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ANIOMA 2015: COUNT ME OUT

By Martin-hassan Eze
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Delta State like many States in Nigeria is standing on three legs. Two are of these legs shaving walked into the government house in Asaba since the coming return to democracy 1999. From 1999-2007 it was Oghara born James Ibori representing the Delta Centre; the current occupant in Asaba Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan whose tenure expires in 2015 is from Delta South (Ishikiri, Isoko and Ijaw). This implies that the people of Delta North (Igbos) are the only people that not yet tested the proverbial dry meat.

Democracy is a government which upholds the view of the majority and still respects the right of the majority. Democracy which is a gift from the Ancient Greece was defined by Abraham Lincoln as the “government of the people for the people and by the people”. However, happenings in Nigeria have made many to question the health status of ours democracy. We claim to be operating both a constitutional and representative democracy. While this cannot be disputed in paper, the practice is something else.

The ethnic song being chanted in Delta State ahead of next year generation election's raising more question than answers. No doubt, in a “Nigerianised” democracy. If not our calling brothers cannot(Anioma) be claming the right to occupy the drivers seat in 2015.. The bane of what we are suffering in Nigeria is “Unconstitutionalism”. We have thrown the primary and supremacy of the constitution to the wolves and have gone ahead to enthrone all soon of illegality as “la loi”. I have taken my time to go through the Nigerian constitution and have not seen anything like “Zoning” yet this is a philosophy that dances, in political stage. Yes, justice and equity demand that what is good for the goose is good for the gander however; the argument of my people does not in portray justice and equity as expected in a saner society or civilized clime. Does it mean that there is no justice and equity in Delta State at present? Have the Anioma been denied their right, duty and obligation because their son is not the captain of the ship? Will the problems of Anioma land develop wings because our their son is at the helm of affair? The call for Anioma 2015 is nothing but clannishness occasional by the “winner take all” mentality in Nigerian politics. Why is it that the Anioma did not call the god of justice and equity when nearly all the Federal appointment from Delta State is occupied by our sons and daughters? Despite the fact that I am an apostle of Anioma State (Delta Igbo) to make the South-East Zone Seven State, I do not believe that we tare suffering from any political injustices in Delta State.

No doubt Anioma parade litanies astitute politicians, accomplished administrators, men and women of great progressive intellectualism as such Anioma sons and daughters are more than qualified to contest the 2015 Delta guber election. However, methinks that the spirit of democracy demands that 2015 should not be an Anioma agenda, but a Delta agenda. Deltans should be in search of a great mind with “character, competence, commitment and compassion” (apologies to Prof Pat Utomi) that will work for the common good of all and sundry. I am not an apostle of zoning so count me out of Anioma 2015 agenda. As opinionated by ancient philosophers, it is my belief that a philosopher king should preside over the republic and the case of Delta state should not be different in 2015.

2.2015: To the Mafiosi
It was the revolutionary ex – president of Ghana Jerry Rawlings who opinionated that “if we can learn to be bold enough to restore the value of truth in our society, then we will have justice. Without truth we cannot have justice”. Just recently, Pope Francis dared some Italian Lions, the Mafiosi in their den. These group of criminals like the wicked sons of Haram in Nigeria have remained a cog in the Wheel of Italy's quest for a crime free and peaceful society. Before him, the charismatic saint John Paul II (late Polish Pope) had also broken the proverbial clay pot on the criminal despite the life threatening dangers involved. For decades if not centuries the Mafiosi in Italy were considered to totem and opinion in some quarter has it that high profit ecclesiast even wined and dine with them. However Pope Francis, whose pontificate have over dose of “talakawanism “like the philosophy of late Aminu Kano ended the unholy Romance by putting a round peg is a role whole.

On a dangerous pastoral visit to the Mafiosi enclave in Cassano all jonio, the Pope Unmasked the Mafiosi. Hear him, “When adoration of the Lord is substituted by adoration of money, the road to sin opens up to personnel interest, when one does not adore the Lord, one become an adorer of evil. Those who in their lives have taken the road, the road of evil such as the mafiosi, they are not in communion with God, they are excommunicated” when I read this "sweet-bitter” words of the supreme pontiff, my memory re-instated the words of Frantz Fanon. “The future will have no pity for those who possessing the exceptional privilege of being able to speak words of truth to the oppression have taken up refuge in the attitude, of passing of mute indifference and some time of cold complicity”.

