Events happening in the Nigerian polity within the last few months calls for reflection rather than posturing.
Reading Dr. Tilde write-up with the above caption, it was so apparent where he was coming from!
I could have ignored Tilde’s write-up but it will be wrong to assume he speaks for most Northerners, majority of whom are just as marginalized and as emasculated as the “Almanjeris” that metamorphosed into Boko Haram.
I will instead give short and precise response to a few of the outlandish statements and assertions he made.
1.) The issue of Power Rotation:
I think Dr. Tilde is either suffering from amnesia or he is outrightly mischievous.
Let us assume there was a “gentleman’s agreement” within the PDP, to rotate power between the Northerners and Southerners. In that context, the following questions begs for answers and makes Dr. Tilde’s argument baseless.
(a)Does the PDP have the constitutional authority (as just one party out of the many contesting Nigeria’s election)to decide who will be Nigeria’s next President? Or put another way, are Nigerians bound by the internal agreement made within the PDP? If Nigerians are not bound then we reserve the right to vote for Buhari or Jonathan just as he reserves the right under Nigerian constitution, to stand for election.
(b)Did the North respect this same “agreement” in 2003 when a Southerner in person of Obasanjo was the President and wanted to complete his possible two tenure? Did Atiku, Babangida and a host of other Northerners not seek PDP’s nomination till the last minute? Where was Dr. tilde and his moral grand-standing then? If the Northerners did not respect that same agreement in 2003 (and Nigeria did not disintegrate!), why will it disintegrate now or is it because it is the Northerners who stand to benefit/loose now?
(c)Again, a Northerner was in power, in person of Musa Yar Adua since 2007. So, we safely say he was on the Northern ticket but alas, he died in office, a divine intervention and as in law, “death nullifies any contract and relieves the contractor of all liabilities and obligations”. So, the North, by no ones action, lost its ticket and logically next in line, is a Southerner. The ticket simply moved-on!
On the flip side, since the constitution of Nigeria says that “The Vice President takes over/ or continues the tenor, once the President is incapacitated or dies in office” (irrespective of his ethnic affiliation or any PDP arrangement), we can also argue that President Jonathan is just fulfilling the letters of the constitution by constitutionally ‘taking-over’ the “rights” of Musa Yar Adua and continuing his tenor, even for the second term!
Of-course, the Northerners feel shortchanged but they should not accuse Jonathan, they should blame it on fate, and themselves for fielding Musa Yar Adua (with rumors of his mental illness, fainting during the campaigns in 2007, kidney problems and a host of medical issues!) as the “anchor” of their slot!
It is also very nauseating, the way Dr. Tilde and his likes threatens fire and brimstone, if a northerner is not “selected” as the next President! It irks ones reasoning on why the Northerners are always clamoring for these “shortcuts” to everything that should have been determinable on merit; from Quota system in Jamb exams, catchment areas in admissions into the military, civil services, job appointments, to “educationally disadvantaged” nuances and virtually everything that should be based on merit. Why is the North always shying away from “fair competition”?
It is on record that even the Adamu Ciroma that is foaming in the mouth is a product of such “zoning and reserve policy” through out his public life (and it was many!). This is one of the reasons this country is not making rapid progress: Square pegs, which are products of zoning and quota system, in round holes! Mediocrity at its best!!
Hear Dr. Tilde:”The insult that the North must not think that the presidency is its birthright is often repeated”….
How is the above statement an insult if we remember that the North has ruled Nigeria for 38yrs out of its 50yrs of independence? Is that 38/50 borne out of competence or fair representation?
Is that phrase not self-evident, going by the raving rants of people like Ciroma and his co-Northern hawks who threaten violence just because their “sense of entitlement” seems threatened, that the North actually feels the Presidency was its “birth-right” or were we not in this same country when one of the Northern states has as its motto: “BORN TO RULE”?
I would expect that a PHD holder like Tilde cannot loose sight of the similarities between “born to rule” and “birth right” except that himself and his likes are too blinded by the fact that “change is happening”? This is akin to white-folks, right-wingers in America who still cannot fathom that a “dark-skinned” American can become and is currently the American President in the “white” House!
Again, as often repeated by those who want to “give a dog a bad name so they can hang it”, Dr. Tilde asserts as follows: “Finally, the President has expressed his contempt for his opponents in unequivocal terms. He rushed to implicate them in the recent bombing by extricating those who claimed responsibility at a time when he said the matter was still under investigation”.
