Southern Nigeria And The Delusion Of 2023 Presidency By Peter Omonua
Sometime in early 2021, news filtered out that Bola Ahmed Tinubu had assured the northern APC leaders that he would sell a Muslim/Muslim ticket to the Southwest and they would buy it. Report has it that at the meeting where the commitment was made, they asked him how he was going to convince the South-east to vote for same ticket. He was alleged to have responded that the Southeast did not really matter in the calculation, that as long as he could convince his people in Yoruba land and they (northerners) could get the northern support, they would cruise to victory (without the votes of the southeast).
We later got to know that the original idea behind the Muslim/Muslim ticket was an attempt to frustrate his presidential ambition. Their thought was that he would object to a Muslim/Muslim pair and that they would insist it was the only option they had for him. How do you tell a man whose wife is not only a Christian, but a pastor in one of the biggest Christian denominations in the country, that his presidential running mate would be a Muslim when he himself is a Muslim in a secular country like Nigeria? He knew the game plan, refused to allow it to deter him and assured them he would run with it. The culmination of such several attempts to dissuade and frustrate him out of the race led to his now viral outburst at Abeokuta- “EMILOKAN”.
As one group was scheming to get Tinubu off the race in APC, another group was stationed in the PDP to ensure one of their own emerges as the flag bearer of that party, (in case the recalcitrance of this “Emilokan” denies them of that party’s ticket).
The emergence of Peter Obi in the Labour Party was an aftermath of his experience in the PDP. Though he has not disclosed what he encountered on his journey, Obi’s body language, despite his taciturn nature spoke volume.
Does southern Nigeria really think that a Northerner overseeing the election of Nigeria presidency will award the winning to a southerner? Whoever thinks that has obviously not followed the history of leadership races in Nigeria. It is for this general naivety and ignorance that I keep encouraging anyone who cares to, to get copies of the following books and read; Just Before Dawn by Prof Kole Omotoso AND The Tale of June 12 by Prof Omo Omoruyi.
Make no mistake, there would be ongoing nocturnal meetings between Atiku, El-Rufai, Garba Shehu’s presidency, INEC’s Mahmoud and possibly Lamido Sanusi. There would be ongoing scheming on how to retain power in the hands of the Fulani. How does Tinubu think an EL-Rufai will support him over Atiku? Has he forgotten that Atiku is not only EL-Rufai’s ‘brother’, but his benefactor, who more or less made El-Rufai?
Some of us are genuinely frustrated by the outright stupidity and gullibility of Southerners. When I see the sort of discussions going on in some social media pages, I can’t help but imagine how truly clueless most southerners are about the true state of the Nigerian project.
The Fulani does not want power shift to the south. Hear it again: THE NORTH WILL DO ANYTHING TO FRUSTRATE A POWER SHIFT TO THE SOUTH. They do not care about any party. They want to see that it is transferred to another Fulani, not even to a Hausa or a Kanuri. It was for that reason Peter Obi was frustrated out of the PDP. It was for the same reason Tinubu was saddled with the baggage of a Muslim/Muslim ticket. The backlash was anticipated and they had calculated it would be a suicidal mission for him. The popularity and blossom of the Labor Party under Peter Obi was never in their calculation.
What the north has succeeded in doing is drag Yoruba and Igbo out into an election cycle, side-stepping the making of a new constitution that should have preceded any elections. They need the overwhelming participation of the Yoruba and the Ibos, the 2 other majority by which they can then give a semblance of fair representation in the process. They would then be able to say to the international community, “See, it was a widely and keenly contested election (may even get to a run-off). At the end, one person won, and that person happens to be a Fulani man”
If that happens, now what? How can the southern leadership live with a reality of a back-to-back Fulani rulership of Nigeria given the experience of the south and the middle belt in the hands of the Fulani over the last 7+ years? Are we not thereby helping to promote a Fulani to complete what Buhari started i.e., the domination and enslavement of the country by the Fulani?
