I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and indeed all Nigerians for the just concluded 2015 General Elections and indeed the successful inauguration and transition from one President to another and indeed one Political Party to another. This is infact the first time this country will witness such transition. Am really very happy that has avoided another civil war or another opportunity to break up. God really love this country if you asked me.
But beyond all the optimism of a better things to come, the joy and celebration of victory for avoiding a break up and the happiness of supporters of the All Progressives Congress [APC] and Muhammadu Buhari himself there are still questions about our nationhood and how war we have gone to keep Nigeria one and a great nation. The question is how far have we gone and how far are we willing to go.
Some are celebrating the victory of APC over the PDP, some celebrating the defeat of an incumbent for the first time in our history, some celebrating our continued unity, some merely celebrating the defeat of their enemies or victory of their friends etc. There are really many reasons to celebrate.
MY concern really is where will the country go from here. Did the election that brought in Buhari stop the break up of Nigeria or did it just postpone it. I wonder how many Nigerians are reasoning with me. I love this country call Nigeria and am proud to be a Nigerian but I also want a Nigeria where all citizens will be patriotic and ready to defend it at all cost, where all citizens will have equal opportunities and have a feeling or sense of belonging. What lessons did we learn from the election.
No doubt Nigeria needed a change. It was clear that former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was overwhelmed by the various problems the country faced under his administration, some of these problems were as a result of acts of sabotage, but it was clear Jonathan was not competent to deal with them. Issues of corruption, power supply, insecurity, Boko Haram, unemployment etc.
With the exit of Jonathan people had talked of what they expect from the new President, Muhammadu Buhari. Some say he has to tackle the issue of corruption, unemployment, Boko Haram, Power supply etc.
No doubt we need all these. But to me what Nigeria need most is Electricity, Electricity and Electricity and all other things will fall in place. That is not all, we also need new orientation, patriotism and love. These are lacking in the country and unless we have new orientation, patriotism and love we will never be a great country. God has blessed us with so much resources in terms of great people, abundant resources including natural resources, land etc but we are not yet a great country. Some say we have bad leadership but I will also add that we have bad followership. We also have bad media. Nigeria media is highly partisan and tribalistic, we can never grow with that kind of media. We shall come to the media issue later.
FOR THE NORTH. Buhari should not forget the millions of Northern youths who thronged to his campaign rallies to see him. These are the people that won the victory for him not APC. APC only provided him with the political platform to contest the election. It is the ordinary people from the North that won the election for him, the APC only took advatange of the cult followership Buhari enjoyed in the North to ride to power. These people called the Almajiris or the Talakawas need Buhari’s attention now, they see him as their savior. These people need quality life, they need jobs, they need security, they need food etc. but government alone cannot provide them with all their needs otherwise it will be another hope betrayed. So what should Buhari do.
First Buhari should strengthen the Local Government system. Funds should go directly from the Federal Government to the Local Government, this is the government that is closest to the people, if the Local Government is strengthened people will rely less on the Federal Government to feed them. A situation where state governors appropriate local government funds to themselves and decide which project to embark upon is no longer acceptable. These state governors do not embark on projects that the people at the grassroots need, they only embark on projects which they intend to use to campaign in the next elections. These projects are white elephants projects only good for campaigns. Goodluck Jonathan was busy telling people in the North that he built Almijiri schools and Universities for them, that was not what they needed, he didn’t care to ask himself whatever happened to billions of Naira spent on Nomadic education by past administrations and why it failed. The people needed Security, jobs and food and the government could not even feel the pulse of the people.
I respect the religious belief of Nigerians especially people from the North. Islamic and Quaranic Education is very popular in the North. But we leave our children in the hands of Mallams or Quranic teachers and in most cases do not care the type of education or belief or doctrine they are taught. It must be properly monitored. All Mallams or Quaranic teachers should henceforth be employed by state governments and curriculums properly spelt out. Islam and Christianity must be tailored towards National unity and prosperity. Buhari should tell these people that there is no space for murderers or suicide bombers in paradise. No virgin in paradise will be willing to marry a murderer. These our youths have a right to life, no doctrine should make them kill innocent people or turn them into suicide killers. They must work to make a living. Only good life based on the teachings of Christianity and Islam will take them to paradise. Its unfortunate we lost thousands of our youths during Boko Haram war, it was simply senseless. Some of the best Islamic states in the world like Saudi Arabia, Dubai [UAE], Turkey, Indonesia etc are among the highest growing economies in the world, they develop their tourism potentials and human capital and we don’t hear them bombing people.
Buhari should try all he could to encourage Northern states to rebuild their economies. These they can do by encouraging investments and investors from other parts of the country. The story of Kano is more pathetic. By 1982 Kano was the biggest economy in Nigeria after Lagos. Lagos only had the advantage of been the Federal capital then, but Kano was the biggest economy. We had many industries in Bompai, Challawa, Sharada and many places. Kano was home to everybody, it was an international trading post with many International organizations. All those industries gone due to constant religious extremism, bigotry, intolerance and fear. Today Kano has one of the highest unemployment rate in the country.
