The Northern Agenda Misrepresented


Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida's tactical retreat from the collapsed balloon of the Norhtern consensus agenda is, as expected, characteristically ingenious and militarily tactical. This "maradonic" withdrawal was achieved through an innocuous congratulatory  statement to President Jonathan the day after the dismemberment of the Atiku charade. As if the evil genius always had this message tucked under his pillow, observers believe the delivery to Jonathan was too fast to be spontaneous. That it could only have been waiting for the victory declaration. Babangida's message read:    

"His victory at the primary is not only personal but to all members of our great party, to lovers of peace, unity and progress; and to all those who believe in democracy and Nigeria . I therefore urge him to be magnanimous in victory and carry along with him those who lost at yesterday's event."  

  Now, how about that. Those who lost could only be Atiku Abubakar. Note the reference to" LOVERS OF PEACE, UNITY AND PROGRESS. Could this be some unkind cut to a desperate Abubakar and his childish militant utterances?    

  With the dramatic cionclusion of that primary, Atiku was effectively put in his place, the Northern agenda was logically demolished, the end of the septuagenarian class of aspir5ants is finally coming to a close. Ever the dribbling General, what is left for babangida to profit from in a capsized boat. The cunning man must sound like a forgiving Nationalist in order to take his place neatly in the vacant seaty he left as a member of the committee of Elder Statesmen before he left for this disastrous adventure. Army Generals, are by their training and experience masters of the art of retreat when attack becomes senseless. For some, when nobility is painful and the enemy bears gifts or promises too good to refuse, chameleons cannot match their skills in deception. Heaven only knows the double agents in this high wire game.  

  But the professional "Northerners" are roaming around town, barking like mad dogs and threatening blue murder. All Northerners who voted for a Southerner ( Jonathan) have already scored own goals against their side and like that Colombian goalkeeper, must pay the price for acts similar to suicide against the North.  

  In the words of Kaita 'These governors, who betrayed their people will be judged by the same people whose interest they have undermined, they will see evil if they do evil.' He added that all efforts would be made to ensure that those of them seeking a second term mandate are not returned.  

  Kaita imagines himself as Daniel in judgement over Governors he did not elect.  

  The following months will surely reveal the strategy of the jingoists and put a lie to their pretenses. Confirmation that they are just empty barrels, noisy as hell but empty as an Oyo calabash.  

  One hopes that the damage done to the innocent and good people of the North is not irredeemable. The North in the meaning of Isa Kaita, Atiku Abubakar, Adamu Ciroma, Babangida and others is not the totality of the geographical description in the diary of Alhaji Ahmadu Bello. Rather, it is the modern "North" of a few myopic citizens from the North West , part of the North East   and just the religiously correct of this tiny described expired group.  

  All else are excluded. And because of the basic foolishness of the gladiators of the "North", majority of Nigeria would most probably direct the charge against the pretenders in this election.      

  The facts are as stated by Isa Yakassai, bare boned, no frills. It takes the likes of the unsophisticated man to dress the enduring atrocities of our corrupt politics in the deserved crude adornments that   Yakassai has done. How, the question by intelligent Northerners must go, do the likes of these medieval feudalists get on National Television to represent a people whose need for proper leadership cries in the face of misrepresentations that beget their poverty. How come these expiring men, have yet to believe in the Western education and foreign upbringing they sourced for their spoilt children abroad enough to trust them and pass the torch. Like Shehu Shagari did, like Olushola Saraki is doing.  

  And that accounts rather unfortunately for the wide differentials between the leaders of the South and that of Tanko's "North". In the field of contest in the North are near   septuagenarians like Babangida, Gusau, Atiku and Buhari. All men out of uniform, all past National leaders with wasted opportunities whose source of uncontrolled expenditure can only be accounted for by the Nigerian high office they have held. Whose legitimate earnings cannot ordinarily support in the least the expenses of political contests. The South will not parade such embarrassment without loud criticisms and press protests..  

  Rather, the South would have long outsourced these contests to the next generation. A generation better educated, less motivated by crude sentiments and definitely unconnected with past crimes. The only exeption occurs when the North decides to fish in the deep corners of Nigerian jails for a Southern felon to pardon and enthrone.  

  According to Tanko Yakassai, the north graciously loaned the Presidency to the South in 1999. I wish he had added that in disbursing this loan, the choice of their long time Southern agent and ally, Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo was considered wise and reliable.   We also know, curtsey of the egregious revelations just before Obasanjo's second term, that he was made to swear to an oath to faithfully redeem this loan in four years. That he sought then, to roll over for a further four years was the cause of the loud explosion and open confession to the covert arrangement.  

  But, like a reliable servant, Obasanjo redeemed his pledge, paid his dues and gave the entire principal and profit back to the "North" through a manager he produced from the infirmary. But the diabolic General with uncommon mischief before returning the Presidency back through yar' Adua, a confirmed sick man, propped him up with a man always destined to win, by burying his bosses, one way or the other. And that was how Goodluck seized the Government by the help of "God Almighty". But then, Jonathan made no commitments and Goodluck is not in a hurry to change his winning luck for any threats. And this is the battle raging at the moment.       Like earlier observed, Kaita is either too dumb or just unserious about his professed love for the North. Otherwise the crude de-marketing going on now is ultimately damaging to the value that this region promises the Country in leadership. To make matters worse, the worst materials, with records of infamy and selfishness were proudly paraded by these insensitive individuals with interest only in milking those they pretend to promote.  

  Condescending would not be active enough a word to describe the attitude of the leaders of the "North" for their Southern citizens. remember Alhaji Maitama Sule  

  Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule was quoted to have said,  

  'Everyone has a gift from God. The Northerners are endowed by God with leadership qualities. The Yoruba man knows how to earn a living and has diplomatic qualities. The igbo man is gifted in trade, commerce, and technological innovation. God so created us equally with purpose and different gifts.'  

  This will just capture the ignorance of these old and uninformed bigots. That God, their own God, so arranged the World to cede leadership to their kind alone. This then explains why the rest of Nigeria, North, South and in between, particularly the generation trained in the wisdom of the old, oriented in the ways of the new World and passionate about the poverty of the majority enough to seek its eradication, North South and elsewhere, must rise up to banish the sentiments driven by the ignorance of these types.  

  If you vote Jonathan, it must not be because he is Ijaw or from some expression called South South. He must be worth the promises that make sense to our issues. Casting a ballot for Ribadu should reflect a genuine belief in his gifts, training and the morality he built these experiences on.  

  The new Nigeria must reflect everything new that we can integrate into the journey to the future, together and in harmony with the values that will make us truly great.  

  Francis Ojo