FRIDAY Column by Engr. Abubakar A. Fari
Governance is key with respect to determining the overall direction of the politico-economic road maps to achieve the desired outcome for national revival and positioning in the global arena. Each nation-state has a responsibility for its economic survival. There is no other country for us other than Nigeria as our President Buhari keeps repeating. Is it Abubakar or Andrew that wants to check out? If anyone checks out, where will he go? Certainly not to Trump in the USA. Even if he goes there, the song that they sing is “America first”. Therefore, why not our Nigeria “first? But America first so far is not a reality but a delusion. Even among the republicans and the democrats who is first? If at all it must be consistent with the late World boxing champion Muhammad Ali “the greatest” in the boxing ring. Without knockout punches, being the “greatest” would have been a mere delusion. So to be first and well grounded in economic and financial power or to be relevant, the Nigerian ruling class must change strategies from “looting” first.
Even though tribe and tongue may differ, the only point of convergence among Nigerian jokers who place tribe, religion “first” to the gullible, indeed it is looting that is the common denominator or “first” among priorities. All other differences will be set aside to agree on the mother of all “looting”. Thereafter, the cosmetic deceptions to hoodwink the locals that I am your go getter and “garkuwa” or local champion takes the centre stage. But behind closed doors, the booty is shared and they go and play golf or polo to show that the difference is clear. As for the generation of Fx and lifting the brothers and sisters out of poverty, even the Fx to establish the power and necessary infrastructure is shared in the looting agenda. Tribal jingoism and religious chicanery as well as the pursuit of fake degrees and voting of elements with the “corrupt tendencies” to loot and employ judicial abracadabra to dam ill-gotten wealth which will not be allowed to water the land and the fruits therefrom, to provide the necessary Fx out of a productive work force, that will add value to the “value chain”.
All said and done, a nation should not be shooting in the dark as the case remains with the Nigerian bogus ruling elites for donkey years. Certainly, 58 years in the life of a nation that got “independence” from the shackles of its colonial master the British, one will ask has not time come for Nigeria to showcase something? It is a shame that bogus ex-this and ex-that are in it with respect to recovery of loots. So far, how far and what happened and what went wrong? Why shouldn’t we move forward? It is unacceptable to be shackled by redundant leaders. As stated earlier history tells where we are coming from, then we know where we are and then perhaps, where of course we are going. The major drawback has been the drag from the tribal and religious differences that bedevil growth and development. Unless Nigerians reflect and set aside sentiments and ready to be economically square, anything less will only mean moving in a roundabout with no meaningful progress, other than noise making and total dependency in all spheres of life on other serious minded nations.
Tribalism and narrow-mindedness from ineffective ethnic loyalties lead to unnecessary distractions that are harmful and self destructive. In the north alone, with the incompatible and combustible tribes we have Adamawa with 36, Bauchi 58, Benue 10, Borno 8, Kaduna 31, Plateau 66, Taraba 52 , Kogi 8 and Kwara 6. What we do with 11 states out of 19 in the north have a total of 275 ethnic minorities or theaters of petitions and unruly discontented enclaves, with each must have his way. How can each tribe have a say and must have its way in everything. While the north western zone, with 5 ethnic groups, with 6 states to comprise of Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Kaduna and Jigawa states have more than twice the number of registered voters and twice the population should have rights equal to pockets of 275 minorities. So if in Taraba there are 52 tribes, what is my take as a Hausa or Fulani that they lack the numbers to capture political power.
It is the same with Bauchi with 58 and with a population that in some cases of less than 1000 human beings for a tribe. Plateau with 66 minority pockets, the highest in Nigeria of tribes that average about 20,000 would have on its wish list or phantom CAN agenda to have 66 Ministers and head every arm of Government.
And today of the two Presidential candidates common sense tell the party stake holders not to rally behind any of the over 250 ethnic tribes because they lack the capacity to deliver the votes.
