Please “shine your eyes well well”.
The northern politicians must know that the country’s political landscape has now transformed beyond what they thought. When sitting on round table with their political counterparts from the south they should bear in mind that the north has the largest political cake to cut. In the next political dispensation the determinant factor should be political superiority of the north. Their southern counterparts should not impose on us the political direction of the nation. There have been various attempts to flattened the political curve enjoy by the north to bring the region down to its knee. What ever the mouth watering promises in the next dispensation, please note that quid pro quo is better than Greek gift. Any “Power shifts” is nothing but political chicanery.
The northern youths today are enlightened than ever before, therefore, they can no longer be shortchanged in the theatre of politics. They will not just be attendees in a cinema hall who’re at the mercy of the operator.
We must not forget that the last general elections that brought president Buhari to power by the power of majority when we displayed our numerical strength. Former president Jonathan couldn’t have won his last presidency without the northern support and, he could still have won his last contest if he had majority support of the people of the north. So, why do we wait for someone to tell us how to use our votes, if we really know our onion?
All arsenals put in place to Balkanize the north by the envied and the enemies through nebulous groups must not be allowed to work again. I’m still optimistic and believe that our hope cannot dimmed as north will continue to prosper and shine, under rain or sun day in day out. For us to get back to our past glory proper we must discard complacency and avoid enjoying our ignorances. We should use sword of peace, tolerance and northern tradition of been our brother’s keepers. When we fight ourselves based on tribal and religious bigotry, disharmony is what we will continue to share. Negatively and ignorance will remain with us while our enemies will have the field day. Let’s ask these non rhetorical but simple questions: Are there no Christians or Muslims in Southern Nigeria? Are there no tribes or ethnicity in southern Nigeria? Why allow ourselves to be fooled by some body from outside? It’s high time we put our house in order, else our generation yet unborn will not forgive us. Until we come together as one north, political power will continue to allude us. They introduced the instrument of religion and ethnicity to scatter the north. They come up north, settle and grab our land and call us names.
They lured us with their ill gotten material and try to impose their uncultured characters on us. They pretend not to know that we in the north Christians, Muslims and traditionalists detest “haram” ie ill gotten material. The Christians in this part of the country would always run away from any Christian that source his/ her money through irreligious manner. The same goes to both the Muslims and the traditionalists.
Before the 1966 coup, Nigerians knew that the most viable, formidable and strongest region economically, culturally and politically was the northern region. Nigerians knew we’re descendants of society of high esteem and value. Prior to the European expedition and subsequent invasion of Africa in the 19th.c, and the amalgamation blander of colonial Lord Luggard the north had an organized political system. There’s civilized system of education based on Islamic religion. The northerner was and is still very jovial, humble and accommodating. Today, people from the south are found throughout the nooks and corners of the north running their own businesses undisturbed only on a few accessions where skirmishes happened partially due to social disagreement. You’re free to stay with a northerner, he’s simple, but allow his religion and his culture. Any one coming to the north should not think that we’re divided. The northern Muslims and Christians are like brooms despite the imagery line of division created. While the Christians attend their traditional churches, like ECWA, EYS, COCIN etc, we call them chochin ‘yan kasa.The southerners residing in the north were mainly attending catholic church particularly the Igbo with a few of them going to Protestants. But things started turning worse when same intruders began to get involved in the political activities of the north. That was the beginning of the problem. They apply all sort of theories from Machiavellian to sophism. They lure the Christians and Muslims of the same blood into fighting each other. But we refused to be divided against their evil machinations. They infest their virus of division on a few northern politicians who’re today suffering from political malady. A Hausa proverb says “ sai bango ya tsage sanna kadangare kan shiga. Literary means until there’s crack in the wall, lizard cannot enter.
As if that’s not enough, in politics any where in the world you must have an assemblage of decision makers called Mafias or Cartels who’re the political locomotives in the society. In Nigeria we had the so called Kaduna Mafia. Kaduna Mafia is a replica of any interest group worldwide be it political, economic and or military. There’s nothing wrong in coming together for political and economic objective in a society. The so-called Mafia came into being because northern Nigeria was and is still the political think tank of Nigeria. It’s a maxim that if you remove the north, there’s no Nigeria.
As part of the grand design by the south, their media was used as weapons against the Kaduna Mafia which they succeeded toady though it can be remedied. This tactical destruction of the the north started soon after the independence but became more effective and successful when Gen. Babangida was the military Head of state. It was more successful in IBB’s administration because it wasn’t easy with other military governments.
The north took 19 out of 36 states including the fct. Even primary school pupils in this country know that Arewa is Nigeria. No Arewa no Nigeria. This large geopolitical region contains a lot and largest states in Nigeria. In short out of the 36 States in Nigeria, the north grabbed 19 including the FCT. But because of envy this monolithic north is been silently and wickedly encroached.