And to think that the chief promoters of a back-to-back Fulani headship of the country are mostly southerners is mind boggling. It is unconscionable, unbelievably shocking to see some southerners actually drumming support for an Atiku Abubakar presidency. So, Dele Momodu, Reno Omokri, the Obasekis, Dino Melaye (a Yoruba Okun from Kogi) and most disappointingly, Ifeanyi Okowa, (a supposed frontliner of the Southern Governors forum), would face their constituencies and be proud to inform them they are part of an agenda to use one Fulani to replace another Fulani? Unbelievable!!
What would these southerners tell their future generations about their roles in the vanquish of the south; political expediency? Do people not have shame? Do they not think of posterity and what history will write about them? Afonja and his betrayal which gave birth to an Ilorin Emirate over a century ago is still in our political discourse and will continue to be. Is that how these people want to be remembered?
I must appreciate Governor Wike and his G-5 governors for their tenacity and daring to stand up for what is right. It is not even enough for the G-5 governors to insist on Ayu’s resignation; it should be an insistence that Atiku himself, being a northerner can not stand for election to replace another northerner. Na so dem just see us finish? Can you imagine Atiku telling us that because Buhari is in APC, then it should not affect the chances of PDP producing another northern president! What an infantilely puerile argument!!; is that how stupid these people think we have all become? So, is he telling us Obasanjo could have handed over to another Yoruba or Ibo person or that Jonathan could have handed to another Southerner and it will be fine with the North; what shameless effrontery and daylight robbery is that?
It amazes me how the south is so gullible to think the north will actually organize a free and fair election, then hand over power if the winner is from the south? Has that ever happened? When has a northern president or Head of State ever handed power to a southern successor? Transition of power has always been from a southern leader to a northern leader i.e., Obasanjo to Shagari, Obasanjo to Yardua, Jonathan to Buhari. The Sultan will not even allow it, not to talk of now that they “have a dog in the fight” and are the referee at the same time. For them, “kaka ki eku ma je sese, afi she awada danu ni” MEANING “if I can’t have it, NOBODY will have it so let us scatter it”.
Do people even realize the resistance from the highest level of the northern power block against handing over to Abiola? People just think it was IBB that was power drunk and wanted to cling on to power? Forces much stronger than IBB were at play at that time and those powers are still there. They have an uncanny fear of loosing power. They also have a deep fear of Ibo-Yoruba coalescence; the reason the current ‘rivalry’ between “Obidients” and “Batified” is a game for them. They do not want any of these 2 tribes to lead Nigeria; neither do they want a coalition of the two.
If all attempts to replace one Fulani with another Fulani fails through the ballot, they are ready to have their military boys roll out the tanks and take over with the barrels of the gun. The populace and the international community will call it “Military Takeover” but it is essentially an elongation of Fulani rule.
Most southerners do not understand the desperation of the people they are dealing with. They would kill any one standing on their path to perpetuate their rulership. It has already started. Some seemingly inexplicable demises have explanation.
Unfortunately, they have succeeded, yet again, in dividing the south along ethnic and religious lines. You would think that lessons have been learnt but no. They are playing us against each other, and to reference Fela, that is “their regular trade mark”. It would be a total disgrace to the entire south if they allow Fulani to get away with this deception. My fear is that we are once again heading to the path of Azikiwe and Awolowo in the first republic. Those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it. We were told one of the 2 refused to step down for the other, which enabled the Fulani to capitalize on their disunity. Each had personal ambition to lead and none wanted to subordinate to the other. The Ibo and the Yoruba narrate it such that each vindicates his own tribe. Some of us were not old enough to know which version to believe but at least we are witness to this current one. That is why we are writing about it now so posterity will know exactly what happened. This should have been a time for the 2 tribes to unite against their common adversary. It should be a time when they present a common and unified front. Our people say when 2 brothers fight to death, it is the stranger that will inherit their father’s property. Let the Ibo and the Yoruba kill themselves over a non-existent 2023 presidency. The Fulani is waiting in the wings to inherit your ancestral lands when you are all ‘dead’.
