Freedom Coalition: $250m fund to elect Abubakar Umar…(4)

by Bode Eluyera


“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” Will Rogers

“Life consists of not holding the good cards, but playing the ones that you hold very well.” Josh Billings.

“Iyawo ti a ba fi idi ijo fe, iran ni yi o wo lo.” Yoruba proverb.

“If it is too early to speak today about the transformation of the Russian society in general, perhaps, we can now speak about the new roles that Russian intelligentsia ought to play. At last, it’s not those heartless beings who signed new petitions against Mikhail Khadarkovsky, who is still serving a prison term or shamelessly calling on Vladmir Putin to remain in power in violation of the Constitution that are now speaking on its behalf, but those that principle and conscience are more important than personal interests or gains.”

Director New EuroAsia fund in support of independent media.

“I have realized that the only way to change something is to start doing it myself.”

Natalya Chirikova. Russian environmental activist. Organized a strong demonstration against the cutting (felling) of oak trees at the Khimki forest in order to clear the way for the construction of a paid highway that will link Moscow to St. Petersburg.

“The minister of state for finance in the Abacha administration, Alhaji Abu Gidado, has warned that President Goodluck Jonathan could plunge the nation into crisis if he adopts a do-or-die approach in his perceived quest for 2011 presidency. His words: “The issue is, with the President as a candidate, if he is hell bound to succeed; he can set this country ablaze.” The elder statesman and ex- deputy chairman of Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, 1999 to May 2010, also tongue lashed the anti- zoning crusaders in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), describing them as opportunists. Speaking to Daily Sun, the septuagenarian posited that Nigeria was still in the process of welding together as a nation, adding that the zoning arrangement was still relevant as a political process which should be allowed to proceed normally until the country gets to a time when it can conveniently do without zoning. “I want to say that we had a civil war to be able to weld this country together and there are still constant threats”, he explained. Gidado emphasized that the ex-military leaders, seasoned politicians and technocrats, who initiated the zoning formula and made sacrifices in the process, meant well for this nation. Excerpts:

As the debate over zoning rages on, what is your view on the issue?
Well, zoning was initiated or evolved by a lot of concerned citizens of this country who have contributed and in some cases even sacrificed a lot to bring it about in the sense that they have been involved seriously since the inception of this country to date. Some of them are military men who sacrificed to keep the country as one. Some of them are seasoned politicians and technocrats who sat down to look at the country in its development of political process to come up with the zoning issue so that every part of the country should have a feeling of belonging and therefore must commit himself or herself to the development of the country. That is why a major political party came up with the zoning issue. What is your take on the threats and counter threats of some northern and southern political leaders over the zoning formula? You see, in the course of life, you will always come across opportunists as it were. I thought if you have an agreement, whether written or unwritten, it should be binding on a gentleman, after all, some of the countries like Britain we look up to for this so-called democratic process have no written constitution. It is purely human understanding. When some of these people who have participated in seeing the country as one and in its politics of development, come up with an agreement for the betterment and survival of this country, it should be adhered to.

