By Peter Omonua; Sahara Reporters, January 6, 2023.
Sometime in early 2021, news filtered out that Bola Ahmed Tinubu had assured the northern APC leaders that he would sell a Muslim/Muslim ticket to the Southwest and they would buy it. The report has it that at the meeting where the commitment was made, they asked him how he was going to convince the Southeast to vote for the same ticket. He was alleged to have responded that the Southeast did not really matter in the calculation, that as long as he could convince his people in Yoruba land and they (northerners) could get the northern support, they would cruise to victory (without the votes of the southeast).
We later got to know that the original idea behind the Muslim/Muslim ticket was an attempt to frustrate his presidential ambition. Their thought was that he would object to a Muslim/Muslim pair and that they would insist it was the only option they had for him. How do you tell a man whose wife is not only a Christian but a pastor in one of the biggest Christian denominations in the country, that his presidential running mate would be a Muslim when he himself is a Muslim in a secular country like Nigeria? He knew the game plan, refused to allow it to deter him and assured them he would run with it. The culmination of such several attempts to dissuade and frustrate him out of the race led to his now viral outburst at Abeokuta – “EMILOKAN”.
As one group was scheming to get Tinubu off the race in APC, another group was stationed in the PDP to ensure one of their own emerges as the flag bearer of that party, (in case the recalcitrance of this “Emilokan” denies them of that party’s ticket).
The emergence of Peter Obi in the Labour Party was an aftermath of his experience in the PDP. Though he has not disclosed what he encountered on his journey, Obi’s body language, despite his taciturn nature spoke volume.
Does southern Nigeria really think that a Northerner overseeing the election of Nigeria’s presidency will award the winning to a southerner? Whoever thinks that has obviously not followed the history of leadership races in Nigeria. It is for this general naivety and ignorance that I keep encouraging anyone who cares to, to get copies of the following books and read; Just Before Dawn by Prof Kole Omotoso AND The Tale of June 12 by Prof Omo Omoruyi.
Make no mistake, there would be ongoing nocturnal meetings between Atiku, El-Rufai, Garba Shehu’s presidency, INEC’s Mahmoud and possibly Lamido Sanusi. There would be ongoing scheming on how to retain power in the hands of the Fulani. How does Tinubu think an EL-Rufai will support him over Atiku? Has he forgotten that Atiku is not only EL-Rufai’s ‘brother’, but his benefactor, who more or less made El-Rufai?
Some of us are genuinely frustrated by the outright stupidity and gullibility of Southerners. When I see the sort of discussions going on on some social media pages, I can’t help but imagine how truly clueless most southerners are about the true state of the Nigerian project.
The Fulani does not want the power shift to the south. Hear it again: THE NORTH WILL DO ANYTHING TO FRUSTRATE A POWER SHIFT TO THE SOUTH. They do not care about any party. They want to see that it is transferred to another Fulani, not even to a Hausa or a Kanuri. It was for that reason Peter Obi was frustrated out of the PDP. It was for the same reason Tinubu was saddled with the baggage of a Muslim/Muslim ticket. The backlash was anticipated and they had calculated it would be a suicidal mission for him. The popularity and blossom of the Labour Party under Peter Obi were never in their calculation.
What the north has succeeded in doing is dragging Yoruba and Igbo out into an election cycle, side-stepping the making of a new constitution that should have preceded any elections. They need the overwhelming participation of the Yoruba and the Igbos, the 2 other majorities by which they can then give a semblance of fair representation in the process. They would then be able to say to the international community, “See, it was a widely and keenly contested election (may even get to a run-off). At the end, one person won, and that person happens to be a Fulani man”.
If that happens, now what? How can the southern leadership live with a reality of a back-to-back Fulani rulership of Nigeria given the experience of the south and the middle belt in the hands of the Fulani over the last 7+ years? Are we not thereby helping to promote a Fulani to complete what Buhari started i.e., the domination and enslavement of the country by the Fulani?
And to think that the chief promoters of a back-to-back Fulani headship of the country are mostly southerners is mind-boggling. It is unconscionable, unbelievably shocking to see some southerners actually drumming support for an Atiku Abubakar presidency. So, Dele Momodu, Reno Omokri, the Obasekis, Dino Melaye (a Yoruba Okun from Kogi) and most disappointingly, Ifeanyi Okowa, (a supposed frontliner of the Southern Governors forum), would face their constituencies and be proud to inform them they are part of an agenda to use one Fulani to replace another Fulani? Unbelievable!!!
What would these southerners tell their future generations about their roles in the vanquish of the south; political expediency? Do people not have shame? Do they not think of posterity and what history will write about them? Afonja and his betrayal which gave birth to an Ilorin Emirate over a century ago is still in our political discourse and will continue to be. Is that how these people want to be remembered?
