Ajibola Basiru, spokesman for the Senate, says there is no grazing-route law in Nigeria.
Basiru said this following the statement of the President on the farmer-herder crisis.
The President while fielding questions in an interview with Arise Television on Thursday, said: “What I did was ask him (AGF) to go and dig the gazette of the first republic when people were obeying laws. “There were cattle routes and grazing areas. Cattle routes were for when they (herders) are moving up country, north to south or east to west, they had to go through there.”
But speaking with The PUNCH, Basiru said the gazette that Buhari was referring to was a product of a decree promulgated in northern Nigeria in the 1960s, adding that the Land Use Act recognised by the constitution has rendered it ineffective.
“Nigerians should be concerned over whether the Nigerian president is actually getting the correct legal advice from his attorney-general and the legal team,” the senator said.
“As far as I am concerned, as a legal practitioner, there is nothing like grazing routes or grazing reserve law, in the laws of the federation of Nigeria. There is nothing like that.
“There is no federal legislation that the president can implement over such matter. The executive powers of the president merely rely on the powers of the National Assembly to make laws, when you look at Section 5 of the constitution.
“Any area where the National Assembly cannot make laws, and there is no express grants of powers to the president under the constitution, a purported exercise of power by the president in that regard, will be null and void because it is inconsistent with the constitution by section 1(3) of the 1999 constitution.
“I am aware that there is a northern Nigerian law on reserve and grazing routes which was promulgated by a 1964 decree by the premier of the defunct northern Nigeria region.”
The legislator said there is no way a decree for Northern Nigeria will be implemented as a federal law.
“It is not a federal law unless the legal adviser to Mr President is equating a northern Nigeria law, which is not applicable in the west, mid-west, and eastern region or in anywhere in the southern part of Nigeria, to be a federal or a Nigerian law,” he said.
“The president does not have the power to implement that law because it is not a federal law. He can only implement federal legislation made by the National Assembly or deemed to have been made by the National Assembly.
“The grazing routes law is not a National Assembly law, so there is nothing for the president to implement. It is regrettable that the president has not been properly advised by his attorney-general and the legal team.” (Punch)
Former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Usman Yusuf has accused Southerners in the country of profiling the Fulani ethnic group even though some tribes from the region are allegedly responsible for some vices in the Northern region of the country.
Speaking in an interview with The Sun, Usman alleged that agitations for restructuring and secession are blackmail tools being employed by the Igbos and Yorubas to force their way into the Presidential Villa in Abuja in 2023.
When asked why he said the 17 Southern governors should have consulted Fulani groups before banning open grazing even though Kano and some other northern states banned the consumption of alcohol without carrying along other stakeholders, Usman said;
I said and I’m repeating it that the Asaba declaration is unconstitutional based on Section 4 of the Nigerian Constitution, which guarantees every Nigerian the right to live and earn a living in any part of the country regardless of ethnicity, politics or religion. What they did was unconstitutional, null and void. Secondly, making a particular law that is specific against an ethnic group is dangerous. I also said that Asaba declaration is nothing but a premeditated quit order for all Fulani to leave the South. It is just like the governor of Kano or any state in the North saying, ‘do not sell spare parts’ and does not provide an alternative place for Igbo traders to sell their wares.
Many of these Fulani in the South have lived there for generations; many don’t even speak Hausa. So, if I’m governor of a state in the North and say, do not sell spare parts in this place, but I did not provide an alternative place for you to sell spare parts, it is just like saying Igbo spare parts dealers should leave my place. Asaba declaration was nothing but a quit order for all Fulani to leave the South. Fulani herders have started leaving the South-East, which is very dangerous. Leadership matters.
Those 17 governors didn’t think through the national security implications of their political gerrymandering in Asaba. Those herders are citizens of the South; you don’t make laws without consulting them. They have lived there for generations more than many of these governors. All of a sudden, you tell them not to do what they have done for generations. You vilify them for all the crimes in the South. What of the Eastern Security Network and IPOB that are killing police and everybody there? Let’s see if these killings will stop as Fulani are leaving the South.
Southern governors need to be sensible. They are saying all the security problems in the South are because of Fulani herders who have lived there for generations. They are just trying to find an ethnic group to vilify and I warned that they should be very careful. There are over 15 million Igbo living peacefully in the North. We elders and all our traditional rulers, as well as clerics have been trying to keep things down. We have seen seven Hausa Suya sellers killed in Imo; we have seen pictures posted online by ESN IPOB of Fulani families, women and children they killed. I have personally interacted with these families.
Nobody is saying anything. I blamed Igbo leaders for their silence. If anything happens to the Igbo in the North, the first people that will come out are traditional rulers and the clerics will be calming down the situation. But in the South-East, Nnamdi Kanu and ESN are doing that rascality specifically targeting another ethnic group, but I do not hear a word from any Igbo elder. They are in Abuja looking for Igbo presidency.
The way they are going, South-East will be worse than the North-East. These Igbo leaders that are shouting Igbo presidency will run to Abuja or Lagos. They are afraid of Nnamdi Kanu and are trying to appease him. In the South-West, Igboho, who is nothing but an illiterate, a political thug is doing all this nonsense and now calling the shots in the region that claims to be very educated, but everybody is keeping silent. The North is looking and watching quietly. All of a sudden, the South-West leaders ran to Lagos to say, they are not for secession. You cannot have your cake and eat it.