I am of the view that sanity will return to Nigeria, the day we wake up and decided to give life to the business of truth telling. Like the Italian Mafiosi,. The mafiosi in Nigeria have continued to endanger our collective peace and progress. It is a shame that some power drunks are threatening to break the protective buffer of Nigeria if power does not return to them in 2015. Pitiable, this bullies that was carried by the British wind since1914 have began to think that they are eagles. If ours were to be a saner clime, these pots of Mafias should have hidden their face in shame for the rudderless and unbaked leadership they provided for more than three decades of our national life

Well, there is no wisdom in flogging dead horse since Nigerian are Wiser now. . Ours is a constitutional and representative democracy and all Nigerians must play the game according to the rules. They must know that the supremacy of our constitution is above any ethnic philosophy or political partnership. Nigeria is not a fiefdom as such; Aso Villa cannot be zoned to some select power drunks because zoning in the first place is foreign to our constitution. Our constitution pontificate that all animals are equal as such all law abiding Nigerians have their right to vote and be voted for, which is sacrosanct. The 2015, election can never become selection. No tribes, religion or regional, not even the so called Mafiosi can stop Nigerians from exercising the rights as an enshrined in the constitution.


3.2015: FAYEMI AND EKITI TSUNAMI
For good students of Nigerian Political history the tsunami that Swept APC out of power in Ekiti State and made mockery of power of incumbency was not a new one. It happened in Kano State in 2004 when the present Governor lost his seat to his former commissioner Alhagi Ibrahim Shakarau (Now Minister of Education) whom he humiliated by forcing him to return to the classroom.. In 2011 in Nasarawa State, the people decided that Alhaji Aliyu Akwa Doma have overstayed his welcome when denied Rtd General Mohammedu Buhari access to the palace Emir of lafia during his presidential campaign in Lafia the Nasarawa State Capital. For humiliating Buhari, the people humiliated Aliyu out of office. In Imo state, when the form Governor Ikedi Ohakim danced where the angel dread by flogging a Catholic Priest, in a State by predominantly Catholic, they chased him out the Doughlas house through the ballot after his first tenure. Senator Danjuma Goje pushed out Habi Hashidu after four years in the Gombe state Government house. While the people of Kano thought Kwankwoso the virtue of justice and equity, the people reminded Alhaji Dorna that all animals are equal in Nasarawa State. In Imo, Ohakim learnt much about humility and godliness. For Fayemi, he has realized that you don't take the peasant for granted.

Judging from the record of APC led government in Ekiti, it was a shock to many Nigerians outside Ekiti State that Fayemi will loss the battle to Fayose. Truly, the June, 21 Guber election like the one that brought Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State to power was a revolt of the peasant. It was not about political parties (PDP,APC,LP etc), it centered on issues and personality. No doubt, Fayemi is of the finest gentleman that has dotted the political arena in Nigeria. However, for the people of Ekiti, judged to be one of the most educated and civilized people in Nigeria to have choosed a biblical Bassabas over Jesus speakes Volume.

Among many things, the Ekiti factor contributed to all fall of Fayemi. No Governor since the birth of Civilian rule in Ekiti State has ever secures a second term. Probably, with his “Oyibo” style of lectureship he took this for granted forgetting that we operate a “Nigerianised” democracy. Fayemi was civil, Urban and elitist. This is a positive profile that was not properly managed and resulted in the Ekiti Tsunami. While in Rome, he should have played policies like the Romans. This,he did not do and it Swallowed his second tenure. He was far from the teachers, market women students, oKada riders and Ekiti youths. His principles were not wrong but his approach to the people was out of track. The people always elected one of their own. Is Fayemi the “man of the people”?. What stopped him from joining the market women in eating “Amala” in a popular market day. Taking “Okada” to the Cathedral for mass, trekking to a public function or joining the students in taking a “molue” to school? Methinks, a visit to Doughlas house to take some lesson on this branch of Nigerian politics is imperative for Fayemi if he is dreaming of a second coming. Now Fayemi will not agree less with Aristotle when he opened that in democracy, “the poor have more power than the rich because they are more of them and the will of the majority is supreme” .