The southwest zone has only 3 tribes with the Yoruba dominant. The south-south has Cross River 29, Delta 5, Bayelsa 1, Rivers 9, Akwa Ibom 6 and Edo 7. In the south east-zone, basically it is one ethnic tribe the Ibo. A critical review of the ethnic dynamics would indicate that, it is the north and to some extent the south-south minorities that constitute what as a mechanical engineer in vibration analysis will say represent the eccentric loads in the Nigerian project and so in balance in the effectiveness of governance. So a critical success factor towards the achievement of any economic success in the drive to promote a productive economy that will add value to the human and material resources necessary for the generation of Fx and value added, would require all to work hard for an honest living.
Jonah Jang a Berom ethnic chauvinist does not understand his limits. He would rather pursue futility. It is instructive to Jang, Okar and middle belt grandees that ironically, Gowon himself became Head of State out of a coup against Ironsi an Ibo. Late Col Pam a Plateau indigene was murdered in a treacherous way. It was not a Hausa-Fulani but his bosom friend and colleague in the army and a Christian Ibo. Why are they misplacing their revenge at the wrong direction? With all the largesse that IBB facilitated for the minorities from the middle belt where they made money beyond their dreams why not `use the free lunch to generate production out of the resources the middle belt is endowed with. Katsina state had only one Hausa-Fulani military governor Muktar out of 6 from the military. That 2 were from Benue, 2 were minorities one each from Niger and Kebbi and one an Ibo. Each rather than be prudent invariably took care of himself except John Madaki relatively.
With the benefit of hind sight during the reign of IBB as a public officer one was sent for a purpose other than the interests of the citizens of the state. The finances were at your disposal and the rest is history. If you count the US 9 million Dollars catches from former GMD Andrew Yakubu, a minority given an opening by a fellow Niger Delta minority to see “theft” as different from corruption. Tell me what value addition will be undertaken by Andrew to generate such money. Even the whole exports of ginger and cashew in southern Kaduna will hardly generate N1.0 million Dollars. So for one whose “people” mostly earning less than 1 US Dollar per day, claiming some “forgotten” US Dollars 9.0 million to belong to him requires soul searching.
At 10.0 US Dollar per day or N3600 Andrew will take about 2500 years before exhausting such “loot”. As a former Government College Keffi old boy and a former NNPC staff I feel sad. Yours sincerely was 4 years ahead of Andrew in Keffi. And when I resigned from NNPC in 1970 perhaps he was in the university. After returning from the USA I was to leave for Japan. I did not like the glob trotting even though my wife was pretty unhappy at my decision.
If these unreasonable dynamics dominate the National Assembly, the Executive, Judiciary and trickles down to “we the people” who else can solve it? If each of our ruling elites wants to be a billionaire with no sweat, how can that be possible? Violent conflicts in Nigeria will rule the day. There will be no generation of Fx and value added despite the abundant mercy to us in terms of resource endowment. In leadership, if we understand that justice, wisdom and common sense are the key success factors to solve these contradictions, more than half of the problem is solved in creating a sound economic base and lifting the poor out of poverty. A nation based on justice will prosper as stated in this column. But no matter the religious gimmickry, no nation can prosper with injustice just because you keep praying in the mosques and churches. For it would only mean that you are deceiving your Lord in your heart of hearts.
One can point at Boko Haram mischievously to point accusing fingers at Muslims. But Boko Haram is an imperialist strategy to give Islam and Muslims a bad name. This much CAN traducers and grandees like Kukah know. This much has been the ways of the enemies of Islam which began more than 1400 years. It still is in the top case file of the Judeo-Christian in West and Zionists and their local stooges CAN in Nigeria’s agenda. As far as I am concerned CAN is a tool for globalisation agents and local champions. The US-Zionists “have no friends but interests” and so can grab Kukah and co for a purpose. It is on record that African Nationalists like Walter Rodney who wrote a book titled “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa” reveals that the overall imperialist agenda and sinister objective is to undermine the development of Africa, of Nigerian, the developing world and the emerging economies, which the educated ruling class like Obasanjo/Atiku ignored at their cost