Saturday, June 8, 2013

BEFORE YORUBAS ALIGN WITH THE CORE-NORTH... a friendly reminder BY ENA OFUGARA

Professor Angos Abdullahi's offer of alliance to any region that offers the North the presidential ticket and Tinubu's dallying with Buhari forces me to point a few things out to Yorubas who care to listen.

 Firstly we all know Awolowo was a more intelligent man than Zik and the  Igbo-hating Ahmadu Bello (i shared the link were Ahmadu Bello spouted total hate towards Ibos). Why, pray tell did his Action Congress  not go into alliance with the NPC (Northern People's Congress) and instead the naive "One Nigeria" Azikiwe did to dastardly consequences? Awolowo was in Zik's house offering the Alliance between AG and Zik's NCNC when  Ahmadu's call came through and Zik accepted to align with the North instead of the West, an alliance that has done nothing for the East till date.

What did Awolowo know that made him not align with the core-north that Tinubu does not? Does the Awo-imitation glasses which Tinubu wears not reveal same wisdom to him?

Then let us look at MKO ABIOLA. MKO fought Awolowo and struck alliance with the North. He was a graduate and established businessman and was very wealthy. He built countless mosques and spent huge resources wooing the North so he could be president under NPN. In fact, Abiola's utterances and postures back then was so anti Christian and anti-Awo....same Awo whose free education he used to acquire education which in turn made him able to take advantage of the opportunities presented in a new nation. The North took his money and made a TC11 holder Shehu Shagari...a Northerner, president and again Awo turned down any alliance leaving the Ibos and Alex Ekwueme to align with the North. Of course when the Hausa's took a coup to unseat Shagari, Buhari placed The president Shagari in a "house arrest" while his powerless deputy and Ibo ally Ekwueme was in kirikiri even though he did not take a single executive decision we can remember.

Abiola MKO had learnt his lesson. Thenceforth he balanced his affections somewhat between Christians and Muslims and knew not to rely on the North. He spent as much time helping people in Port Harcourt almost as much as in Sokoto with his immense wealth. And when IBB called for parties to be formed and elections held, Abiola refused to join the fray. He knew he couldn't trust the Northerners and perhaps was unsure how South east and South South would react to his previous suspected anti-Christian stance. So he stayed away. Shehu Yar'Adua was thus the Colossus and President in waiting until Sani Abacha's hate for him perhaps influenced IBB to ban everyone who contested and open the field for fresh candidates. (Till date there is no rationale for the ban on Shehu Yar'Adua so pardon me if I attribute it to his rumoured personal squabble with Abacha)

Now with the "first eleven" banned, the temptation was too much for Abiola and he threw his hat in. That was when he knew that South East and South South did not support Awo, not because he was Yoruba, but because Awo was TOO YORUBA. His writings and speeches and actions showed he was for everything Yoruba and no place else. They also felt betrayed by his actions as finance minister during the Biafra war... the action of changing the naira which in everyone's view won the war for Nigeria (told you he was brilliant)

Back to Abiola. The south and East went for him like he was Munachi Kiniovo Oritsesan (MKO) Abiola. The south and East seeing Kingibe as his deputy did not give a hoot about their Muslim/Muslim ticket. We knew Ambassador Kingibe was too civilised to be a Muslim Fundamentalist and Abiola had shown he cared for the common man and so nobody cared if he walked naked to a river to worship Olokun or shaved his hair and climbed a mountain to see the Dalai Lama in Tibet or to Ethiopia to worship Haile Selassie. NOBODY CARED.

And then Babangida realized he had made an unforgivable mistake in the eyes of the North. Ahmadu Bello's speech about them never allowing power to move to the south had been flipped and IBB had to beat a retreat and annul the June 12 elections. And the East and South South stood up with the Yorubas and fought and rioted and burnt buildings of even their sons whom they considered traitors.
THE EAST AND SOUTH SOUTH STOOD WITH THE WEST.