You can’t gather 17 of you in Asaba and give people quit notice and came to Lagos and say, we are not together with them. No, you are together. Asaba declaration is unconstitutional, null and void and they need to be very careful. Politics is not threat, it is not blackmail. It is reaching out to people.
Usman also alleged that the Igbos broughts drugs to the north, while the biggest armed robbers in North have allegedly been Igbo, Yoruba and Edo people.
I’m 60 years old and I have lived in this country long enough. All they are saying is bullshit and they know that. All thee SANs, many of them are my juniors and interact with them and they call me. They are telling us that the Fulani are the cause of the security problem in the whole of the South. The Fulani have left the South-East now and it is scary. They can do all their talks. These SANs you are talking about are in Abuja, they should be in the South-East engaging IPOB, just as we go inside the forests to engage the bandits.
If I use my cows to destroy your farm, isn’t there a law against it? Why should they paint the whole of the Fulani in the South in bad light? The Igbo brought drugs in the North and they are also into robbery. The 19 governors have never tainted the Igbo. The biggest armed robbers in the North have been Igbo, Yoruba and Edo people and they are also the biggest kidnappers. Go to Kano, the drugs are brought from the East. We are warning the South against profiling, vilifying, dehumanising an ethnic group, as this will not get us anywhere. So they can do all the nonsense, we are very educated too. The constitution is clear; Section 4 protects every citizens. There are a lot more Yoruba, Igbo and other Southerners in the North living very well and peacefully.
The Southern governors need to be very careful. Ondo State governor, Akeredolu, who is spearheading this, did his NYSC in Yola and stayed in Yola to practise as a young lawyer. The hospitality of the Fulani in Yola is what made him what he is today. He is married to an Igbo woman and so, is supposed to be a better Nigerian that any other person. People need to be very careful; these politicians will mess this country and run away. This country we call Nigeria was brought by the blood and sweat of people, not this opportunistic politicians. If they continue making laws vilifying an ethnic group, Igbo will be the losers.
That is why we elders in the North are raising our voices to say that the Asaba nonsense must stop. The killing of Northerners in the East by the so-called unknown gunmen who you all know are IPOB/ ESN must stop. Igbo have far real estate and financial investments in the North, courtesy of the goodwill, the kindness and the generosity of our people across the North. If a governor decides to revoke or do any law to revoke their real estate or their financial investments, Igbo will be losers.
Igbo need to be very careful; they have so much investments and so many of them are living in the North. The North hasn’t anybody in the South, as they have now kicked out all the Fulani herdsmen in the South-East.
On Southern Governors asking for restructuring, Usman stated that it is equitable for northerners and also questioned the number of votes people from the South-East gave Buhari.
It is not equitable for us in the North. I’m from Katsina, the same state with the president. How many votes did the entire South-East give him? We gave him 1.2 million votes. What do we have to show for it? We have nothing to show but death and destruction. You guys say that Buhari is nepotistic. Is there any state that a president has fired four chief executives of key agencies from his state during his administration? Which state is that? It is Katsina. Lawal Daura, DSS; myself, Prof Usman Yusuf, NSIF; Prof Naimek Ahmed, and Hadija Bala Usman, NPA. These are four key agencies in this country that the president fired. Has he done that in any state? He is nepotistic when it comes to appointment and also nepotistic when it comes to firing.
The NHIS former executive secretary however doubled down and claimed that the north is not afraid of restructurig.
When told that the South cannot push for restructuring because the North will shout it down, he said;
Who is afraid of restructuring. People in the South think that the North is afraid of restructuring, and they are absolutely wrong. Our lives in the North were better than it was with all these states. All these people gathering themselves as Middle Belt Forum and this forum are not representing anybody; they are just representing themselves and trying to be relevant for 2023.
Nobody in the North is afraid of restructuring. Secondly, all those asking for restructuring don’t even know what they want. Thirdly, there are people who wrongfully believe that restructuring will change their electoral equation that will make their ethnic group to be the next president in 2023 and there are those who are using restructuring and secession, Biafra and Oduduwa Republic as blackmail tool, thinking that they will blackmail themselves into the Villa in 2023.
Restructuring can never happen without interrogating the 1999 Constitution as amended because it recognises 36 states. For you to do anything you must interrogate that constitution. I’m talking about going back to true federalism, where we were. Serious nations are charting the way forward, but selfish politicians want to take us backward where they will be the premier. These warlords that call themselves governors, can they relinquish their offices? They won’t. You want restructuring, go and interrogate the constitution. You can’t do it in the street of Orlu, in Sambisa Forest, in the forest of Niger, or in Igboho land. You can only do it in the House of Assembly through your elected representatives. All members of House of Representatives and Senators got their tickets through these governors who gathered in Asaba. They should assemble and tell them to push for the interrogation of the constitution to give way for restructuring. This is how politics is done.
