Northernization As A Mantra For Change
’President Buhari has not shed his khaki, tyrannical and dictatorial life style. Most of his decisions are unilateral, with little or no consultation and often titrated to favour sectional interest. The interesting thing is that Buhari has not bothered about laying the foundations of the administration that would change Nigeria. Boko Haram is riding roughshod and the bombs are dropping more frequently. More and more innocent Nigerians are abbreviated.
The APC Apostle of change appears not to be bothered. Indeed we have entered the era of change in the negative retrogressive direction. Sometimes, one begins to ask; what manner of change is APC bringing to Nigeria? The South-South produces the budget of the Country but the North has contributed so much by sponsoring Boko Haram, a human hyena that has sucked the blood of innocent men, women and Children. I see reasons with Buhari for over-compensating the North. What is more, he has declared Amnesty for Boko Haram. The reason is simple: Boko Haram – is like the donation of Northern Nigeria to the nation. What a horrible donation my Countrymen?......Idumange John
Nigeria is basking in the euphoria of a brand new APC President Muhammad Buhari has been sworn-in at the Centre and many Governors who are newly elected was sworn in more than two months ago. For now, the dominant Party is the APC. President Jonathan handed over power to Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, and Nigerians will certainly hold the new administration to its campaign promises. In sharp contrast to the President’s inaugural speech, the appointments made so far show that Buhari is implementing a policy of Northernization as change mantra.
After President Buhari” gave his speech, I was intrigued by three things. First, he lampooned the murderous outfit called Boko Haram, which hitherto had appointed him a spokesman when the terrorists group founded on the basis of Islamic fundamentalism, The General said” Members of the BokoHarm are not true muslins,; they are criminals. True to type, as the President Buhari is now working hard to dissociate himself from the dreaded terrorist group, but before now, he was appointed spokesman and his reaction was on the affirmative. He never reneged the colony of those who relished in bloodletting, killing, maiming and kidnapping.
The second thing the general mentioned was the accolade he gave President Jonathan. This is a pace setting acknowledgment that former President Jonathan was courageous enough to concede defeat even before the Presidential elections were announced. This action is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria – a reason most people are won’t to think that the real hero of democracy in this Republic is former President Jonathan. President Jonathan is not some Robert Mugabe who is life President. He understands the realities.
This appears to have given succor to the Niger Delta especially Bayelsa State where the President’s performance was less than edifying, and several questions must be asked especially those who served as contractors and aides to former President Jonathan. What is important is that we sent out a Jonathan and he played his part as a democrat, and for that we are grateful.
What is perhaps the crescendo of the general’s speech was his acknowledgement of the role of the Social Media. I could recall that Buhari mentioned the Social Media thrice as the driver of the elections and a catalyst of open government. True, the Social Media has even gone beyond what general Buhari adumbrated; it is not a significant determinant of elections and other national issues.
Again Buhari’s assertion that he is for nobody and for everybody kept Tinubu and his cabal frowning. That is expected because the general brainless as he may seem, understands the Yoruba agenda, and he is most likely to truncate it before the barons move against him. That is the nature of leadership. A good leader should be for everybody and for nobody. This is Buhari’s highest expression of patriotism for Nigeria. My prayer is that his principal appointments should not also bring in people who have records of corruption. Corruption is deadlier than denge fever and most of the appointees should be drawn from the technocrats
Buhari’s move that the military formation should be moved to Maiduguiri has been given two interpretations because of his earlier assertion to Islamize Nigeria. One interpretation is to fund Boko Haram to decimate the Nigerian military. Another interpretation is to really wage a war against Boko Haram. In either cases, the peace Buhari said he would make in a very short time is in doubt. I had thought the President might have done his homework on how to annihilate the access of evil and keep Nigeria peaceful.
For now, the most knotty challenge to Nigerian’s is the chaotic state of our economy. Without recourse to the experience of professional economists, Nigerians are aware that Nigeria’s over-dependency on crude oil is one of the age-long challenges we must overcome. The responsibility of the APC government is to diversify the economy. Our over-reliance on crude oil has led to wide spread peculation. It has also turned Nigeria into a perpetual consumer nation, with a no-grow index in almost all other sectors of the economy. True, the President Jonathan administration made enormous progress in Agriculture and power, but the economic fifth columnists daily wreck havoc to the economy.
