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”.
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.
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.
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has advised Fulani herdsmen to return to the northern region if their security could no more be guaranteed in their host communities.
The group also told northern governors to get themselves prepared to receive the Fulanis being ejected from southern states.
NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in a statement yesterday, said the relocation advice became necessary following alleged attack on Fulani herders, families and communities in some states of the south.
The statement reads in part: “NEF is deeply worried by reports of ejections, under threats and attacks, of Fulani herders, families and communities in some states of the south.
The forum has been receiving these reports since the night of Sunday, January 31, and has taken the responsible step by drawing the attention of authorities to the dangers, which these attacks represent for all Nigerians.
“We have also advised law-abiding Fulani communities to seek protection where it is available, and have appealed to other Fulani to resist temptation to take the law into their own hands.
“It is necessary to warn people who threaten law-abiding Fulani communities in all parts of Nigeria, but particularly in some parts of the South, to desist.
Majority of Fulani are law-abiding and have rights to live lawfully wherever they can find means of subsistence.
“The Fulani will not be ejected from any Nigerian community only on the basis of being Fulani or herding cattle within the limits of laws and regulations.
States that seek to limit criminal activities are perfectly entitled to do so, but they must follow due process, and avoid exposing innocent citizens to danger at all cost.
The forum demands that the Nigeria Police must live up to its constitutional responsibility to detect crimes and arrest and prosecute criminals, whoever they are.”
The Prime Minister of Great Britain, Boris Johnson has a choice either to make history or follow the dehumanizing history of his forebears for lumping Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria Protectorate together, against the people’s volition in a forceful Amalgamation in 1914 by Lord Frederick Lugard.
Devoid of cathartic memories, the solemn event marked the divorce of the union from the very beginning.
Boris Johnson would be doing so either by reversing the travesty of history – should I say the tragedy of history – choreographed by his progeny who colonised and forcibly coerced the people into a nation without identities or solidarized with the people in their current quest to extricate themselves from the shackles and manacles of Northern domination.
By siding with the #EndNigeria protests tweaking globally, it’s important that the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister, the Queen of England and the entire country leadership add their voices to that of a traumatized Nigerian generation of youths calling for an end to the marriage of convenient contracted by the British Colonial Masters.
Boris Johnson would be healing the wounds consciously and peniciously inflicted on the dehumanized people occupying a troubled space in order to avert the coming anarchy.
The Prime Minister mustn’t be ignorant of the fact that the country he’s presiding over now once played an ignoble role by viciously hobbling together diverse cultures; traditional ethos, religions and their ancillary totems, tongues without similitude in lifestyle and social heritage or orientation.
Aside, Mr. Boris Johnson owes it an obligation to stand up and be counted, not only as the Prime Minister of Great Britain alone but so much as a global leader who must not avert his gaze away from a formerly colonised nation by his country.
It’s evidence that General Muhammadu Buhari has literally empowered the Boko Haram terrorists, Fulani marauding herdsmen beasts and the bloodthirsty bandits in his own part of the country to overrun southern part of Nigeria who are predominantly Christians.
Androitly, General Muhammadu Buhari and his hallelujah boys have been seeking escape routes in clumping roads. They have been throwing spit into the air and collecting it with their faces. They have been down playing the slaughtering of innocent citizenry in their thousands on the basis of religious beliefs, ethnocentric differences and unremitting brutality against those calling for the dissolution of the Nigerian State.
But the Nigerian President and his minders have refused to ask themselves a subtler question: Is unbending confrontation, castigation of patriotic citizens or brutalizing the nation’s youths more effective in achieving the desired changes the people are clamouring for? Each time I point out the figures of Boko Haram insurgents’, Fulani herdsmen terrorists’ and the dreaded bandits’ victims operating in the Northern parts of the country’s, their first instinct is usually to question the anecdotal evidence and reject the credibility of the data.
The global community is aware that General Buhari’s Presidency, as a matter of official policy, has legitimized falsehood. As I write, one twelfth of Katsina State citizens, General Buhari’s home state are in IDPs camps, dislodged by Boko Haram terrorists.
Yet, Buhari is releasing the arrested Boko Haram terrorists back to the society in the name of ‘repentance’! He even released fund for their foreign education, a strategy that encouraged Northern youths to be enlisted into Boko Haram terrorist groups.
The Prime Minister should spare a thought about the Great Britain being forcefully yoked together in an unwholesome amalgamation between Great Britain, Germany, France and England of different nationalities being one country.
