By Emeka Obasi
Some politicians just sit back in the comfort of their homes and create chaos in the country without citizens thinking straight. It sounds like voodoo, so much profit accrues from this shadow chasing which comes in form of Northern Agenda.
This pseudo-politic is applied anytime change at the top becomes inevitable. The annoying part is that many Southerners have fallen for this expensive prank. They believe that without the North, the country cannot move forward politically.
This is a huge lie which has continued to drag the country backwards. It is safe to say that the North cannot stand without being lifted by the South. Those who really believe in politics of give and take know it. Even the military benefited from this.
In the First Republic, the North needed the South to occupy a plum position. If Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Chief Obafemi Awolowo agreed to work together, perhaps Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa would not have emerged as Prime Minister.
Zik was born in Zungeru. He spoke good Hausa. Zik spent his salad days in Lagos, he was not only fluent in Yoruba, he gave his children Yoruba names. He gravitated towards the North in a power-sharing formula that continues to irk the South-West.
When Lt. Col Yakubu Gowon found himself in a very difficult position after the July 1966 coup, the North planned to leave Nigeria. London intervened, but it was the West that offered Gowon solid support that kept him in power.
Commodore Akinwale Wey and Col. Adeyinka Adebayo chose to serve under a subordinate officer after Brigadier Babafemi Ogundipe respectfully left for the United Kingdom. Awo also joined the military government and was like de facto Prime Minister.
There was nothing like Northern Agenda there. At the Aburi Peace Talks, bureaucrats like Prince Solomon Akenzua and Philip Asiodu did more to keep Gowon hanging on than any officer from the Northern Region. Alhaji Kam Selem and Lt. Col Usman Katsina were mere spectators
Alhaji Shehu Shagari only became president after the Supreme Court ruled that 12 two third was closer to 13. The lawyer who pushed that political arithmetic forward was from the South just like the Chief Justice of Nigeria. That was the beginning of the Second Republic.
It is insulting for some politicians to think that fellow countrymen are numbskulls. The most dubious argument is that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan usurped the slot of the North by contesting the 2011 presidential elections after serving out late President Umaru Yar’adua’s first term.
That is why you see them heating up the polity with talks of allowing a Northerner to continue from where President Muhammadu Buhari will stop in 2023. Buhari has been president since 2015. And they have some collaborators in the South.
I never fancied Dr. Jonathan contesting in 2011. He should have vacated office after completing the tenure of his predecessor. And I doubt if Buhari would have won the Presidential elections in the absence of the man with good luck.
At the same time, there is no sense in using that to work for another Northern presidency after Buhari. We must not forget that Maj. Gen Buhari’s assumption of office in 1983 denied Dr. Alex Ekwueme the option of becoming President in 1987.
If sins should count, the North should not think about power until 2045. Generals Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha were in power for 22 years. I have deliberately left out generals Buhari and Abdusalami Abubakar because generals Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi and Obasanjo equalled their stay.
It is time to put trouble makers behind. Those who are shouting ‘North must continue’ are empty upstairs. They do not represent their people. Some of them cannot even go home. They have relocated to Abuja while bandits continue to tax their villages.
There are Northerners that we should listen to. I do not see Col. Abdulmumuni Aminu playing to the gallery. He is detribalised. Col Dangiwa Umar is not part of this rabble. We know he believes in justice. The Fourth Republic has thrown up a lot of funny characters.
When Gen. Shehu Yar’adua joined politics, he did not carry the Northern Agenda banner. He matched Alhaji Lateef Jakande ‘ewedu for ewedu’ in the West. The South embraced the man. Those who finished him were fellow Northern generals.
The younger Yar’adua had the gates of Aso Villa flung open for him by Dr. Obasanjo. It did not have to do with any Northern Agenda. Obasanjo played national politics. When a few Southerners showed interest, they were shoved aside by the former war commander.
The noise makers who claim to love the North more than Northerners should learn from Sir Ahmadu Bello. He sat in Kaduna and influenced development more than those who lived in Lagos. He offered the position of Prime Minister to Balewa.
The Sardauna did not have free oil money, he made money from groundnuts. He used power to develop the North. There were no bandits. We did not see Boko Haram. Since we started hearing about Northern Agenda, governments are failing in the North. We detest failure at the centre.
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