2015: THE WIN-WIN IN A NORTHERNER, JONATHAN NOT RUNNING
Last Monday, wisdom shouted from a hilltop in the North such that everyone would hear. But those who heard are dismissing it with a wave of the hand. Others who must react overlooked the wisdom and in its stead poured invectives on the medium wisdom used. They claimed the medium has no business speaking wisdom.
Those against what was spoken took this position because they were so blinded by one or all of these: their narrow-mindedness; their being very accustomed to acting in the same way that wisdom is asking them to correct; their being so obsessed with the cause wisdom is speaking against. I can surely say that the foregoing and more must have combined to delude these opponents of the wise proclamation.
This becomes a verity owing to the fact that a professor and a doctor are involved. You can agree with me that it takes much more than one of the above three factors to make a professor neglect wisdom when he accosts it, unless such a professor does not merit going by that tag. Because, any scholar who is a doctor or professor is by that title supposed to be a lover of wisdom.
But, one thing I can surely say is that there is wisdom in the recent utterance of Mohammed Abba-Gana. Mark my words, I didn't say wisdom permeated all he said but a substantial part of his postulation were clothed with wisdom. The other part that came bare was where he spoke like a member of PDP Board of Trustees that he is. But like they say it's unwise to throw away a baby alongside the bathwater.
So let's focus on the baby which is that the north presently needs at least four years to search for a suitable presidential material that could unify the region and that after producing nine of the country's leaders, the North should give other sections of the country a break to produce the number one citizen as well.
But before people like Prof Ango Abdullahi and Dr Junaid Mohammed take me to the Golgotha, let me disclaim that the above is not my idea. It remains the idea of the man they had already taken to the cleaners. Yet, wisdom rushing through that outlet continued, "Mind you, the region has produced about eight or nine former heads of state of this country and it did not take away poverty from the North."
True talk! You see, when wisdom speaks, it's always incontrovertible. That's why people who want to dispute wisdom hold unto trivialities instead of addressing issues raised by it. They, most times, attack the messenger not the message. This, we saw in the reaction of others to what wisdom said through Abba-Gana who was a one-time FCT minister.
The Secretary-General of Northern Elders' Forum(NEF)- Prof Ango Abdullahi and Dr Junaid Mohammed- a second Republic lawmaker dismissed the former minister as a politician who had always fraternized with the wrong political group for his personal interest, asking him to speak for himself and not the North.
For Prof Abdullahi, "Abba-Gana is more of a businessman than a people-oriented leader from the North. Having failed to advance any reason why the north should wait for another four years(but he did) to enable Jonathan to run again, he should hide his face in shame."
On his part, Dr Mohammed maligned, "Abba-Gana was one of the errand boys when we were in active politics and should not be taken seriously because he has no political clout even in Borno State. He does not really merit any response from right-thinking northerners."
Reading what these two elders said of the former FCT minister show how bigotry has affected their reasoning. Why should right-thinking northerners, nay, Nigerians not take him serious when he has suggested what can take us out of the woods. Let's then ask, since they aren't comfortable with what was said, which suitably qualified presidential material from the north has wide acceptance across the region at the moment?
This is because, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha from Taraba State who was with Abba-Gana when he was making the statement, dissociated northern minorities from the clamour for power to shift back to the north. Thus, not until the North produces a candidate with whom both the majority and minority will be well pleased, Abba-Gana's words remains a true counsel that is worthy of acceptance, not rejection.
We would have forgiven these two northern leaders if their reactions which came separately were immediate. But, it did not. It took over 48 hours in coming meaning they had ample time to find fault in the nub of Abba-Gana's statement but they just couldn't. Tell me, what error is there to find in the disclosure that the North has produced nine of our past leaders yet poverty remains very evident there?
Or what is wrong in the assertion that the North should spare another four years to be used in searching and grooming a presidential material with mass appeal that would better appreciate the demands of being a president and minister to the needs of our country? This is what I'm holding unto in all Abba-Gana said and I advise all Nigerians to treasure that as well.
For, one of the prominent reasons our country is in this parlous state is because we've always had accidental leaders. People who, in their wildest imagination, never thought of becoming presidents or heads of state. Some of them get into reverie when they were told they will be the next ruler and by the time they came out of that state, their government have wandered off rudderless.
As such, sparing the next term to thoroughly search and prepare a presidential candidate can be a panacea to bringing about a purposeful leader that would end the biting poverty in the North and other parts of the country. And I'm surprised that a professor in the calibre of a former Vice-chancellor of ABU Zaria cannot see the sense in this.
The way some politicians are going about 2015 makes one think there will be no 2019, 2023, 2027... in this country. That a section of the country did not produce the president in 2015 does not mean that same will elude it in 2023. I guess this is the understanding the Igbos have that is making them not so bothered about having one of theirs as president. For as far as there exists Nigeria, one day an Igbo man will be the president. How I wish other zones will come to this understanding.
However, there are fears expressed by Prof Abdullahi and Dr muhammed which to them was why the North can't wait for another four years. They said that Jonathan lacked the capacity to move Nigeria forward after having failed to tackle the myraid of challenges confronting the nation. They maintained that another four years for Jonathan would push the country into the abyss.
While these fears are not out of place, we can still get around it, not by quarrelling with Abba-Gana, who left out this part as a PDP chieftain, but by throwing our support at other candidates in the race. What else would you have me say, since we should disqualify the North for not having a suitable candidate and Jonathan shouldn't run so as not to dispatch the country into abyss, let other candidates from other zones run.
By the time one of the candidates who won must have finished his tenure Nigeria would have escaped a place in abyss and the north must have finished grooming and preparing a suitable and generally accepted candidate that will deliver the goods. You see, it promises to be a win-win situation for everybody.
Written By Ugochukwu Ugwuanyi