The “Northern” Blackmail of Nigeria, By Femi Aribisala

Femi Aribisala, Ph.D
Femi Aribisala

The North has become the spoilt-child of Nigerian politics. It always has a grudge when it is not in power.

I have never voted in a Nigerian election. I have only ever voted once, but it was in Britain and not in Nigeria. As a Commonwealth student in England in the 1970’s, I was allowed to vote for the re-election of Harold Wilson’s Labour party. However, I am seriously thinking of casting my vote, for whatever it is worth, in Nigeria’s forthcoming elections in 2015. There is only one reason for this. I am determined that a “Northerner” must not be the next president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Cry-babies

I have nothing against the North per se, but I have reached the conclusion that it would be unhealthy for Nigeria’s next president to come from the North. To accede to the insistence of certain loud Northern politicians that the North must produce the next president, is to send a wrong signal to the North. The North has become the spoilt-child of Nigerian politics. It always has a grudge when it is not in power. This must be discouraged.

When Moshood Abiola, a Southerner, won the election in 1993, the Northern elite conspired to scuttle it. When they finally succumbed to a Southern presidency in 1999, some of them nevertheless sought to make trouble by politicizing sharia. When Jonathan won in 2011, there was instigated rioting in the North. Some of the elite even decided to sponsor terrorist activities in disgruntlement. This terrorism has now backfired, to the extent that it is now beyond the control of its initial sponsors.

The North has to learn to live without political power at the center. The rest of the country has learnt to do this over the years, as the Northern elite have monopolized power. But Northern politicians seem to believe political power is their entitlement. As a result, the “Northern” blackmail is now in full swing. Certain spokesmen of the so-called North are threatening to hold the country to ransom come 2015, if a Northerner is not elected the president of Nigeria. They are saying: “It’s either our way or no way. If we don’t get the presidency, then Nigeria cannot continue.” This is poppycock!

Vain threats

Adamawa Governor, Murtala Nyako, says: “we must stop President Goodluck Jonathan’s attempt to go for second term, as that will lead to civil war.” Who exactly are the “we” Nyako is talking to here and who is going to start this civil war? Senator Joseph Waku of the ACF (Arewa Consultative Forum) says: “President Jonathan should not even contemplate making any move to contest the 2015 election because such will be catastrophic.” I am curious as to what the catastrophe would be.

Junaid Mohammed says there will be mayhem in Nigeria should President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP rig the 2015 election. Junaid is a Second Republic politician. When Northern Shehu Shagari rigged the election in 1983 and won by a “moonslide,” Junaid did not declare mayhem on Nigeria at the time. When the election was massively rigged for Northern Yar’Adua in 2007, we did not hear of mayhem from the likes of Junaid. But with the probable re-election of a non-Northerner, Junaid is threatening violence. Well, the violence will consume no one but Junaid himself.

Precisely because of these bombastic threats, it will be impolitic for Jonathan to decide not to run in 2015. The entire nation must call the bluff of these power-hungry Northerners. Let us see what they will do if Jonathan not only runs, but is re-elected. These threats are irritating and vain. Southerners do not throw these tantrums when Northerners are in power. The Igbo are a major ethnic group in Nigeria. They have been denied the presidency for virtually all of Nigeria’s 53 year history. Yet, they are not crying wolf. They are not threatening fire and brimstone. But those who have monopolised the presidency for 38 out of 53 years are the ones shouting till they are blue in the face. What cheek!

It is not the birthright of Northerners to rule Nigeria. It is the prerogative of all Nigerians to decide who will be our president. The ethnic chauvinists of the ACF have no right to determine who Nigeria’s president should be or where he or she should come from. If the president of Nigeria does not come from the North for the next 20 years, there is nothing the ACF or anybody else can do about it.

Smoke and mirrors

The ACF position is just so much smoke and mirrors. The body does not speak for the North. It is simply the mouthpiece of certain Northern politicians who are indolent and are craving another opportunity to loot the treasury at the center. The fact of the matter is that the North no longer exists if it ever did. It is hardly a homogeneous political entity. More than any other part of Nigeria, the North is deeply divided between the haves and the have-nots. After 38 years of deception and betrayal by Northern politicians, the Northern poor do not need to be told that such mouth-organs as the ACF and NEF (Northern Elders’ Forum) have little or no interest in their plight.