Political leadership of the country or the lack of it poses an existential threat to them. They know what they have done (i.e., killings and destruction of lives and properties in various southern and middle belt communities). They fear a repercussion. I tell you, as soon as Buhari leaves and a southerner takes over, there could be a backlash on all the criminals hibernating and committing atrocities in southern forests. Throughout Buhari’s tenor, they have used the military to cover their flanks, reason why T.Y. Danjuma said “THEY COLLUDE”. Yoruba will say: “apani ki fe ki ida koja lori oun” which mean that a killer does not want a sword to be swung around his head. They fear a reprisal and are scared of the shadow of their past deeds. It is the reason one of their patrons, Gumi can publicly advise them not to vote for a president who will prosecute them. They know what they have done, and that only one of their own, Atiku will protect them after Buhari.
One fact the southern electorate know but pretend will not play out is the interest of the electoral umpire. The last time I checked, he is an Arewa man. Do southerners believe in their hearts that this man will be an unbiased umpire in this tournament, given the huge price at stakes?
While the South is busy ‘Buga-ing’, the north’s minute-by-minute planning is “how can we distract them (the south) and ensure power remains with the north?” They are thinking, “Who and who among their traitorous leaders can we buy over that will speak against them in support of the North retaining power”? They have unleashed Fulani terrorist into your farms to systematically intimidate and create scarcity of food in your lands. At the official level, they have deployed the military into your states in the south, as if there is a war already going on. For every one military checkpoint you see in the north, you have roughly 8 within the same radius in the south. The ratio is worse in the South East, under the pretext of fighting IPOB members. It’s all part of the game of psychological warfare and defeat.
My postulation: they will declare Atiku winner of the election, irrespective of what the real voting numbers are. They will anticipate an uproar. To assuage the south, they have penciled down some names to appoint into key positions as soon as they declared Atiku winner. They will tell you to go to court and challenge the result. If your uproar spirals to a riotous tumult, they will deploy their military, kill a few and take some perceived frontline leaders of the protest into detention, reminiscent of June 12. They will direct the CBN to release any required amount of money to buy out leaders of the major tribal groups. For the candidates i.e., Tinubu, Peter Obi etc., they will tell them to name their price and promise to pay them any amount of money they want, to assuage and/or compensate them. Did I hear you say “it can never happen; this is not 1993”; wait for it. I will remind you.
As it was in 2015 and 2019, a dog that will get lost does not hear the whistle of its owner. They call us “Wailers” and “Political Neophytes”. Atiku is coming to finalize the Fulani agenda started by Buhari. Buhari spent the last 8 years ‘restructuring’ the country to their preferred structure. He only needs Atiku to consolidate on that ‘restructuring’. Do people think he will hand over to a southerner who will deconstruct all that he has put in place for the benefit of his clan and their long-held belief that they own Nigeria? Atiku, I am told is deadlier, more virulent and will exercise a vice-grip hold of the south. Just as Tinubu fed a lion which has almost now consumed him, those promoting Atiku now will be the first casualty. That is why he has never condemned Fulani atrocities. That was why he deleted that twit about the murderous killing of Deborah by some terrorist in Sokoto. Southern Nigeria has suffered enough under the yoke of this marriage. When is enough really enough? If Chief Obasanjo, with all of his ‘stubbornness’ and deep understanding of Nigeria’s social-political history could not salvage it, believe me, no one can. Not Peter Obi and not Tinubu.
From the onset, two countries that did not have anything in common were merged into a single entity. Nigeria has been a “state held together at gunpoint” since then.