Democracy is about number. How did Hope Uzodimma become Imo State governor? How did Wike become governor? Is it not because of the majority of the votes? That is democracy; a minority cannot impose its wish on the majority. If the minority wants its way, it reaches out. You gather 17 governors in Asaba and Igbo that are only about 15 per cent of the population want to intimidate a group with a larger population?
He also accused the Yorubas of making noise and also described their position as “nonsense”.
Yoruba have louder mouths than other people; they have the media, etc. The number two in this government is a Yoruba man. The number four is Yoruba. Fashola, a Yoruba was given three ministries. The South-West has benefited far more in this government than the North-West, and nobody from the North is making noise. They have been making noise and their position is nonsense. The South-West governors, after they went and romanced with the South-East and South-South governors, came back to Lagos to say we are not for secession. They should know that 17 governors or 17 states cannot make up the president. They need to learn politics. If you have a problem with the 1999 Constitution, go to the Senate and the House of Representatives. It wasn’t made in Katsina; wherever it was made, we need to sit down and sort it out. (Lindaikejiblog)
After reading a profiling statement of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s aide, Jacks Obasunyi and Dare Ajiga against the Igbos, relating to a statement made by some IPOB members as regards the death of army chief of staff I felt cold. They both attempted to manipulate those comments to appear as the opinion of the Igbos. Yet I came across a video by Mayegun, a Yoruba guy and comments of a few other persons who are not Igbos showing their disdain for the late chief. Those IPOB boys have accused him and other officers of killing their members in their hundreds during their rallies to call for the restoration of Biafra. It is naturally expected that they will consider anybody in uniform as enemy. But to use this opportunity again to rekindle hatred against Igbos is nothing but a demonic affair.
THIS IS AN AGE LONG HATRED AGAINST IGBO AND IT WAS HERE BEFORE 1966.
In 1945, indigenous peoples in Jos, Plateau State, had a clash that had nothing to do with Igbos. But in the end, Igbos were killed and their shops were looted and burnt down for what they knew nothing about.
Again In 1953 in Kano Igbos were massacred and their properties looted for an issue they did not create. Enahoro who was Awolowo’s associate had moved a motion for independence and the north was opposed to it, they went to the north to try and convince the people, northerners took offense and rioted. They killed Igbos, looted their shops and burnt them down. Yet the was not an Igbo man.
Yet in 1953, the north wanted to secede from Nigeria, (exactly what IPOB is asking for now) an Igbo man called Nnandi Azikiwe pleaded with them so that we can all leave as one family. Life bullets were not used to exterminate their young ones as being done in Igbo land now. Rather they were begged.
Then the worst happened. A fine gentleman and refined military officer from Okpanam in present day Delta State, South South Nigeria, along with Ifeajuna, Ademulegun and two others got other military officers both of northern and southern extraction to execute a coup in what they considered an attempt to clean up the political space in Nigeria. It was eventually branded Igbo coup. Despite the counter coup that led to the retaliatory killing of over 300 top Igbo military officers and Ironsi the then military head of state, they still went ahead to massacre thousands of Igbo civilians for an issue that was a simply a military affair and at best involved the political class. Over ninety thousand (90,000) Igbos were killed in a pogrom, women and children, poor artisans and traders massacred in cold blood. Yet it was not a war.
Then came the ultimate blood letting event of 1967 to 1970. A genocidal war was levied against eastern Nigeria. In a manner to explan the deep seated hatred for the Igbo, women and children were bombed to death in their millions. This was against rules of engagement in war. Women and children were targeted for mass murder. The Asaba massacre story is still being suppressed because those who did it are now ashamed of their history.
By the end of 1970, over 3 million Igbos had been killed in that genocidal war, over 2 million of them being women and children, a genocide only next to the Jewish Holocaust.
There has never been blood letting like it on the continent of Africa. Yet there still are efforts to suppress this story of animosity, even to the extent of banning history from being thought in schools in the country.
Yet the obsessive hatred against the Igbos that a British journalist working for the BBC talked about when he interviewed one of Nigeria’s leaders before independence and 1966, has not stopped.
Since after that war Igbos are still being killed and are made to suffer loses from issues that does not concern them. Even when others quarel amongst themselves they will find a way to settle it with the blood of Igbos. Kano 1980, Maiduguri 1982, Jimeta 1984, Gombe 1985, Zaria 1987, Kaduna and Kafanchan 1991.
They either start as religious riot or ethnic crisis. The ultimate end is that Igbos will be killed and their properties looted even when they are not party to the quarrel. It continued in Bauchi and Katsina 1991, Kano 1991, Zangon-Kataf 1992, Funtua 1993, Kano 1994, Kaduna 2000, Kaduna 2001, Maiduguri 2001, Jos Crisis-Setember 2001, Kaduna 2002 and Jos-November 2008.
Yet there was the beheading of Gideon Akaluka in December of 1996 in a POLICE STATION in Kano.
And then there was the post April 2011 Presidential Election: 10 youth-corps members and numerous citizens murdered and Igbos were not spared. Not to forget that there was Jos Christmas Eve 2010 killing of Igbos, Mubi January 6 2012 and many Igbo deaths caused by boko haram.
Go and look up your history and know how many times Igbos have been mindlessly killed since 1945 to date.