What should also worry President Buhari is the high rate of consumption of hard drugs among youths in Nigeria especially Northern Nigeria, it came in different names which included concoction, monkeytail, Indian hemp, inhaling fuel etc. Please Buhari help keep the youths out of drugs, its un Islamic, Islamic states like Indonesia go as far as beheading those caught with drugs. It is dangerous to them. We want peace in the North, without peace in the North there will be no peace in Nigeria.
FOR THE YORUBA.
Political life for the Yoruba of the South West of Nigeria is highly volatile. Yoruba have over 500 years of violent struggle for power and you must stay away from their politics if you want to live happily with them. At every time there is struggle for power or supremacy among Yoruba people on who should be a Yoruba leader, desperate ones among them always turn to the North to give them advantage over his kinsmen. In the 19th century during the Oyo empire, there was leadership tussle among some Yoruba leaders over who is Yoruba leader. The then military leader of the empire Afonja rebelled against the then Alafin of Oyo. The Alafin ran to the then Sultan of Sokoto to come and help him fight the insurrection in his empire and he was obliged. With the help of the Fulani the Alafin defeated his enemies, fellow Yoruba. After the defeat the Fulani could not return to Sokoto they settled in Ilorin, in the present day Kwara state. today we still have the Afonja descendant union and the Fulani in Ilorin. Infact the traditional ruler of Ilorin, the Emir must be a Fulani. That is not all. At another rebellion in Yorubaland still in the 19th century the Alafin was defeated and put under house arrest by rebellious groups from Ibadan. Oyo leaders had to go to the North again to ask for the assistance of Etsu Nupe to help him defeat his enemies, fellow Yoruba. He was also obliged and Sango was sent to help him, with the help of Sango, the Oyo people defeated their enemies and released the king. Till today some Yoruba traditional institutions still worship Sango as the god of thunder. The rest is now history. During the Yoruba civil war thousands of Yoruba men and women were sold into slavery by their Obas including the ancestors of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Akiolu. Till today we still have Yoruba descendants in Brazil, Sierra Leone etc. some acquired British citizens after the abolition of slave trade.
This scenario is been repeated today in Yoruba land. With the exit of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Yoruba are now looking for a leader to lead them. The current Political leader Ashiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu position was been threatened. Threats were coming from Olusegun Obasanjo, the Afenifere and many others who believe Yoruba should be a Republic whose leadership should be based on election. Bola Tinubu from Osun state has to once again go to the Fulanis for help hence the support for Buhari’s Presidential ambition. With Buhari’s Presidency no doubt the current leader of the Yoruba is Bola Tinubu. He is simply contented being a Yoruba leader than being the President of Nigeria. At least he can use that position to negotiate his interest. That was why he made the Yoruba to reject the position of Speaker of House of Representatives in the last Jonathan administration and offered it to Aminu Tambuwal a Fulani. Obafemi Awolowo tried to free Yoruba as slaves to the Fulani. It has now failed.
TO THE IGBO.
From a face value the Igbo lost out in the 2015 election, having massively supported the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] BUT THE Igbo have every reason to be happy with the outcome of the election. First for the first time the Igbo voted massively for a candidate Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, it was a block vote. Secondly the Igbo voted for their South South Neighbour assuring the southern minorities that they will never betray them. I hope this unity between the South East and South South is sustained. But more importantly the numerical strength of the Igbo is now been acknowledged more than ever before. The difference between Buhari’s vote and Jonathan is just two million. Even though some Igbo still voted for the APC it is on record that seventy percent of Jonathan votes across the country is Igbo vote. This is despite the fact that the North were massively mobilized to come out and vote for Buhari and the South West were also massively mobilized to come out to vote for the APC. Igbos were not mobilized many Igbo eligible voters did not vote. Some were disenfranchised through the selective distribution of the Permanent Voters Cards. Some travelled outside the place where they Registered while some were simply nonchalant about the election. If the Igbo are properly mobilized in an election and come out fully to vote like the North and the Yoruba they will certainly remain a force to be reconed with in Nigeria’s political revolution. The deceit of always using land mass as a yardstick to determine the population of various ethnic groups in Nigeria has now been put to rest.
CONGRATULATIONS OKOWA. Let me also congratulate my governor, the Governor of Delta state Dr Ifeanyi Okowa. I wish you a peaceful and successful tenure. Before you settle down to work go round all the three Geo Political zones in the state and find out what they want, don’t just assume. For us in Anioma we want Light. Please give us light. We are tired of successful administrations in the state and in the country always putting the blame on Electricity on the Federal Government . states can do a lot, we don’t need National grid. We have one Professor Lawrence Ezemonye from Anioma he is an expert on Renewable energy. Look for him. He was a Director of National Centre for Energy and Environment [NCEE], Energy Commission, University of Benin. He will tell you how to generate electricity through fossil fuel. You can generate electricity without coal or oil and gas. You can generate electricity using plants. You can also generate electricity using Solar energy. Delta state is most blessed state in Nigeria with abundant and quality human capital. Let Delta lead for others to follows.
No matter whatever fault anybody will find in your predecessor Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan I will always respect him for one thing, his campaign for Delta beyond oil. The campaign must be sustained.