Since April 2014, the price of crude out started to fluctuate and it nosedived to even less than $40 USD. As at November 2014, the price of our only source of revenue plummeted to an all time low. It was like a hurricane that swept across Nigeria, making it difficult for so many States to foot their statutory obligations of paying salaries. The situation has not changed for the better. Nigeria may be undergoing her economic meltdown and we have a lesson or two to learn on diversification of the economy.
Surely, Nigeria’s crude oil deposited in the Nigeria Delta belongs to all Nigerians but the solid mineral resources we find in all parts of Nigeria belong to where they are situated. It is injustice but we are watching. Now the Nigerians know that if the production of crude oil stops, we shall have no budget and invariable the concept of ONE NIGERIA will be called to question. Our economy is certainly not based on revenues from carrots, cows, onions and beans.
Amidst this inequality, the North has produced about 98% of those who have messed up the coffers of the nation. Some of them now wear the toga of statesmen, but why not, with the huge monies they rack in to their offshore accounts through their oil blocks. I must acknowledge that some of these leaders are benevolent enough to use part of their loots to sponsor politically-induced insurgency. Today, not even Buhari and the new administration can stop the menace. The Boko Haram they invented may eventually consume them. For the six years President Jonathan was in power he ran a war economy- an economy that bought more arms than built more hospitals, rehabilitated more orphans than built more schools for the almajiris.
In the colony of leaders, we have those who are visionary but cannot work hard enough to actualize their visions. There are those who fly on the wings of courage, vision and inspiration and being audacious, they fulfill even higher goals. The Niger Delta Youths will not be tempted to take to the creeks. However, they are eagerly waiting to see if the APC administration will touch some “no go” areas. Some of them include:
1. The sustenance of the Amnesty Programme
2. Completion of projects initiated by the Jonathan administration
3. A review of the distribution of the oil blocks, which for now is skewed in favour of the North
4. Even distribution of projects among all the geo-political zones
5. Constituting a Cabinet in line with the Federal Character etc.
I trust that if these conditions are violated, Buhari’s administration may be running a war economy on two fronts: at the Sahel on one hand and in the Niger Delta on another. We can avoid this war economy by keeping the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, NDDC and allow the Amnesty Programme to run. All these palliatives are to douse the potentially explosive situation in the Niger Delta, which of course will not stop a more comprehensive vehement agitation for total resource control or fiscal federalism. It’s 25% derivation or nothing as recommended by the NATIONAL CONFAB.
For now, a smooth transition has taken place and Nigerians are looking up to the brainless one to conjure the courage to implement his campaign promises. This can be done incrementally. The manifest anti-Ijaw posturing of the APC led administration of President Buhari is becoming very obvious. While Ex President Jonathan never discriminated in his appointments, Buhari appears to be implementing a Northern Agenda.
While Buhari is hounding the OBOTE MEN, the mistakes of ex-President Jonathan are becoming more conspicuous. The South-South is mourning as their sons take turns to visit Kuje prisons on allegations of corruption. The most buffeting is that the Amnesty students have written to President Muhammadu Buhari to keep the Amnesty Programme running because the well-being of Niger Delta Children is at stake. Let it be noted that the Programme was introduced by a Northerner President Umar Musa Yar’Adua from the same State with President Muhammadu Buhari to reduce militancy in the Niger Delta Region, which provides the foreign exchange of Nigeria.
The Daura-born Maj. General is pretending not to know. Now, a Niger Delta son has been appointed coordinator of the Amnesty Programme and the Federal Government needs to act expeditiously to keep the programme running. No Nigerian will forget that the crude oil from the Niger Delta provides the foreign exchange for the Federal Government to run the administration. We are watching President Buhari as he implements a pro-North and anti-Niger Delta agenda. I am confident that even some APC members will mutter in quietude and sobriety that the change they fought for was NEVER NORTHERNIZATION.
John Idumange, Deputy President, Niger Delta Integrity Group