The North is currently at war with itself. The Boko Haram has become an instrument for further Northern division and impoverishment. It has started an intercinine war where some Northern Moslems have been killing Northern Christians. Undoubtedly, the effect of this scourge in dividing the North politically along religious lines will be evident in future elections.

Moreover, as was evident in the 2011 elections, the far North no longer shares traditional affinity with the Middle belt or with the North Central. The far North voted en bloc for Buhari, while the Middle Belt and the North Central voted en bloc for Goodluck Jonathan. Abuka Onalo, president UMYC (United Middle-Belt Youth Congress) insists the people of the Middle Belt are not Northerners and have never been treated as Northerners by the Hausa/Fulani. He says they are: “now remorseful of their roles in past actions of spearheading Northern interests that did not benefit their people.”

Back-room deals

Nyako maintains Jonathan signed an agreement with some northern governors in 2011 to serve for a single term of four years. This position raises a number of annoying questions. Who exactly are these northern leaders and what special place do they have in the selection of a Nigerian president that anybody needs to make an agreement with them? Nyako and his colleagues are dreamers. Whatever role they presume to arrogate to themselves in Nigerian politics is a result of their delusion. Goodluck Jonathan did not need them in order to win the last election.

In 2011, Jonathan lost to Buhari in all the far northern states of Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara. Nevertheless, he still went on to win the election at the center with a plurality of over 10 million votes. Therefore, it is immaterial whether or not he made an agreement with these Northern jokers. Those he is alleged to have made the agreement with could not even deliver their side of the bargain. Nevertheless, Jonathan went on to win the election. That should tell these pretend power-brokers that they are actually irrelevant in the Nigerian political equation. Under the circumstances, it is preposterous to now insist Jonathan must keep his part of the alleged bargain. Clearly, the bargain, if it ever existed, was a waste of time.

It is disrespectful to Nigerians for Nyako to have the audacity to say that, in a democracy, a group of Northern governors reached a private agreement on who should be the president of Nigeria. That is balderdash. Perhaps we should just cancel elections altogether and have Nyako and his friends decide every four years who should fill what posts. These people are just fooling themselves. The fact that Jonathan subsequently became president should not obscure the fact that their presumptiveness was shown to be false. The governors could not deliver the North to him. Obviously, they had no control over Northern voters.

One-term agreements

For 38 years, when Northerners ruled Nigeria, there was no talk of any agreement with anybody to serve for a delimited period. Balewa signed no agreement for six years. Gowon entertained none for nine years. Murtala did not deem it necessary to put any pen to paper. Shagari ran for a second term without making a treaty with the South-South. Buhari succeeded Shagari without thinking it was high time a Southerner became head of state. Babangida replaced Buhari for nine years without signing an agreement with anybody. Rather than entertain Southern rule, Abacha truncated it. After five years, he reached an agreement with himself to succeed himself. After Abacha came Abdulsalaam; yet another Northerner.

But once Obasanjo, a Southerner, became president; the Northerners started talking about an agreement that he should only be president for one-term. The same irritating noises are being made again now that, for once in the history of Nigeria, a South-South man is president. For this very reason, under no circumstances should the next president of Nigeria come from the North. In the interest of national unity, these cry-baby Northern leaders need to be taught a lesson. I repeat: the presidency of Nigeria is not their birthright. If these characters don’t know this by now, 2015 is the time for them to know it.

People like Professor Ango Abdullahi of the NEF claim to be against President Jonathan on the grounds that his government has not performed. Pull another leg! The North is not known to produce good presidents. Yar’Adua was a remarkably lousy president. He was also the most tribalistic president in Nigeria’s history. He ignored federal character and filled the government with Northerners. For example, under him, the Minister of Finance, Minister of National Planning and the Governor of the Central Bank were all from Kano. The NEF kept mum even when a sick Yar’Adua was holed up in a Saudi Arabian hospital, while his Northern acolytes went on a looting spree of the treasury, forging cheques in his name.


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  • Kareem Haroun

    Why have you not been voting if you truely love Nigeria…bla boa boa

    • Kikelomo Aliu

      When he votes or not, he has a right to say his mind on Nigeria. It is not written anywhere that it is only those who vote who have freedom of expression. Most Nigerians don’t vote.

      • Muhammad

        Patriotic citizens votes in any election while u confessed not have voted in Nigeria all ur life.I’m quite sure you don’t have voting card then how do you intend to vote?ask PDP Governorship candidate in Anambra even with his voters card his name was no we’re to be found.

