The need for the South to unite and form a joint political platform is imminent. Undoubtedly, there is strength in unity. United we stand, divided we fall. There is the need for the Yorubas and Ibos in particular, to forget the past and work together to achieve a common goal. After all, Obafemi Awolowo who the Ibos have grudges against is long dead. We need to look forward and work together, at least for the sake of our children.
In addition, it is equally important for the Ibos to reach over to their immediate neighbours, the South-South, for political reconciliation and address their fears about domination.
There is also the need to identify within our midst ‘The Judases,’ that are willing to sell us or betray our cause for a pot of porridge, and neutralise them politically before they inflict serious damage to our course.
PRESIDENTIAL AND VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES FROM THE SOUTH
The South must search for credible Southern presidential and V.P. candidates that will have the full backing of all the South. For example, an Ibo from the South-South could be a presidential candidate, while his running mate could be from the South-West. I am convinced that if the whole South votes collectively in the upcoming presidential election, their votes should be enough to win the election; provided that some political opportunists from the South will not allow themselves to be used as spoilers or saboteurs to split our votes.
It is obvious that the South is more than the North in population, based on different evidence; including the statistical data about the GSM network coverage of phone users in Nigeria. We have the number on our side to win the election; provided that their cattle or people from neighbouring countries bordering the North will not take part in the election. Most likely, this was what Buhari meant when he said that the North has the capability to win the election. I can not see any other capability apart from that.
It’s also worth mentioning, jokes apart, that Nigeria’s border in the North is porous and, there is the need to get it secured. A friend from Chad once told me that Chadians cross into Nigeria and back to Chad without any hindrance.
SHEEP IN A MANGER
It will not only be naive but will as well be a very big mistake on our part to expect the West to render us assistance in any form in our problems. They will only sabotage our efforts and manipulate the process to their advantage and maintain the status quo; which is continued economic exploitation and political influence.
A case in point to buttress my point was the interview given by Dele Alake, a confidant of late Chief M.K.O. Abiola, to Sun newspaper in commemoration of the June 12 anniversary. Below is an excerpt of part of the interview:
Of course, he felt betrayed and abandoned by the United States and even the United Kingdom and all the Western powers that paid lip service to democracy outside their own shores.
Right from the annulment, we had known that the US, UK and Western powers were not serious about implanting genuine democracy in this country. We learnt in the June 12 annulment that in international politics, might is usually right. Morals play a minor role in international politics.
After the annulment of June, the US, UK made the necessary noise, gave the necessary rhetorics and went as far as withdrawing their ambassadors and high commissioners from the country only to send them back after a while. There was no concrete finger lifted by them to actualize the June 12 mandate.
In fact, even when we were prosecuting the struggle both within and outside the country, very little help came from them. I was in UK with then Senator Tinubu (now Lagos governor). We used to meet in General Akinrinade’s office with John Oyegun, Tokunbo Afikuyomi and the late Bobo Nwosisi, Prof Bolaji Akinyemi. These people formed the nucleus of the NADECO abroad.
Very little help was received from the UK government apart from allowing them to be there. There was no material help. The same thing from the US. It was only when pro-democracy cells were established all over the US and agitations increased and then contacts were made with the black congressional caucus in the US Congress that they took up the issue in the US Congress. But the US government itself did not lift any finger in concrete terms. When Abacha took office, they made the same strong statement that they were not going to co-operate with him. But no long after, the UK sold Vikings armoured tanks to Abacha.
POLITICAL PROSTITUTE, GEORGE BUSH AND NORTHERN PUPPETS
While proposing for a joint Presidential candidate from the South, I definitely don’t mean people like Abia State governor Orji Kalu who dines and wines with IBB and shuttles Washington D.C. for approval by the White House. It is worth noting that when George Bush and other American presidential aspirants were campaigning for The White House, none of them neither came to Africa nor Nigeria for endorsement. And, they did not discuss their political, military, social and economic programs with us. Although, I am not aware of Kalu’s performance in Abia, but I remember reading an article once in one of the web sites that his performance at Abia is far below expectation.
Actually, that is not the point. Even if his performance in Abia is excellent, that is not enough to be Nigeria’s president. We don’t want a ‘political prostitute’ or a ‘Northern puppet’ that hobnobs with IBB and runs to George Bush to get a pat on the back. I have no doubts in my mind that people like Orji will definitely sell our interests at the blink of an eye for a pot of porridge.
PROFESSOR DORA AKUNYILI… PRESIDENT IN WAITING?
Based on her excellent, unsurpassed and unprecedented performance to date as The Director of NAFDAC, in her uncompromised and fierce campaign against fake drugs, undoubtedly, Professor Dora Akunyili will make for a very good President. She has demonstrated exceptional courage in carrying out her work. She has refused to back down or be intimidated despite the assassination attempts on her life. In the opinion of the author, Professor Dora Akunyili possesses practically all the qualities to become a very good President. There is the need to rally around her and give her all the necessary support for this to come to reality.
LEAVING OUR COMFORT ZONE
Nigerians in Diaspora have more than enough professional experience, international exposure and financial prowess to give the North a good fight. Undoubtedly, we all have a big role to play. We need to identify, mobilise and encourage some reputable Nigerians; including those in the Diaspora, to either contest for political posts or/and actively be involved in the political process one way or the other.
We need to be in the fore-front of the movement. However, in my opinion our efforts will have a meaningful impact only if we are physically present in Nigeria! For those of us who can afford it, I’ll rather suggest that they move to Nigeria now and stay till the next presidential election or at least travel to Nigeria as much as possible; incase they can’t afford to be permanently present. Anything short of this will not bring the desired result.
FREEDOM IS NOT GIVEN ON A PLATTER OF GOLD: WE MUST FIGHT FOR IT
There’s the need for Nigerians in the Diaspora together with those at home to search for a reputable presidential and V.P. candidates that are capable of winning the election. There is the need to hold deliberations and consultations with different groups like the Afenifere, Ohaneze, political parties, business men and traditional rulers – who, unfortunately, are actually sell outs.
Most especially, there’s the need for us to reach out to the grass roots. I mean the students, market traders and the common man through articles in Nigerian newspapers, press conferences, TV, e.t.c.
where different issues will be discussed including the need to vote for the right candidates, the importance of the up-coming presidential election and danger of selling our votes for a pot of porridge.
The South must not only be united but be steadfast. We must present a common front and not allow IBB and his Othman Dan Fodio evil brothers to penetrate our rank. In short, we must strategise. There should be many forums as possible to reach over to the people and share ideas.
I believe that we need to make some sacrifice if we really want to see a strong, and prosperous nation. We need to do it at least for the sake of our children.
IT’S EITHER NOW OR NEVER!!!
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