Tease And Tense To Rule Nigeria: How culpable is the North?

by L.Chinedu Arizona-Ogwu

It is no longer a gendarme peccadillo, no longer a tolerable d’etat for those working to frustrate Dr. Jonathan’s government effort into forestalling, much-awaited sustainable governance into Nigeria. Few months after the northern thrust of power, former dictators from that zone wish to tease the present administration, probably to distract the Jonathan regime from (the south)-south minority at the detriment of over 130 million Nigerians; a power-game likely to shatter hopes on Nigeria’s civilian rule whenever naked ambition becomes above national interest.

Making passes at and harassing civil-throne Nigeria on her way to a world-class democratic institution has now become out-fashioned; a proportion which is out and out criminality. As if it is becoming one more entrenched racket, another mockery of the rule of law. And the civilian government and citizens are well-position to square-peg the military excesses.

Such affinity to destabilize government as seen by the northern cabals is not entirely new but it has assumed new dimension from the onset of Dr. Jonathan’s government. In the old days the offence was referred to by the mild phrase ‘power-teasing’. Just a strong reprimand of the offending cabals often sufficed to put an end to it and it was a nuisance rather than a crime. Today, when the persons in power are hoodwinked to lead us astray, the act is no longer just power-teasing but politics of instability-push.

Nigeria’s political system in general is largely driven by one or two or three motives of 5Ps – profit, politics, propaganda, privilege and power. Service to society is only a pretext for gaining a foothold. It is due to these grim realities that the growth of community politics in Nigeria has been relatively slow.

To enable the balance of power to function as a genuine exponent of democracy, the politicians in the north and south should work hand in hands for the common people of Nigeria. It must be free from coercion, intimidation and threats from any quarter whether from the government, politics, commerce, rebels or religious fundamentalists. Grass-root political real master is the community. It should be answerable only to society and the country within the framework of the laws that govern the land.

While it could be argued that there might be overriding or impending situations of rebellion and terrorism, the inclusion of representative monitors is not justified as it does not provide a conducive atmosphere for the electorate to function freely. Those who wield power and force should stay away from the grassroots political arena which espouses a cause where the name of the game is creativity and marketing of ideas. .

With this selfish move; the nation’s dreams of a national unity government may remain in tatters.
The Northern power-hungry rogues; with the move to summon meeting to stop Dr. Jonathan from contesting 2011 elections; are on approaching such irritating collision course with the peoples’ leadership. People inside nigeria4betterrule demands the position of the south-easterners including the south-south in the balance of Nigeria’s power equation; they have mobilized massive support to demand the promised reinstatement of supreme political will and power rotation which has remain biased since it was introduced. Is it that after the west, it would return to the north again, or is it from the west to the east and back to the south; which way? This is imperils to the country’s nascent democracy.

It seems they got so busy with infighting; there is hardly any time left to concentrate on governance, but to seize power to intimidate people in the south-east and the south-south geopolitical zones. They have a desire for power grab; they have a desire to play brinkmanship, to play games within biased religious and ethnic mindset.
From the self-acclaimed evil-genius popularly known as Babangida to Buhari, one could easily trail the ousted Shagari, and the civilian reinstatement Abdulsalami Abubakar single-handedly put together which the former can never do; who became fantastically rich in the advent of the gulf crisis to the detriment of the Nigerian economy. With his cohorts, they spent decades bickering and ousting each other until signing a charter of democracy in 1999.
The document pledged to restore democracy, avoid confrontation and abolish the political role of the military, which has ruled Nigerians for over half of its 50-year existence.

Papering over their enmity — Obasanjo spent years in jail under Abacha administrations — they formed a coalition after February 1999 elections.
But Ibrahim Babangida, having walked out on one August like that, furious that he had reneged on three written promises to reinstate power to the civilians, including the south-east and the south-south but masterminded the demise of Chief MKO Abiola.
Retired Nigerian generals see the standoff as a struggle between Democracy and the Rule of Law, as an avenue to exploit mass frustration across the country with the litany of government failures. This is naked power politics. Power politics are also behind the northern peoples’ agitation to grab power back without considering other zones. Their reaction and response appears to be on a higher pedestal — morally if not otherwise.
Political analysts view the problem as exacerbated ties to military-men whose large retired concentration is seen in the north-west, where lawmakers are likely to restrain military support to minimal in the next five years.

The problem with the northern politicians is that they feel more powerful because they believe they have Islamic support, but Nigerians are the same irrespective of religious affiliation.
The US president, Barack Obama, has previously declared Nigeria a terrorist-watch state but with Dr. Jonathan’s visit to the White House in the US; the decision was withdrawn. There have been more than 30 suspected US drone attacks since August 2008 from these northern undemocratic elements, sparking domestic resentment against a complicit government.
Babangida, on the other hand, raised alarm bells in the North during the 1990s for seeking to introduce Shari’a law while military-president.
Washington has courted Nigeria’s service chiefs to keep faith in the Jonathan’s administration, eyeing the military as indispensable in its ‘war on terror’ but has publicly stated it does not expect an armed takeover.

Besides giving a voice to the marginalized, local persons in the south-east/south-south, majority of Nigerians have spiced up the political landscape, spotlighting mercurial and maverick politicians.

Jonathan’s government stresses national reconciliation on after the worst rots in the country’s modern history but it would not commit itself to biased, irresponsible and unfriendly governance. The reconciliation plan itself, it will still proceed as indicated by the Jonathan’s government although the election date is up to his discretion.

Nigerians, politically conscious and the democratically oriented media in particular, have to keep the pressure on both the politicians and the army so that they don’t digress from the path the 2011 elections hopefully will open up for the nation. It would be equally foolhardy to expect that 2011 election will change the quality of politics and governance overnight. Yet, the experience of the past years has apparently made the politicians humbler than before, if their behaviour on the campaign trail over the past few days were any indicator. We hope that the politicians retain the eagerness to listen to the people when one or the other political camp goes to power after.

At this point in time, however, what is most crucial is to make sure that the Election Day is not marred by any interference, overt or covert, by any quarters, political or apolitical. The primary responsibility to make these long-awaited and much-expected 2011 elections credible

rests primarily on the INEC, Nigerians and the government of Dr. Jonathan. The people in general and the politicians in particular also have a role to play. They need to behave responsibly and also be vigilant so that no one can disrupt or distort the electoral process.

You may also like

1 comment

Tolu Bolanle May 27, 2010 - 11:07 am

Truth they say is light which cannot assume dark-colour. If these old people are on the verge of recycling those old politicians who had kept Nigeria in this ugly situation for long, God knows where the destiny of all of us would be taken to?


Leave a Comment