Friday, May 28, 2021
Harrisburg, PA, USA

he way Nigeria is gerrymandered, the north will always win presidential elections or have the power to anoint the winner. With their so - called population "superiority", they only need a little bit of southerners to win the presidency. Basically, the presidency is theirs for the asking even if they are pissing on top of all Nigerians. They went from monopolizing the top post during the long running military regimes, when they took turns at the head-of-stateship, to monopolizing it again during this pseudo-democracy.

So, I can understand northern arrogance about Nigeria. I can understand why they feel they own Nigeria, from Sokoto to Port Harcourt, from Ibadan to Maiduguri. If you doubt me, go back and listen to statements that emanate from the mouths of people like El Rufai(the governor of Kaduna State), the attorney general of the federation, Miyetti Allah and others and you will sense an arrogance that only points to the fact that they believe Nigeria is theirs and their alone. The truth is that if I were in their shoes, with the political advantage they have over other regions, it is possible that I will also be as arrogant and see Nigeria as the possession of my region.

It is that arrogance that cause them to unleash supposed cattle herders, who are truly marauders in modest but deceitful clothing. Wielding assault rifles, the herders wreak havoc on communities along the paths they traverse, making barren erstwhile agricultural fields and maiming the populace. To them, they are just patrolling their property and if they find resistance, they reserve the right to eliminate it. Their most fervent advantage, the man at the helm, is exceedingly sympathetic to them. No matter how egregious their offense, nay, their atrocities, he will speak no evil about them neither will he call them to order.

For how can you say you are the president of a nation, and the nation is burning, chiefly because of the actions of a set of people and you donít say a word? While I was not a fan of Jonathan because of his somnolence and missing a lot of opportunities in office, I can aver that if he were at the helm and all these were happening, he would have been impeached or forcibly removed from office.

This is the nature of Nigeria today and this is why the agitation for restructuring has reached a feverish pitch. People want to live in a nation they can freely exhale without harassment; a nation where they have an equal stake in the so called national cake. They want to live in a nation where if their children scored high in national entrance exams, they will not be supplanted by someone with one third of the mark their children got.

In politics, people want to be able to aspire to the highest political office in the land without feeling like they need a god-father from the north to bless their quest all because of their demographic advantage. Look at what is happening, if a southerner wants to seek presidential ticket, because of the political lay of the land, suddenly the person becomes "northocentric". One of such politicians even left his home state and went to the north to celebrate his birthday (truly to declare his political ambition). But it is well-known that most people celebrate their birthdays and declare their political ambitions in their home states. He was only seeking the hand of the north to strengthen his quest.

They, in the north, have become kingmakers. Those who think that the north will relinquish power even after the debacle that Buhari has presented to Nigeria, should think again. They have tasted absolute power and it corrupts absolutely!

Author of the books- 1. Nigeria: Contemporary Commentaries and Essays

2. Surviving in Biafra: The Story of the Nigerian Civil War