Why on earth people like Tilde and his Northern war-mongers cannot understand simple reasoning is beyond every straight-thinking Nigerian.
First, its on record that MEND (an amalgamation of many resistance groups in the Niger Delta) accepted the Amnesty, laid down its weapons and chose the path of peace. If anyone (or any other group seeking recognition out of violence) then comes out to claim it is MEND and then goes on to perpetuate violence using MEND’s name, does that make then the “REAL MEND” that accepted the amnesty?
Secondly, the leaders of MEND who accepted the amnesty promptly went to the seat of government in Abuja and publicly dissociated themselves from that treasonable act! Even then, why rabid people like Dr. Tilde and his Northern ‘Lords of War” still want to rant that the President was wrong when he said MEND (the MEND that accepted amnesty, laid down its weapon, dissociated itself publicly) was not responsible for the bombing, cannot be too difficult to understand!
Is it not obvious that Tilde, Ciroma and the President’s critics on this issue just needed an excuse to make the President appear “Un-Presidential”? This is the foolhardiness in the reasoning of a PHD holder! Reminds me of this “Doctor Nasamu”, during our NYSC orientation Camp, who was asked his date of birth and he requested to be allowed to consult his “documents” to get an accurate date! A medical Doctor!!
While Dr. Tilde tries to muddle the Boko Haram issue, a creation of Northern rulers who will not educate their wards but prefer to use them as “weapons in ethnic and religious cleansing”, forgetting that one day, the chickens would come home to roost. one wonders how the President is supposed to “intellectually engage” a bunch of religiously-fanatical and murderous miscreants who claim “Western Education is forbidden”?
Does Dr. Tilde, despite his western education, expect the President to engage them in “Arabic knowledge” since they are incapable of appreciating the benefits of western education or would it make more sense if the President now appoints Dr. Tilde as “Minister for Boko Haram” since they seem to reason on the same level? Arrant nonsense!
The bitter truth is that the North has been threatening other members of this nation for too long. Even though we know that majority of them are more prone to violence (as can be evidenced from the number of religious riots they have enacted since independence while a large population of them live peacefully in the South) but violence is not anyone’s prerogative and it does no one any good.
Nigeria cannot continue to be held hostage in a situation of “its either the North or no one else”. Late Bob Marley once said that “there can be no peace without without justice” and justice means that every Nigerian must feel at home in any part of Nigeria, must be free to develop and blossom wherever he lives, must be respected and his/her life held with respect and dignity and more importantly, must feel secured and not be threatened by another. We are all “full-blooded Nigerians”.
The North should learn to be competitive, we are tired of spoon-feeding them or “zoning rights” to them by way of some devilish formulas! If the North feels it can win the election come 2011, it should go ahead and field its own candidate on any of the other parties (ANPP’s Buhari and others) or it can even evolve its own political party and contest against Jonathan!
Threats would not cut it anymore. The North must eschew violence but if for some reasons it chooses violence then it looks more like the last straw that breaks the camels back! Nigerians are not as naive as they were in 1966 and each region is ready and prepared to protect itself to the last man! There is no more “Bakassi” to cede to Cameroon anymore!
Even the military is made up of “ethnic Nigerians” and l hope the North realizes that it alone cannot take on the East, the South and the West simultaneously because if one goes, the others will simply go! The agitation of Biafrans, the South-South, Boko Haram, Oduduwa, Middle Belters, e.t.c will simply be actualized with one master stroke only that it would do us all a lot of good if the same results were achieved in a simple and civilized manner instead of through violence.
No region is “overly-desperate” to keep Nigeria as one though that option is better than a Nigeria founded and nurtured on deceit and threat of violence!
I want a “One Nigeria” that is anchored on true federalism, where every region can grow and blossom at its own pace without being bogged down with retrogressive and outdated ideas like “quota system, zoning, catchment areas, born to rule or Abuja syndrome, a Nigeria where we have respect for one another (even if we dislike each other!), as obtained in an even bigger and more diverse country like the United States!
If the North will not subscribe to these cool ideas but rather thinks its a must that “the Presidency must be handed down to them like they were actually “born to rule”, then l guess they have just succeeded in “igniting the keg of gun-powder” we have been sitting-on in the last 50years!