        • Charlie

          why should i waste my time voting when my vote does not count in the past?Your Northern brothers believe that the leadership in Nigeria is your birthright before now.But unfortunately,you are learning it nowadays that it isnt and it is normal to throw TANTRUMS just like a “baby”.

  • Olubunmi Philip AJAYI

    The distraction given to GEJ is just too much. They should allow him to work. I will NEVER vote for a Northern Candidate come 2015. What has these Northern ‘Rulers’ achieved for their people and Nigeria?

    • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

      Ajayi, please don’t. But, who tell you vote count with the present regime. The serving minister of information have said it all – there was never a free, fair election in the country.

  • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

    If GEJ lost to Buhari in all the states mentioned how comes INEC declared GEJ as the winner of the 2011 election? Should we believed the current minister of information that all the elections done were rigged?

    Please be fair to the north because they elected OBJ, a christian southern, into office not minding the opposition they had from his fellow southerns like you. The north also voted MKO, a southner, against their brother Tofa.

    You see, all we are demanding is fair election and not the use of security and INEC to conduct interlectual rigging as it has always being done with PDP led government.

    • Osaro Johnson

      In 1999, the “North” supported OBJ a Christian Southerner, but the opponent was also a christian southerner! But in 2003, the “North” voted for Buhari, a Muslim Northerner, when it had a choice. It was the “MIddle Belt” vote that helped Buhari in the North. Simple as that

      • Osaro Johnson

        I meant it was the “Middle Belt vote that helped OBJ in the North.

        • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

          Please give us a definition of middle belt and tell us their percentage in number in relation to the entire northern population.

          Wait a minute, I will have believed you if you had said that it was Ibos residing in the north that see OBJ to villa. Because GEJ said it was Ibos residing in the north that made him get the required votes that saw him through to villa.

          • Osaro Johnson

            You may not know but Buhari won in Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Borno, Yobe in 2003. They also voted for him in 2011. They will also vote for him in 2015.

          • Ken

            Is it the ‘core’ northern population that includes chicken and goats and faceless women in ba shiga? I served in Sokoto during the 2006 census and saw how northerners were adding imaginary zeroes to population figures. For your information, Nigeria has changed and that can never happen again. Wait for proper census in 2016 and we’ll fish out all the ghosts that make up the so-called northern population.

          • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

            Glad to know that you served in Sokoto. It seems as if you and Oduah were classmate. Get into Google to enable you have knowledge of the subject of our discussion.

            OBJ has said it all. GEJ has divided the country base on your line of thinking. We are not requesting anyone to vote base on tribal or religion but base on capability so that 2006 graduates can have jobs and our country can once again be secured.

          • Job Sekker

            So it is when power goes to the BORN TO RULE that graduates will start having jobs? They rules Nigeria for almost 40 years – where were the jobs? And how many jobs have Northern governors created since 2011? Is it only when they get to Aso Rock that they are allowed to create jobs?

      • Akin O. Folarin

        Tofa a muslim northerner lost to MKO Abiola. Pls be objective.

  • Bala R

    Mr FEMI please don’t vote for any Northerner. Late Abiola got his winning votes from Kano the home state of his rival, Obasanjo got 60% of his votes from the North, and you are here talking sh…t. Some idiots think they can write anything and get away with it.

    • Isiaka Mobola

      Abiola got votes from Kano and that made him winner of June 12? How can Kano votes alone make you winner? And why was Abiola not sworn in? Did Abiola ever become president? Ask yourself why it was annulled. Obsanjo got votes from the North because they thought he was a northerner in southern skin. They called him the leader they can trust. But he disappointed them by refusing to be a mumu.

  • Nnamdi Izuako

    Well said sir, well said.

  • Uchenna George-Nkemnacho

    You state that “the ACF position is just so much smoke and mirrors. The body does not speak for the North. It is simply the mouthpiece of certain Northern politicians who are indolent and are craving another opportunity to loot the treasury at the center. The fact of the matter is that the North no longer exists if it ever did. It is hardly a homogeneous political entity. More than any other part of Nigeria, the North is deeply divided between the haves and the have-nots”.

    Yet you go on to assert that the North is a spoilt baby who feels it is there birthright to rule Nigeria. What “north” are you referring to?

    • Adams Bello

      When Asari Dokubo is shouting and threatening the north nobody said anything.
      You are Yoruba ethnic bigot !