I know it would be in utter horror for the Prime Minister to subscribe to such banal rape of social existence and violation of the code of human cohabitation.
The Great Britain did just that by lumping together Igbos, Yorubas, Hausas, Edos, Efik and the over five hundred other ethnic nationalities in one country.
The British Government ignominiously ensured in the late 1960s that the attempt of the Igbos to break away and forge their own destiny was thwarted.
If homogeneity and self preservation isn’t important the British would not have voted in the Brexit standoff for its independence and economic separation from the rest of the European countries.
The Nigerian youths have come to the realization that Nigeria need to hold her own Vienna Conference to settle the matter of real nationalities and national boundaries. Nigerians are now awake to reset and reshape a dysfunctional political structure inherited from the British colonial masters and do away with the insane and midnight birth of Nigerian amalgamation in 1914.
Mr. Boris Johnson has been put on notice by this reminder that the amalgamation document Lord Frederick Lugard signed on January 1, 1914, as the governor of both the Northern Nigeria Protectorate and the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria consolidating the two countries as one, followed by declaration of Nigeria as an independent state, forty-six years later in 1960, has expired since 2014.
The #EndSARS and #EndNigeria protests are spontaneous revolutionary movements presently convulsing General Buhari’s Presidency to its foundation. The British Government has a choice to either rewrite and reinvent her own chequered history of romanticizing with banality and the deliberate asphyxiation of the Nigerian people or remains stoically impervious to her perfidious preoccupations of letting humanity down.
President Muhammadu Buhari, has enjoined all Fulani herdsmen to ignore the recent call by the Northern Elders Forum, NEF, asking them to leave the Southern part of Nigeria.
According to a statement by the President’s Spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Wednesday night, Buhari said that all citizens of Nigeria are free to move and live within any part of the country they please, whether or not they are originally from there.
“In line with our country’s Constitution, the government of Nigeria and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will protect citizens of Nigeria wherever they find themselves.
“No one has the right to ask anyone or group to depart from any part of the country, whether North, South, East, or West”, Shehu quoted the President as saying. The Presidential Aide questioned the intentions of the NEF and the other so-called Leaders, in delving into issues with unsolicited, ill-intentioned advice.
Shehu said: “They have no one’s authority to make such pronouncements.
“The polarising role of the Northern Elders Forum and all those other groups dabbling into issues of security to score cheap political points, has for long been a sore point in Nigeria’s body polity.
“They should not be allowed to mislead anyone, least of all the Fulani herders.
“The Buhari administration is fully devoted to finding a lasting solution to the herder-farmer clashes in different parts of Nigeria; one that would be acceptable to all the parties involved.’’
Shehu quoted the President as calling on all Nigerians to help keep the peace in the country. (Post Nigeria)
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Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai has said that, Nigeria consists of two countries: a developing South, and a backward, less educated and unhealthy North, with the highest number of poor people in the world. El-Rufai equally lamented that the northern region has development indicators similar to that of Afganistan, a country at war.
Speaking in Kaduna on Saturday at the Northern Youth Summit organised by Northern Hibiscus, an NGO, El-Rufai however said that the problems of the region must be addressed collectively as a group of 19 northern states governors, not as individual states. El-Rufai said the summit whose theme was “Awakening the Arewa Spirit,” was very timely, adding that “when we talk about awakening the spirit, it means the spirit is either sleeping or dead. Therefore, this summit is very important, just like our keynote address speaker has said.
“But, looking at the statistics, Nigeria appears to be a middle-income country. But, if we segregate those statistics across states and zones, you will see that in terms of human development indicators, Nigeria consists of two countries; there is a backward, less educated and unhealthy northern Nigeria and a developing, largely educated and healthy southern Nigeria.
“We have to speak the truth to ourselves and ask why is it that northern Nigeria has development indicators similar to Afganistan, a country still at war? “We have the largest number of poor people in the world, most of them in northern Nigeria. Nigeria also has the largest number of out-of-school children, virtually all of them in Northern Nigeria.
“Northern Nigeria has become the centre of drug abuse, gender violence, banditry, kidnapping and terrorism. We have also been associated with high divorce rate and breakdown of families. These are the challenges that confront us. This is the Unclad truth that we have to tell ourselves.