Yet some people are not satisfied. Recently, Nigerian youths from across the country protested against police brutality tagged Endsars. Some over zealous government officials mismanaged the situation and everywhere went up in flames. Quickly the manipulators of Nigeria against the Igbos cooked up their narrative in order to instigate the Yorubas to attack Igbos in Lagos but the Yorubas resisted their propaganda. This mindless propagandists did not even mention that many of shops that were looted or destroyed in Surulere Area and Aja belong to Igbo people. They did not mention that in the South East where Igbos are predominant properties where also destroyed, including the famous Aba North local government headquarter. They wanted to manipulate things again so that Igbos can be attacked and their properties to be destroyed. They succeeded in Rivers where Governor Wike, basking in his zealous stupidity attacked Igbos in Obigo in the guise that Endsars protest was an IPOB affair and that they operated from the town. He has succeeded in killing many Igbos in that community and closing down Igbo markets in the city. A product of abandoned property reinventing hatred against Igbos.
Yet no one remembered that Igbos in Abuja were killed during the protest and their properties destroyed in Apo.
The trend is continuing with the recent statement by the shameless Code of Conduct Tribunal Chairman who was seen on video assaulting a security guard in Abuja. Rather than explain his nonsense behaviour he sent his media aide to put out junk of a press release trying to implicate Igbos and create ethnic sentiment against them being their usual fall guys. Not minding that the security guard in question is from Plateau State in northern Nigeria where the Chairman comes from.
As if that was not enough, Lagos State commissioner of police raised another false alarm trying to cause serious disaffection between Igbos and Yorubas in Lagos. He was supported one “fame chaser” called Joe Igbokwe who is always sell his people out for his selfish interest, a man whose belly is his god. But God did put them to shame as the Yorubas again told them off. And it was eventually discovered to be a lie but nobody knows if they are still planning to bomb Lagos in order to implicate Igbos.
Then came Mr. Malami, the AGF, with his killer herdsmen and Igbo motor parts dealers narrative. Something suggesting that he was levying another ethnic hatred against Igbo business men and women in the north. But it did not materialise.
And now the death of Nigeria’s Army Chief is being used to malign the Igbos again. Any statement made by a typical IPOB member who sees the army as enemy for killing over 700 of their members since 2017, is posited as Igbos speaking. I mean people that have never equated any statement of herdsmen or meyattialah as that of the north talk more of those of Boko Haram or Bandits using comments by IPOB members to colour the opinion of Igbos, notwithstanding the fact that millions of Igbos are not their members and many are opposed to them.
And I ask: what is this hatred all about? You hate them so much yet you don’t want to let them go. How much more of their blood do you want before your vampire gods will be appeased? You sent Python to dance against their protesting harmless youths and you extracted their blood and buried them in shallow graves. They gathered to pray at Ngwa High School in Aba and you turned the venue into a horror field shooting life bullets as many of them were sent to their early graves. You sent Crocodile and all manner of metaphorical animals to stop them from speaking out against their oppression and they have paid severely with their blood but it doesn’t appear you are yet appeased.
1945 to 2021 is long time enough to have shown hatred against a people. Don’t give me that nonsense excuse of 1966 coup because you the killing of Igbos started before then. Your 1966 coup was just a good excuse enough to attempt to annihilate them because the war you levied on them looked like a premeditated genocide. The BBC British journalist interview even before independence was a good reference to the hate against Igbos before the coup. Or how do you explain that many other coups outside that one were not branded along ethnic lines?
Enough of this hatred against Igbos. Whatever that is motivating it is evil. Igbos love to travel, relate with others and even build and develop places where they reside outside their homeland. They are hard working and adventurous, bold and ambitious. I see those who hate them like the brothers of Joseph who hated him for nothing but his dreams and coat of many colours. If Joseph could be so hated for his dream and coat of many colours and Cain could kill Abel for offering God the best sacrifice I am not surprised that some people can hate Igbos. But don’t look for cheap excuses to hinge your dark heart.
Great Imo Jonathan
(Disclaimer, the content and opinions are that of the writer and based on history)
Kano State Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje has said the Northerners remain the owners of Nigeria, describing the Igbos and Yorubas as minority.
Ganduje made the statement during an interactive session with Journalist in the State Capital, Kano on the need to restructure Nigeria.
The Governor however, emphasized on the need for every tribe in Nigeria to calm down and support the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration in order for the country to move forward.
He maintained that Northerners are the owners of Nigeria as they occupy over 80 percent of Nigeria’s population, while Igbos and Yorubas are minority.
According to him, “It is a glaring fact that Northerners occupy over 80 percent of Nigeria’s population and that is primarily why other minority tribes like Igbo and Yoruba should respect them for that.
“The insecurity everybody is talking about is everywhere. Before, Nigerians particularly Igbos and Yorubas use to think that insecurity exist only in the North, but today, insecurity in those tribes is on the increase.
“Igbos and Yorubas are busy agitating for freedom, thereby creating their own insecurity with the establishment of IPOB and Oduduwa Republic which are now terrorizing the entire nation.
“My advise to every Nigerian is to support President Muhammadu Buhari in moving this country forward. He has achieved so much for the country and must be commended”.
Bashir El-Rufai, the son of Kaduna state governor, has questioned why northerners need a driver’s license to use their vehicles in a country they own.