      • Jim Bakari

        Asari Dokubo spoke AFTER Junaid, not BEFORE Junaid. Junaid has been threatening fire since 2010. Same with Adamu Ciroma and Ango Abdullahi. Be fair-minded.

    • Gezawa

      My thoughts exactly

    • justice

      The core north.

    • justice

      There is no contradiction here but you have failed to understand Femi’s summation concerning the core hausa-fulani and the middlebelts. I think you too like the northerners have buried their heads in the sand. Only time will tell.

  • Sulayman

    Political Insernity, journalistic insernity, With an ever growing educated illiterate with lack of adequate information and knowledge are increasingly taking over the present unethical media of the 21st CC in Nigeria. The like of An insane ppl like Mr. Aribisola Femi should not be given a space in the media to continue to hit the political atmosphere. We need ppl that can contribute their knowledge base for a better Nigeria and not sadist like Mr. Femi

    • Haliru Daniel

      Sadist? Go and read the rubbish written by your Adamu Adamu, Mohammed Haruna and other caliphate writers and you will appreciate the meaning of nonsense.

    • Ken

      You guys don’t like the truth. Unfortunately for you, GEJ’s presidency has improved freedom of speech in Nigeria and made it easy for other tribes to look at hausa/fulani in the face and call their bluff.

      • Kareem Haroun

        But when has freedom of speech ever been muzzled in Nigeria? All these ethnic brawls and religious diatribes don’t make us great minds but myopic and sentimental zealots…it is a shame…

        • Tony

          All since, before Jonathan, Mr Kareem Haroun

  • …the north must account for its many years of undercurrent manipulation of power to suit itself…my brother Femi,carry go…una do well…GEJ PLEASE MAKE POWER SITUATION BETTER ASAP AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT GRADUATE UNEMPLOYMENT in the country…and u too can carry go in 2015!…

  • P

    Well spoken Femi..if d north is not ready to accomodate other major tribes, then to hell with them..the north is a plague to Nigeria and must be kicked out for good. .carry go GEJ

  • Gezawa

    Another piece by “arewaphobic” femi. Full of contradictions and poor analysis. Your vote will be the bad luck because for the first time you vote that will be the time the north will win a legitimate election. And please do ask your paymasters if the north is so insignificant why did pres. Gej participate and signed an agreement with the nyakos?

  • johndodod

    Did all those Femi mentioned such as Junaid, Nyako and others nake the statement. Those people are the ones all right thinking Nigerians including Northernerns should condemn not Femi. What has Nyako done in Adamawa state for 8 years to transform the state or Aliyu in Niger state. I visited Suleja recently and the same Suleja I last saw in 2001 was the same if not worse so yet he is clamoring to be president. Is it for the sake of president sake or he actually has anything meaningful to contribute.
    Different experts have said if Niger state will leverage on its closeness to Fct and transform Suleja then the state will generate more revenue. The governor is not bothered about that just interested in grabbing power so a Hausa man is in power. Well nigeria is changing the era is been phased out. We are interested in who will bring development to all regions. The polio crisis is still in the north despite all the big men in the region.
    I voted Buhari in 2003 but beyond him I don’t see any northerner presently whose interest in power is for change. All I see is let’s go to aso rock so the cronyism and tribalism and religious favoritism that all nigeria leaders but especially the north are used to will continue.
    If we want a person who will give Jonathan a good fight then APC better go with Fashola and Ribadu as vice or else some of us will go with the sympathy vote to Jonathan as inept as he seems. Just to let reality sink into the North that Nigeria does not belong to them alone.

  • Muhammad

    Though ministerial posts are still vacant but I doubt if this conjuncture can earn you one.The igbos you are talking about were the set of people that truncated first democratic government in Nigeria with killing of our leaders from Yoruba,Hausa,Nupe,borno extraction?when did they openly repented of thier action to Nigerians to be allowed close to Presidency,Nor they are still agitating for Biafran state and not Nigerian State.it will be agreat cheat to history to claimed MKO Abiola’s election was annuled by North where he got most of the votes,how many Northerners lost thier life in trying to retrieve MKO’s mandate from IBB or was there any referendum which was voted by the Northereners to annuled June 12 election,where were you when it happened.Femi Aribisala, you can not be invited to the Presidency to work by simple conjucture which everybody can do.Moreso only courageous mind engages in Disloging a military Government with another Military Govt which I believed people like can never partake because of fear and Military leadership does not seek people mandate and therefore you don’t have moral right to blame the Civilian populace of the North for the military leadership in the country.