“We must, therefore, as leaders at all levels have a conversation about the way forward for our part of the country. Because increasingly, as many of you must have seen on social media, we are being considered as the parasite of the federal economy, even though, that is not entirely true. Because northern Nigeria still feeds the nation. The richest businessman in Nigeria is still Aliko Dangote, not someone from southern Nigeria, thank God for that.
“So, we still have a lot to be proud of. We should be proud of our culture and tradition, as well as unity. You hardly can find someone from northern Nigeria convicted of 419 or being aYahoo boy. That is something we should be proud of.
“We are generally considered to be more honest and less corrupt than other Nigerians. That is something we should be proud of. In addition, our demographic superiority gives us a very powerful tool to negotiate in politics. And that is something we should be proud of, and we should preserve. So, we have every reason to unite and not be divided.
“I, therefore, call on you the youth; you account for 80 per cent of the northern population and the future of this region lies in your hands, not in the hands of Dinosaurs like me. I’m 59 and among the oldest five per cent of the northern population. I shouldn’t even be governor; I should have been governor ten years ago. But ‘na condition make crayfish bend,’ so we are here. “But, why are we here? In my view, we are here to prepare the next generation of leaders. That is why the agenda for this summit is very important. So, you should take the panel discussions very seriously and come up with very clear and implementable decisions that you will circulate to all of us elected to lead in northern Nigeria.
“I urge Northern Hibiscus to send recommendations from this summit to the Chairman of northern state governors’ forum. We have to do something about the situation of northern Nigeria and we must do so as a group of 19 governors, not individual state governors.” El-Rufai said.
Also speaking, the sponsor of the event and immediate past Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmumini Jibrin said, while the North was in dire situation, the region has not lost everything. “There is growth everywhere and so many leaders have emerged.”
Jibrin who analysed the need to reawaken the Arewa spirit on sociocultural, economic and political spheres, said family unit remains the bigger challenge faced in the region as it contributes to high rate of divorce, late marriages, drug abuse and destitution.
Looking at the economic aspect, he noted the need for job and wealth creation to build businesses, understanding competition, marketing and funding in entrepreneurship. He said there is little or no money available at commercial banks to loan small and medium enterprises because government borrows an average of N1 trillion annually with N600 billion to N700 billion interest from first line charge.
The lawmaker called for role models across board, adding that “we have to mould leaders, we have to create ourselves into leaders,” he said.
In her opening remarks, founder of Northern Hibiscus Initiative, Aisha Falke, said the summit was organised to examine the numerous challenges of the North, with a view to finding lasting solutions to them.
She also disclosed that, Northern Hibiscus had also taken the bull by the horn with a 16-year action to empower the youths with useful skills, especially those who are not privileged to have formal education. (The Sun)
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Prof. Clement Adebooye, who is the immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Osun State University and Secretary-General, Governing Board of African-German Network of Science, tells FEMI MAKINDE that the present government lacks the political will to tackle insecurity
Killer herdsmen are on the rampage in many parts of the country and there is Boko Haram in the North-East while banditry is ravaging the North-West. What do you think are the implications of these crises?
Definitely, these problems will lead to food crisis. The attacks on farmers and destruction of their farms as well as attacks on their households are dangerous. If you sack farmers from their production zones and they are not able to produce, then there will be nobody to contribute the little proportion they contribute to food production capacity of the country. As things are now, many farmers in the North are at the mercy of donors. They are living at the Internally Displaced Persons camps. Producers have been reduced to beggars and when producers are reduced to beggars, then shortage is looming. So, it is implied that there will be food crisis soon if things do not change.
How do you think the herdsmen crisis can be tackled since it will have a negative effect on food security?
Nomadic life is not new in this country and cattle rustling is not a new phenomenon within Nigeria. The question is why have these two suddenly become big issues? Why do the herdsmen now need to carry sophisticated weapons around instead of rods they used to goad their animals? We should ask questions from those that are older and learn from history. We grew up to know herdsmen and the kind of crisis we are witnessing now was not there then. Are we saying the number of the cattle has increased so much that herders now have to carry AK-47 to protect their animals? The answer to these questions is no. The issue is that Nigeria is facing a serious and fundamental problem now. This problem is caused by people who have political motives.
What kind of political motives do the herdsmen have?