Are you opposed to the view that ability to deliver good governance rather than geo-political zones of candidates should determine who becomes the next President? You are quite aware that we are still in the process of welding together, I must say. We had a civil war to be able to weld this country together and there are still constant threats. Some parts would like to break away to have their resources. You know there are so many petty issues that are coming up which if you have a mature and responsible political setting, they would die a natural death in the course of life. But if we say, no, we must have this; the country could have a lot of problems. Are you worried over the solid footing of the clamour for President Good luck Jonathan to contest 2011 presidency? Yes! I’m worried in the sense that the late Umaru was there based on this tacit gentleman’s agreement of zoning. Despite Umaru’s demise, that agreement still stands. The zoning issue should come up, after all, the leaders that came together to evolve this zoning are still there and they claim that the agreement is that executive position of the country ( 2011-2015) should be for the North. All other positions are equally part of the zoning. So, this should continue until such a time when the country’s leadership is mature enough to take responsibility. We wouldn’t like to have leadership that would look only to his enclave like the little experience we had at the setting in of the political process. Do you understand what I mean? People should stop looking at their own enclaves and start looking at the whole country. So, the zoning arrangement is really to give that leeway for the evolution of leadership that will look at the country in its totality. The zoning as an agreement, as a political process, should be allowed to proceed normally until the country will accept that as in US, for example, there are some senators who have been in the senate for 35 years and nobody is complaining. But here, with a lot of interaction people are saying this part is marginalized, this part is not participating. In order to eliminate this rancor, that is why those involved in the process of development of this country are saying that the zoning should continue. I am not one of them but I can see some of the logic with which they have judged the issue of zoning. What are the prospects of credible elections next year if the President emerges as candidate? Well, one can still express a little bit of doubt but I will like to say that in this country, there are people who can stand against the executive and say: No, this is the right thing. I am inclined to believe that the choice of Prof. Jega, although Jega alone cannot do the job after all, other people in the organization should support him for the organization to succeed. So, the issue is, with the President as a candidate, if he is hell bound to succeed, he can set this country ablaze because what I have heard and known about Jega is that he can say to hell with this job if you are not doing the right thing take your job’. And that can throw the country into real mess because then the elections would be anything but elections.”

News report. August. 2010.


The present crisis and division in the PDP and the North as regards to zoning, the right of Jonathan to contest and the unanimous support of his candidacy is an excellent opportunity for the opposition to strengthen their position and wrestle power from the PDP – which has ruled the country woefully for the past 12 years. It will be an unforgivable crime, incompetence and a grave mistake on the part of the opposition if they fail to capitalise on this just because one incompetent, corrupt, visionless Goodluck Jonathan, a Southerner, who is in no way different from his predecessors wants to contest the elections. As I have said earlier

, even if Jonathan was to be a relatively good or average leader, it will still be rational for us to sacrifice him for the sake of building real democracy. More so, unfortunately, Jonathan is nothing but a big disappointment. We just can not afford to have another unproductive 4 years of PDP’s visionless, corrupt, incompetent and morally bankrupt leadership.

In addition, what we, the Southerners need to understand is that if we go ahead to support Jonathan and he wins the election, he won’t have a significant impact in our lives. This is obvious from the numerous false starts and blunders that he has made so far just within the short period of time that he has been in power.

Most importantly, we need to understand that if Jonathan wins in 2011, it will only be for just 4 years – and not more. And that will be the demise of the opposition parties or any opposition simply because the Northern hawks (including those in the PDP) will remobilise and snatch it from him through any hook or crook method, and misrule the country for at least another 12 years. It will be back to again to business as usual. Do we really want this scenario to happen? I am doubly sure that anybody in his right senses will not pray or wish for this.

Furthermore, ironically, the present informal political arrangement put in place by the PDP presently favour the South. Most importantly, I believe that the South needs to concede the presidency to the North for the following reasons:


The South in general, unfortunately, today do not have a strong candidate that could throw a serious challenge at Jonathan. Based on my analysis, the South will need not less than 4 years to prepare a strong candidate that could successfully challenge any PDP and/or Northern candidate in 2015.

If Jonathan eventually clinches the PDP nomination – which we should pray for, but eventually looses the 2011 elections to a Northerner from the opposition parties, neither he (Jonathan) nor any Southerner will be given the opportunity again to contest in 2015 on the platform of the PDP. By 2015, the threat of a babangida or Buhari coming back must have faded away due to old age and eroded political base after a strenous 2011 campaign – if they are both lucky to still be alive by then. Under such a scenario, the candidate of the PDP will definitely be a Northerner. We will return to this discussion or analysis a little bit later in this article.


The absence of a strong political base or platform is another major obstacle that will prevent a Southerner from winning the 2011 elections against a PDP candidate.

