Are we all depreciated ? I am borrowing this word from Aisha Yusuf, the Co-convener of the BringBackOurGirls, BBOG, advocacy group when she described Hon. Minister of Power Fashola as one of the leaders who has depreciated since he got appointed into Buhari’s administration.
She explained that; “Some leaders build people around them. Others depreciate people around them.” She was reacting to a statement Fashola made while speaking at a special Town Hall Meeting on infrastructure organized by the Ministry of Information and Culture and the National Orientation Agency held in Ibadan, Oyo State. when he called on the people of the South West to support Buhari’s second term bid in order for them to regain power in 2023.
If this is agenda of the South West to regain power to their region, they must have seen and understood how power can be used for the benefits one’s people.
The North has been at the pinnacle power for almost four years and yet we have not seen its benefit in the region. Have we as a people been conflicted and depreciated to extent we have lost our monolithic regional out look to blind follower ship?
Politics is about opportunities, It is about how you use your opportunities to better the lot of your people. It is also an opportunity once lost can never be regained. I am making this statement in the light of the audio clip I would like to share with you. (Click the link below and listen before you proceed with the remaining text)
The North has been judged by our partners in the union as hangers on and parasites contributing nothing to the common wealth. And yet we don’t utilise our opportunity to build and strengthen our fragile situation in the union.
The North today represent the most backward part of Nigeria in every aspect of development. It is also socially, culturally, educationally, economically and politically backward. There is no part of the region that is not under one social uprising of some sort.
From the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, the Herdsmen-Fulani conflicts in the Benue troughs , the Settler – Indigene conflicts in Plateau, the Kataf- Hausa tribal distrust in Kaduna now turned into religious issue, the killings and Kidnappings raging on in Zamfara which has defied solution, Kidnaping and Armed Banditry prevailing across the region, the Shite- Sunni religious in tolerance building up to a serious sectarian crisis.
The elite polarization of the communities for their political gains leading to the segregation of the society into “Us vs Them”, the emerging political polemics arising from the emergence of Atiku as second force in the political power game. The pull me “down syndrome” adopted by the elite to bring down every successful person. “if it is not me it must not be you”.
Take a hard look at the names of those placed on security watch list implicated in corruption charges most of them are from North. Are we the most corrupt? Are there no corruption not taking place in the other regions?
The fact of the matter is simple we hate ourselves. while the others have learnt long ago not to disgrace their people no matter what they do. They come to their defence in droves whenever they are threatened.
We in North expose our own to ridicule and relish in their humiliations. We have lost our sense of communality for the lust of power and self actualizations, the bond that kept us together as a people has been debased. What a pity.
So far all the governors that have been jailed are from the North and many would join them very soon. That is how far we love ourselves. Sometimes I disagree with the way governor El Rufai does his things, but in most cases you just have to give it to him. He represent my idea of how I expect the Northern elites to behave, bold, sharp and intelligent.
We don’t need to show weakness on issues simply because you want to appease the un appeaseables. His decision to pick a Muslim woman as his deputy in Kaduna state was seen by the Ibadan-Lagos press as sacrilege. They went to town shouting and postulating all sorts hypotheses as if he committed a blasphemy.
They blew the issues over the top as if Kaduna, is the only state in the country that has its leadership coming from the same religion.
They deliberately twisted the facts in order to make the whole thing look religious. They never complained when some states like Plateau and even some in the South West who have significant number of Muslims but have their leadership coming from the same religion.
El – Rufai knows that he will win the election in Kaduna without appeasing any one. He has the numbers and the fact that past governments shared the position in order bring every one on board. In his views these must not be seen as a sign of weakness. Rather it should be seen as an attempt to encourage peaceful coexistence between the people. He must have also felt the gesture was not appreciated.
To him democracy is about the will of the majority, that was why he decided to test the waters by putting his chances for the second term “on the line”. He looses more then any other person if his gamble doesn’t pay.
The second issues that dominated my thinking is the way the Northern elites are shouting Atiku is corrupt as if he deep his hand in the public treasury to become wealthy. The gentle man is an entrepreneur he knows where to put his money to generate profit.
Are we saying we are comfortable with the South Africans, the Chinese and other nationals buying the industries we put up for public sales under the privatization policy. I have seen the laughable arguments some elites were putting forward accusing Atiku for buying the privatised state industries for a peanut.
For God sake there were procedures put in place before those industries were sold. The processes were in the open, if you disagreed with them you had the opportunity to challenge the process in courts. More so the companies government sold were adjudged to be non performing, they had become drain pipe on the resources of government that was why they were sold.
Those who bought them took risk and the fact they turned them round, they should be praised but not criminalised.
We have heard how Tinubu amassed his wealth yet the South Westerners call him their leader not corrupt person. This is difference between them and us.
We all know under the current arrangement the PDP and APC are the dominant political parties in the country and will remain so for a very long time.
And going by the zoning formula adopted by the political parties the North has been given the chance to produce the candidates. In this regard the Presidential candidate for the two political parties would emerge from the North and yet we are vilifying all of them for one thing or other.
This is one thing the Igbos and the Yorubas will never do to their leaders. Recently the Yoruba youth group cautioned Tinubu to stop publicly abusing Obasanjo.
In our case is the opposite. We treat our leaders with contempt. This is pitiful situation we found ourselves in the North. Is this North the Balewas the Sardauna the Tarka had envisaged for us?
Have we in the light of audio clip presented squandered our opportunities. Have we as people failed to coordinate and take advantage of our opportunities.
I have argued else where that our leaders have failed us but with the emerging exposition from the audio clip its clear to me they down played certain issues in order to allow peace reign. In the actual sense they were humiliated, that was they decided to take the posture of “sit down and look”
They did so not because they were afraid but because our culture and religion teaches us patient, tolerance and never join issues with leaders even if they were wrong.
The interview have so far exposed the fact our Presidency has been hijacked and we are not likely going see any significant changes even if we again support the President to come for second term.
Many would attack me by arguing that we now have peace and tranquillity in the North and they may possibly add by saying no part of the North is under the control the Boko Haram insurgency.
This may be partially true, but the only places that have some semblances of peace are in urban settlements. There are still so many roads in Borno and Yobe that you can freely drive on without the fear of being ambushed by insurgents.
Farming activities in the villages are yet to return to normal. People are still afraid to send their wards to schools for fear of abduction.
Boko Harams attack on militarily formation and soft target areas have not abated. Kidnaping, Herdsmen Farmer conflicts have continued to be part our realities in the North.
Phantom claims of infrastructural development in the North which are not supported by budgetary allocation and releases of funds as highlighted in the audio clips exemplifies our current situations.
Surprisingly, our elites are buying to the grand conspiracy dished out from the media as political talk hook line and sinker.
Our failure to rationalize between myth and reality is hurting us a people.
This is the fallacy of our time, to get out of it we must redefine our existence in the union, other wise we shall continue holding the horns of the cow while others keep milking it for their own good.
Our numerical strength which is the hall mark of democracy will not count to any advantage because we been conflicted and depreciated. May God give us the wisdom to understand and do the needful.