The political motives are two-pronged. The first is this Boko Haram issue which, in a way, is saying that western education is useless and that people should shun it. It is a political objective and there are some people behind it. The other one may be extreme politics about who governs the nation and who rules where. It appears as if there is a scheme to annihilate the whole of Nigeria and convert it to a particular dynasty that I don’t want to mention. What is happening now is not new to Nigeria. Anybody that has read history will remember that there was a war similar to this before. Between 1840 and 1860, there was a similar war which was launched from the northern Nigeria and the war raged down the South until they were defeated around Osogbo. They were fighting down the South all in the name of Jihad. So, what is going on now can be something like that. The current attacks are not targeted at farmers only; they are killing students, teachers, doctors, chiefs, kings, their subjects and anybody they see. This is not a war against farmers only; it is a war against the generality of Nigerians. Those who launch such wars like the ones we are seeing always have a date that they will launch the major one. They may launch the final war soon. What they are doing now is just to do a trial run and see the level of resistance.
Are you saying they are planning to unleash terror on the nation and overrun it?
They are just ‘test-running’ now to see the level of resistance of the people but unfortunately, there is no resistance anywhere.
But why has it been difficult to arrest those behind this?
The reason is because there is no political will to tackle the problem. We all know that when armed robbers strike in a place and the police want to work, they get those robbers arrested within two weeks. But how many of these herdsmen have been arrested and prosecuted since they have been killing? They have been killing for about four years now; unfortunately, none of them has been caught. This points to the fact they are enjoying a kind of socio-political backing and it is sending a signal that what we are witnessing is a kind of trial run with the hope that in no distant future, they will launch the bigger attack and it will be total.
Is it possible for outsiders to perpetrate these criminal acts without the support of the locals?
It seems to me that the killer herdsmen are not acting and working alone. They have collaborators within the other ethnic groups in Nigeria. For example, I’m still wondering how brave the herdsmen could be to operate around Asejire along Ife-Ibadan Expressway without the support of the locals. This is the worrisome part of the whole saga. It means that the nation has been held hostage. Everybody is just looking for a way to make money at the expense of the masses. That is why some of those at the lowest rung of the ladder are engaged in criminal activities.
Those in the political as well as ruling class have also held the nation hostage by creating disharmony among the people through politics, religion and ethnicity. We have been disorganised to such an extent that all social structures have been destroyed. Pressure groups are no longer there and we are all praying on the mountain in order to solve social problems that could be solved by one day protest. The psyche of our people is damaged by the political class and that is why our youths have lost the necessary societal values and therefore, cannot think correctly.
As an agriculturist, what will you suggest as the solution to the problem of open grazing?
This problem is political and that is why ranching may never solve it. Ranching and cattle colonies as they are proposing are a way of handling the land of some people over to other people. That is the reason it will not solve the problem. It is a tactical way of grabbing land and giving the same to some people. Israel is in the desert and they practise agriculture on a large scale including raising livestock but there is no problem with herdsmen there. About 75 per cent of the land in Australia is desert and Australia has much more cattle than human beings; yet this problem does not exist there. Israel is in the desert and the number of cattle there is much more than the cattle we have here in this country. Despite that the landmass is very small compared to Nigeria’s. Have you heard of herdsmen destroying farms there? They are raising cattle in many countries much more than we have here and they don’t have the kind of crisis that we have.
How are they handling it?
What the government here should do is to create an enabling environment in the areas where people raise cattle. They should set up irrigated pasture in the North. If they establish that, those who carry AK-47 will have no excuse for killing, raping and destroying people’s property all over the country in the name of looking for greener pasture for their animals. Irrigated pasture is a practice in agriculture and it will solve this problem coupled with a strong political will. I am sure you are aware that they grow tomatoes in Kano State, Borno and other states and they grow onions and other things as well. They raise these crops during the dry season with the help of irrigation. Why can’t government use similar irrigation method for pasture instead of coming to seize land from the South-West, South-East and South-South in the name of ranches? Israel produces enormous citrus and many other crops through irrigation. Why is our government running away from doing that?
Are you saying the government should assist pastoralists by setting up irrigated pasture in areas where cattle raising is their major business?
Yes, this should be done in the North where cattle raising is their business. It makes sense. Why are the people of the South-West not asking government to give them land in the North to grow kola nuts, cocoa and palm trees? Why is the government not providing the enabling environment for the people in the South to go and plant these crops in the North? Why is the government not allowing farmers to go to Kano and other states in the core North to raise pigs? Why can’t government set aside 50 hectares of land to raise pigs in Kano or Sokoto State? Government should create the enabling environment in the North for those raising cattle, not seizing the land of some people under the guise of cattle colonies or ranches.
