Buhari should not ‘impose’ another Northern president in 2023

President Buhari of Nigeria.


By Osamede R. Okhomina.

 I wish to draw the attention of the nation to ongoing underhand scheming by Muhammadu Buhari and the people around him to retain power in the North through 2023 presidential election.
When we say the North, we mean the imposition of another Fulani Oligarch candidate on the nation.
 Apart from the country having had enough of their misrule, it is only fair and equitable that power shifts to the South at this time, if we are interested in building a unified and resilient nation.
The northern political Oligarchs have had their turn of eight years at the presidency, and it is time for power to shift to the South. Some people, who are being clever by half, may argue that this is “undemocratic” but in the Nigerian context, this is the only way to ensure equity and give all the parts of Nigeria a sense of belonging.
Some of the opponents of power shift today were the most strident critics of Jonathan in 2011 and 2015, and their hobby horse was that power must shift to the North in order to complete the tenure of late Musa Yar’adua. It is a mark of the high level of dishonesty amongst the northern Fulani politicians that today many of them are lining up to contest for the same presidency after eight years of Buhari’s regime.
We believe that Buhari himself is a party to this scheme to retain power in the North. What is obvious is that the northern political oligarchy are not restricted by party affiliations in their bid to retain power; which means that if they cannot get what they want in APC they will swing to PDP in order to get it. If you doubt this, please reflect on the import of the recent secretive consultations between Buhari and Tambuwal, a declared presidential candidate of the opposition party, PDP.
We are sounding this warning because any arrangement to foist another Northerner or Fulani on this nation will not augur well for the country.
These are the attitudes and actions that have propelled the emergence of Nnamdi Kanu of IPOB and Sunday Igboho of the Odua nation. These schemes by the northern political oligarchy under the clandestine support of Buhari justifies the agitations of IPOB, Odua nation, and other proponents of separation, because no self-respecting person or people will agree to remain under the perpetual subjugation of another man.
Our forefathers refused to live under the continual rule of the British during the colonial era, they struggled and attained independence for the nation. It should be noted that the struggle for independence was mostly championed by Southerners led by Herbert Macaulay, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Mbonu Ojike, Chief Anthony Enahoro etc.
We think wisdom should tell the Northern Fulani power block that it will not be possible to enslave a people as educated and dynamic as the people of Southern Nigeria. More so, when the Fulani oligarchs have demonstrated an appalling lack of capacity to govern, with Buhari’s regime being the epitome of this incompetence.
Buhari and his cohorts should realise that it is easy to begin a crisis but nobody can predict the geography and ramifications of such crisis once it starts. In other words, they can scheme all they want and they may even go ahead to impose their likes on this nation but after that, the repercussions will be out of their control.
Today, Russia with all its military might is still struggling against little Ukraine. Therefore, let Buhari and his Fulani fundamentalist advisers not think that they can ride roughshod over the interests of Southern Nigeria. That self deceit may lead to the end of this contraption called Nigeria.
The solutions are simple: First, there must be a power shift to the South come 2023.
Secondly, there must be a review of the basis of the Nigerian nation-state; by this we mean restructuring, Nigeria must be a federation not just in name but indeed. Each federating unit must have a level of autonomy over its resources and security.
Today Nigeria is embroiled with intractable security challenges championed by the terrorists and so-called bandits holding sway over large swathes of the North and some parts of the South.
The Buhari administration has failed woefully in resolving these challenges, perhaps because these terrorists and Fulani bandits were allegedly imported by Buhari, El Rufai and others in order to make the country ungovernable should Jonathan win the 2015 election. However, the genie has since left the bottle and they can no longer control their terrorist foot soldiers.
These bandits are running wild and have perfected the act of wholesale kidnappings and brigandage. Today one of the biggest risks in Nigeria is to travel by road, by rail, and even by air. Nothing serious is being done to wipe out these terrorists and their sponsors; all we see are knee-jerk reactions to deceive the gullible.
But when it comes to agitators for equity and justice in the South, the full power of the military and all security apparatus are unleashed on them.
The Nigerian government can pursue Nnamdi Kanu to Kenya and go after Sunday Igboho in Benin Republic but they cannot arrest the leaders of Fulani bandits and terrorists, who are running very large camps and settlements in Nigeria; where innocent Nigerians are kidnapped and held for ransom, tortured and slaughtered. In fact, these bandits have become untouchables with officials of government, such as El Rufai making excuses for them by describing them as ” businessmen.”
In calling for a power shift to the South, we are not ignoring the fact that it is high time for the South Eastern part of Nigeria to produce a president of this nation, given the long history of marginalisation and political emasculation that they have suffered since the end of the civil war in 1970. It is their right to produce the president and indeed they boast of many capable hands who can change the fortunes of this nation for the better if allowed to govern.
However, at this time the entire South will have to unite and fight for power to shift to the South. If the South fails to unite for this, then they will be playing into the hands of the North who are scheming to retain power, not for the development and advancement of the country but in order to satisfy their selfish pecuniary interests and hold back the advancement of Southern Nigeria.
I subscribe fully to the recent statement by the Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo that the North is not ready to yield power to the South. Every self respecting Southerner should listen to that statement because the Chief has said it all.
It is left for us, as Southerners, to take our fate in our hands in order to ensure that we and our future generations do not live in perpetual servitude to the repressive and brutal Fulanis.

Okhomina, is a political and economic analyst who contributed this piece from Abuja.