I must appreciate Governor Wike and his G-5 governors for their tenacity and daring to stand up for what is right. It is not even enough for the G-5 governors to insist on Ayu’s resignation; it should be an insistence that Atiku himself, being a northerner cannot stand for election to replace another northerner. Na so dem just see us finish? Can you imagine Atiku telling us that because Buhari is in APC, then it should not affect the chances of PDP producing another northern president! What an infantilely puerile argument; is that how stupid these people think we have all become? So, is he telling us Obasanjo could have handed over to another Yoruba or Ibo person or that Jonathan could have handed to another Southerner and it will be fine with the North; what shameless effrontery and daylight robbery is that?
It amazes me how the south is so gullible to think the north will actually organize a free and fair election, then hand over power if the winner is from the south? Has that ever happened? When has a northern president or Head of State ever handed power to a southern successor? Transition of power has always been from a southern leader to a northern leader i.e., Obasanjo to Shagari, Obasanjo to Yardua, Jonathan to Buhari. The Sultan will not even allow it, not to talk of now that they “have a dog in the fight” and are the referee at the same time. For them, “kaka ki eku ma je sese, afi she awada danu ni” MEANING “if I can’t have it, NOBODY will have it so let us scatter it”.
Do people even realize the resistance from the highest level of the northern power block against handing over to Abiola? People just think it was IBB that was power drunk and wanted to cling on to power? Forces much stronger than IBB were at play at that time and those powers are still there. They have an uncanny fear of losing power. They also have a deep fear of Ibo-Yoruba coalescence; the reason the current ‘rivalry’ between “Obidients” and “Batified” is a game for them. They do not want any of these 2 tribes to lead Nigeria; neither do they want a coalition of the two.
If all attempts to replace one Fulani with another Fulani fail through the ballot, they are ready to have their military boys roll out the tanks and take over with the barrels of the gun. The populace and the international community will call it “Military Takeover” but it is essentially an elongation of Fulani rule.
Most southerners do not understand the desperation of the people they are dealing with. They would kill anyone standing on their path to perpetuate their rulership. It has already started. Some seemingly inexplicable demises have an explanation.
Unfortunately, they have succeeded, yet again, in dividing the south along ethnic and religious lines. You would think that lessons have been learnt but no. They are playing us against each other, and to reference Fela, that is “their regular trade mark”. It would be a total disgrace to the entire south if they allow Fulani to get away with this deception. My fear is that we are once again heading to the path of Azikiwe and Awolowo in the first republic. Those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it. We were told one of the 2 refused to step down for the other, which enabled the Fulani to capitalize on their disunity. Each had a personal ambition to lead and none wanted to subordinate to the other. The Ibo and the Yoruba narrate it such that each vindicates his own tribe. Some of us were not old enough to know which version to believe but at least we are witness to this current one. That is why we are writing about it now so posterity will know exactly what happened. This should have been a time for the 2 tribes to unite against their common adversary. It should be a time when they present a common and unified front. Our people say when 2 brothers fight to the death, it is the stranger that will inherit their father’s property. Let the Ibo and the Yoruba kill themselves over a non-existent 2023 presidency. The Fulani is waiting in the wings to inherit your ancestral lands when you are all ‘dead’.
The political leadership of the country or the lack of it poses an existential threat to them. They know what they have done (i.e., killings and destruction of lives and properties in various southern and middle belt communities). They fear a repercussion. I tell you, as soon as Buhari leaves and a southerner takes over, there could be a backlash on all the criminals hibernating and committing atrocities in southern forests. Throughout Buhari’s tenor, they have used the military to cover their flanks, reason why T.Y. Danjuma said “THEY COLLUDE”. Yoruba will say: “apani ki fe ki ida koja lori oun” which mean that a killer does not want a sword to be swung around his head. They fear a reprisal and are scared of the shadow of their past deeds. It is the reason one of their patrons, Gumi can publicly advise them not to vote for a president who will prosecute them. They know what they have done, and that only one of their own, Atiku will protect them after Buhari.
One fact the southern electorate know but pretend will not play out is the interest of the electoral umpire. The last time I checked, he is an Arewa man. Do southerners believe in their hearts that this man will be an unbiased umpire in this tournament, given the huge price at stakes?