Insurgency can’t thrive except it is supported by government. Look at what happened in Kano State during the Maitasine riot in 1983. It was put at bay by the troops of the nation. The government troops drove those militants outside the country. What is the difference between the war by the killer herders and the Maitasine rioters? It is the will of the government that is lacking to address the problem. This government in Nigeria has no political will to stop the carnage going on around the country. There is no where people are kidnapped in Nigeria and such is not traced to killer Fulani herdsmen. Most kidnappings in the country are done by these herdsmen. Chief Olu Falae was kidnapped by the herdsmen; the Obafemi Awolowo University professor recently abducted was kidnapped by the Fulani people. Some Methodist priests were kidnapped in Osun State as well as in Ekiti State. This shows that the government has tacitly legalised all these criminal activities and that is why they thrive. Those behind this crime are not arrested or prosecuted; and this has emboldened them to do more. You can’t see this happening in any sane society.
Let us put things in perspective. How many armed robbers have been arrested in the last four years? They are many. How many robbers have the police attacked and killed in the last four years? I am sure many of them have been arrested and some killed. So, why have the security agencies not been able to arrest any of the herdsmen killing people all over the country? Why is it very difficult to arrest these people? The situation is becoming worse in the South-West.
Are you also saying the South-West is under the siege of herdsmen as alleged by the Yoruba Council of Elders?
The South-West is under the siege of these people. I said something earlier that these people are engaged in trial run of their weapons and strategies and that the day of final onslaught is coming.
How do you think this can be prevented?
It is the government that has the security forces that can do that. The ordinary people are incapacitated. The people that have the instrument of authority should act now before it is too late. I doubt if anybody in the South-West or the South-East is ready to go to war now. These attackers will just overrun us if they strike because the government is not interested in protecting the people.
What do you think is the motive behind the alleged plan to overrun the people?
Do you know that these people have a veiled mission? We have heard that the ISIS has joined the fight and you can never tell their strategy. It appears like they are trying to convert the whole of West Africa to come under a political dynasty that will have one identity. Some people are trying to convert our region to a political entity known to them. It is a conversion process that is going on. From what we have read, people who do this kind of things, all over the world, first carry out trial runs just like the ones we are witnessing now. And after that, they will strike. They will first test the strength of their opponents and the quality of their resistance after which they will strike. Let me make it clear that this has nothing to do with Islam. I say this because we have Muslims in the South-West but have you heard that they slaughter people of other religions because of Islam? Also, In Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries where Islam is the dominant religion, such killings do not happen. Why are those ones killing here? You will know that it is part of their culture.
If the executive is not willing to act to prevent the looming disaster, why are the lawmakers at the National Assembly not putting pressure on the executive?
Cheap money impairs thinking. There are no people that will collect the amount of money they collect and will be able to think about the people. They are only representing themselves and not the people. People who get such huge amount of money with little or no work won’t put the people first. Also, the political parties we have do not have ideologies and that is one of the reasons those elected on their platforms do not consider the people in what they do. Nigeria was programmed by God to succeed but some Nigerians have held the country hostage and there can’t be development until the nation is liberated.
You have won many grants for your universities from Germany and Canada. What will you say is making it difficult for many Nigerian scholars to achieve this feat?
The number one thing before you can win grants from these foreign countries is the quality of your research work. Your work must be of good quality before they will agree to fund it. Also, you must have built good reputation for yourself. Those who have given you money before must be able to vouch for your reputation. You must have previous records of ground-breaking research work. Your reputation as a researcher builds the reputation of your university. Those people won’t give you their money because your university has a big name but if somebody from a small university has done a quality research and such has good reputation, it will be easier for others from the same university to receive grants provided they also have good research work they want to do.
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CONTROVERSIAL Second Republic member of House of Representatives, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, has said that the North will present a candidate for 2023 presidential election, as zoning and rotation of power have collapsed, and as such any region with the political strength can claim the coveted position.
In an interview with VINCENT KALU, Mohammed asked the Southeast to forget 2023, accusing Ohanaeze of collecting millions of naira to support Atiku Abubakar’s presidential election.
Are you satisfied with the conduct of the last general elections?
I thought I would be satisfied after the first election, but later it came to my notice and when I started getting phone calls on the reactions to the elections, within and outside the country, including people who were international observers, I became very disappointed.
