By Toyin Falola
“Death is not a period that ends the great sentence of life, but a comma that punctuates it to more lofty significance. Death is not a blind alley that leads the human race into a state of nothingness, but an open door which leads man into life eternal.” –
Martin Luther King Jr.
As I heard of the passing of Professor Akin Mabogunje on Thursday , August 4, 2022, incidentally in Lagos close to the house where he spent the last phase of his life, I began to reflect on the odyssey of life and how one needs a compass to successfully navigate the crescendos and decrescendos. What makes life itself is not just the source of respiration in humans’ biological make-up but the hurdles and smoothness that ironically constitute the essence and the extent of life itself. One might need directions to find a pathway to purpose so as not to fall or get lost in the labyrinth of life, and sometimes the needed guide are people who have walked the land and stretched its excesses. Professor Akin Mabogunje’s life and career have proven to be the needed trajectory to safely surf the turbulent sea of life. He has become a compass both figuratively and literally by living a life worthy of emulation and leading a career that helps understand the complexity of earth itself.
In his autobiography, A Measure of Grace, Professor Mabogunje meticulously maps out his life and career in two parts: “On the Wings of Love” and “Towards the Emerging Vision,” each detailing his journey through life and career. If Professor Mabogunje could look back, I am certain that he would proudly declare “c’est fini” to his vision, which had manifested with enviable expression. When a man can cease to exist, his image and contributions to society are bound to be legendary, and as such, it is safe to say that his very visions have “emerged” and have redefined the trajectory of scholarship and governmental policies alike. Mabogunje sat at the forefront of the echelon of African geographers, and his brilliance and scholarship drew global applause.
Mabogunje’s journey through life was defined by his quest for knowledge and resolution for success. As a young and brilliant child in Kano with a father working for the colonial government, he was inquisitive, a character that set him apart from his counterparts. He started school when he was four years old and was younger than many of his classmates, which was a disadvantage because the teacher did not make an exception for him by coming down to his level of understanding. However, Mabogunje quickly adjusted and blended with the other students. His desire for success was once met with a hilarious experience. His father had instructed that he and his colleagues should prepare for higher exams, and they had to do this by studying. However, Mabogunje’s friend had taken him to get voodoo that would make him pass the examinations. Unfortunately, he failed and was taught by life itself that there was no shortcut to success. Following that, his lifestyle and achievements showed that he had taken these lessons from life and converted them into a muse that built his determination for success.
Professor Mabogunje attended the Holy Trinity Church School, Sabon Gari, Kano, before moving to the Anglican Church-run United Native African Church School. His father had participated in the facilitation of an Anglican School, which led to the establishment of the United Native African Church School. Upon the establishment of the school, Mabogunje and his siblings were transferred to become part of the foundational students at the school. In Class IV, he emerged as the best student in Geography, laying the foundation for his successful career as a Geographer. His sterling records continued to develop, especially as a student at the University College, Ibadan, where he won several prizes both within and outside Nigeria. He earned his Master’s degree in 1958 and his Ph.D. in 1961, both from the University of London.
Professor Mabogunje did more than merely study or teach geography; he also carved a niche for himself, becoming an epitome of excellence in the field and contributing to the nation’s development. His teaching career and ascension to professorship within twelve years set the pace for his remarkable contribution to the geographical body of knowledge. He quickly reached the apex of intellectual stardom in the field, to the extent that he was nicknamed “the Father of African Geography,” a big credit to his many years of aggressively studying and analysing the geographical explanation of societies and the people resident in them.
Some of his early scholarships focused on the effect and process of Nigeria’s urbanization concerning the precolonial, colonial, and post-colonial epochs. While most scholars in 1965 found it easy to align with European opinions that urbanization had a positive and developmental impact on the economy and other social sectors of society, Mabogunje introduced further ideas and examined Nigerian society beyond this context. He equipped himself with the people’s distinct economic, commercial, and social orientations before colonialism, some of which were still evident during the colonial period. Despite acknowledging the positive developments in other sectors, he emphasized the effect of urbanization on these economic systems that might cause serious constraints for the country. He explained the philosophies and constitutions of the concept of cities in precolonial Nigeria, which were quite different from European systems.