John Fayemi was also a victim 0f protest vote. The people of Ekiti over looked PDP rig the election for Fayose not because the loved him or PDP, no they just wanted to chase away the hawk first before warning the hen against wandering into the bush. The people of Ekiti actually protested against political dictatorship of B.T. They wanted to tell BT that no Nigerian can claim ownership of the people of Southwest or the Yoruba Nation. Pitiably Fayemi was the messenger of the proverbial message.

He did not also go through APC party primary election. He was handpicked and imposed on the people. I can bet my precious penny that if Senator Bamidele (labour party) was given a level ground to contest against Fayemi in the APC primary election and lost, he could have remained in APC. This alone could have changed the outcome of the election.

Like kwarans reacted when the late strong man of Kwara politics wanted to impose his daughter on them, Ekiti people have proven that their land is not a fertile ground for “godfatherism” and reclex imposition. That the people of Ekiti chose an area boy instead of philosopher King points that the will of the people is supreme in a democracy. The Era of Slave-master relationship in politics ended long ago and if APC politicians fail to put a stop to the unpardonable interest of select few which is a torn in the flesh of the people, they should prepare to suffer political Fayemi in 2015.

4.Nigeria: Too many saints
Nigeria is a market presided by the tortoise which is bound sell the character of the tortoise crafty, deceitful, fraudulent, and hypocritical. It is now a tradition to disk out the menu of falsehood. Nigeria is a jungle were falsehood and decent sells better than gold, diamond and silver.

More than any in thing, I have always argued that the day we are able to exorcise the evil of falsehood from our political arena, Nigeria will reclaim her rightful place in the comity of Nations.

It beggars my imagination on how sycophancy and hypocrisy continue to look robust despite our religiosity. Events have proven that most of us are members of the fan club that sing praises to Nero while be sets Rome on Fire. It is true that African have deep respect for the dead. But should truth be sacrificed at on the alter of respect? Should falsehood and all manner of lies from the put of hell continue to strive in the name of respect to the dead? It is a pity that we hide behind some questionable tradition to continue to wine and swim in the unacceptable.

I have taken time to listen and read funeral oration. No dead man or woman in Nigeria that was not a living saint. But the one million dollar questions are, if Nigerians are as holy as we claim, who could be responsible for the bloody, messy and ugly situation menacing Nigeria and Nigerians? If truly our dead 'mis' ruling leaders were all 'Nyerere,' how come there is scarcity in the mist of plenty. Why is it that poverty rubs shoulders with progress?, why is it that the majority of Nigerians live in abject poverty and penury? It is a pity that people who looted the national treasury and submerged the people into misery will be given the proverbial 21 gun salute at death. This is a pointer that things have turn inside-out resulting to the erosion of our values. For many who may claim to be more African than me, is not speaking ill of the dead the same thing with spreading lies with the name of the dead or for their sake? It will not be out of place for IBB to be named the father of Democracy when he crosses the bridge. That is Nigeria for you. After all someone in Aso villa had the temerity to give late General Sani Abacha a national honour.

In a socially, morally and politically embattled country like wars, asking an average Nigeria to remain in the right track is like asking monkeys to go on ramadan fast in a banana farm. It is a pity that the fastest thing to become in Nigeria is what you are not. We are like the proverbial ostrich that buried her head in the sand while her body is protruding and exposed to the outside world and pretending that she is hidden.


5. Gworza: Now that Timta is gone
I mourned Alhaji Idrisa Shehu Timta the late Emiro Gworza like a son will mourn his father. If ours were a same clime, men of unusual courage and determination like Alhaji Idrissa will never escape being etched the magnificent pages of history. He was a pedagogical example of what a leader and father should be. His death has created a tape for measuring the selflessness of our “ruinous dealer” in the political circle.