Now how did the North react? You could have heard a pin drop. Silently they backed IBB and when the West and East and South South will not be placated, IBB "stepped aside" and put Ernest Shonekan as head of the Interim Government and refused to put a vice but left Geeneral Sanni Abacha as Minister of Defense and put him as Shonekan's Number 2 man. And when the polity was settled to a degree, Abacha returned power to the North and himself. And when he died, power stayed in the North and Jerremiah Useni who ordinarily was the ranking officer after Abacha then knew being a Christian Middlebelter made one at the mercy of the core north and like David Mark and other Middlebelters, you are offered what falls of the master's table and from lessons learnt from allowing Gowon, it will no longer include the presidency.

So Abdul Salaam became president but also knew the east and South South and West were deeply aggrieved and IBB knew the country was tottering on the precipice of disintegration and so the Yoruba Man who had once delivered power back to the North is recruited from prison and so OBJ became President and indeed sent power back to the North upon completion of his 8 year tenure.

Again it must be noted that the East and South South stood behind the Yoruba OBJ. he had almost 100 percent of votes cast.

So when OBJ picked the brother of his former 2IC (second in command) Yar'Adua and put a very compliant GEJ as his deputy, there was no thought that power would ever go to the east or South South. Then Yar"Adua started removing all OBJ's fingers from reins of power, chasing out and prosecuting his allies like El Rufai and Nuhu Ribadu. Vetoing the sale of NNPC and a few other major decisions. And upon Yar"Adua's rumoured and denied death, OBJ knew it was an opportunity to get back in the saddle of power and supported the then stooge-mien GEJ to power.

Now the West and East and south South stood behind GEJ so he can be called "Acting President"....something that should go without saying.

And when finally Yar"Adua death was confirmed, GEJ was sworn in as president. The West almost betrayed the alliance by adopting Nuhu Ribadu. But somehow we understand Tinubu decided to go with GEJ as Ribadu had no chancee of winning even his home state and only Ekiti or so returned Ribadu as winner.

But since GEJ's tenure, the North have bullied him and sadly the West have joined them. Boko Haram has been used as a scourge and since Yorubas are not the primary target, as those to be butchered are chiefly The Easterners and South Southerners, the west's leadership have been totally uncaring. Instead of supporting GEJ to rule well, the new Awolowo (if only by his glasses and leadership of the Yorubas), Bola Tinubu decides to plot and remove the minority GEJ from power. Unlike Awo, he decides to align with the same core North that will not allow a Yoruba Imam preside in a Northern Mosque nor consider Abiola good enough to be president. Tinubu decides to add the Western weight to that of the north just to have his hands on the reins of power...power of vice president at best...an aberration to Awo.

When GEJ finally decided to take the bull by the horn as he was getting zero cooperation from those who have led Nigeria and who consider themselves senior partners to the union called Nigeria, when he decides to tackle terrorism, Tinubu, the leader of the Yorubas decide to not support the only action that can savee the life of Ibos and South Southerners in the North and maybe with time, in the very south. (cancers grow).

This I find to be a big betrayal by the Yorubas...if Tinubu indeed speaks for them. This was a chance for Yorubas to take charge of being leaders of the south by backing GEJ. For them to empathise with our dead and support all actions to keep us safe. But Tinubu like Akintola decides his bread is best buttered with an alliance with the core north and like Akintola, he will find his stock plummet in a very short while.

So as Professor Angos Abdullahi offers alliance with any region that would offer them the presidential ticket, I ask Yorubas to look inwards and ask 1. with whom are they truly equals and even apparently superior and not second class citizens? 2. Who has stood with them the most? 3.Whose resources have built their Lagos and everywhere else? 3. if the country should break, with whom would they rather form a republic? South South or North? 4. What has previous alliances by Akintola and Abiola with the North done for them? 5. Should they not be leading a united south against those who say they are born to rule? 6. What is the cost to the Yoruba nation to be forever hated by the East and South South for supporting the North at the only time they have felt any sentiments as being truly part of Nigeria. 7. Should we not be uniting to address why the North has 80 plus percent of oil blocks or is the Yoruba 19 percent fair enough so no need to change the status quo?

I will end by saying, give us a Kingibe and the south will not mind being as one with the North. But all we see are fundamentalists and supremacists like the Ciromas, Anbos Abdullahis, Buharis who will not even comisserate with Southerners and easterners killed by their terrorists. WE CANNOT HAVE THAT and the Yorubas should not allow themselves be used to return power to this ilk.

Awo would turn in his grave in disgust watching Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his Alliance with Buhari