The PDP Tragedy vs APC Threat: A Dilemma for the Yoruba Nation.
By Remi Oyeyemi
From the look of things, it is evident that there is fire on the Nigerian Mountain. This fire is all consuming and there is no obvious way of checkmating this fire. The fire, it seems, is going to lead to the end of Nigeria. But for someone like me, who has lost faith in the Nigerian Project for a long time, it is just a matter of course. This is because Nigeria is gradually approaching her DESTINY – the eventual freeing up of the ethnic nationalities within its confines. Like Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, popularly known in history as Lenin, was always saying about the situation in mother Russia in his exile days in Switzerland when the Bolshevik revolution was fermenting, “The worse, the better.”
While the dynamics of the Nigerian centrifugal forces are presently cocooned in the façade of politics, giving the wrong impression that we have a country in which we all believe, Nigeria is gradually ebbing away into its natural habitat of independent ethnic nationalities committed to determining their own destinies and being the captains of their own souls. The political class may still be able to postpone the doomsday, if Nigeria survives 2015, but it is a doomsday that would still come, nevertheless. The façade of politics is the present opium of the fake nationalists that believe in Nigeria at all costs, to them Nigeria is a subsisting country when indeed, it is a mirage.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been in power for the last 15years plus. The Hausa Fulani oligarchy, after frustrating the mandate of Chief M.K.O. Abiola in 1993 made efforts to assuage the anger of the Yoruba Nation by imposing another Egba man from Owu Kingdom in Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, who has always been their “willing tool” (apology to Sir Ahmadu Bello, the late Sardauna of Sokoto and former Premier of Northern Region) to subjugating other nationalities in Nigeria. This oligarchy made sure that the Yoruba never got what they wanted and that the Yoruba aspiration could only be as determined by this Hausa –Fulani neo-colonialists. This oligarchy and its satellites across the country - Southwest, South-south, Southeast, Northeast and Middlebelt (or Northcentral) – in conjunction with their “militocrats” ensured that Obasanjo was shoved down the throat of Yoruba in particular and Nigerians in general in 1999.
Since the inept days of Tafawa Balewa to the tyrannical aeon of Mohammadu Buhari, through the anomic era of Ibrahim Babangida to the inane epoch of Musa Yar'Adua, the PDP, euphemised in different taxonomies, has been “failing.” I put the word “failing” in quote because as far as Nigerians are concerned, their fate has grown progressively worse in geometrical terms. But as far as the Fulani descendants of Uthman Dan Fodio are concerned, Nigeria could not have been better for them as an “inherited estate” – largely feudalistic and underdeveloped- peopled by hewers with subjugated will and failed dreams.
This brings us to the present spell of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ), also on the platform of the same PDP. He is reported to have earned a Doctorate in Zoology. GEJ, as he is popularly called, is an extraction from the minority Ijaw nationality whose homelands have provided Nigeria with its petro-dollars for decades while its landmass had been wasted recklessly and mercilessly by the Hausa-Fulani inspired Nigerian government. His people along with other minority nationalities in South-south have been fighting for preservation of their land while the land was being exploited. The renowned author and dramaturgist, Kenule Saro-Wiwa and seven others were murdered in the course of this struggle in what has come to be known as the Ogoni Eight Murders. The indifference of the Nigerian Government to the plight of the South-south people led to the calls for Resource Control and Fiscal Federalism.
Thus, when GEJ, who could not afford shoes while he was growing up as a young lad in Otuoke, ascended the Presidency of Nigeria, the descendants of Uthman Dan Fodio, who considered themselves as the “inheritors” of Nigeria, which to them is “an extension of the estate” of their ancestor vowed to make Nigeria “ungovernable” for him. They have made good their promise and have gotten away with it. And I don't blame them. It is GEJ's fault, all through and through. This is because as the Yoruba often say, “Aguntan ti ri Jinadu bee, ki o to gba isu owo e.” (The sheep has discerned Jinadu to be insensate before dispossessing him of his yam).
When GEJ assumed power, he was expected to be guided by history. He was expected to remember the struggles of his people to benefit from the resources gushing from beneath their homelands; to remember how over 80% of those who have oil wells are from the Hausa-Fulani stock to the detriment of other Nigerians in general and his people in particular; to remember that his people have suffered endlessly in the hands of the Nigerian political and economic carpetbaggers; to remember how the homelands have become desolate from ruthless exploitation and his people could hardly farm or fish any longer; to remember the tears and the wailings of his people who have been forgotten and thrown to the curbs of poverty and want.
But alas! He suffered pathological amnesia as soon as he got to the comfort of Aso Rock. He not only failed his Ijaw people and other Nigerians who looked up to him as a liberator, he failed himself and all those who fought for him to get to the exalted position of power. GEJ's case is emblematic of the sayings of my wise forefathers in Yorubaland “Ai kuku j'oye, osan ju enu mi o ka ilu” literally meaning “It is better not to ascend power than to have power and whine about inability to appropriately use it.” GEJ should have gone out to take on the condescending and deleterious “inheritors” of the Nigerian “estate” who made the country “ungovernable” for him. He had the means and the power to put them in their place and help them to understand that all are equal partakers in the stake called Nigeria. He had the opportunity to remind the “Born to rule” goons that Nigeria belongs to all.