Of course like the Chinese believe that every behind every tragedy lurks an opportunity, his death at the bloody and dirty hands of haramist monsters on his way to Gombe for the burial of the late Emir of Gombe has opened an avenue to us to pause and ponder. Permit me to deviate a bit. I hold Imo State dear to my heart like Lafia, Doma and Nsukka. I just ended a short break in Imsth with a Priest friend. As I put pen on paper I just returned from the funeral mass of a priest who died in the U.S. I didn't know this Priest is parson, but his books made huge impart in my life as a Seminarian. The death of the late Emir of Gworza, like the funeral mass was pedagogical. If Alhaji Idrissa Timta was a catholic, he died in the process of fulfilling one out of five the corporal work of mercy: burying the dead. He knew of the danger involved but he was courageous enough to defeat fear and selfishness in a bid to reach out to the mourning Gombe Emirate. His death and burial is a well of lesson every one of us must drink from.. If not for the indomitable Governor of Bornu State, Alhaji Idrisi could have been buried like the proverbial impotent man who died without a son. This was a patriotic Nigerian who died in a bid to comfort others yet no Emir was bold enough to go to Gworza for his burial. Not even the so called Northern politicians deemed it worthy to stand with his family and the Gworza Emirate when it mattered most.

Truly, we are in a wicked wild world. Many are wolves in sleep clothing. Many are just there to milk their victims dry and when the discover you are no longer useable and serviceable, they will abandon, reject, banish and forget about you. If it happens you did not cross the bridge, once the chips are down, they will avoid you like a Jew will avoid a leper, sell you like Judas sold his master and deny like the way peter denied Jesus. Many people will give you simple, six and other pleasures only because of your bank account and what they will get from you and not because they have your welfare at heart. Sad event like the death of Alhaji Idrissa raises more question their answer. Where were all his family member, friends, classmates, colleagues in the Civil Service, and Politician who had before the establishment of haramdom in Bornu made his Palace a joint mecca, Vatican and Jerusalem as they trooped in for one favour and another?

For those of us still alive, we need check out the long list of the people we call friends. A close look will prove that many of them are nothing but vultures. Can our so called friend add meaning to our life? . If it happen our town became another chibok and Gworza can they risk their life to visit us.

The death of the late Emir of Gworea has taught me that what matter in Life is not the quantity of friends but their quality. Its better to have a friend who call stand with you in life and death than millions of pretenders who will allow you melt in oblivion unmourned and unsung.

Since the death and burial of Alhaji Idrissa Everyday I kneel, I have always prayed Allah never to let my path cross paths with charlatans who will share my crown with me but will make mockery of Chioma Ajunwas records when I carry my cross.

Adieu Alhaji Idrissa Shehu Timta rest in peace and may Nigeria never lack selfless Emir, leaders and Gworzans like you. The value you stood for and died for will remain ever with us.

6.Nigeria: A catholic marriage
“One Nigeria” is lucrative selling board. No doubt General Gowon had to build his tent on it when he, the crown and other parasitic Western powers felt the marriage of strange bed fellows must not end. But the question begging for answer is, has Nigeria over been one? I am no preacher of doom or an apostle of hopelessness I am incurably optimistic about Nigeria, but this cannot an excuse for me to dance Asonto and Clap for Nero while he sets Rome on fire.

Late Prof. Chinua Achebe the brightest literary giant in Africa gave Nigeria a farewell package before crossing the bridge. His memoir “there was a contry should be a vade mecum for every patriotic Nigerian, Students of history and polical science and seekers of knowledge. However, it takes a good student of history to see the patriotism of Achebe our ancestor as expressed in his memoir. To have argued that there is a country' tells much of his incurrable belief in Nigeria and Unrepentrnt philosophy about one Nigeria. Dede Achebe like a good father, saved his “the best part of the proverbial dry meat and left for the great beyond with the bone. I am proud of the green passport like Achebe and most of our heroes past. But have reached a point in our national life where we should be bold enough to tell ourselves the truth. . Will the fact that we are one Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa or the giant of Africa give life litanies of “Nigerians”, killed day in day out?

