It was the former president, GoodLuck Ebele Jonathan who said his ambition was not worth the blood of any Nigerian and so, when he lost power in 2015, he graciously handed over to his successor, president Muhammadu Buhari, whose statements prior to his ascendancy to power somewhat, were in sharp contrast to that of his predecessor. He was popularly quoted to have threatened at one time that; “dogs and the baboons would be soaked in their own blood”, if the former administration stretched its luck too much, having lost elections for three consecutive times before this one he won. Statement like this, from the former military leader who at that time was positioning to grab power, frankly charged the situation. The rest, like they say, are now history. The situation in Nigeria today surely would have become a tip of the iceberg if power eventually did not change hand, six years ago.
Today, from East to West, North and South, everyone is worried about what is happening in the country. Life of the people has become so cheap. Issues of insecurity, resulting to almost daily abductions, kidnapping, killing of innocent people are the order of the day, everywhere. Every single day that passes brings yet another tales of woes in most villages and hamlets in the country, especially in the Northern parts and the carnage continues without concrete solutions. The common saying today amongst Nigerians is that nowhere is safe if the military barrack could be assaulted. There is palpable fear until the government beyond rhetorics, shows capacity to protect Nigerians and also tackle the issue of hunger now killing people more than ever before. Let us be clear, the level of insecurity in the land, which in fairness, eminent Nigerians have spoken about and condemned equally across board certainly led to the enactment of anti open grazing laws by most Southern Governors which have become operational today in many Southern states.
The Northern parts too, most of the Governors have called on their citizens to defend themselves in the face of any attack since the police cannot be everywhere to defend them and the controversy has continued to rage. The whole idea in fact is in a bid to save the motherland, currently under attack by various mindless terror groups scattered all over the place. That Nigeria with all the cracks has not caved in, even when it was predicted that the union, between the North and South would collapse in 2015, is purely an act of God. But can we say that our politicians all these years have learnt anything from the political quagmire the country has found itself for many years now? The position of the Northern Governors recently, which was in response to some of the decisions of their Southern counterparts on the Value Added Tax (VAT), and power shift in 2023, for all intent and purposes presents a picture that our leaders (politicians), are not really perturbed over what is happening, but instead have allowed the deep division now inherent in the society to becloud their sense of reasoning.
Morally speaking, those who are pushing to retain power in 2023 without recourse to the heightened tension in the land and what the South is saying are doing a very great disservice to the nation. Without holding brief for anyone, the understanding of what Nigerians, not particularly the Southern Governors are asking for is equity and equality! It’s therefore important for our political leaders to understand one thing which is; that people cannot be fooled all the time. One of the ways to address the myriads of problems besetting the country is to allow power shift to the South, else, with the drums already beating for power to remain in the North speaks volume of how insensitive political leaders could be even in the face of uncertainty that we face today. The danger of such outburst would embolden those behind the agitations which is almost everywhere in the country, and again legitimizes their cause, leaving the country to have more problems to contend with. Talking about 2023 now is immoral when Nigerians are dying of hunger Nigeria is a multi-ethnic country.
The question of one ethnic group trying to place itself over and above others, under the premise that it has the power to dominate others is old fashioned, if the tenets of true federalism is applied in letters and spirit. The nepotic tendencies that suddenly found its way into our body polity, the winner takes it all syndrome, the absence of Federal character principle in most of the appointments by the administration, coupled with high level corruption, whose perpetrators are known, but walking tall on the streets, unfortunately are issues that must not be glossed over and in fact have woken the consciousness of the people, almost everywhere. We call on the Northern Governors in particular to tone down their high politics, whether implied or expressed, and take some deep breadths and ruminate how we have fared as a country in the last six years. The challenge of insecurity which is more pronounced in the North should be given close attention more than anything else.
Talking about 2023 now is diversionary and may heat up the polity. The security of the country and its citizens should remain the focal point, anything other than that would amount to insensitivity on the plights of the ordinary Nigerians who today are licking their wounds after electing their leaders into positions of authority to govern them. Addendum: We congratulate all Nigerians on the occasion of 61years Independence anniversary. As we celebrate this special day of our history, we call on all leaders in the country, right from the local government level to the Federal to eschew divisive tendencies that have kept the country down all these years. The country had fought internal war and also at various times, witnessed all forms of agitations almost from every segments of the society yet remained standing. Now, this is the time to consolidate on the so called gains of dividends of democracy having come thus far, and no longer promote mediocrity and selfish interest. The time to move forward together is now. Congratulations Nigerians.