Regarding the impact of the colonial economy and urbanization in Nigeria, Mabogunje was particular about the interplay between pre-industrial and industrial urbanization in Nigeria, and he provided a framework for the construction of data and public policies. His understanding and knowledge, especially on the urbanization process, were put to specific and broader use, giving particular geographical analyses of Ibadan and Kano and becoming materials for laying the foundation of African urbanization.
Also, Mabogunje was the epitome of the relationship between the town and gown. His scholarship extended beyond academic endeavours and research and included public assignments aimed at societal development. This was not surprising as the icon was among the best brains in Nigeria in the fields of geography and urbanization. His first contribution to society and policy was his participation in the 1962 Census, which was considered long overdue after the failures of previously planned ones. Towards the census, he also led the section in charge of listing demarcation areas and was material to the 1963 census, following political factors and tensions in the country.
Additionally, the brilliant geographer played a significant role in the creation and generation of hydroelectric in Kainji, Niger State, and was part of the discussions on how to relocate the people originally situated in this environment. He participated in research into the region’s situations before, during, and after the dam’s construction, as well as the socioeconomic implications on the people and Nigeria in general. Mabogunje’s contributions to the establishment of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye (known as Ogun State University at inception) cannot be forgotten. He contributed his wealth of knowledge and wisdom to the Public Service Review Commission and the Western Region Forestry Commission. His role in the development of the Federal Capital Territory, including other national duties he performed diligently, are some of his remarkable contributions that are instrumental to the fabric of contemporary society.
Mabogunje was not just a national hero; his international reputation helped him to make Nigeria and Africa proud in the international community. As the first African to head the International Geographical Union and United States National Academy of Sciences Foreign Associate, he became a trailblazer in positioning Africans for more international developmental roles and performed his duty with such emulative vigour and determination. Given his accomplishments, it is not surprising that he has won several awards and honours both on a national and international level, including the 2017 Vautrin Lud Prize for Geography, the highest award in the field of Geography.
As many have stated, Mabogunje’s movement from different locations and staying among different people must have contributed to his versatility and was instrumental in the foundation of his geographical knowledge that has shown him to the world. Aside from his career, he led an exemplary life that touched individuals and served as an inspiration for those who would love to understand life. Indeed, he was a compass for understanding both society and life itself. Mabogunje had a vision for development, which was clear enough for others to build on, thus laying the foundation of Nigerian geographical studies and African urban development.
Although Mabogunje has left us, his legacy will live on like that of every other hero. When he was alive, he asked me to write a book on education in the Western Region in the 1950s; however, I could not deliver. Now that he is gone, I will request him to do a map of heaven, locating the longitude and latitude of hell and Satan, angels, and the abode of God, especially the city of gold, where he has gone on to continue a glorious and well-lived life. I intend to put his findings to good use. This is one hero we are sure to miss, but his hallowed presence will always hold a place of honour in the closet of our hearts.
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Exposed: The Real Peter Obi
By Promise Adiele
Today, I am possessed by the spirit of exposure. Without let or hindrance, resistance or disputation, I surrender to the service of my fatherland to expose, perhaps in the process, educate the foolish and enrich the wise, nothing more. While exposing, I didn’t consult the Ifa oracle or Delphic oracle, both Yoruba and Greek prognostic divination essences famed for revelation. Exposure, that act of revealing the unknown, invades my conscious mind while the revered apostle of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud watches with keen interest. I admit to being a helpless captive of the spirit of exposure. It goes beyond the paralyzing mental hypnosis suffered by victims of religious ecstasy. I am fully aware and awake, with no hallucination, reverie, or phantasmal anecdote. I have no choice in the matter, therefore I must expose, reveal, uncover, and inform. St. John suffered the same fate as I do today which inspired him to write the Biblical book of Revelation. Exposure is different from prophecy, the alter ego of prediction. While exposure reveals what exists but is not known, prophecy reveals what does not exist, therefore not known. Today, I am not predicting anything. I want to expose many things about the presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party Mr Peter Obi. Every presidential aspirant must be exposed, nothing hidden. No guesswork. No half-truths.
