he events of the last few months in Nigeria appear to suggest that there is a strategic plan by the political elites in the north to retain power by all means. This conclusion is bolstered by their behaviour during the last days of the President Umaru Ya'Ardua. Early in 2011, in an article https://nigeriaworld.com/articles/2011/feb/181.html published in the Nigeriaworld website I highlighting the utterance of one Senator Jubril and the potential of such views to lay the foundation for conflict. Unfortunately, after the election, some of the anxieties I expressed in the article began to unfold as innocent youth coppers paid the price with their lives.
Since then in series of articles I have chronicled Nigeria descent to anarchy but it would seem to to me that Many Nigeria do not yet realise the seriousness of the problem the country has to confront. I suppose, if Noah could not convince the people of his time that the time to build a boat for an impending flood was before the flood, I do not think I would convince Nigerians to take what is coming very serious. Nigeria is facing a very bleak future because of its corrupt and dishonest leadership and some people who are determined to impose their religion and world view on the rest of Nigeria; and would not be satisfied unless they impose their religious world view on the whole of Nigeria and control the oil. It would seem that this clandestine plan is entering its last stage. It looks as if the people behind this unholy plan wishes to use With Boko Haram to instil fear into Nigerian so that they would give in to its demand for a new revenue sharing formula. In the past they would just have carried out a coup, but they recognise that we are now living in a new world and the world powers will not react favourably to it.
They have sent their attack dogs to justify politics if intimidation and Sanusi set the ball rolling. He has passed it to the 19 northern governors who will pass it to speaker of the house of Assembly, who will then bribe legislators from east, west and south and a new revenue sharing formula will be agreed and Boko Haram will end its terrorist activities. The north is holding a gun to the head of rest of Nigeria and not a significant number of politicians from the east, west or south can demonstrate that they can read the political situation. Any serious politician, who has the interest and future of the people of Nigeria he represents at heart, would have read the intentions of the people behind this sectarian plan right from their attitude to Jonathan assuming power on the death of Umaru Ya ar dua.
It is a pity that majority of those in position of power in Nigeria, especially from the East, West and south appear ignorant of how sophisticated the north is, in protecting its parochial interests at the expense of the interest of the rest of Nigeria. For the most of the time the north held power, it concentrated mainly on the interest of the north. It has done this by bribing leaders form the south, east and west, making them very rich and leaving them too compromised to stand up for the interest of their regions. This is still going on. The ruling class in the north appears to believe only in a one Nigeria where it controls the oil and free to pursue its Islamisation agenda. The oil may be in the south, but at the moment, it is controlled by the north. Most of the so called oil allocations are held by the northerners. More northerners have benefited from Nigeria oil wealth than the rest of Nigeria put together. The sudden claim that the revenue sharing formula is unjust is a calculated attempt to distract from the evil fruits of Islamic terrorism which they planted in Nigeria. Revenue sharing formula does not rank very high on the immediate problems of Nigeria. To bring it up at a time Nigeria is grabbling with Islamic terrorism and the cancer of political corruption, raises very serious questions about the relationship between those who are offering revenue sharing formala as the reason for terrorism and Boko Hram. The serious problems Nigeria has to find solutions to are; endemic and institutionalised corruption, Islamic terrorism, religious intolerance, ethnic prejudices and the North’s Islamic agenda for Nigeria. Northerners should be asking their leaders what they did with all the oil money they have appropriated to themselves and the region in the time they have ruled Nigeria, instead of attempted to muddle the water by crying injustice when accountability should be demanded. This is ingratitude mixed with greed and arrogance, and can only lead to hardening of attitudes on both sides. The north appears to have failed to recognise that Nigeria is a marriage of convenience whose survival rests on the cooperation of the partners and respect for the partner that pays the bills. The real questions which Nigerians need to answer are;
- Why should most of the oil blocks go to northerners?
- How is the decision to award an individual oil block made
- Is there a better and fairer ways of exploring oil fields apart from people in power allocating oil blocks to their cronies, based on ethnic, religious or political affiliations?
- How should the Nigeria oil industry be managed in a way that would stop few people benefiting from it and allow all to enjoy its dividends
- What social responsibilities should those who benefits unfairly from Nigeria oil have to the rest of the country and what percentage of their profit should they pay as social development tax to help fund poverty alleviation programs in Nigeria?
These are the type of questions Nigerians should be seeking answers for, if indeed we want to build a viable country. We should be looking at ways to address the injustices, discriminations and inequalities in our society by addressing the various ways current government policies and practices, worsen natural disadvantages, and continue to give undue advabtages to those born with natural advantages. This attempt at fairer wealth distribution must take place if Nigeria will join the community of developed nations. It is simply unacceptable for few individuals to make millions of dollars from oil, while all around them are millions of people living in poverty whose lives would have been better, if the leaders had been honest, caring, took interest in the plight of the people and invested in their future. A millionaire in one of Russia’s caucuses is just doing that. Why can’t the Babangidas, Obasanjos, Sarakis, Danjumas Mai Deribes, Dangotes Tunubus and the many who benefit from oil blocks, invest in social programmes to help address Nigeria’s social inequality and poverty? If the north is poor, it should hold its leaders responsible as they boost of more oil millionaires than the rest of Nigeria put together.
