What is Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) up to? Why allow itself to be hijacked, and lately so? Is this to give Atiku Abubarkar some relevance after his atrocious and loutish outing and brutal defeat? Or, is it something beyond that? What’s cooking? What is this daringness about? Is Atiku’s thesis playing out from the backside since the military refused to buy into it? Has ACF bought into Atiku’s idea of making the polity ungovernable if he loses the PDP primaries or if Jonathan participates? Why is ACF now letting the chips fall where they may? Is this the last stick Atiku knew he will result to when all else fail? Could this be why he has refused to congratulate Jonathan for his overwhelming? And must this be why he talked touch and reminded us of the sad days of Nzeogwu!
ACF must get off the hook of Atiku and allow itself and Nigeria march forward. Really, it doesn’t make sense that while PDP was closing one chapter and entering another, ACF woke up as if from slumber to call a signed and sealed chapter to question. How not to disrupt democracy, discountenance delegates’ choice and deny a citizen’s constitutional right! Action de profundis this must be, and can only be pitied anyway. But the earlier people realize that we have left all primordial attachments and diversionary groupings behind in our body politics and onward to build one nation where no man is oppressed the better.
To still hide under some gentleman agreement on zoning when northern PDP has overwhelmingly voted for Jonathan through its delegates may now call for some ripen questions. Was ACF really looking for a northern candidate? What was the ratio of Muslim/Christian representation in the Adamu Ciroma Committee? What about its ethnic composition? Was the Adamu Ciroma Committee really looking for a northern candidate or northern Muslim candidate? Where was Sarah Jibril? Again, were ACF and Ciroma Committee really looking for any Muslim at all from the north? Let Bukola Saraki who they treated with disdain, like Sarah Jibril, answer that. Wasn’t Ciroma’s team contrived to also ease out others that Atiku may be?
Is ACF aware that IBB whom its Ciroma Committee screened out have congratulated Jonathan from day one? Is ACF aware that Saraki is returned in situ to his former relationship with Jonathan? If these victims of a skewed process say let sleeping dogs lie, why are the owners of the process trying to put voracious lions on our streets? Please, let’s move forward.
And by the way: Is ACF same as northern PDP and northern PDP same as ACF? Why was ACF virtually unconcerned about the other parties? Why was it not concerned that other parties were fielding southern presidential candidates? I hear one say other parties did not mute the idea of northern candidate. Supposing these other southern presidential candidates win the presidency? What would become of this much ado about zoning? Or, only the PDP has been programmed to win the presidency! Then again, if other parties did not mute the idea of northern candidate why is ACF strategizing and even openly saying it will shift its votes to another northern candidate, that is, any of Buhari, Shakarau and Ribadu who are not PDP but CPC, ANPP and ACN respectively? Will ACF therefore ‘impose’ zoning on that party of its choice even when that is not its agenda? In that case will the two guys that may lose out stop being northerners?
In Jonathan Goodluck, PDP has agreed. It saw a je ne sais quoi or an indefinable quality and, or interest in him that attracted it, and which Atiku was bereft of. Gimmicks and skimming will not now do. They can only be totally unwholesome at this stage. All the jeremiads should now also stop. They cannot hold back the mandate to contest. Any wonder that almost everyone is getting jiggy with Jonathan’s candidacy! Jonathan has been asked to ride; so, let him ride on. Ah! The man is even jetting already!
Now, very seriously: No one must think that we have lost sense of history, a very annoying one at that. In his 2007: OBJ, AREWA, Ndigbo and South-South serialized in the Vanguard (March 17, 20, 21 and 22, 2006, this writer stated inter alia: “If the South-South has had one of any of the following offices: pre-independence Governor-General like Zik; independence Prime Minister or Ceremonial President like Balewa or Zik respectively; almost endless list of military heads of state like Ironsi, Gowon, Murtala, Obasanjo 1, Buhari, IBB, Abacha and Abdulsalami; post-independent presidents like Shagari 1, Shagari 11, Obasanjo 11, or Obasanjo 111; or as head (president) of Interim Government like Shonekan, she may have felt a sense of belonging to this amalgamated territory called Nigeria. From Zik, the Governor-General to Zik, the Ceremonial President (no matter how you view those two offices) to Obasanjo 111, there are 16 openings or chances so far at the top of national governance in the country without the South-South getting it even once…It has been very off-putting. Having messed up this country, Obasanjo and the North who between them would have, by 2007, misgoverned this country for 46 years (out of the 47 years of our nationhood) should leave us alone, for a while, to sort out ourselves. It is even only reasonable that all of us should invite the South-South to come to the rescue as the only zone that is free from this misgovernance; the only zone sustaining and keeping the country going; and the only zone left with refulgent light to lead us to reconstruct this country and take it to desired destination.” That was written 2006. The South-South was not invited then.
But that is the position today, and we all agree God is involved! And we can now see a near refulgent light. Having completed the term of Yar’Adua as constitutional imperative, the constitution placed no ban on Goodluck Jonathan. Rather, the constitution, rule of law and fair play, alienation of his region, the near refulgent light he has so far brought into governance and the national support he has across the nation (ask Atiku) are all crying so loud that Jonathan contest. ACF need not be rattled.