The Northern Elders Forum, the apostles of “the North is born to rule,” finally played their joker. They maintained that if the government does not #Bring Back Our Girls by the end of October, 2014, Jonathan should forget about running for re-election.
This again reveals that there is more political mischief to the kidnapping of the Chibok schoolgirls than initially meets the eye. As a matter of fact, it shows conclusively that #Bring Back Our Girls is simply another instrument of #Bring Back Our Northern Domination.
The First Lady understood this clearly from the onset; which is why she declared that: “There is God o!” The people of Borno State understood this. They have always known that their own feudalist leaders are behind the kidnapping of the girls. With the statement of the NEF, Nigerians must no longer be in two minds about this. The kidnapping of the Chibok girls is part and parcel of a cynical plan by some Northern elements to embarrass the government and militate against Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election plans.
For this very reason, Goodluck Jonathan must not only run for president, he deserves the support of every Nigerian determined that this country should not be surrendered to the Boko Haram. It is unfortunate for the APC that its interests are in the short-term the same as those of the Boko Haram. Indeed, the only way the APC can redeem its perception as a janjaweed party is not by its insistence on fielding a Northerner, but by putting forward a South-South man as its presidential candidate in 2015. Nevertheless, it would still lose the election.
New and old North
In the Nigeria of today, there are two discernible Norths: the new North and the old North. The new North is perennially progressive. It is the glue that holds Nigeria together. While the South-South threatens secession; the South-East is still reluctantly Nigerian and the South-West would rather keep Nigeria at arm’s-length; the new North remains the only truly nationalist component of the country. It never threatens secession but is preoccupied with national unity.
The new North is the North of men like our most successful industrialist, Aliko Dagote, now the 23rd richest man in the world. It is the North of men like Ibrahim Gambari, our point-man and intellectual giant at the United Nations. It is the North of men like Nuhu Ribadu, whose courage in going after thieves and robbers in the EFCC led to his being hassled out of the police.
It is the North of men like Bishop Matthew Kukah, a Catholic priest with a national social conscience. It is the North of men like Mohammed Buba Marwa, the most dynamic governor in Nigeria during the Abacha regime.
But subsisting beside this new progressive North is the old North of decrepit old men who have lived for long as parasites on Nigeria’s oil wealth. This old North is the North of #Bring Back Our Northern Domination, a North of indolent political has-beens; looking for pensions from national coffers. It is the North of recalcitrant yesterdays men who had lived large at the country’s expense and are hankering after an inglorious past where they spent the national patrimony with the profligacy and abandonment of irresponsible first-born children.
This is the old North that ran down the nation’s resources. It is the North that built nothing and grew nothing. It is the North that ate up our groundnut pyramids. It is the North that, despite being in power for 38 years, failed grievously to educate Northern children. It is the North that paid lip-service to the North but cared nothing about the welfare of Northerners. It is the North of those who kept their fellow Northerners in the bondage of abject poverty under a feudal system where, like dogs, they fed them from the crumbs that fell from their table.
This old North is the North of men who are now reduced to pathetic bluster and blackmail. It is these same Northerners that are now crying #Bring Back Our Northern Domination. But they can no longer fool the new emergent North; and they certainly cannot fool the rest of the country, except perhaps a few gullible and power-hungry Yoruba chieftains.