2002: National Year Of Sovereign Conferences – 3rd Quarter Review (2)

by Sam Abbd Israel

Briefly, what are the issues that transpired in Agura Hotel? The Guardian Newspaper reported that a group of Nigerian Northern elders and politicians who called themselves a Committee of the Northern Caucus in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) told each of the presidential aspirant that the North has “agreed to allocate political power to the south.” And as part of their brief the members of this Committee declared that they “have a duty to all Northerners to ensure that we protect the vested interest of the North as a political entity within the federation of Nigeria. For this reason, this committee of the northern caucus of the PDP has the onerous responsibility to identify what are these interests.” And how was this vested interest of the North identified? How would it be protected? We can only speculate and we shall not even try to conjecture such things that are above our status. This kind of issue is not meant for public consumption. It is supposed to remain in the domain of those who own Nigeria.

But so far we are now better informed that this important duty of the Committee is to secure juicy political appointments in the Federal Government for Northerners. And who shall be the beneficiaries of the identified powerful lucrative positions? By what we are hearing since 1999, the beneficiaries can never be the common peripheral Northerner. We have been told under the politics of marginalisation that there is a core north that is different and distinct from the peripheral north. What this clearly means to our understanding is that there are superior Northerner that are quite distinct and different from the inferior Northerner. And that any Nigerian that does not know this, particularly in the political arena, might be committing a serious sin of insubordination. If we are following this drift attentively, the next question is to inquire how would the sharing of special and privileged posts eradicate poverty in every community in Northern Nigeria? Can these special appointments improve the condition of education, health, road, agriculture, etc. in the North? How would the gains of these posts trickled down to the almajiris and the talakawas?

Let us milk the Agura Hotel Affair for all its worth. This is definitely a rare opportunity of a lifetime. We must endeavour to use it judiciously to help Nigerians see the inglorious state of our situation. There is nothing more depressing for a slave who has been behaving as a full-fledged member of the household of his owner to be told to his face and in the presence of his wife and children the sordid truth of his circumstances. It is very easy for a comfortable slave to forget where he came from and how he came to be what he is. However, there are always some people in the neighbourhood, the Amebos, who would just feel offended by the happiness and probable ignorance of the slave. These good or bad neighbours, depending on how you are looking at the story, will seek the most auspicious opportunity, when the news will hurt the most, to point this salient fact to the slave. To my mind, the neighbours have not done anything wrong. They have merely sown the seed of freedom in the mind of the slave. From thenceforth, nothing shall matter to the slave until his/her fundamental rights to freedom, equality and justice are secured. This is why the biblical dictum that says, “You shall know the truth and truth shall set you free,” shall forever remain true.

Fellow Nigerians knowing the truth is the panacea against slavery and it is a potent weapon for the fight for freedom. Please let the truth of Agura Hotel Affair be the seed of our freedom. Let the seed of this knowledge germinate in your souls. Give it a chance to grow into a sturdy plant of courage and thereafter let the fight for freedom begins in earnest. We have always thrown scorn at the so-called political class and the self-styled eminent Nigerians. We knew from the bottom of our heart that they are paperweights. We knew they are fickle-minded beings. We knew they are the soulless bunch of humanity. We knew they have no self-respect or self-dignity or shame. Down in the depth of our being we knew these lots do not worth our attention and trust. These are the facts at our fingertips all along and that is why we could not accord them any iota of respect. Therefore, knowing all these things about these detestable characters how could we give support or encouragement to the political process of party politics that will recycle and inflict these characters on us? How do we silence all the warning signs that say there is danger ahead? How do we preach bliss and blessing when the telltale facts are pointing to gloom and doom? How can we act the hypocrite when the fire of the truth of life is burning in our soul?

Prior to 1960, thanks to Harold Smith, we now have evidence that the departing British colonial power gerrymandered the population; silenced by blackmail and covert operation the vocal nationalists who, maybe, would have made a difference to the fortune of Nigeria; rigged the election in favour of the Family; and handed over the political key of Nigeria to the chosen Family. From the short history of Nigeria, it is now obvious that the federal political structure that the brilliant Nigerian nationalists negotiated astutely and cleverly was totally against the national interest of Britain. This oversight was carefully corrected when the young idealist but naive Nigerians hashed and executed the coup d’état of 1966. This coup, contrary to the objectives of the planners, succeeded in turning the table against the federal political structure. The January 1966 coup and the subsequent June 1966 coup inadvertently resuscitated the almost dead federal colonial unitary political structure of government.

It is under the over-centralised federal unitary system that the Family succeeded like a true Royal Family to capture and consolidate the political power of Nigeria. Like any royal family, the strategy of keeping power is to institute a system of patronage. It is customary for a royal family to let its subjects know at all times who owns power in the land by an adroit ability to make and unmake any of the subject. A subject becomes Mr Somebody by the generous grace, favour and privilege of the royal family. As soon as a favoured subject begins to show disrespect to any member of the royal family, the royal family would give the order to the courtiers to pull the rug under his feet. As an example to others, they ensure that the ungrateful subject falls from grace and privilege like Humpty Dumpty that can never be put together again. The royal system of governance is a classic Machiavellian political set up that relies on a master-slave relationship. The slaves must know their places in the social ladder if they desire to live.

With hindsight on the nature of governance in Nigeria, we can safely propose an hypothesis that, every Southerner or Middle-Belter or Peripheral Northerner that made it big, both economically and politically in Nigeria since 1960, did so as a collaborator of the most devious Machiavellian political set up. These successful Nigerians must definitely have been stooges, lapdogs and turncoats of every community. These groups of Nigerians must have sold their souls and their people for the price of pottage. It is becoming clearer that no Southerner or Middle Belter or Peripheral Northerner could make it big in Nigeria without accepting to respect and maintain the status quo of Nigeria; without accepting a subservient role and relationship with the Family; and without acknowledging the royal and divine hegemony of the Family to the political throne of Nigeria.

We need to begin to see these successful Nigerians as the charlatans, the miscreants, the idiots, the fools and the political prostitutes of an odious, hideous system. It is now obvious that no Nigerian outside the Family could make it big without first selling his/her soul to the Family. It is in this light that Nigerians should see the Agura Hotel Affair. It is a simple confirmation of the truth of our continued enslavement as peoples and nations. When we begin to call for Sovereign Conferences, this is one of the facts about Nigeria that informed our position. We are more than convinced that this camouflaged slave colony must be brought to an end. We sincerely believe that the power of heaven is in charge of the redemption operation of Nigerians and nobody should doubt the final outcome. It is surely going to be freedom for all and sundry.

Looking back over the last 42 years, we can safely say that the political arrangement of 1959 that produced the first republic was conducted under patronage. It seems the NPC/NCNC pact was similar to the Agura Hotel Affair. NCNC must have agreed to play the second fiddle after acknowledging the pre-eminence of the Family. Similarly, the NPN/NPP pact of 1979 must have been negotiated under the same understanding. It seems it is in the same spirit that Obasanjo in 1975 covertly agreed to serve as a mere figure-head Head of State of Nigeria while a junior officer in the person of Shehu Musa Yar’Adua was the de facto, but behind the cover, Head of State.

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