GEJ had the opportunity, to reinforce the Republican nature of the Nigerian State and insist that though, “tongue and tribe may differ,” we are all one and the same with equal rights and access to whatever appurtenances Nigeria has got to offer. He should have focused on righting a lot of historical wrongs for the disenfranchised nationalities in the country and carve a niche for himself in history. He had the opportunity to save Nigeria from itself by charting a different path for it. But as his detractors often say, he is “clueless.” His actions have worsen the situation and he has continued to wallow in delusion as he allows his enemies free reign to ruin him and whatever reputation he might have had. Goodluck Jonathan is the emblem of PDP as a tragedy.
Jonathan failed his Ijaw people. He also antagonized the Yoruba people through the length and breadth of his administration. The Yoruba were not just relegated from his administration, they were excommunicated. After being excommunicated from the Jonathan administration, the Yoruba became the butt of witch hunting, blackmailing, ridicule and undeserved humiliation. It was Jonathan administration that engineered the idea of the Yoruba State of Lagos as being “no man's land.” He called Yoruba politicians “rascals.” If not for a Yoruba man, used by Providence, Jonathan would not be President today. Jonathan has been odiously ungrateful to the Yoruba Nation. He is a tragedy to the aspirations of the Yoruba Nation.
But as 2015 approaches, another serious threat to the survival of Yoruba Nation is in the horizon for which Jonathan would be indirectly culpable if it comes to fruition. Jonathan would be indirectly culpable because he has given “cover” to some compulsively traitorous Yoruba politicians to be able to actively collaborate with the enemies of Yoruba Nation in the bid to unseat him (Jonathan) because of his “cluelessness” and the tragedy that his administration represents for and to the Yoruba Nation. And that threat is represented by the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and their sentries. The APC has foreclosed its presidential ticket to the “Born to Rule” Hausa-Fulani ethnic stock. This is the ethnic nationality that has held Nigeria to ransom for the last five decades.
Both through the history of Nigerian civilian and military administrations, several ethnic nationalities have been seeking ways to extricate themselves from the bondage of the “Born to Rule” Fulani “inheritors” of the Nigerian State. Obafemi Awolowo was denied the leadership of this country by this clique because he insisted in defeudalising Nigeria. Gideon Orkar and company laid their lives down for this freedom. Tai Solarin was consumed by this struggle. Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu's life's trajectory was changed because of this struggle. Yohanna Madaki suffered unfairly and had his career taken from him in his bid to ensure this freedom. Alhaji Abdulrahman Shugaba was humiliated and deported from his motherland because he resisted this feudalism. Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi sacrificed his life to attain this freedom.
Ebitu Ukiwe's career was cut short by this Hausa Fulani oligarchy while insisting on this freedom. Fela Anikulapo Kuti dedicated his talent for this struggle. His nationalist mother, Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was murdered in this fight. Ken Saro-Wiwa died in this struggle. Gani Fawehinmi died engaged in this fight. Isaac Adaka Borro gave up the ghost seeking this freedom. Wole Soyinka foreclosed his youth and mortgaged his adulthood in order for us to have this freedom. Beeko Ransome Kuti gave all he had for this struggle until he died. Even, Major Abubakar Umar Kankiwa, a Fulani himself, got a raw deal because he dared to dislike feudalism as espoused by the oligarchy of his ethnic nationalism.
And this precisely, is what the APC is trying to bring back and send the Yoruba Nation and other disenfranchised ethnic nationalities to another round of slavery in the name of politics! If the APC is a serious political party, intent on bringing true change to Nigeria, why must it dexterously preclude other ethnic nationalities from its presidential ticket without having to say so? To make matters worse, the APC could only showcase the worst of the Hausa-Fulani in its contenders! From a born-again cunning tyrant, incompetent and incorrigible religious fundamentalist in Mohammadu Buhari through a baptized international fraudster in Abubakar Atiku to the loudmouth political neophyte named Rabiu Kwankwanso, the APC is projecting itself as a NEW THREAT to the dreams of the constituent units of ethnic nationalities in Nigeria – to be free and be able to self determine their destinies.
For the Yoruba Nation and other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, this indeed, is a serious dilemma!
But 2015 would not present a dilemma if we could all find the courage to do the right thing. Before the advent of further bloodshed, the killing and maiming of innocent children and women, we could muster the courage to do the right thing. Enough people have died already. If Option One – PDP and GEJ is unattractive; and Option Two – APC and the trio of Buhari, Atiku and Tinubu is also detestable, then it is time to consider Option Three – break up this façade called Nigeria and let my people go. Yes, to your tents O Israel!!
“ In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it. ” - John F. Kennedy
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