I have a virgin respect for chinua Achebe but I beg to disagree with the title of his memoir. “There was a country” There was never a country in a real sense. The tripod of Nigeria Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba, were nation that lived independently and interacted with one another before Lord Frederick Luggard forcefully brought them together. Put bluntly, it was a forced political marriage conceived by the crown and presided over by Laggard in 1914 . Yes 1st October, 1960 gave us hope. Probably, the title of Achebes memoir draw her strength from the hope 1960 but it was a hope built on sand which has since crumbled like the tower of Babel. It was a type of hope that a Casanova gave his damsels. It was a hope with a faulty foundation that we should have corrected but the political class in the first republic squandered it like the biblical prodigal son.

The struggle and the division along regional fine express the fact that Nigeria is a nation without nationalities. We have never spoken with one Vioce. We rather choose to rather swim and sink with our tribes or ethnics groups than sacrifice our primordial sentiments on the altar of national peace and progress.

Agreeing that Nigeria is a Catholic marriage is a difficult task. I am a Catholic aid I am aware that a Catholic marriage cannot be dissolved. I also know that the major "Kpim" of a Catholic marriage is the coming together of two equal consenting parties. A forced marriage is not legal in the one, holy, and Apostolic Catholic Church. As such, the marriage of three strange fellows that gave birth to Nigeria in 1914, though, may be Catholic in appearance lack Catholicism in content.


7. The Scramble for power: From Dodan Barrack to Aso Rock

Nigerians has done the unacceptable and the un-allowed for the sake power. I have learnt earthier as a youngster in the secondary school I learnt that one should not test the depths of waters of money, women and power with both legs. Recent events have proven that the wisdom from my Alter mater in Doma Nasarawa State is a vade mecum. However, in the political area, people are not willing to jump into the trubulent waters of politics with both legs they are also ever ready to become aquatic animals

I have dedicated my time reading about African political history in general and that of Nigeria is particular. It is really a pity that more than decades after late Prof Chinue Achebe proved himself a political doctor by identifying and prescribing the most potent drug(the trouble with Nigeria) for Nigeria's political mess, we have not seen a pot of gold after the rainbow. If Julius Nyerere, of Tanzania, Patrice lumumba of Congo DR and Thomas Sankara of Bulkinaso were leaders of Kilimanjaro height in Africa, then I see no season to disagree with achebe.

Regrettably, since the return to Civilian rule ( because we are not a Democratic State) the Aso Villa has become a practice ground for all sort of dwarf, minions and strangers to leadership come to rehearse the line written by their pay master or better still , a theatre to display naked mediocrity. Now the 2015 is about to wake up, from North to South, East and West, 'moneytician' are now battling to outdo one another using all cruel and crooked means to ensure they become the C.O.C of Aso Villa. But one question begging for answers remain, do these people have the interest of Nigerian? Are coming to save us or Lord it over us? like the proverbial array of Knives that surface the day the elephant falls, all manner of crooks and political fox have emerge claming divine mandate, political Nehemiah and messiah. For all these while, the Kleptocrat, looters, Squardermiac have been Urinating on us and now that election is around the corner, they are now telling whoever cares to hear that it was the rain. We are all victims of the misrule of these “unproductive and selfish cabal” who for long truncated the destiny of Nigeria. From the federal, State and Local Government the story is the difference between six and half a dozen since 1999. It is really sad commentary that political leadership has remain an elusive trophy in Nigeria.

2015 calls for a paradise shift from the era, of selection, political jobbery sycophancy bootlicking, clash of personality to issue based politics. We must avoid all old Abiku's in the political arena and their anointed stooge's. If we sale ourselves cheaply by sacrificing our future at the altar of stomach “infrastructure”, tribalism, ethnicism or religion, we can't buy it costly after election. If “Paris is worth a mass” Abuja is worth a philosopher King, in 2015 who is will husband our overflowing human and natural resources for the good of all and Sunday and compose a funeral degree for corruption, political rascality and terrorism, and dig a grave for poverty and penury in Nigeria.