Bashir was replying to a Twitter user who claimed citizens can drive in northern Nigeria without licenses for 20 years.
The user had written, “you can drive a vehicle in the north for more than 20 years without a license,” to which the governor’s son replied, “why should we need licenses to drive on roads in a country that we own?”
The Arewa Youth Assembly, AYA, has given Mr. Sunday Igboho 72 hours to move his Yoruba people from the north or be forced to take necessary actions by personally taking the responsibility of getting them back home.
The group explained, “We are hereby giving him the ultimatum of 72 hours to move his people out or we will be forced to take necessary actions by personally taking the responsibility of getting his people back home.”
Mohammed Salihu Danlami, Speaker, Arewa Youth Assembly, in a statement, noted that the entity of Nigeria is nonnegotiable and called on all stakeholders in the country to reject anything that would cause confusion in the land.
He lamented, “One Mr. Sunday Igboho issued a press statement in which he was quoted as saying enough is enough that the time for Yoruba nation is now, they will no longer accommodate and accept the presence of Northerners.”
The group noted, “This is despite the fact that the constitution of the country has made it crystal clear that any Nigerian can live in any part of the country irrespective of his or her religious and tribal placements.”
The Arewa Youth said that it still affirms its position as a law-abiding civil youth organization, that notwithstanding, it would not fold its arm and watch innocent Nigerians being threatened by individuals who clearly have no regard and respect for the law like Mr. Sunday Igboho.
According to the group, “Since it is Igboho who wants his people out of the North to form a Yoruba nation, we will make it easy for him by asking Mr. Igboho to provide a means of transportation to convey his people to the southwest.”
It noted that Mr. Igboho has continuously threatened the lives and property of northerners residing in the southwest for no reason, adding, “we have kept quiet for the sake of peace and for respect of the laws of our country, but as Mr. Igboho rightly said, enough is enough.”
The group called on the northern elders, traditional rulers and all security agencies to support them in accomplishing the task of evacuating the Yorubas out of the 19 northern states and the FCT Abuja by making it a very peaceful exercise devoid of lost of lives and destruction of properties or hijack by hoodlums to prevent the re-occurrence of the End-SARS protest.
No region in Southern Nigeria needs One Nigeria to survive. The problem is mental laziness on the part of the people who have been running the country like a conquered territory. Those who understand the principles of agenda-setting theory will see the goals in the face-off between the South West and Fulani North. It was the birth of a new order, where the wings of a bunch of ‘see no evil, say no evil politicians’ were clipped. Agenda setting, keeping a topic on the front page to underscore its importance, in this instance, the herders’ crisis. While the South West and the rest of the South East, South-South and North Central see the herders crisis as a threat to their existence, the Core North see it as a means to an end, and will achieve it with the silence of people like “where are the cows?
There are several theories to the escalation of banditry in the North and herders’ terrorism in the South. The most realistic of these theories is the position that these foreigners were used to boost the voting population in the North, using them to win the 2015 election, and abandoning them. Since they have acquired arms, with a lack of political will to chase them away, those who imported them are determined to put them to good use. This is primarily why each region down south has resorted to self-help. For the first time, regions like South East and South West are relying on non-state actors like the ESN and OPC, and Sunday Igboho for their safety from the menace of herders terrorism. If this is not evidence of a failed state, maybe you should go back and read John Locke’s Second treatise of government.
As the Sunday Igbohos, the Nnamdi Kanus etc agitate for an end to the killings by the herders, the Sheikh Gunmis, the Bala Mohammeds justify the killing by presenting the herders as victims, victims who should be rewarded with lands for their business, and/or amnesty. While Rotimi Akeredolu and Samuel Ortom are shouting over the illegality perpetrated by the herders, the Maitawalles and Yugudas counter by saying “if you want them to stop these illegalities, give them land or amnesty”. The overall silence by Buhari on these issues is a testament to this agenda. He had once sent Femi Adesina to tell us that the only way to avoid being killed is to donate land.
However, the end of herders terrorism is not amnesty. The end is something akin to Niger Delta Development Commission which has been replicated with the North East Development Commission. While the Niger Delta feeds the nation and has suffered decades of environmental degradation and deaths, politicians in the North East fueled Insurgency by widening the Socioeconomic gap, mass-replication of poverty and illiteracy and allowing radical religious ideologies to grow unchecked for decades. Poverty and insecurity are the SI units of underdevelopment. It backfired but they turned around to use the Nigerian state to clean up their mess. If you understand what Sheikh Gunmi implies, by blaming it on injustice, then it will be clearer. It is a case of those who were used and dumped to achieve a goal fighting back but since they are our people, let us give them amnesty, land and constant money.