    • Akalutu

      Muhammad, your argument lacks consistency in the logic. You argue rightly that the Military rulers from the North are not representative of the ordinary core North population, while in the same paragraph you shamelessly blamed all Igbo people for the first coup.

      It is dishonesty and hypocrisy as you have just exhibited that make it impossible for ordinary Nigerians to critically understand what the elite is doing to them.

      My family had businesses in Kano and Zaria and I also did live in Katsina. The regular core Northerner is a good person, until they are incited by people like you against their fellow citizens.

      • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

        You are true Nigerian that I could wish you have opportunity to be in leadership position. You see our president started it. He often forget that he is a president of Nigeria. Recall the October bombing – “it wasn’t my people, I know my people.” So, everybody now is focus to his or her people.

      • Muhammad

        It is because your heart is blindfolded with hate and sentiment that’s why it is only you that refused to see logic in my counter argument to the rubbish write up by Femi Aribisala.Igbo in their arrogance started the war on Nigeria but were defeated by patriotic Nigerian military officers and any attempt again to cause civil unrest by any section of the country will be dealt with accordingly.If you are looking for the person trying to incite people against each other then go and re read femi’s conjuncture by trying to incite other Citizens against the North all I did said was exactly what happened in history of NIGERIA.

    • Charlie

      Hum..Are you saying that because the Igbos wanted their own state(Biafa) and fought for what they wanted,then they do not have the right of Presidency in Nigeria?
      Then all the Germans should have been in jail by now since the NAZI party killed millions of people during the 2nd world war.
      I think your judgement is compromised.
      This is exactly what “Femi Aribisala” is trying to say: The Northerners believe that the Presidency is their birthright and would give us 1000s of reason why none deserve it other than a Northerner.
      The North MUST wake up to reality.The time of abuse of presidency and northern monopoly is gone.That was 20th century,now is 21st century and living in the past will not help them.
      I strongly believe in good candidacy,it does not matter the tribe,I will vote for an Hausa/Fulani if they have a good candidate that could convince me with his agenda,but for the northern power crazy politicians to tell us that an Igbo or yoruba,Effik,Ijaw,Beni,…etc are not qualified because of their tribal heritage or political history.Then they should brace up for surprises.
      Rest assured,that the war mongers should note that the last civil war was over 46yrs ago,A lot have changed since that time.They will be surprised if they ever start any stupid or senseless war because it will backfire just like what is happening with Boko Haram at the moment.

  • Akalutu

    The core North is accustomed to bullying the rest of Nigeria. I think the days of enabling the bully is over. They are yet to learn how to talk to Nigerians as equals. The fact that they would demand a written and signed document from a fellow Nigerian who wishes to contest the Presidency is very insulting as well as patronising.

  • ldris A. Abdulsalam

    You have always been against the north in most of ur coments or articles. Last time u said northerners were behind ASSU strike because GEJ is the President but u forgot that northerners cannot control SS, SE and SW Universities ASSU. Why don’t u write something that will unite this Country?

    • Tony

      The Igbos are superior race to your race, Deji. That is why Kani Fayode , after going through the so Cambridge and Oxford, still feels inferior to an average Igboman. The Igbos bounced back after all humiliating subjections in Nigeria. We other tribe can???? Do weep Deji, just face the reality.

      • deji

        I dont think so.

  • deji

    An open letter to the attention seeking, fake Pastor, Ako tileta Ile Yoruba – Femi Aribisasewon!
    Ndigbo and their Battle For The Soul Of Yorubaland (Part 1) by Francis Ojo .

    Premium Times

    Published: November 17,2013

    My determination to keep well away from insult from current conversations between Ndigbo and the Yoruba was so compelling until recent interventions from some Yoruba sons who appear to be playing political games or avenging old personal wrongs. I am angry and sad because I know that Yoruba families have taken their responsibility to succeeding generations more seriously than these two.The tribe is the only one today in Africa that instinctively makes sacrifice towards the next generation without even thinking of the cost or pain. I know of no family in Yoruba land where duty can be considered sufficient when the children in the household are not in school.