While the South is busy ‘Buga-ing’, the north’s minute-by-minute planning is “how can we distract them (the south) and ensure power remains with the north?” They are thinking, “Who and who among their traitorous leaders can we buy over that will speak against them in support of the North retaining power”? They have unleashed Fulani terrorists into your farms to systematically intimidate and create scarcity of food in your lands. At the official level, they have deployed the military into your states in the south, as if there is a war already going on. For every military checkpoint you see in the north, you have roughly 8 within the same radius in the south. The ratio is worse in the South East, under the pretext of fighting IPOB members. It’s all part of the game of psychological warfare and defeat.
My postulation: they will declare Atiku the winner of the election, irrespective of what the real voting numbers are. They will anticipate an uproar. To assuage the south, they have penciled down some names to appoint into key positions as soon as they declared Atiku winner. They will tell you to go to court and challenge the result. If your uproar spirals to a riotous tumult, they will deploy their military, kill a few and take some perceived frontline leaders of the protest into detention, reminiscent of June 12. They will direct the CBN to release any required amount of money to buy out leaders of the major tribal groups. For the candidates i.e., Tinubu, Peter Obi etc., they will tell them to name their price and promise to pay them any amount of money they want, to assuage and/or compensate them. Did I hear you say “it can never happen; this is not 1993”; wait for it. I will remind you.
As it was in 2015 and 2019, a dog that will get lost does not hear the whistle of its owner. They call us “Wailers” and “Political Neophytes”. Atiku is coming to finalize the Fulani agenda started by Buhari. Buhari spent the last 8 years ‘restructuring’ the country to their preferred structure. He only needs Atiku to consolidate on that ‘restructuring’. Do people think he will hand over to a southerner who will deconstruct all that he has put in place for the benefit of his clan and their long-held belief that they own Nigeria? Atiku, I am told is deadlier, more virulent and will exercise a vice-grip hold of the south. Just as Tinubu fed a lion which has almost now consumed him, those promoting Atiku now will be the first casualty. That is why he has never condemned Fulani atrocities. That was why he deleted that twit about the murderous killing of Deborah by some terrorist in Sokoto. Southern Nigeria has suffered enough under the yoke of this marriage. When is enough really enough? If Chief Obasanjo, with all of his ‘stubbornness’ and deep understanding of Nigeria’s social-political history could not salvage it, believe me, no one can. Not Peter Obi and not Tinubu.
From the onset, two countries that did not have anything in common were merged into a single entity. Nigeria has been a “state held together at gunpoint” since then.
It has been over a hundred years and everyone can see that it has not worked. Anyone adamant about keeping it so, no doubt, reaps from the agony and the frustration of the people of a failed state. They do not care about the wellbeing of the citizens or for the development of the country. Chief Richard Akinjide, a one-time staunch supporter of the north, who went to the extent of betraying his kinsman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, for the benefit of the north; before he died, said the North believes they can use the military to rule the country in a form of internal colonialism. He further said and I quote: “these are people who do not make a distinction between public treasury and private treasury”. Basic economic tells us Savings and Investments are the engine for the growth of any economy. How can you ever hope to save and invest with such people? As far back as 1962, Chief Obafemi Awolowo had referred to them as “autocratic ruling caste” during his treason trial.
Before any progress can be made in southern Nigeria, we have to go back to the “2 state solution”; northern Nigeria and southern Nigeria. Take it back to where it was before the British disingenuously merged them.
Southern Nigeria Delineation
Already we are running 2 countries as it were anyways. The water resource bill is clear evidence. Those in southern Nigeria don’t want it while those in northern Nigeria welcome it and in fact anticipate it. The introduction of Sharia with its associated Hisbah police is another.
The states in the middle belt will be given the choice to decide if they prefer a country of their own or vote for a choice between becoming part of southern Nigeria or part of northern Nigeria. Thank God for the discovery of oil wells and other minerals in the north.
Southern Nigeria will decide after this first level of separation if they will continue as a unit or create new countries of Biafra, Oduduwa and Niger Delta thereafter. A president of Southern Nigeria extraction, (even if it were to happen), with the current structure of the country is window dressing; the sore would only fester. Like a friend of mine said, “if perchance they give you the presidency now, the Fulani, like a hawk, will patiently wait for when they return to power to finish their project. Why postpone the evil days”.
Some would say, why now, when the presidential election is less than 2 months to take place? It is because we know the election is a distraction. It is a destination to nowhere; to a darker wilderness. It is being used to renew the life of a slavish Constitution, the same reason our revered elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo had said there should not be any elections before a new Constitution. Pastor Chris Okotie also said just recently that there should be no election but that a transition government be put in place. Against all voices of wisdom, they are rail-roading us into an election because they need it as a vehicle to perpetuate their overlordship and finalize their evil agenda.
Peter Omonua, an Officer of the Canadian Armed Forces lives in Ontario, Canada. He can be reached at email@example.com