Kalu: When North Disagrees On Resource Control (Part 1)
The former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu without doubt has a dream for Nigeria. Virtually everything he has said about Nigeria has come to pass. He is one man the world over knows that will never compromise truth for the sake of getting along with people or for political position.
It is imperative to say that the problem with Nigeria is not actually leadership but how to control the resources of the country of which have met a lot of opposition from different quarters especially from the north. It has become clear by observatory calculations that the only thing that has kept the country going is the crude oil in the South-East and South-South divides of the country.
It was palpable last year that Kalu did not mince words when he told the north to give the rest of Nigerians some space. He made this comment when it became silver-tongued that the north was bent on taking over the presidency in 2015. Kalu was in high spirit and he vehemently told Nigerians that the north should think twice of its step towards the struggle for the presidency in 2015, because it had never had it good in the past like it is experiencing good things in the present government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
Kalu had wondered why the north should be unsheathing the sward for that singular quest when it has become apparent that Jonathan is doing everything within the constitution to better the lots of the north to somewhat the detriment of the south. Kalu who made his opinion known through his Media Adviser, Emeka Obasi, said, “The North never had it so good. Under the Dr. Goodluck Jonathan Presidency, the South is marginalised. The Vice President, the Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Justice of the Federation, Chief of Defence Staff and even the chairman of the ruling party, are all northerners. They cannot rule in 2015; enough of the power struggle.”
In some jaundiced calculation, somebody might think that Kalu disgusts the north, but this is not true. What he was letting the north know is that there may be no other person who can love it just as Jonathan is showing it love to even the detriment of the entire south. It does not occur to the north that over three years in power, Jonathan was yet to review the government projects in his Niger Delta area, of which he has not hesitated doing in the north.
One sacrosanct thing after a review of Kalu's position is that he is not sentimental, so for the north to continue to say that no going back in bringing power to north 2015, insha Allah, may be seen as balderdash. Kalu would say: “Fact is we have given too much to our northern brothers. They have 20 states; the South has 16. I count the Federal Capital Territory as a state because the minister, like state governors, has an Aide de Camp (ADC). Unfortunately, there are only five states in the South-East.”
Kalu has been crying that the North must reciprocate Nigerians generosity of spirit. To him, Independence was delayed to wait for the North. Only once in the history of the country have Nigerians had the numbers one and two positions occupied by men from one divide. He said that that happened under the Muhammadu Buhari/Tunde Idiagbon regime; both came from the North. Again, in 2011, the Yoruba donated the position of Speaker to the North. There were no riots. Kalu has pleaded that the North should give this country a respite.
Nigeria might not be standing on a tripod stand as Nigerians could be experiencing today if the north had implored peace and unity and stop heating up the country because of the lucre for power over 2015. At the just concluded National Conference, Nigerians could recall how many times the north threatened the rest of Nigerians that it would walk away from the conference, all in a bid to intimidate the rest of Nigerians when it felt that Nigerians were asking for equality in the equation of things in the country, which the north have been enjoying the larger part to the detriment of others.
There was uproar from the north when the National Conference Committee on Devolution of Power sought for the equal accountability between states and Federal Government in matters, which bother to oil exploration and mining of other mineral resources. It was a long drawn battle that the north wanted not be mentioned in any angle and that hot debate was postponed till a Monday; all in a bid to the continuous massage of the north.
For the records, observers had said: “Delegates from the North and South were sharply divided on the matter. While conferees from the South favoured both states and the Federal Government to share roles in the mining of oil and other mineral resources, their counterparts from the North fiercely opposed the proposal. The Northern delegates canvassed that oil mining should be allowed to remain in the exclusive list as is currently the case. Moral suasion by chairman of the committee, Obong Victor Attah, and former minister of health, Prof. ABC Nwosu failed to convince the delegates to shift ground.”
This is the north for you! Kalu would say that he did not see the focal point of the Confab been tailored to north and south poles if self-seeking purposes were not first sent to represent the interest of Nigerians at the confab. He had frowned that no section of the country should think that it is superior to the other, but affirmed that Nigerians should say the truth concerning the sharing and controlling of mineral resources which are largely deposited in the south, of which the same south is hugely marginalised.
Rubby Obinna writes from Ohaji, Imo State.