Before We Drink From A Poisoned Chalice

Tue May 10th, 2022 - Kano

Zoning, as wisely conceived by our political gladiators some years ago was to give every geopolitical part of this country a sense of belonging; destroy the vestiges of mutual suspicion, mistrust and atavistic fears and instincts of dominance to make our political journey less bumpy and less contentious. Although not enshrined in our protocols of association—the constitution, zoning has so far been adhered to as a gentleman‘s agreement among our politicians as a panacea for skewness. However, for some inane and jejune reasons, some politicians have started their macabre dance to jettison zoning and consign it to the dustbin of history. To many northern politicians, aeon rulership is their birthright. To them, Nigeria has been wound on gossamer strands of their fawning fingers where they can chant paeans of conquest _ad infinitum

The Northern Elders Forum ( NEF) which has been ferociously notorious for shearing every bright longing considered anti-North is at its belligerent worst again by spewing out inflammatory rhetorics with seismic capabilities to rubbish the gains of zoning that have steadied our tempestuous ocean of politics. In a society such as ours where many are hungry and politicians ride on people‘s common salve of timid consciences for a meal of porridge, prevarications and Machiavellian manoeuvres have been deployed in political horse-tradings to outwit one‘s opponents, including sections of the country.

The North has ruled the country for a larger part of our chequered history and its aristocratic lots will want that maintained at the expense of other sections of the country. These are hegemonists that derive utmost pleasure in holding the downtrodden in their midst hostage through skull-duggery and religious perfidies. The number of Al Majir street urchins keeps ballooning but it‘s none of their business to chart a paradigm shift as long as this crop of people is subjugated and brainwashed that they are destined to be poor and be at the mercy of any man in a restaurant throwing crumbs at them to assuage their hungry souls.

The North has many headmasters in some Primary schools who hardly know the difference between ‚Yes‘ and ‚No‘, let alone speak or write basic English sentences. Don‘t be bewildered to hear „bah Turenchi“ to your basic question in English. As a hospital head in one of Zamfara State‘s General Hospitals in 2008, I raised a team to do a health education on measures to mitigate an outbreak of Cholera and Cerebro-spinal Meningitis which are quite endemic there in a seasonal fashion. I asked the headmaster of a Primary School after exchanging pleasantries, if that kind of exercise had been done in the school before then. He said, „Yes, no, yes“ in quick succession that gave him away as quite unlettered. I asked him what the take-home points were at the time. He looked rattled. I sensed he didn‘t quite get my message. I rephrased it in a simpler way that I felt he should be able to say something sensible. He still looked uncomfortably dazed. It was when one of my laboratory staff on my entourage interpreted my question in Hausa that he was able to answer back in Hausa. He had to say he didn‘t get my initial question but that that was the first time such an exercise would be carried out in the school. I had to use the lab staff to continue to interpret the remaining session of the program to the headmaster, members of staff and pupils! Yes, that is their monolithic North!

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Some could have also gone amnesic about the late Sabo Barkin Zuwo on the campaign train how he referred to late Abubakar Rimi as his running mate who had been running after him and would want him to lose. He also exhibited his uncanny illiteracy by referring to mineral deposits in Kano State as Fanta, 7 UP, Coke et cetra. The reporters could not believe their hears. Against any rational thinking, he actually won and became governor. Yes, that‘s their North where they like to impoverish the populace, deny them sound education perennially and breed them as ubiquitous willing tools for winning elective offices.

Without any scintilla of rational thinking, some people will just outlandishly spew out gibberish and purulent stuffs to crave relevance. What can you make of the Coalition of Northern Group‘s spokesman, one Suleiman Abdulazeez who was reported to have said „Whatever the case, let me repeat here that the North would never give in to threats or blackmail to give up its democratic and constitutional prerogative to field candidates for every national election. Our position remains unchanged that the North will never respect any arrangement that tends to block northerners from contesting election to the presidency. Akeredolu should know by now that the North is not and shall never be afraid of threats of disengaging from the Nigerian union by any section of the country that feels strongly about it, in fact, we welcome it“? That statement, unfortunately captures an average northern politician‘s mind‘s tribal tabula rasa. It was a reckless vituperation from a haughty, cocky, unctuous toad mired in shameless smugness. But, if that had been the position of the North all along—and still is—why is the Federal Government hounding the likes of Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu for their agitations for Oduduwa and Biafra respectively? Why can‘t the government just acquiesce to this kind of assertion and let strange bedfellows divorce peacefully without any bellicosity? Why have the drumbeats of restructuring been seen as unpatriotic of the egotistical elites from the South?

Also, an erstwhile Vice-chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Ango Abdullahi—of „Ango must go“ fame during his stewardship in the University— is an incurable tribal irredentist and a religious bigot who, as the chair of the Northern Elders Forum said, zoning was dead on arrival. The primordial tribal sentiments of this figure have overridden his sense of reasoning.The ambivalence and steely defiance of some northern politicians to embrace any aplombous, pacifying arrangement to oil our wheel for unity, love, progress, equity and justice among the different sections of Nigeria are further reinforcing the morbid fear of underlying arrogance and ‚born-to-rule‘ mentality which may be a harbinger to sounding our death-knell as a nation.




source: Leadership