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Date Published: 05/20/10

THE SOUTH CAN’T WAIT UNTIL NORTH CHOOSES NEW YOUNG LEADERS By Farouk Martins Aresa 

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If there is anything the North and the South must agree on, it is on the rotation of presidency. The pauperism of candidates parading arena of presidential leadership from the North betrays the lack of progress in Nigeria as a whole. There is no part or region of Nigeria where we do not have young dynamic patriotic Nigerians but only one region in the Country has not produced a President. That is the South-south. Nobody, no matter how eloquent, logical or reasonable can convince a child growing up from that region that for some reasons, none of them had what it took to be the executive leader and commander-in-chief. 

Fair minded people not necessarily from that region must be sick and tire of promises made in the name of Niger Delta. Of course their leaders are corrupt like other Nigerian leaders but no more so. It can’t suffice as a reason they cannot rule Nigeria or themselves since we know that crooks from the North or South hardly lift up their regions. If that is the standard we go by, no leader must come from the North again since they have the greatest number of poor folks. It is not enough to paint any other leader evil than the devil himself, to justify  return of old cargoes. 

Whatever we mean by rotation of presidency, if it is to achieve fair and balance distribution of power, the time to do it is now. The North welded power 38 out of 50 years, by fair rotation the South should be in the same saddle for the same period of time. So the argument for rotation from the North while fair, weighs heavily against them. So far the North-west by the old states and the new states standard has produced almost all of our presidents except by anointment. 

Even when presidency comes back to the North, there must be some qualified young, patriotic and dynamic pure Hausa without one drop of Fulani blood in them that can be president. It is not all our Hausa brothers and sisters that take a submissive stand once a mixed blood declare for presidency. It is one of the secrets some see as a dirty linen not to be washed in public. The backseat attitude against Hausa carried from the old religious dominance cannot go on forever. 

If it is not about ancestry of religion, the raw symptom of Kaduna protest has betrayed no other motive. A deputy born and bred son of the soil, based on some old unrelenting phobia cannot succeed his Governor because he is a Christian. Behind this logic is their call on Ebele to step aside in the next election for those who belong. It is why some part of the North is still locked in the old school mentality conducive for the old leaders to display their irrelevant tattered armor.  

From North to South, our albatross come as billionaires looters threaten and blackmail smaller rogues lacking millions, to either bribe successive prosecutors or buy themselves out of jails. One needs less punishment to catch the other. There are those telling us God is the owner of the land in Nigeria and if it pleases him, he can redistribute it to chosen believers. Indeed there is no stealing of oil resources if the land belongs to nobody but God. To become a thief, there has to be an owner of goods. A few actually believe, the oil we depend on flows from the North to the South by the law of geological gravity. So God’s land is nobody’s land. What a logic, eh?    

Wake up Northern brothers and sisters, the last decades are behind us. It is embarrassing that all the North has to offer as presidential materials are old spent leaders who can only brag about how they kept the Country together by force or tulasi. They think that and nothing else entitles them to leadership as if no one from other parts of the Country risked their lives for Nigerian unity. Our young, vibrant and educated Northern leaders are being overshadowed by discredited men looking forward to presidential burials. Other African countries that used to look up to us are offering solutions from how to conduct fair elections to kicking us out.  

What does that say about Nigeria? It means we are not ready to change the old ways that plunged us into darkness after Independence. With all the talents in the North, reasonable people know that if you do not want the same results in Nigeria, we have to look for fresh new solutions. The threat of disunity or lack of independence is not the burning issues. If anything, most Nigerians are so fed up with the amplified disparity, that they are willing to try anything, including peaceful separation rather than kill one another to achieve economic independence. 

We may as well wake up Ahmadu Bello, Zik and Awo or many others still alive that were our old heroes of Independence to contest election in 2011. They did their part, we are moving on. Those who fought and died for the unity of Nigeria or are still alive do not have a better claim to come back and contest election in 2011 than Pa Enahoro. Time has change, we are now fighting for economic survival and Nigerians are hungry, pure and simple. We need economic wizards to promote made-in-Africa products and lift us out of abject poverty perpetuated by politicians. 

In order to deny Ebele the opportunity to contest the next election in 2011, hypocrites are appealing to him as a gentleman, God fearing, honor, his name in golden history and be neutral to do the right thing. We would think that at least one of these jokers has any of those qualities they are clamoring for in Ebele. Those who would sell their birthright for pottage are offering their Trojan horse to Ebele. It is hard enough fighting one of the militants to a standstill, not to think about daring most. If it has worked in the past, it does not mean it will always work. 

There are others, out of their so called patriotism, caution Ebele on whom to take advice from. They certainly warned him about certain section of the Country or people, except themselves. We just watch as they repeat the same call made to Yar’Adua when he assumed office ridiculing him as OBJ chosen boy to complete his third term; until they got what they want. To prove that he was his own man, Yar’Adua gave the most important positions exclusively to the North since the days of the military regardless of the cries from other parts of the Country.  

So here they go again.  Ebele must prove to them that he is not OBJ boy by making lopsided appointments as Yar’Adua. Then and only then can he satisfy them that he is not completing OBJ third term. This reverse psychology has always worked, so they must try it repeatedly. They had the guts to query a South-south President why most of the important posts in Niger Delta oil industry did not go to them as before. Well, let us guess: It could be because it is a riverine area, those not familiar with polluted swamps might get swallowed by mummywater!   

 

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