    On the contrary, many current Igbo parents send their promising generation to fetch money by all means from Lagos and the rest of this country. A significant number of male Igbo population is substantially an illiterate one. Only the girl child is lucky because tradition finds them physically inadequate for the rigour of excruciating toil. The society is therefore an asymmetric one, with substantial female population too educated to relate long term with their illiterate male counterparts. Finding no place in an unbalanced society, some behave with impunity as they adopt western cultures and seek relationships away from uneducated Igbo men not fit to handle their dustbin.But since the early 50s Igbo elite has sought to dominate Yoruba land and colonise its people. It has not yet happened but it will if care is not taken because I am also quite conscious of the power of aggression and the tendency for ignorance to seek to dominate. History reminds us, and Arnold Yognbee tells it clearly:

    ”History teaches us that when a barbarian race confronts a sleeping culture, the barbarian always wins”.

    How can we be sure our culture is not in slumber with regards to the confrontations of Ndigbo? Are we not, by our negligence preparing the next generation for colonisation? I believe it is time to benefit from this exchange going on between Igbo and Yoruba youth and their elders. For if we do not seize this moment provided fortuitously by the Achebe and “deportation” provocation, we may be preparing the road of guilt and shame for our children. I certainly do not want my children to wonder if ever a Yoruba leader, particularly one of the status of a deity like Awolowo committed genocide. I do not want to answer charges that we are a race of lazy buffoons who surrendered their homeland to barbarians.

    Ndigbo is aggressive and determined in pressing their agenda with deliberate focus as they buy up indigenous family homes, concubinate with Yoruba divorcees, marry their children and jubilate triumphantly around town all with dirty money. At the moment, they adopt noise as strategy to shut down alternative ideas and viewpoints. For me, Fani- Kayode has just only burst the bubble. We cannot afford to put our children in harm’s way by permitting a crowd of ill-educated, poorly trained semi illiterates to superintend over their future.

    But as arguments and debates go, In the process of child education, I plan to advance some arguments on the Starvation allegation as I have studied it, offer an opinion on Igbo “superiority and success” claims from a purely indigenous perspective and warn about the need for strategic definition of Yoruba objectives in the light of internal strife. I hope to write briefly about what Awolowo means to my generation and what that meaning should translate to as we contest with the Igbos for Lagos and the rest Yoruba land.

    THE CURRENT DISCUSSION BETWEEN YORUBA AND NDIGBO

    First, permit me to admit that Igbos have been winning and Yorubas merely reacting to their carefully orchestrated agenda. Their reactions are in some cases self-defeating, apologetic and unsure and sometimes self-serving and opportunistic ways. Some have criticised Femi Fani-Kayode even to the extent of abusing his illustrious father. And these are Yoruba men, prominent and intelligent but with no reputation for wisdom and common sense. This may be the time to teach some wisdom to them and those still hibernating under some illusion of studied diplomacy, biblical morality, duty to Nation, fairness rights under a confused constitution. Ndigbo has no time for these sentiments. Igbos fight rough, obey no rules and attack and destroy you if you hesitate. That Cambridge educated young man, Femi Fani Kayode is a Lawyer but also a historian. He has been educated in the best traditional Institutions teaching his trade, just like his father before him, his Grandfather before his father and his great grandfather before his grandfather. He comes from a long line of educated elites and knows that silence does not carry far where noise prevails. Personally, I can live with his occasional indiscretions.

    Talking about Igbo insults, One Chuka Odom, one time Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory writing on the back page of This Day Newspaper of 23 August 2013 advances this insult to ridiculous heights when he said:

    ”Yes, the Igbos are proud of their entrepreneurial skills just as the Yorubas are proud of their penchant for fanfare and merriment. Every tribe has an identity”.

    Now you heard a former Federal Minister talk disparagingly of a superior race as one of laziness and constant merriment. If this was Fani Kayode speaking, some Yoruba opportunists would be blaring jingoism from the roof tops. By the way, I cannot be angry with Odom. That is his belief. And Fani Kayode was right to go into the history books to tell Odom and his likes the history of a barbarian which migrated to Yoruba land to be educated but failed to learn any manner along with the letters. But must we just shut up and observe them dance naked. No. A Jewish proverb says:

    ”He who puts up with insult invite injury”.

    Again here I believe we do not deserve insults and Pierre Corneille warns

    ”He who allows himself to be insulted deserves to be”.

    Like Fani Kayode, I am convinced that we do not deserve to be insulted and must not stand insults lamely. We have put up with insult for too long, hence the current injury inflicted by Ndigbo. Now with Femi insulting them, we are not just getting some attention, we got lots of it and the conversation is finally changing.