Buhari’s government is a necessary evil. Necessary in the sense that each region that makes up the contraption called Nigeria has come to see the union as an open-faced lie that it is, and is weighing its options. While the South West, which became the backbone of the Northern dominance over the South for the past 6 years tries to pull back from the alliance, the South East and South-South which have been waiting for South West to get ready to crash the fraud, sit back and watch. South West has managed to corner the economic power of the country while the North keeps the political power through the unverified population claims. While the South West negotiates with economic and media power, the core North negotiates with unverified population political power. The South-South, especially the Ijaw areas negotiates with cutting off the mainstay of the nation’s economy. This implies that if the gas trunk line from Escravos is cut off, half of Lagos and Ogun will be out of power till it is restored, so they’re listened to. But South-South lost so many economic potentials due to years of inter-tribal wars and militancy. Lagos was able to gain what South-South lost by promoting itself as safe and peaceful; again with the power of media. The Ijaw-Itsekiri war forced many multinationals to relocate to Lagos from Warri. Years of militancy further stripped Port Harcourt of its garden city status, removed most of the benefits of oil the region had to the gain of Lagos while it became an ecological wasteland.
However, the South-East has nothing to negotiate with, because it has failed to build a local economy with its huge human capital, natural resources and individual financial war chest. Building an economy entails full industrialisation of the region. The governors have not thought beyond the monthly allocation from the federal government, and their innate quest to fritter away the commonwealth of the people of the region to set up a system that taps from the ingenuity of their people. Setting up this system means that there will be a direction and objectives to be achieved in say, 10,20, 30 years time. This system will build a market that is interconnected and becomes a go-to for entire West Africa. Instead, the economy of the region is scattered in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and only returns to either build filling stations or hotels. But the “hotel and filling stations” economy does not offer sustainability or keep the money in the East as no raw materials and labour are sought. The inability of the leaders to think beyond their stomachs is why Aba has no good internal roads, let alone the ones that connect her to Akwa Ibom to facilitate the movement of goods from Nigeria to Cameroon.
Nigeria is dominantly a gas nation and has the highest proven gas reserve in the whole of Africa with over 202 trillion cubic feet of gas reserve. A greater proportion of Nigeria’s gas reserve is in the south East. None of the Igbo leaders licking the anal hole of Abuja men has thought it wise investing in electricity, using their Abuja connections to add value to the economy of the region except one. Investment in electricity is a good starting point for industrialisation. The totality of Imo, Anambra and Abia are sitting on huge NAG reserves. While Escravos Lagos Pipeline System (ELPS) supplies 2.2 Million standard cubic feet per day, the Assa North-Ohaji South project which holds more than 4.3 trillion cubic feet of NAG is the largest greenfield gas condensate development projects being undertaken in Nigeria and expected to supply 600 million cubic feet of gas daily. This will translate to 2.4 GW of electricity that can power more than 5 million homes. But the shocker is that it will not be used for electricity in the South East. Imagine 2.2 GW of electricity in Onicha and Nnewi and Emene industrial areas. The first conceptualised domestic gas supply project was the Aba-Owerri-Nnewi-Onitsha Pipeline Project but it was abandoned for the Ajaokuta – Kaduna – Kano project. There is also no domestic gas project covering the entire Niger Delta, despite the fact that the region supplies to Lagos and Ajaokuta. So what have the leaders in these areas been doing?
Another reason why these gas reserves in the East are not being developed is because of the so-called “competitive market and infrastructure to harness them”. Oil Serve is deep into gas development in Ukwa and Asa and built the supply base for the 188 MW Geometrics gas-powered plant. But Igbo leaders sat down and watched as Bat Nnaji and Emeka Offor’s Interstate electricity battled for nearly 8 years, depriving Aba of the needed power that will restore its industrial potentials. The funny part is that it took Vice President Osibanjo to wade into the dispute to settle it while Ohanaeze drank champagne from house to house. Taunting yourself as holding over 60 per cent of the country’s capital while there is no back up local economy will backfire as it did in the 60s when push comes to shove.
Igbo leaders over the years missed the lecture. Their inability to invest in youths like Zik, MI Okpara and Sam Mbakwe did, by setting up critical infrastructures like electricity and good transport systems pushed the youth to the wall. Their complicity and reliance on Abuja meant that their people no longer take them seriously. Instead of Arthur Eze using police to harass Abba people, he could have teamed up with Seplat and Oil Serve for a gas pipeline to Onicha and Nnewi. They can source $3 billion for the project. With Arthur Eze’s connect in Abuja, nothing will stop it. But what do we get? People who just want us to clap for them for driving Rolls Royce on tattered roads. Now the youths are fighting back, choosing death than to back down. Currently, there is a struggle for the control of the soul of the East, between the youths and the traditional politicians. Instead of using dialogue to settle the disagreement, the politicians rely on the same Abuja which understands nothing but brute force to crush the resistance. However, the consistent militarization of the East has not scared these youths but has emboldened them. From flying flags to now wielding AK 47 assault rifles, the next phase is already known. They have failed to understand that this generation won’t tolerate what their fathers tolerated.
Moving on, Nigeria breaking up, violently, is a matter of when and no longer that of ‘if’. We have all come to the brutal reality that each region needs an armed group that will speak for it in times like these. Even the central government with its clear lack of direction is beginning to prepare grounds for eventual break up of the union, through the appointment of people of Buhari’s ethnic group in juicy positions to steal as much as they could and using the wealth from the south to build an economically irrelevant railway to the Niger Republic. Despite all the noise, they would find out that all they contribute to the union are onions, cabbage, tomatoes and meat.