It has been over a hundred years and everyone can see that it has not worked. Anyone adamant about keeping it so, no doubt, reaps from the agony and the frustration of the people of a failed state. They do not care about the wellbeing of the citizens or for the development of the country. Chief Richard Akinjide, a one-time staunch supporter of the north, who went to the extent of betraying his kinsman, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, for the benefit of the north; before he died, said the North believes they can use the military to rule the country in a form of internal colonialism. He further said and I quote: “these are people who do not make a distinction between public treasury and private treasury”. Basic economic tells us Savings and Investments are the engine for the growth of any economy. How can you ever hope to save and invest with such people? As far back as 1962, Chief Obafemi Awolowo had referred to them as “autocratic ruling caste” during his treason trial.
Before any progress can be made in southern Nigeria, we have to go back to the “2 state solution”; northern Nigeria and southern Nigeria. Take it back to where it was before the British disingenuously merged them.
Already we are running 2 countries as it were anyways. The water resource bill is clear evidence. Those in southern Nigeria don’t want it while those in northern Nigeria welcome it and in fact anticipate it. The introduction of Sharia with its associated Hisbah police is another.
The states in the middle belt will be given the choice to decide if they prefer a country of their own or vote for a choice between becoming part of southern Nigeria or part of northern Nigeria. Thank God for the discovery of oil wells and other minerals in the north.
Southern Nigeria will decide after this first level of separation if they will continue as a unit or create new countries of Biafra, Oduduwa and Niger Delta thereafter. A president of Southern Nigeria extraction, (even if it were to happen), with the current structure of the country is window dressing; the sore would only fester. Like a friend of mine said, “if perchance they give you the presidency now, the Fulani, like a hawk, will patiently wait for when they return to power to finish their project. Why postpone the evil days”.
Some would say, why now, when the presidential election is less than 2 months to take place? It is because we know the election is a distraction. It is a destination to nowhere; to a darker wilderness. It is being used to renew the life of a slavish Constitution, the same reason our revered elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo had said there should not be any elections before a new Constitution. Pastor Chris Okotie also said just recently that there should be no election but that a transition government be put in place. Against all voices of wisdom, they are rail-roading us into an election because they need it as a vehicle to perpetuate their overlordship and finalize their evil agenda.
Peter Omonua, an Officer of the Canadian Armed Forces lives in Ontario, Canada.
He can be reached at email@example.com
Seeing Beyond Primate Elijah Ayodele’s Prophecies By Ukhueleigbe Zaccheus
Without doubt, when the name Primate Elijah Ayodele is mentioned in Nigeria, with the exception of members of his INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, what comes to mind is an image of a controversial and courageous man of God, emboldened by the Holy Spirit, to speak truth to power without fear. Little wonder he bears the name of Prophet Elijah, who was a constant threat to the evil king, Ahab.
Where others feared to go, Primate Ayodele threads there. Renowned for his prophecies and how often they come to pass, it only takes one sent by God himself to exhibit that boldness.
However, there is more to Primate Ayodele than his prophecies. He is a philanthropist per excellence who has taken it upon himself to bring succour to the lives of people.
As part of activities to mark his birthday, God’s general gave out five cars, five tricycles, five buses and more than ₦25 million naira empowerment package to journalists, widows, the needy, and students.
A cheque of N200,000 was presented each to 11 journalists to empower them for supporting the man of God over the years. Primate Ayodele also promised to pay the sum of N350,000 for one of the empowered journalists who has issues with his sight.
This act was a culmination of the 17-day appreciation and philanthropic activities which Primate Ayodele started on Sunday, January 29, 2023.
As we raise our glasses and chorus a happy birthday to the him, it is high time people see beyond the prophecies to the largess of his heart. Happy birthday, Primate.
Buhari’s Legacies Devour Buhari’s Legacies
By Abimbola Adelakun
On Sunday, a train plying the Warri-Itakpe route derailed somewhere around Ajaokuta in Kogi State. About 178 passengers were stranded but, thankfully, they came to no harm as the Nigerian Railway Corporation evacuated them. The train service along that route has been shut until they carry out necessary repairs. At the time of writing, there has been no official report on why the train derailed. However, from videos posted on social media, one can attribute the issue to either willful vandalism of the tracks by metal thieves or mechanical failures. Either way, the derailment does not portend well for the country by any reasonable measure. The Warri-Itakpe route started operation in October 2020, a mere 15 months ago. The facilities are supposed to be still too new to experience such mishaps.
