by Deborah Nelson
Good day Sir, congratulation on the successful conduct of APC’s convention in Lagos to elect its presidential candidate for 2015 election. Though you were denied the luxury to conduct the ‘selection’ single handedly as usual, you still managed to whip the Oshiomoles into line behind your ‘beloved godson’, General Mohammadu Buhari [rtd]. Having succeeded in influencing APC governors to ‘gang up’ against other presidential aspirants, you set the stage for the exercise to be manipulated to produce him as the elected presidential candidate of APC. Consequently, Governor Okorocha, one of the presidential candidates had since been blaming his failure to win the primary election on what he calls ‘gang up of APC governors’. If any other presidential candidate was the beneficiary of the ‘gang up’, your godson would have condemned it and incited his supporters to soak ‘dogs and baboons’ in blood. He had since been adopted as a consensus candidate for northern Nigeria [Hausa, Fulani and Kanuri Muslims to be specific]. According to Alhaji Coomassie, the Chairman of a Hausa Fulani pressure group, ACF, the north ‘is going to support a northern candidate. And since APC had voted a northern candidate, we are going to support him 100%. So Buhari is our candidate for the 2015 election’.
Barely eleven days after Nigerian independence in 1960, Sir Ahmadu Bello, was quoted to have said that ‘this new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grand father, Usman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the north as winning tools and the south as a conquered territory, never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future’. Since the above statement was made by the Sultan, it had continued to serve as a roadmap for Hausa Fulani politicians, hence they believe that it is their birth right to use any means possible to either reclaim power or prevent non Hausa Fulani Muslims from ruling over them. Sir, as long as prominent Nigerians like you prefer to serve them as ‘winning tools’, Hausa Fulani politicians will continue to behave as if Nigeria is an estate of Usman Dan Fodio. In 1961, the same Sultan Bello said ‘ I am set and fully armed to conquer the Action Group in the same ruthless manner my great grand father conquered Alkalawa, a town in Sokoto Province during the last Century’ [See Daily Times Newspaper of 3rd May 1961]. May I remind you Sir, that what happened to Chief Obafemi Awolowo and the Action Group between then and 1966 were direct consequences of this statement. Any Yoruba politician who fails to find out the real source of conflict between the two illustrious sons of Oduduwa, Chief Awolowo and Chief Akintola and adjust accordingly may have himself/herself to blame. You can never be more loyal to Hausa Fulani politicians than late Chief MKO Abiola, but where is he today and how was he rewarded?
In order to actualize your self-imposed task of installing a Hausa Fulani president in 2015, you collaborated with Hausa Fulani politicians, the most conservative ethnic groups in the country to form a political party, All Progressives Congress [APC]. Funny enough, the slogan of APC is ‘change’ but, change from what to what? The policies of APC controlled states, especially those states in the north and antecedents of its key members are anything but progressive. Some of APC controlled states in the north are Sokoto state, Kano state, Borno state and Yobe state. These states are dominated by Hausa, Fulani and Kanuri Muslims. At the recently concluded National Conference, they rejected fiscal federalism, state police, local government autonomy, resource control, Child Rights Bill amongst others. They consider western education, birth control, vaccination against polio and girl child education as anti Islam. Because of their ‘progressive’ policies, Nigeria is yet to eradicate polio and these states account for over 90% of beggars, internally displaced persons, illiterates and Almajiris in Nigeria. While a girl child as young as 7 years old is given out in marriage, a boy child as young as 5 years old is dumped with any Imam anywhere for years to acquire Islamic education with no support whatsoever from his biological parents. In these ‘progressive’ states, people reproduce like rabbits as long as they live thereby creating inexhaustible reservoirs of expendable human robots [Almajiris] whom your godson and other Hausa Fulani politicians had been using to prosecute religious riots often initiated by them. Sir, are these the much trumpeted changes Nigerians should expect from APC?
Your godson is expected to ‘captain’ the Nigerian ship should APC emerge victorious in 2015 presidential election but his utterances are to say the least disturbing. While speaking in Kaduna at a seminar organized by Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria in 2001, he said ‘ Sharia should be introduced in full across Nigeria. I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria. God’s willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country. It is a legal responsibility which Allah has given us within the context of one Nigeria to continue to uphold the practice of Sharia wholeheartedly and to educate non-Muslims that they have nothing to fear. What remains of Muslims in Nigeria is for them to redouble their efforts and educate fellow Muslims on the need to promote the full implementation of Sharia Laws’. In spite of the bloody Sharia riots in Kaduna state in 2000 which claimed thousands of lives and destroyed properties worth millions of naira, he was here in 2001 announcing his ‘total commitment to Sharia movement that is sweeping across all over Nigeria’. Sir, what ‘changes ‘ do we expect from a man with such undiluted commitment to promote full implementation of Sharia Laws in Nigeria?
Sir, I observe that you and other key members of APC always threaten to set the nation ablaze if APC does not emerge victorious in 2015 presidential election. During your investiture as the Pro Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology in Ogbomosho, you said ‘no government that wants people’s votes will be doing what they are doing. They are already planning to rig the elections but be prepared to protect your votes, nobody serves you freedom a lar carte. It is going to be rig and roast’. When APC members from Niger state visited your godson in Kaduna on 14 May 2012 he said ‘ They either conduct a free and fair election or if what happened in 2011 should happen again in 2015, the dogs and baboons will all be soaked in blood.’ During Salvation Rally in Port Harcourt, Governor Ameachi said ‘what is the essence of going to court when the Federal Government does not obey the laws? That is why APC will not go to court any longer. If you rig us out we will rig ourselves in, which means if you can rig us out in 2015, we will form our own government. We have met on that, we have agreed on that. We will install our own government and there will be two governments’.
The participation of your godson as APC presidential candidate in the forthcoming presidential election is a two edged sword. Whether he wins or not there may be problems. If he does not win, you and your godson are most likely to stir up violence. But this time, I am afraid there may be reprisal attacks which may degenerate into total breakdown of law and order. If he wins, the people of Niger Delta may disrupt oil and gas production to make his government ungovernable because they believe that Hausa Fulani politicians are the sponsors of Boko Haram terrorists and Fulani herdsmen. Such a development will have very serious adverse effects on the economy. However, this can be averted if the recommendations of the recently concluded National Conference are fully implemented. This country must not be allowed to break up as predicted by the Americans. God bless Nigeria.
Deborah Nelson writes from Illorin, Kwara State.
Opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author