    Diplomacy does not work where punches are already being thrown freely. George W. Bush made that point clearly:

    In defence of our Nation, a President must be a clear eyed realist. There are limits to the smiles and scowls of diplomacy. Armies and missiles are not stopped by stiff notes of condemnation. They are held in check by strength and purpose and promise of swift punishment.

    The Igbo initiative is clearly an invasion which cannot be checked by pacification or diplomacy but strength of purpose and swift and stiff punishment.

    Fani Kayode has challenged Ndigbo with historical facts and apart from abuses and curses; he is yet to get a rebuttal of facts presented.

    It is time for old and young Yorubas to cut out the diplomacy nonsense, don their reading glasses and adopt the power that has always been considered worthy by their forebears, the power of ideas and get to the debating table with invaders from across Onitsha, the Igbo. It is time to match them fact for fact, boast for boast, noise for noise and aggression for aggression. Yoruba should use the superiority of the brain which we suffer to invest in over brawn that petty trading demands.

    BIZARRE YORUBA MEN

    Two prominent individuals frighten me in their motivation on this matter. Mr Femi ArIbisala who claims to be a pastor and Mr Adeseye Ogunlewe, the former Obasanjo Works Minister who held Lagos including his home town of Ikorodu to ransom while he tarred the shiny roads you see today around Kubua and Katsina. But we must not lose the advantage of accommodating differing opinions. That has been the strength of the Yoruba and the gift we must present to the next generation.

    DEPORTATION OR COLONISATION

    We all know what this should be about but unfortunately, is not. It should be about elites and destitute, about rights and power and right and wrong. It should be about whether a Government has a right to decree that the poor must not exist alongside the haves that Government can as a matter of impunity throw away Nigerians in the dead of night from anywhere they chose to reside like Lagos Government did. It should be about whether Nigerians cannot live in convenience with others as Anambra did in the past. It is about whether Abia Government will win tomorrow if somebody takes them to court for sacking over two thousand Igbos from its civil service. It is certainly not about deportation. The Igbos do not believe that Fashola has any tribal sentiments neither do they sympathise with the poor destitute in their midst, how much less the deported to their midst. They fully understand that Raji Fashola is a one way bulldozer of demolition for as long as a Mega City remains to be built. Machines can demolish anything or anybody as far as his fanaticism goes. Fashola is therefore just an excuse to extort concessions and embarrass the Yoruba. He certainly does not belong in this conversation which we all have longed for since Chinua Achebe wrote that valedictory book. We need everybody in this dialogue, our area boys, our demolition squad, our professionals and most importantly, our intellectuals. I believe we can steer this talk anyway we want it if we understand how significant this time is in our lives with the igbos. The conversations must be propelled to the logical end through research, debates and disagreements no matter how controversial and partisan or divisive. I shall seek to contribute to the conversation Ndigbo wants and Achebe provoked and so should you. First let us deal with the our domestic destitute.

    FEMI ARIBISALA AND OGUNLEWE

    I talked about some Yoruba people, their confusion, their distractions, distortions ill motives and selfishness. But more importantly their pettiness just because they have minor disagreement with individuals or are hoping to harvest Igbo electoral potentials. Two very good instances surfaced in articles recently. One from one Femi Aribisala who practically handed Lagos over to Ndigbo for Governor because he and his parents encountered Late Chief Remi Fani Kayode, Femi’s late father in unpleasant circumstances almost 50 years ago. It was the most distasteful article I have read in a long time.

    ADESEYE OGUNLEWE

    I shall not dwell on the unimportant in regards to this individual. It is left to the people of Ikorodu to call him by his true name. The severity of that verdict will reflect the values of the Ikorodu people and I know them. They are true sons of their parents.

    As Minister of Works at Abuja, Ogunlewe did nothing to ameliorate the troublesome hold ups at Ikorodu while he concentrated all his energy on Kubwa, Katsina and Mokwa roads. But that did not make his larger than life image of “Akotileta” which he enjoys today as that man who as Minister prevented the vegetation of Lagos and formed a flotilla of miscreants around the Marina attacking all motorists and collecting tolls. These are not my concern. For our children’s sake, I want us to examine what this man said in reaction to current Igbo Yoruba debate.