When the second round of elections came, all hell broke loose; during these governorship and state House of Assembly elections, what happened was a complete mayhem; no laws, no order and the people who were responsible for maintaining law and order were in the forefront on mangling the election, and upturning peoples mandate.
So, I’m not satisfied and I can never be satisfied.
The problem with this kind of recklessness on the part of people who are supposed to be umpires and administrators is that they rubbish the name of democracy itself; they rubbish the rule of law and more or less, they turn the whole essence of mandate and legitimacy of mandate upside down.
This is very unfortunate because without a government whose mandate and whole legitimacy is accepted by the people, there can never be law and order. Then, there is a beginning of a cause you don’t know where and when it will end.
When the poverty in the Northeast was grinding, we were complaining that there was massive poverty in the region that we better did something about it, but nobody in government paid any serious attention. When the Boko Haram started in 2009, we know what has since then been happening in that part of the country.
From the Northeast, that mayhem, that illegitimacy that re- fused to accept the legitimacy of the government moved on to the North Central and they are currently in the Northwest, where banditry has been legitimised; anybody can go into the bush and calls himself name, and decides to attack whoever he chooses to attack. People in government have been attacked and some of them have been abducted.
This problem of abduction of people has been in the South- South and Southeast for a long time but the government didn’t do its duty. The primary responsibility of government is the maintenance of law and order; law and order became out of reach for those in government either because they didn’t care or they didn’t know what to do. This is the situation until this morning.
Atiku has gone to court to challenge the election; some people say that he is overheating the already heated polity. What do you say to this?
I don’t know whether Atiku means to overheat the polity, but the fact remains whether he means it or not, the net result of what he is doing is to overheat the polity, and that is unfortunate.
Any patriotic Nigerian will know that when the polity is overheated the way it is being done now, at the end of the day there will be violence; there will be massive movement of people from where they are legitimately working and earning their living to their hometowns.
After decades of independence, we ought to be beyond this kind of ramshackle government, where if you ignite a match, people will start scrambling to go back to their homes.
People used to go to their homes to vote during elections, but this time it was a big progress as people stayed where they live to vote.
I’m about 70, and when I was growing up, election was like a mad house or a psychiatric home. Once election was approaching everybody was going to railway station to but ticket to travel to their homes, but this time around, people stayed be- hind to vote. This is a big progress and I hope it will continue. Why will I leave Kano to Port Harcourt to vote, it doesn’t make sense.
The main issue behind Atiku’s complaint is that he knew that he lost the election, whatever he says or whatever the people who work for him say. The statement he issues or by Secondus and other people who work with him is that they are now accusing and abusing not just those who are in APC (I’m not in APC and I will never be in APC), but also others who have nothing to do with the election. That to me shows that they are very primitive and immature politicians. You don’t have to abuse me if you want me to vote for you.
Sadly, Atiku has been the mastermind of the rigging of elections in this country from 1999, when he and Obasanjo were with the ticket. If you did that kind of thing, you will not be surprised even if you want to believe what you want to believe, you cannot be surprised if people have mastered what you taught them. Many of the APC members decamped from the PDP. We grew up with some of them, we worked with some of them; we married into their families and they married into our families, so it is not something new. We all know the rig- gers; Atiku is the principal rigger. So, he has no moral basis to complain of being rigged out.
He even went beyond the moral norm by hacking into the servers of INEC, and publishing documents, but to mark him up, INEC went and put the real figures for everybody to see. This is very unfortunate for those who claim to be statesmen. You have to know that the most important thing for you and your party is the survival of the country because the connection I have with Atiku is that he is a Nigerian and I’m a Nigerian. If there is no Nigeria where would he go, which president will he be?
I believe he has the constitutional right to go to court, but the way and manner he is doing it is destructive and he is lying through his teeth; the same thing with Secondus and some of the hired hands, hacks who write statements for them. Some of the people who issue the statements don’t even know Nigeria.
You stay in your village, and after school you come to Lagos and then to Abuja, and you start abusing people left, right and centre. These are the kind of people who are causing a lot of problem; there must be peace before you have governance.
Do you see Buhari’s second term differ- ent from the first?
No. I don’t.
On the record, I read where he said that this time around, his government will be an all in- clusive one. That to me is very fundamental because when I started speaking in 2015 about the manner he put together his government, all these boys in the presidency and others who go about collecting money from ministers and others, started attacking me, issuing statements whether I know what governance was all about.