It is funny that Nigeria has not found a way to connect its economic clusters of Lagos, Aba, Onicha and Port Harcourt with rail but has all of a sudden found a way to connect an economically arid Niger Republic whose GDP is not up to that of Anambra. The significance of this is profound. The North West has more affinity with the Niger Republic, Chad and Mali than the rest of the country. It is why under Buhari, railway, refinery etc will get to Maradi. It is also why governors from the Niger Republic attend political campaigns in places like kano and Katsina. It is why herders are imported from Niger down to Chad and the Central African Republic to cause mayhem all over Nigeria while Abuja turns the other way. It is why Gas is channelled from Obrikom/Obiafu to Kaduna, Kano while Bayelsa has no stable electricity.
Nigeria is the biggest fraud to ever exist and it took the docile South just six years of Buhari to finally see what has been going on for about 60 years .
It was within these 6 years that the people who criminalised Kanu and his IPOB for only flying flags and demanding their own country began actively negotiating with terrorists, resettling them and publicly demanding amnesty for them. When they moved against Igboho, the South West resisted. The core North was handicapped and couldn’t sustain its propaganda in the Sasa incident because the South West plugged off its media power from their mouth. Outdone, they sent Kadiari Ahmed to appeal to journalists not to blow up the country while failing to put the blame squarely at Buhari’s nepotist feet. Nobody threatened to burn down their shops in order to cow them, a common threat issued to our people from the South East.
Will the bandits get the amnesty? I bet you they will. If you doubt it, then you are not paying attention enough. If the politicians whose actions led to the insurgency in North East, found a way to create a North East development commission, banditry is also geared towards a North West development commission which will sap more money from the South to the North while the wait for the D-day continues. Those shouting that the “Unity of Nigeria is not negotiable” are only waiting to steal enough. With the way the union is tearing apart, there will be little to no time to even negotiate.
Those who tell you that South East is landlocked do not see how wide and deep River Niger and Imo River are. The Port of Hamburg which is the 15th busiest port in the world and the busiest in Germany is along the Elbe River which is not as wide as the Imo River or Niger River. Google is your friend. They tell you that these rivers pass through other states to get to the ocean. But if Nigeria breaks up, those rivers will be bound by international water treaties or might be decided through other unconventional means. If you go to St Petersburg in Russia, you notice several motorised bridges that open at night for cargo ships to pass and close in the day for vehicles. While the biggest vessel to ever berth in Nigeria is 10,000 TEU, the Elbe River carries vessels above 24,000 TEUs. If Hamburg is Nigeria, you know how the story will turn out. The government is not thinking. You should also not stop thinking. Those who make peaceful coexistence impossible make violent balkanisation possible. Sadly, they’re in power.
I have a story to tell the North. I hope it receives it in good faith. I love the North. So I have decided to tell the North how his brother the South truly feels. The South loves the north but the South is getting fed up.
The truth may taste bitter but it sets free. I will throw away political correctness and let the North know how the South feels because the North has to sit up and shape up.
The South is getting fed up.
Today, it’s Boko Haram. Tomorrow it’s banditry. Yesterday, it was confounding mass illiteracy. And no mention has been made yet about the abiding mass obesity of the North.
Family resources are being wasted fighting useless fires!
The truth is, the South increasingly sees the North like a slothful temperamental brother that has stubbornly refused to go to school and has begun to keep the company of bad gangs.
So the North isn’t just a laid back family black sheep, it’s now the sort of black sheep that is bringing in wolves and troubles to impoverish and imperil the family.
And nothing rankles the South more than the fact that the North seems utterly oblivious of its predicaments and their toll on fortunes and future of the family. If the North understood the magnitude of its problems, its leaders will weep every day.
The South wants his brother the North to take out time and do some sober reflection in a pan Arewa village meeting. Their emirs, their generals, their billionaires, their Islamic clerics. So that the North can ask himself soul-searching questions about how he came to such a sorry pass.
Because nothing irritates the South more than the fact that the South sees the North, every day, chasing political shadows instead of chasing its children to school, instead of taking care of its ever-increasing number of young pregnant women.
The South is amused when he watches the North occupy himself, chasing population numbers, disfiguring meritocracy with the quota system and resisting power devolution instead of taking practical steps to save his children from poverty and illiteracy.
Yes, this is how the South feels. I know the North has things to tell the South too. It’s normal. But this is how the South feels.
The South is not an angel and the South is not without its own conspicuous sins. But the South can’t understand why a brother beset with so many crippling self-inflicted wounds could yet be so aloof, so arrogant, so enamoured of frivolity.
This is the North in the eyes of the South today: The picture of a backward brother in a poor family. The picture of a fat family liability.
I promised to tell the whole truth.
There is a feeling of disgust that seizes a brother when his own brother’s prodigal shortcomings and recklessness threatens to plunge the entire family into turmoil and shame. It solidifies into repugnance when rather than face his problems, perhaps, that brother takes more interest in claiming ‘firstsonship’ and talking about how his brother has lost respect for him. And rebuking sympathizers harshly, with reminders about groundnut pyramids and how he was once the prosperous one.
The truth is, the South has logged in its own eyes. The South might even suffer from bigotry. But it is indisputable that his brother’s slothfulness poses a more immediate calamity to the family.
