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UNMISTAKABLE ARROGANCE

By NBF News

We are taught to turn the other cheek, just as we are reminded to learn from the omen of the eagle and the chicken. Why would three people be given N4 (four naira) to share, if not to cause confusion and disaffection in their midst?

Certainly, one will attempt to be greedy. So hear me, people of good conscience, it is a great paradox that southern Nigeria which is apparently more enlightened, better exposed, densely populated and altogether more civil in conduct cannot find a common ground to bolster their interests and potential. Instead, they have made themselves vulnerable to the antics of an otherwise more divided North, webbed pretentiously as a monolithic entity under feudal control.

I dare say without any fear of contradiction, the so-called core north is the weakest link in every ramification in the country, but has consistently outsmarted the over ambitious southern constituents. Again I ask how it was possible for a Zik and an Awolowo, both credible achievers, to lose an election to Shagari. A similar drama is about to unfold as once again, the provocative arrogance of a few people who masquerade as representing the north, issue directives to all the political parties to field only northern candidates for the 2011 presidential election, thereby taking the zoning matter beyond a mere PDP affair and instigating revolt.

Are we back to the five fingers of a leprous hand scenario or are we expected to siddon look like late Bola Ige? This is democracy, let the electorate decide, but no because the north cannot form a government that way, not even a coalition government as recently happened in Britain is attractive to them. They would rather lord it over everybody else, what an affront, if they are tired of this marriage called Nigeria, they might as well spare us the insult. I do not subscribe to this heavens-will-fall-unless-it-is-a-northerner jibe. There have been secession attempts by the Niger Delta under Adaka Boro and likewise Biafra under Odumegwu Ojukwu, so it won't be a new thing if they opt out; we just might negotiate it peaceably with them. However, we know that this too is not acceptable because like leeches, they need their host.

My reading of the current reality is that, of all the regions in Nigeria today, the core north is most desperate and without a doubt the vast majority of the middle belt is fed up of tagging along while being subjected to remote control. However, the mutual suspicion and rivalry in the south has opened a window through which the north continues to exploit 'divide and rule' tactics. Suppose the south now insists all their parties adopt Jonathan, will the die be cast?

By the way, I do not subscribe to the term south-south, but rather deep south because of its geographical protrusion in shape, its massive endowment purse and multi ethnic dimensions, even though its people remain impoverished, helpless and maybe bitter, just as well, unable to adapt. Interestingly, these conditions coupled with recent happenings like the invasion of Odi, the killing of Saro Wiwa alongside other Ogoni agitators, the handover of Bakassi Peninsula and sundry dehumanizing events have tended to afford Easterners comic relief and pleasure in deriding their fellow southerners not minding that injury to one is injury to all.

No doubt, there are thorny issues, which may still be resolved regarding Biafra, but for too long the war effort and secession bid has been excused in blames, which by deduction, imagination or historical references, do not add up. It is like someone with a bucket headed for the stream blaming his neighbor with a basket for his not having enough water. As a result, the average Easterner who ought to find solace in hope is painstakingly hell bent in being a spoiler for emerging opportunities around his neighbors even though we all live to fight another day.

More like the rift between the claimants of a child that king Solomon judged, while the mother to the child would have him live even if in another's care, the false mother was keen to see the child split in two rather than be in the loving arms of his true mother. How this attitude can take anyone to heaven, I wait to see.

Needless to say, we have allowed hypocrites and parasites to fester on our collective progressive march. While some coup plotters attend council of state meetings in their opulence and titles, Nzeogwu has paled into villainy and how much have we done for the memory of Aguiyi Ironsi, who received the reins of power on invitation, without bloodshed?

In any case, the South East governors seem to have been more pragmatic in their resolve to stand down rather than be sucked into either undermining Jonathan or playing an in-effective second fiddle to the north. It is a masterstroke of a power balancing act and blackmail to those who choose not to be sincere, they are not prepared to fall prey to the manipulation of political wolves in sheep clothing determined to treat them as second class citizens.

Their action has placed them on a higher moral ground and strengthened their quest for the presidency next time round. Allowing the gimmick of the north to pick a vice from among the Yorubas only complicates matters, as with time, all sides will be in disarray.

MARTINS LOMBA

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