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Why power must return to the north


Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Photo: Reuters

I understand why power must return to the north in this dispensation because some southern leaders shortchanged the north in a power sharing agreement but I do not understand the number of bigoted analyses that I have read by some northerners full of detestation, never a unifying sense, centered solely on identity instead of issues, pugnaciously attacked people, and other regions.  

I love the northern people, but I am wary of a few northern elite who have, time after time, painted the entire north as a place where intolerance of views, other people, region and religion hold sway.

These few should know better than divide Nigerians, for they are highly educated graduates from some of the best ivy leagues in and – outside the shores of this country, but instead choose to promote hatred for the other side.

I have differed on occasions with some of the policies of the current president of Nigeria, because I refuse to fall for the pressure of group think

I have written a piece probing why the elite love to sponsor negative campaigns in the news media against General Muhammadu Buhari even though it was not a ratification of his political career.  

In contrast some northern leaders do not love love General Aguiyi Ironsi,  the south and President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, not on their governing philosophy and, policies but because of their religious belief, initiated only by an accident of birth.

It is stupefying that in this polarized days of ours some people choose not to win people over with deeds but with empty words akin to the approach of swift boaters.

Firmly declaring that the north must claim the presidency because it is a divine order meant for that region makes it appear like a family treasure and to reproach highly regarded southerners for not supporting the current president is not only unjust, outlandish but smacks of a dangerous scheme by these northern people.

I wonder why they assume that governmental positions are only about the Centre and to say that the north is more politically conscious than the rest of Nigeria is a tall tale because what the north practices today is not real democracy. It is feudalism.

The true democracy, that area practiced, ended with the Moshood Abiola era. Real democracy respects the values and rights of all, and – that includes the minority, including women. Such minorities must not be marginalized – as they are, in the north, at this instant.

For instance indigenous Christian minorities may never be state executives in the north, the same way Simon Abah born in Sokoto State – cannot contest a local election because he is a Christian and seen as a Martian but in contrast ‘Ibrahim’ (no reference to any-one i know) originally a native of Borno State – can challenge for a local election in Kano if he decides to and, he will be cossetted and allowed because he is a Muslim.

The same way many Muslim, non-indigenes have taken up electorate positions in states, other than – that of their family tree on religious grounds. Is that the political consciousness northerners always refer to?

It is easy to see why so many northern youths today have chosen to take the back seats intellectually since people up north make them believe that brainpower is the birth right of the South-West, business for the South-East, while power is for the North.

What a subterfuge? If this were true, Professor Jibrin Aminu would not have had the intellect to survive the rigours of medical school in the revered University of Ibadan or Professor Iya Abubakar and many other northerners would not have being educational giants.

Moreover if the northerner is not intelligent and not good in business but only good in administration, on which premise does a northern leader have to run the economy of a big country like Nigeria? And how developed has the north being with leadership directed by northerners? Nowhere do you hear northerners mention how such power will be used to lift the average northerner and all Nigerians from the shackles of poverty like his forebears did.

How come the northern supermen haven’t ensured that there are social groups in the north to push for answerable governance in that part of Nigeria, despite the indefensible underdevelopment of the north? Reproaching the Middle Belt for treachery is disrespectful by northerners.

Historians know that the North created the ‘core north theory to the detriment of the Middle Belt especially when bazaars for all were to be shared reason why J.S Tarka that the north has a contempt for, fought against these discriminations, the same way Nelson Mandela affirmed that: As we destroyed apartheid so too can we defeat poverty and discrimination if we are united, unlike the current crop of middle belt politicians most of whom play to the Northern colonnade.

It is impolitic for the north  to put down southerners who have – ruled Nigeria from 1999 (mindful of the interregnum of Umaru Musa Yar Adua’s death), to 2015 the same way it is imprudent for most southerners who love to accuse the north for ruling Nigeria for so long because of the long years of military rule which was for their constituency (armed forces), for self-glory and not on behalf of the northern people.

I must state here that if appointments to political offices are measures to judge the open mindedness of a leader then president Goodluck Jonathan was more benevolent enough to have selected many northern sons and daughters into offices unlike president Muhammadu Buhari who settled majorly for the appointment of northerners in many sectors of the economy.

To refer to General Aguiyi-Ironsi the way many northerners do is demeaning and bad-mannered specifically to the memory of a statesman who was entreated to be head of state and who rose up to the occasion without fear, a leader who truly knew the problems of Nigeria, who was marked to be slain in a coup but foiled it and whose only sin according to northern people and their ilk was that he didn’t kill the coup plotters because he was sane enough not to shed blood because there was no law or decree allowing him to do such.
Abah wrote from Abuja

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