    He said, “The arrival of Dr. Namdi Azikiwe to Lagos in 1937 from Accra after his studies in the United States, stimulated the political and cultural environment of Lagos as no other has before or after him. Zik literally resurrected the wizard of Kirsten hall from political death. Zik represented Lagos in the western house. The NCNC was the power in Lagos, and not the Action Group. The Igbo were prominent in the governance of Lagos in the Lagos City Hall.”

    What a patriot, what a lover of unity. My questions to Ogunlewe are as follows:

    I. Is Lagos a No man’s Land because it allowed Azikiwe his oratory? Simple yes or no will suffice

    II. Was Nnamdi Azikiwe the sole founder of NCNC? The first leader of that party, Herbert Macaulay, was he Igbo? Where were the H.O. Davies of those times and so many prominent Yoruba sons who gave accommodation and comfort to Azikiwe after he was thrown out of Ghana?

    III. What point is Ogunlewe making by saying NCNC was in power in Lagos and not AG. Was NCNC an Igbo Party at the time it was in power in Lagos?

    Ogunlewe embarks on self-glorifying name dropping.

    “Interestingly, I was born at plot number 8, Okoya Street, Idumagbo- Lagos, while the Ojukwu families were residing at number one to three on the same street. I grew up to know the father of Odumegwu Ojukwu. Chimbizie and Azuka grew up with us on the same street. Even the Chibeze small parking space at the end of Okoya Street is called Ojukwu.”

    When he says interestingly, who is interested in where he was born. The questions are:

    I. Did Sir Louis, Chimbize, Azuka and Emeka Ojukwu claim even at that time or at any time in their lifetime to be Lagosians?

    II. At Okoya Street Idumagbo, was the Igbo man the King or paramount ruler. Was Okoya and Idumagbo Street a no man’s land way back then when Mr Ogunlewe was playing “Lagos Boy”?

    III. Why is Adeseye Ogunlewe claiming Ikorodu and not Idumagbo today if he does not know where his parents belong and that vegetables have roots?

    IV. At that time, were Hausas, Kogi and other Nigerians not living there? Did they claim to own Lagos as Orji Kalu and his co travellers claim?

    V. In spite of Odumegwu Ojukwu’s Lagos roots, did he ever claim to be a Lagosian. Bless his soul, that true son of Nnewi always knew and acknowledged the mother that gave him suck.

    I am Yoruba but I know where I come from. Even though I am Yoruba and have lived three quarters of my entire life in Lagos for upwards of 40 years, I shall not claim to be a Lagosian and when you ask my children, all born here in Lagos, they tell you with pride bordering on arrogance, where they come from. Another Yoruba adage says it is the crack head who points at his father’s house with his left thumb.

    Ogunlewe is not finished yet with his “Uncle Tom” essay.

    He said, “Anytime I visited where I was born today in Idumagbo at Lagos Island, the entire place is covered by Igbo traders in their thousands. They were never troublesome but decent and accommodating. They have virtually taken over all properties of the indigenes. They succeeded in developing all our properties, married to most of our children even from the royal families. There is no single house you will visit without an Igbo man selling wares there.”

    Ogunlewe is the happiest man alive because Igbo took over his entire family. The street car park, the Ogunlewe house where he was born, they now occupy with their wives and married their children. All because of money.

    Congratulations. Is that not what you have been waiting for all your life? For Igbo to take over your house, marry your children and rule over your home? He says they have virtually taken over. No, they have not “virtually”, they have actually taken over and driven Lagos “Akotiletas” your kind out of town. Like the Cowboys of Western movies, they may indeed produce a Governor the way they arrive in morning, afternoon and night busses, thanks to physically tall but mentally short characters like some who claim to know where they come from.

    • Tony

      The Igbos are superior race to your race, Deji. That is why Kani Fayode , after going through the so Cambridge and Oxford, still feels inferior to an average Igboman. The Igbos bounced back after all humiliating subjections in Nigeria. Which other tribe can???? Don’t weep Deji, just face the reality.

      • deji

        You have no idea.

  • deji

    All this long drivel for one inconsequential vote. Yeye dey smell.
    How many Northerners voted for Gowon, IBB or Abacha?
    The fourth republic started in 1999 and by the end of Joanthan’s term, South would have occupied the position of the Presidency for 14 out of the 16 years..

  • Mr. Abdin

    This man called femi another femi he needs prayers though he is working for his pay masters even though he vowed not to work for PDP but now he is for them kai hungry no good. God save Nigeria.