Many of them don’t even know the his- tory and the genesis of what they were talking about. When I raised the issue of Amina Zakari they kept quiet; when I raised other issues, they kept quiet.
After three years, on the issue of Amina Zakari, they came out to own the statement, they now say that Buhari and Zakari were only related by marriage. If you go and marry somebody’s relation are you not related? His statement is a confirmation that he knows that his government is nepotistic, comprising his relations, in-laws etc.
To make matters worse, every of these appointments, not only that it was not done on merit, but it was given to the least competent person, and where their incompetence became glaring, nothing happened to them.
The statement he made to me is that he accepted that the way and manner he went about making personnel changes in personnel choices was wrong, and in the end it is the country that suffers it. When you make an appointment without merit, you are unfaithful.
He also said that this time around he is go- ing to be tough and he is going to put people where they belong, so that they can do good job, etc. This is an admission that the people he has in the last four years have not done a good job and to make matter worse, he has lacked the courage to sack them. If you have the pow- er to hire somebody, by implication, you also have the power to fire him. If you give a man a job, and he cannot do it, ask him to go because it is a political appointment, there is no capital punishment.
You cannot give a man who clearly is not capable, no matter the issue – or is it because of nepotism, or it’s because he is your friend, or your in-law, or your friend, nephew or niece.
PMB’s handlers say you were so criti- cal of the president because you were frus- trated that he didn’t give you any appoint- ment. True or false?
We have been friends since 1967, at the outbreak of the civil war, before I travelled to Soviet Union for further education, and there was never a time I asked him for any favour, and I want you to quote me directly, and let him tell if I have ever asked him for any favour, or for any member of my family or friend or relation.
Secondly, the military government came and threw us out of power; but one of my closest friends among the military and among people generally was General Babangida. When I started speaking the way I started, it was public, Babangida came out openly to say that I had never asked him for any ministerial appointment, or any other appointment, that I was his friend and still remain his friend in spite of our differences. As I’m talking to you now, yesterday (Monday), I was with him in Minna over break fast. If he had not been honourable enough to deny that that I never asked him for appointment, then their analysis would have continued.
Therefore, this time around when I started with Buhari, another friend, people, especially from the South kept talking, not knowing the relationship between Buhari and I. Well, they can say what they want to say. If I want an ap- pointment, I believe I’m qualified as any other Nigerian living or dead.
Secondly, I will never be a member of any party that Buhari is involved with, be it ANPP, CPC and APC.
Many people had asked me to join any of the parties where Buhari is; I told them that I would never share the same party with him. I told them that Buhari is not a politician. I’m not a member and would never be a member of APC.
If you are not a member of a party what makes anybody think that after he won the election that I should go round and say give me an appointment. I’m not that kind of per- son. I don’t believe that even those who are shameless can go and ask a leader of a party to give them appointment when they are not members of the party in the face of thousands of party members who have not been given anything.
I’m not a member of his party and I have never attended a single political event organ- ised by him from 2002 when he joined APP until today.
He cannot deny me. Off the cuff, I can tell you ten favours I did to him and I challenge him to tell me one favour he has done to me.
Babangida’s security chief, Gusau jailed me; I was detained in Owo, Ondo State for over three months. One can say that Babangida who was the head of the government detained me, it doesn’t matter. However, I survived and I have maintained my integrity and I have been able to talk to anybody; to talk to those in power. They say I’m looking for ap- pointment, what appointment?
Let me tell you, if I were in the dream and I decide to have an appointment, I will not take it from Buhari.
Those who are saying that I was looking for something from him don’t know me. He, Buhari knows how useful I am to him. I took him to the United States twice – CIA, State Department, Capitol, Congress, National Security Office, etc, and I took him to UK once, and he didn’t beg me to do it.
I know in a country like Nigeria, it is difficult to trust people who say they were doing this thing not because they were expecting any benefit but because of the sake of the country.
It is very unusual to hear of a Nigerian who talks of Nigerians hating Nigeria; everybody is after something, but there are few people in this country of over 200 million, who still believe in this country, and can come out to claim their faith in this country.
An Arewa youth leader, Shettima Yeri- ma, in a recent interview, said that Buhari wasn’t the candidate of the North for the 2019 election, and that by 2023, the North will present its own candidate. How will you reconcile this when people are saying for the sake of equity and justice, power should go to South?