Pre and immediate post civil war, we’re one people one destiny. In a residence of a Muslim was a Christian, in a residence of a Christian was a Muslim and even the animist dine and wine together in the same compound and on the same table.
The 1966 coup led by lbo military officers that killed northern political leaders and their Allies in the south did not come as a good omen in the country’s quest for post colonial stability in this country. After the first tribal coup came a stint in military government led by Late Major General J.T.U Agwu Ironsi. That was the salvo in the county’s destabilization machine. Consequently, the northern military officers took a revenge by staging a counter coup in June of the same 1966. General Yakubu Gowon was made the Head of the military government and to address the question of discrimination if there was at all, he decided to create 12 States from the former regional based administrations. That did not go down well with Late Col. Odumegu Ojukwu who was the military Governor of Eastern state. Late col Ojukwu decided to declare republic of Biafra which led to civil war, 1967. The war ended in 1970 and Biafra surrendered but they said “no winner no vanquish”. Subsequently the military boys continued to bully Nigeria with military coup and counter coup. The country became a fertile ground of constant change of Barton. The Gowon regime was toppled by Late General Murtala Ramat Mohammed in 1976 when I was in secondary school.
The same crops of military officers toppled and killed Gen Murtala Ramat Mohammed.
However, General Olusegun Obasanjo who’s the Chief of staff Supreme Headquarters by rank he’s was the second in Command and was made the Head of the military government immediately until 1979 when he handed over power to a civilian rule under President Usman Aliyu Shagari. The late Shagari civilian region did not see the second tenure when another military coup led by Major General Muhammadu Buhari in 1983. General Buhari’s regime was short lived when in 1985 another group of soldiers removed the regime led by General Ibrahim Babangida. The Babangida era was terminated in 1995 upon the pseudo hand over and “step aside” concept. He brought a business tycoon and a Yorubaman as a result of the annulment of june 12 election which was presumably won by late chief MKO Abiola. As Chief Ernest Shonekon was imposed on us, then came the fearless military Head of state General Sani Abacha who was then the chief of Army Staff of General Ibrahim Babangida. Gen IBB then he was fondly call, an acronym of Ibrahim Badamas Babangida retired all service chiefs but allowed Abacha to remain.
The lust for power by the military did not end there hence the arrival of General Abdulsalam Abubakar. The military government of General Abdulsalam had to transmit power to General Olusegun Obasanjo who was just released from the prison for planning a coup against the government of late General Sani Abacha. All the military porch were carried out by military officers of northern extraction except that of 15th January, 1966. Most political and military analysts believe that had it been that the military did not intervene in 1966, the subsequent military coup wouldn’t have been possible.
Despite all the coup and counter coup the north remained the nation’s political hub, no doubt about that, and relatively backward. It’s a food for thought for the northern political class.
Due to its numerical strength and political exposure, most political decisions were taken by the northern political oligarchy. But along the line the northern political elites were silent on the long term secret plan until it started manifesting it sordid head during General Babangida regime. A concept call “rotational presidency” was to unmasked. The concocted undemocratic system of rotating the presidency was part of a secret plan by the southern political class. What baffled most people was the docility of the people of the north. They use their media to refer to the north as “reactionaries” while they call themselves “progressives “. Let the concept of rotational presidency be constitutional not an internal deceit by the political parties. The southern political class must not be allowed to wood hunk us with their usual concept of power shift again. The masses in the north who have the voting power will no longer remain passive come 2023. The voting party will change. We shall mobilize the youths, the old, the men, the women, the blind and the destitute in the north to go for credible Nigerian through democratic will. We must collaborate with our like minds in the South who believe in democratic tenet not those who want to pull the country down if they don’t get what they want. God has given every part of the the country it own share of national advantage. Right from on set, the north has the political power, the South West control the academic spheres while the south East has been given the economic control of the country. So if the south West maintain its control, the south east is still in charge of commerce then it’s foolhardy and suicidal for the north to relinquish its political control.
When Federal character commission was created to balance the representation in MAD, there were hues and cry by the south. They vehemently opposed it saying that merit would pave way for mediocrity. Despite the creation of the commission nothing has changed as the north is still underrepresented in the MDA. ‘Once beaten twice shy’.
Let’s collapse our political differences and move with one voice. The late Mallam Aminu said “dukkammu ‘ yan Nigeria ne, amma kowa da gidan Uban sa.” Literary, we’re all Nigerians, but every one comes from some where within. This is wake up call, if the north sleeps we perish. God for bit.
Sangari wrote in from Kubwa in FCT