The railway is a signature achievement of the Maj Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) regime. Those trains are the banner the Buhari regime proudly waves in everyone’s faces as proof of their efficacy in the past eight years. They celebrate the railway and credit Buhari’s regime with building “infrastructure.” The Warri-Itakpe line was a project embarked on in 1987. None of the mediocre leaders we have had all through the years could complete it. On that score alone, the present government earned its chest-thumping.
Never mind that the railway is only one form of infrastructure—and which can hardly survive without the concurrent functioning of other categories of infrastructure like education, health, security, urban management, and so on—but they pat their own backs for getting it done. But given the insecurity problem and mechanical failures we have seen recently, I worry whether it will last. The railway project was built through loans that Nigeria has to repay. As things stand, it might just happen that Nigerians would still be paying just the interest on the loans long after the railway project has become moribund.
The Sunday derailment is the latest in the series of disruptions to the railway system since its inauguration recently. The most infamous of the sad events that have happened to those riding those tracks so far remains the Abuja-Kaduna train attack in March 2022 when some gunmen ambushed the train. There is no official figure on the casualties, but about eight people were reportedly killed and another 63 were abducted. The train services were also shut immediately. For months afterward, the families of the victims engaged in a drawn-out negotiation process with the abductors. In a country where some police investigators could spend up to six months lying in wait just so they could arrest a random guy that made a silly comment about the first lady on Twitter, one would expect that the same surveillance system would help the hapless families. In addition to the trauma of their loved one’s abduction, they also had to absorb the pain of haggling with the madmen who committed that heinous crime.
After that Abuja-Kaduna incident, it was only a matter of time before another set of wannabe professional abductors copied the same method. The Abuja-Kaduna abductors walked away with cool cash, and it did not take any soothsaying skills to conclude that kidnapping (and trading) train passengers is lucrative. It was unsurprising that just two weeks ago, another set of gunmen struck again and made off with 30 people from a NRC sub-station in Igueben, Edo State. Thankfully, some of the alleged perpetrators of the recent incident have been arrested. However, every future passenger is potentially vulnerable to copycat attacks.
The security threat and possibilities of metal theft are not the only threat to the railway project. It is also susceptible to internal forces of government corruption and bureaucratic inefficiency. Our corrupt leaders too, who should at least give the project some room to flourish, will award spurious and hyperinflated contracts. For instance, during the exchanges of blame that attended the Abuja-Kaduna abduction incident, we learnt from no less than the transportation minister, Rotimi Amaechi, that he had proposed surveillance equipment to the tune of N3.7bn be installed but was turned down. The Federal Executive Council that denied the contract explained that they did so because the proposal smelled like a fraud.
Only Amaechi can explain how the expensive surveillance equipment he proposed to buy would have stopped the bandits. Why invest in such equipment when the entire country is bedeviled by insecurity? What would it have cost the gunmen who stopped the train with explosives from blowing the so-called surveillance equipment up in Amaechi’s face? That exchange revealed another problem with the whole arrangement: the myopic greed of public officials who will not let the project survive because they see it as merely another means of awarding themselves inflated contracts. The railway business can barely pay for its own operating costs, and you still have to spend heavily on security.
Under ordinary circumstances, the railway project is supposed to be the proud legacy of the Buhari regime. Unfortunately for them—and for everyone as well—that legacy is seriously imperiled by his regime’s other legacies of multidimensional poverty, insecurity, and corruption.