In April of last year in an article Ethnic nationality the elephant in Nigeria https://nigeriaworld.com/articles/2011/apr/142.html I discussed the danger ethnic nationalism of the type the north is now engaging in, poses to the future of Nigeria. The evidence would suggest that the north believes only in Islamic economy which is simply autocracy plus oil money. This may explain why it is desperate to regain power and further dominate the oil economy which it currently controls. It is obvious that the elements in the north behind this tragedy are suffering withdrawal syndrome because of loss of power. Nigerians should not be fooled; the Hausa-Fulani Oligarchy would be prepared to attempt anything to regain power. With Sanusi Lamido firmly in control of the Central Bank, and taking the Islamic agenda to the third gear by establishing the Islamic Bank; all he has to do is set up a direct debit for the Islamic Bank from the national account and Nigerians would not know how much of the oil revenue ends go straight into North’s account at the Islamic bank. Of course, no one would notice because no one really knows how much Nigeria makes from oil, or how many barrels of oil Nigeria produces daily. It is important to note that Nigerian sovereign fund has been decreasing even though the price of oil has remained high. We really need to find all the holes in the Nigeria’s federation account. If the evidence is anything to go by, it would seem that the north is not prepared to play by civil rules and it is determined to play politics by the old way, and the rest of Nigeria has to find appropriate response to this. It is perhaps the worst thing that could happen to any country to have people who want to impose an Islamic state and believe that the only way of achieving it is by violence in the name of Jihad.
From Russia Caucuses through Afghanistan to Somalia, people who want Islamic state, bomb innocent people and assassinate anybody who holds a contrary opinion. The developed world and all civilised people know that Islamic fundamentalism or any religious extremism is a cancer in any society which has to be radically addressed. It is impossible to have peace when there are active attempt by groups of people to impose Islam or any other religion in the country. The government must begin to vigorously address the theological basis of this evil ideology that sanctions terror as legitimate route to power. All over the world, wherever there is the type of Islam imported from Saudi Arabia, there is no peace. A religion that venerates people who use violence and kill innocent people cannot be of God. Nigerians need to wake up to the danger, extreme Islam poses to its survival and development as country.
At the moment, the 19 northern governors have taken the ball from where Sanusi left it and are demanding a renegotiation of revenue sharing formula on its own terms. Finally it is obvious that what has been happening in north Nigeria is an orchestrated plan by the ruling elite in the north to regain power. They were prepared to allow Boko Haram to kill innocent southerners particularly Igbos so that they can frighten the rest of Nigerian into giving them what they want. The rest of Nigeria should call their bluff and refuse to negotiate with the north while it is pointing a gun to their heads. The fact that Boko Haram appears to attack targets where the casualty would include northerners and Muslims should not distract from their aim. After all, the Zionist bombed King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1948, knowing that a number of Jews would be killed. When a people employ violence as legitimate instrument of their struggle, they do not discriminate on casualty as long as they achieve their aims.
It is clear that the North’s idea of a perfect country is Saudi Arabia where many of its leaders go on hajj. This is perhaps why it wants to turn Nigeria’s economy into and Islamic economy and take control of the oil. This would seem to be the grand plan and Boko Haram a means to an end. If the north is unable to get what it wants by using Boko Haram, it may destabilise the Nigeria army and precipitate a civil war which it may believes it would win because of those backing her. The fact is that fundamentalist Islam like any other extrem and intolerant religion which has no place for reason, or dissent, is always prepared to use violence to achieve its objectives. I say this, not because I hate Islam, but because what it is doing is a feature of any religion which seeks power to impose its values on others. It shows features of religions which have no place for tolerance and plurality of views.
What we have now in Nigeria is a situation where northern elites are trying to use Boko Haram as a bargaining chip for change of the revenue sharing formula and the way Nigeria natural resources are administered. This is unfortunate and ill thought out. What it does is remove any iota of doubt that they are indeed behind Boko Haram when in reality they may not. It is bad, dangerous, audacious and opportunistic politics; which would back fire very disastrously. whatever happens, north Nigeria would become a very unlikely place for the world to want to do business. The north really needs to employ a political strategist who has some understanding of human psychology. Their current move is beneath contempt and should be condemned. The north is trying to benefit from terror. It is despicable. If they wanted to renegotiate the revenue sharing formula, why did they not advise their representatives in the National assembly to raise it for debate? After all, the speaker is a northerner. Why would the north prefer to unleash terror on Igbos and many other Nigerians in the north to achieve its political objective?
It is obvious that the interest of the north in Nigeria is restricted what it can get and how much power it can exercise over the resources. It would seem that it has no honest interest in building a united Nigeria where liberty and human rights are sacrosanct. Its aim appears to be to foist an Islamic and ethnic agenda on Nigerians rather than investing in Nigeria’s shared future, and making it a viable place for the world to invest and visit. Perhaps the north is only interested in two things, oil and Islam. Maybe, that is why Sanusi Lamido is hell bent in turning Nigerian economy into an Islamic economy. Perhaps the next move will be for the north to help one of its Boko Haram generals to take over the Nigerian army and we will be all doomed.
Until Nigerians realise that we have a country where a section of it is completely loyal to radical Islam and is determined to take over power by fair or foul means, we will not begin to address this serious problem which threaten our freedom and security. Our leaders, who should be spending sleepless nights finding ways to diffuse this time bomb, are gallivanting round the world in private jets enjoying their loot. Nigerians need to wake up. We are sleeping on top of a time bomb. Good men from east, west. South and north of Nigeria have to come together to build a new non ethnic and non-religious nation or decide the best way to dismember the country for Nigerians to part ways peacefully.
We cannot afford to have another Darfur, Somalia or Afghanistan in Nigeria, with Boko Haram burning villages in different parts of Nigeria and displacing the people while all we can do is pray and ask for more prayers. This is usually the next stage in this type of war. Islam is well aware that prophets who do not bear arms come to ruin. Their religion justifies the use of violence to achieve power, if the aims include enforcing Islamic laws. Nigerians wake up! hell has come home.