Shettima is my friend, even though I didn’t read the statement, but let me state my view. This idea of zoning and rotation has been a tragedy for Nigeria because it can deprive Ni- geria of getting a better leader. That being the case, whosoever wants to claim it, let him go.
Look at what the Afenifere said that next time it would be a Yoruba person. Their under- standing of rotation is between the North and the Southwest, or Northwest and the South- west. That cannot be.
Now the contradiction, which they invented about zoning and rotation, has now collapsed, and now they are looking for lies to tell to deceive us.
Otherwise, how can you say that we now have a president who is from the Northwest and his deputy, who is from Southwest, and hat next time it will be the turn of the South- west to produce the president of this country. What are we talking about?
I don’t want to hear about this equity and justice, that is sheer nonsense.
The people, who abused this equity and justice, are the people from the Southeast because whatever we are talking about, in a democracy you cannot circumvent voting figures.
You can say it is time for my people. We will not vote for you and let’s see what hap- pens. I said it in one of my statements, look at the way the people of the Southeast voted during the last election; they have a humongous collection of votes and they all voted for Atiku, and they expect somebody to come from his own area to vote for them.
If you want other Nigerians to vote for you, you better look for other Nigerians and make a choice. Maybe, in 2023, Kanu will come and force all Nigerians to vote for them. Democra- cy is a question of give and take; you vote for me and I vote for you, that was what Michael Okpara used to say. You don’t vote for me and maybe you think that by abusing me on the pages of newspapers that I will vote for you. I will not. If I come back into active politics, it will be because of that. Let us see, for abusing people how they will vote for you.
Look at Ohanaeze, how they are duping people; they collected millions from Atiku. Let us see 2023, by the grace of God, which candidate they want to produce.
There are over 232 ethnic groups in Nigeria, how can anybody be a candidate of a group and expect to be voted by the others. You pressmen you have a responsibility to enlighten people. I want to see how they will pick the candidate from Southeast in 2023.
Some of us traditionally, we don’t talk too much, but don’t imagine that we will keep quiet and do your own bidding, it will not happen. See what is happening now, we have started the second term of Buhari’s administration, but today, people are scrambling for 2023, and the Yoruba are saying that it is their turn. How it’s their turn, I don’t know.
We keep on making this mistake of agitation of, ‘it is our turn’ over and over again. Af- ter all, somebody says the classical definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.
This is what I see happening in Southeast; you don’t vote for anybody, you only vote for who gives money, also those who say they are in APGA; all those who belong to the Igbo faction of PDP. They should think back and think of their own generation of those who are promising and who are educated and who don’t see politics as trading. Politics is not trading; it is a serious matter.
Both Buhari and Atiku are from the North, was it wrong if Southeast or South- west supported one of them?
It doesn’t matter, but what matters is that there was a candidate who can run the coun- try; is he acceptable to the rest of Nigeria or rather than just an ethnic group?
If you check the figures from the election of 2003 until 2015, Buhari has never won his home state of Katsina. You can see that the fact that he came from Katsina was neither here nor there. His own people couldn’t vote for him in three elections.
But what happens in Southeast is that you have people who enforce their Igbo hegemony on other people by violence, and if the election doesn’t go their own way they go and produce Kanu and IPOB.
I remember former President Jonathan be- ing persuaded by the Yoruba that the Sovereign National Conference was going to be by ethnic groups, I pointed out to them and I remember that Murtala Nyako also pointed it directly to Jonathan that if you do that it won’t work. Like in Taraba, there are 72 ethnic groups and in Adamawa, there are also 82 ethnic groups, while Yoruba has only one ethnic group, and all of them speak one language and one culture. How do you equate their representation at the Sovereign National Conference with that of 82 from Adamawa and 72 from Taraba?
You can see people talk rubbish; they don’t know what they are talking about because they don’t know themselves. Will they accept it if you say that all the Hausa should bring the same number of people with the Yoruba because they are each ethnic group, but there are other minor ethnic groups in the North. So, let’s see what happens.
How do you want the composition of the leadership of the 9th National Assembly?
Frankly speaking, I have nothing but contempt for the entire eighth National Assembly, and the way I see them now, everybody is agitating that it must not be this man; it must be him. They are all positioning themselves for positions of principal officers of the NASS. The Ninth Senate will be business as usual, they will move round, and collect money from the budget and all sorts of criminal things.
It has now become a pattern, anytime they are clearing budget, the ministry, agency or department must bring money, which must be shared. (The Sun)
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