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ET TU - SEE EBELE PLAY US WAYO

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Et tu, Ebele? Many of us were expecting reinvigorated, mean and efficient cabinet from Ebele, what we got is so disappointingly “same old same old”. But it could be jealousy because some of us were neither made part of the cabinet nor members of PDP. Those of us that voted for change have to wait a little bit longer or consider our votes lost. There is no doubt though, that most of us are happy and celebrating especially if we are not from Northeast, Southwest or Lagos State in particular with a double cross.

Ebele cannot please everyone. We are the one looking for lean cabinet but also crying out loud for Federal character. If he has to please 36 states and Abuja for every Nigerian to feel included, those are a great deal of people. Next time Ebele may not come back to ask for your votes since he promised one term. It may also mean Constitutional amendment to increase his four years to 7 years to enable him complete his projects.

If Ebele has to come back for our votes in another 4 years which is too early to dabble about, some people will be disappointed. Whatever the case, we do expect some jockeying around for votes or Constitutional amendments. We can expect that Ebele will come again. The problem is, he will step on some aspirants' toes and may not get the over twenty-five percent votes he got across River Niger next time around.

Marginalization or alienation of some regions or group of people in Nigerian politics is not new. What is surprising is how quiet are the human right activists. May God bless Solarin and Gani Fawehinmi in their graves. If it were some other groups that were so forgotten or marginalized in the Federal character, these two would have got up from their graves crying foul. Gani would be on his way to Court to challenge Ebele. It is understandable that we did not see Soyinka make a big deal out of it. He is retired.

A wise counsel will let Ebele know right now that some people are mad as hell. Those that are rejoicing may become his political opponents later as he entrenched and prolong his rule. The culture of celebrating other people's neglect or even demise is not African. But these are the realities of today. We must learn that celebration is for some accomplishments. Celebrating the conquest of our opponents, outfoxing them or dancing on their graves to rekindle agony of defeat only strengthens them for revenge.

Lagos State as part of Southwest got a double whammy. It must be noted for the record that this is not the first time Lagos State has no representation in the cabinet. It is no big deal. If you need another representation at the Federal level and you have reached your maximum, take another one as representative of Lagos. After all, you can get any Nigerian as a representative of Lagos, a no man's land. In other words, take a double deep from that state and deprive Lagosians. What can they do?

Real Lagosians are generally accommodating. They were trained in those days that if a stranger got to Lagos in the day, he would be clothed, fed and housed before the end of the day. But there is a limit to that tolerance. In 1999, some rumor came out that Obasanjo has been killed. Ogun State did not go up in flames. It was Lagosians that demanded to see him alive or else. Obasanjo was immediately put on television to say he was alright. It did not mean Lagosians voted for him. They just wanted justice.

Abacha was invited to Lagos many times by Marwa, the maximum ruler refused to step into Lagos. In one day and one night, as we say, Babangida left Lagos with the last shirt on his back: Abuja, here I come ready or not. The atmosphere in Lagos can be toxic and people change once they get to Lagos. Indeed, most of the area boys are not Lagosians but they can become just as toxic as Boko Haram and Mend if pushed too far. Lagosians may be minority in their own State, but Lagosians are not American Indians.

When Obasanjo finally got power in 1999, he chose another representative in addition to those from Ogun State. He chose Awolowo to represent Lagos in some capacity. Well, Awolowo is not a stranger in Lagos, they love the Sage to death. But do not cheat Lagos. Funso Williams' loss was felt deeply in Lagos but nobody should use that sympathy to impose his wife as a gubernatorial candidate and it was so rejected. What about Tinubu?

At the same time, Lagosians know Mamora is not a Lagosians and he has never claimed to be one but they love him and he represented Lagos well. Let Lagosians chose who represent them. In Tafawa Balewa's cabinet, Maitama Sule was the Minister of Lagos and they loved him, especially the youths. Cheating regions out of what belongs to all of us is the nexus of our problem in Nigeria. The only time the Authority listens is when people take up arms against their fatherland. Stop encouraging lawlessness.

It does not take very much to turn area boys into MEND or Boko Haram. There are some fear and grumblings already about security in the land. Hardly have we got out of MEND wahala when Boko Haram stepped into the spotlight. It is difficult to focus on pressing problem of justice and infrastructure when security is at stake. The amount of money consumed by security may dwarf the effort to provide power for industrial take off and peaceful coexistence. Do not provoke Lagosians.

The real hypocrites are the Yoruba. Whenever an Igbo man claims Lagos, they go up in arms ready to do battle that Lagos belongs to Lagosians. They claim they are fighting for Lagosians for justice since they are not Lagosians themselves, just being fair. But if one of theirs is chosen to represent Lagos, they go quiet. Some of them even wonder why Justice Oluwa bother to question Ebele for taking Aganga as representing Lagos. You see Eko does not have OPC, MEND or Boko Haram, all they have is 93 year old Justice Oluwa.

Those that are celebrating Ebele euphoria and dancing on the grave must remember that they will need those they are humiliating today for support to become President. If Northeast and Southwest are not producing candidates for Presidency, they may be the power brokers that those aspiring to rule after 2015 may need. It does not make sense to remain euphoric until then. Indeed, plans for the next election usually start after inauguration. Your celebration must be tempered with justice.

Alienation, marginalization and disaffection breeds injustice and inequality. It was only yesterday that Ebele's group was marginalized, today he has joined the club of the powerful and does not see anything wrong with it. So he practices it as well. Goodluck!

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Farouk Martins Aresa and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Farouk Martins Aresa