The legacies of deepening poverty under Buhari haunt the legacies of the trains he managed to get running. Even if the projects do not suffer from a paucity of funds, they will still confront the proclivities of thieving Nigerians who will steal the railway metal to resell. Similarly, the legacy of insecurity through the activities of bandits, herdsmen, and professional abductors will also contribute their own share of damage to the “infrastructure” they said they have built. These are not simple problems that can be solved by stationing security officers at train stations or committing more money to railway station surveillance. They are fundamental issues of poverty. This is the inevitable fallout of an economy configured to consume—and degenerate—rather than produce—and regenerate.
The legacies of Buhari remind you of Ouroboros, the mythological snake that eats its own tail. The many things that Buhari has left undone will consume the very few things he managed to get done. The problem of human development he never committed himself to properly tackling will wipe off the superficial gains we made under him. You cannot have a country where people fell down the economic ladder so badly and expect people to give a bleep about preserving the railway as their national heritage. Your society cannot be overrun by thousands of children who have dropped out of school and assume they will be enamored by the trains enough to want to see it survive.
At the end of the day, the best legacy a leader can leave is to build people well enough to build their society. That did not happen in the past eight years. This government took everything from us—our time, our resources, and hope—and gave us some tokens in return. Many of them will not outlast him. Buhari will, of course, return to Daura with shoulders hunched up while thinking he at least gave Nigeria a railway system. But if there is something we all know by now, it is that Buhari is not a man given to critical self-reflection and honest self-appraisals. He will never think of the railway project’s failure as his. The best he will do is blame it on the “lazy youths” and go back to picking his teeth. Far be it from him to admit that the children he failed to build are the ones selling off the house of lies he built.
Oyetola Political Hopelessness And The Legal Journey To Nowhere
Political Commentary by Sodiq Tade
If you have been following Osun politics in the last 4 years, you will understand that APC in Osun is in its current spot due to Oyetola’s desperation to be politically relevant. While there is nothing bad in trying to be relevant in politics, there is everything bad in trying to be without the goodwill of the people.
Adeleke’s victory, apart from being people’s victory and a major shift of power from a notorious ruling party, it is also a revealer of Oyetola’s desperation and that of his headless sycophants.
Since Oyetola lost the last election, he has become more desperate for power more than ever. He feels entitled to what he doesn’t deserve. Obviously, that stems from the fact that he has always enjoyed the benefit of political godfatherism. What else can explain his uncontrolled and self-centered quest for power even in the face of obvious reality of failure? And I must say he has succeeded in his blind quest, he has succeeded in moving from being an unknown Chief of Staff to an unpopular former Governor trying to rob the people of their hard earned mandate. A downward political journey, if you ask me.
Going by the current situation in Osun State, Oyetola has lost the remaining goodwill he used to enjoy as an ex-Governor due to his desperation to be relevant in the political space. It is not news that since he lost heavily to Adeleke last year, he has embarked on a legal journey heading nowhere just to keep his name up in the media. You don’t need more than basic education to know that Oyetola doesn’t have a case. You don’t need a lawyer to school you about it.
Oyetola and his headless sycophants have built their case on fake figures and the only place they can win with those figures is their WhatsApp groups. If you have been paying attention, you will have noticed a sharp change in narrative from their camp. In the very beginning, they shamelessly claimed they were rigged out through “over-voting”. Beyond the law, the question is now:
Can you rig out the incumbent Governor in today’s Nigeria?
Your guess is as good as mine. It is almost impossible. You can only defeat the incompetent incumbent with the help of the people. The power will always be with the people.
Having realised that they are not going anywhere with the over-voting narrative, they moved to the validity of the winner’s school certificate. The question is now:
Can a lower court overrule the verdict of the higher court?
Again, your guess is as good as mine. This is the reason I said you didn’t even need more than basic education to know that they were not going anywhere with the case. Oyetola and his followers are aware of this fact but they won’t stop the nonsense charade, they must be seen doing something.
The ex-Governor should stop being desperate for power and focus on the survival of his party in the state because, as it is presently, PDP will win all the available seats in the coming election. Having said all, I must however confess that his desperation is good sight to behold because political desperation is the last step before political oblivion.
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