The South wants the North to sit up and zip up. Yes, zip-up and stop breeding the way our great grandfathers ignorantly did when there was little else to do than marry and have children. The extended family lacks the resources to feed one hundred million children. And neighbours mock when our scrawny children go plate in hand begging for food.
The South wants the North to note how Fareed Zakaria painted Nigeria in glorious lights a couple of days ago. Nigeria has more percentage of PhD holders in America than China and the UK. Nigeria has a higher percentage of Bachelor’s degree holders in America than every other country. The CNN presenter told the world that Nigeria was rich in quality human resources.
That data is Nigeria’s but it is plainly the South’s. Because last year Zamfara with all its puritanism couldn’t get more than 20 students to write the National Common entrance Exams. It is indeed, an abomination. But have you seen any northern leader weep over this? Or call for a Jihad to fight educational backwardness and social injustice in the north?
So the South wants the North to produce only the children the North can feed and send them to good schools. The South doesn’t and can’t feel safe when his brother’s children rather than become doctors and lawyers are ending up in droves as angry street urchins.
The South doesn’t know how to say it, but he is fed up with the North dragging the family numbers down.
The South wants the North to see Boko Haram and banditry as wolves that can devour the entire family. The South wants the North to hold a village meeting and find a spiritual solution to the wolves. The South knows that his brother has a temper. But he is yet to see that temper unleashed on Boko Haram and banditry. He would like to see one Yerima or one Shinkafi stand up and issue a fatwa against Shekau and the insurgents. And follow it up by mobilizing 2 million volunteers into Borno. Because in actual sense the insurgents have blasphemed God and done incalculable damage to Islam.
The South knows the North loves Sharia. It doesn’t mind. But it wants the north to open the windows of its mind and excommunicate religious intolerance.
I’ve come to tell the North how the South feels. I didn’t come to mince words. The North must discard his pride and face his perilous reality. His farmlands are lying waste because of banditry while his children roam the streets with chronic malnutrition and preventable diseases.
Northern leaders can’t be frolicking in Abuja and Kaduna plotting 2023!
The South knows that it also has some rogues as leaders but it wants the North to stop scratching and smiling, and start treating, in earnest, the craw-craw of having about the worst set of leaders in a badly governed Africa.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, has given 48 hours ultimatum to the troops of the Nigerian Army to clear Boko Haram from reported captured areas of Borno State.
Marte, a local government in the troubled state was recently reported to have been attacked and taken over by Boko Haram.
Some communities in the state including Kirenowa, Kirta. Wulgo, Chikingudo in Marte and Ngala local government areas were reported to have a strong presence of the terrorist group.
The COAS who on Sunday addressed the troops of the Nigerian Army Super Camp 9, Dikwa gave the order that the insurgents should be cleared from the reported areas in the next 48 hours.
He said “areas around Marte, Chikingudu, Wulgo Kirenowa and Kirta must be cleared in the next 48 hours.”
The COAS who said he had spoken to the Theater Commander, and the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, told the troops that ”you must not let this nation down. Go back and do the needful and I will be right behind you.”
He told them: “You should be rest assured of all support you required in this very onerous task.”
The Army Chief equally said: ”You are aware of the recent attack on Dikwa and Marte, you should not allow this to happen again, go after them and clear these bastards”.
The COAS, who commended the efforts of the troops in the fight against Boko Haram, said: ”I am here to deliver the greetings of Mr. President and Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buahri. I have spoken with your Commanders, we are going to provide you the equipment and weapons you need to end this war.
“We are also going to address the issue of over stay in the theatre. No more issue of over stay”.
The COAS while addressing the residents of Dikwa and those who fled during the recent onslaught on Marte, but now taking refuge in Dikwa, he said: ”I want to assure you that we are going to protect you, not only that we are going to clear Marte, Kirenuwa, Wulgo, Kirta and their environs. What we need from you is your cooperation and prayers.”
An Elderstateman and Afenifere Leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, has explained that his grouse about the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is his insistence on the secession of the South-East region in the country.
Adebanjo said that breaking away is never a challenge confronting the country but the constitution.
The Afenifere leader said this during the Never Again Conference 2021 themed: 51 Years After The Nigerian-Biafran Civil War organised by the Nzuko Umunna of the Igbo Think Thank, held via the zoom on Thursday afternoon.
He noted that the constitution currently in use is not a representative of everyone in the country, adding that it gives so much power to the North and this speaks to why they want to be in power for a very long time.
“I am in war with Nnamdi Kanu because I don’t want this country to break.
“Instead of thinking of break-up, we should tackle the root cause of the problem.
“The root cause of the problem is our constitution which is not a true reflection of the yearnings of all the people in the country.
“Now that the North is in control, they want to continue to be there because they are enjoying from the lopsided and fraudulent constitution.
“The Constitution has made our President the most powerful president in the world,” He said.
Meanwhile, the Elderstateman said that there would not have been agitation for secession if the constitution had reflected an aggregated opinion of all and sundry in the country.
“If there is a constitution that is a true reflection of everyone in the country, there will be no agitation.
“There will be no ground for Nnamdi Kanu to want to get away,” he said.