Today, at least 85% of Nigeria’s 36 states and Abuja, the FCT, are being controlled by PDP governors and legislators. After the end of Obasanjo’s tenure as the president of Nigeria, the PDP, which is dejure is a national party, became a Northern party defacto because it is being controlled by them. They openly demonstrated that they, and not the South, are the power brokers in Nigeria at their special/emergency meeting that took place in the middle of July in Kaduna when they finally gave Jonathan the green light to contest the elections. If we are to be honest with ourselves, the meeting was a sort of ‘power show’ – unless we are deceiving ourselves and don’t want to face the bitter truth. It was at that meeting that the issue of zoning and the right of Jonathan to contest for the 2011 elections was put to rest – hopefully, finally.

The resolution of the group has divided the North. While some so called influential Northerners were in support of Jonathan and shunned the zoning system, others were categorically against Jonathan and in support of zoning.

It’s worth noting that many of Jonathan’s supporters are from the middle belt and Christians. Probably, these people have finally woken up from their slumber and realised that the muslim North all along have been manipulating and using them as slaves and rags to clean their shoes and achieve their selfish, dirty and unhealthy political ambitions and economic interests at their expense.

After this meeting where Jonathan was given the ‘long expected’ approval from the North and its power brokers, his chances of becoming the flag bearer of the PDP in the 2011 elections have increased many folds drastically. From all indications, babangida, the smiling devil, who is a staunch supporter of rotation, might need to decamp to another party in order to keep his presidential dream alive.

The meeting, as was earlier noted, fortunately for the South, has created an enmity and bitterness and division among Northerners and within the PDP. There is now a big crack’ in the so called ‘Northern unity”.! Allahu Akbar! Ogo ni f’olorun!!! The dice has been cast and the battle ground has been drawn! It’s obvious that quiet a number of Northern hardliners – even from the PDP, who disagree with the Kaduna ruling will work against Jonathan and the PDP in order to have a Northerner at Aso-rock come 2011. Very soon, brothers will be killing brothers and fathers will be killing their own sons over Jonathan! Perhaps, this is what we have been waiting for the past 50 years. As the election day approaches, the crack and division will be deeper and wider. As I have earlier noted, if the opposition were smart enough, in order to deepen this crack and widen the division, enmity and embitterment in the North, all they needed to do was to unanimously choose a presidential candidate from the North.


One of the greatest achievements of Obasanjo while he was president for 8 years was that he was able to unilaterally destroy the political base in the South especially in the South West, the territory of the Yoruba, where he also belongs to, in order to achieve his own selfish political ambition especially his second tenure in office. Obasanjo succeeded in persuading and tricking S.W. governors who were all from the opposition party then, Yoruba elders, influential politicians and monarchs to rally around him and give him their unflagging support against the North in 2003 elections based on simple argument that after all he was their son, their kinsman, blood and one of them, and in order to end the hegemony of the North in power and defeat Buhari, a Northerner, it was imperative for them all – all sons and daughters of Oodua – to put aside all their political differences, personal grievances against him, one another and rally around him to form a united front.

Furthermore, as a sort of compensation for their support, he promised to bring many development projects to the region. Unfortunately, they all fell for this hoax from this bastard and gave him their unanimous support. If only the S.W. governors knew that they were dealing with another devil, a man of no honour, and that by throwing their unflagging support around this dictator, they were indeed digging their own political graves. They never knew that this devil had a completely different evil plan in his mind and that he was planning to destroy them by eroding their power and political base in order to make it much easier to conquer them. By the time the dust settled down, Obasanjo was not only able to defeat Buhari for his second term, but he also helped the PDP to sweep all Yoruba states except Lagos. Through hook and crook methods, Obasanjo succeeded in rigging into power incompetent, corrupt, visionless and morally bankrupt bastards like Gbenga Daniels, Alao-Akala, Oyinlola, Fayose who have been tormenting the Yoruba since their inception to power. The allegiance of these new charlatan governors undoubtedly is not with the indigenes of their respective states but with Obasanjo and the PDP.

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