My determination to expose the real, undiluted, factual, identity of Mr Peter Obi inheres from the tumultuous effect his persona is currently having on the Nigerian political horizon. Interestingly, the emergence of one man in our country’s political maturation is causing a tsunami across the length and breadth of the land. In my commitment to unravel Peter Obi, I have engaged the remote and immediate peculiarities of his identity, his historical existentialities, and the sublunary ethos that foreground his groundswell among Nigerians at home and abroad. Also, my objective is to steer the wheel of our contemporary political discourse away from obtuse, unreasonable circles to centres of rational, objective thinking. Granted that we can make mistakes sometimes, but we shouldn’t hug idiocy forever. Nigeria is on the cusp of collapse due largely to the mistakes of 2015 when we collectively plunged into a semblance of Hades for failure to expose what needed to be exposed. But 2023 offers a good opportunity to correct the mistakes of the past. Peter Obi’s exposure? Here we go.
First Exposure: His full name is Peter Gregory Obi and his nickname is ‘Okwute’. He has a clear, real, and honest identity. There should be no contention or controversy about the identity of the potential of the next president of Nigeria. ‘Okwute’ in Igbo language means rock. The muse reminds me of the connection between the Biblical Peter and rock. Recall that the Master told the Biblical Peter, “upon this rock will I build my house and the gates of hellfire will not prevail against it”. Today, we have a potential president of Nigeria whose real and nickname are subsumed in that divine declaration by the Master. Peter ‘Okwute’ Gregory Obi’s identity draws on celestial and terrestrial possibilities which explain the wildfire his emergence on the political scene is provoking. Surely, the gates of religion, ethnicity and other nebulous metaphors that represent hellfire will not prevail against his name. Remember, his name is Peter Gregory Obi. No questions. No stolen identity. No one adopted him as a child. No family is denying his parentage. It is only a deluded generation that will vote for anyone whose identity is shrouded in secrecy. Identity denominates human existence therefore a fake identity presupposes a fraudulent personality. Peter ‘Okwute’ Gregory Obi is his name. He does not have any other name. Go and verify.
Second Exposure: Mr Peter Obi was born in 1961 and he is from Aniocha Local Government Area in Anambra State. No controversy. That is his origin. Did you know that? He has an identifiable genealogy and definite origin. Any political office aspirant with an indeterminate origin is a disgrace to the political process and unbridled insolence to the electorate. Peter Obi’s origin is well known. His origin is not an object of infinite conjecture. He did not migrate to Anambra from any of the neighbouring states or countries. The next president of Nigeria must have a specific origin known to all Nigerians. No guesswork, no permutations, no lies, no mysteries and no sophistry. Anyone, even a foreigner can aspire to any political office in any part of the world, but hiding one’s identity is criminal, therefore morally disqualifies anyone from any political office in the land much less the presidential seat. Peter Obi is from Aniocha Local Government Area in Anambra State. Go and verify.
Exposure Three: Did you know that Peter Gregory Obi is arguably the only former governor in Nigeria that does not collect a kobo as pension from his state Anambra? Go and verify. Some past governors have impoverished their states by appropriating the exchequer and collecting almost 70% of the Internally Generating Revenue. Such states have the potential to be like Dubai or even better but because their former governors, cronies, and family members have the states in their pockets, the states wallow in inadequacy, leveraging the average, not aware of their vibrant potential. Peter Obi’s wife does not control any part of Anambra State. His only daughter does not control any market in Anambra State. His only son does not own properties in Anambra State. Peter Obi does not have thugs all around the State as a murderous arm of violence and civil menace. A man that does not collect a pension from his state as a former governor is not greedy. Nigeria does not need a greedy president who will turn state coffers and structures to private use.
Exposure Four: Are you aware that Peter Gregory Obi is healthy, fit, and agile? Now you know. He can engage in physical exercise and do thirty to fifty push-ups in a few minutes. He can jump on the treadmill in a jiffy and remain there for a long time. Did you know that in 2022, he plays football, table tennis, and lawn tennis? He does not have any known medical history which will impair his official function as the president of Nigeria. Given Nigeria’s experience under the current administration, the country does not need a septuagenarian, sickly, frail, and senile president. According to Suyi Ayodele in his Tuesday FLATOUT column in the Daily Tribune “a town which makes the invalid its king does not prosper because the health of the king determines the prosperity of the town”. No one gives a sick baby to a sick nurse to look after. Nigeria is sick, very sick therefore requires a fit, proper, agile, and healthy president to fully take charge of our collective affairs. Remember, when Muhammadu Buhari took over the reins of power in the country, he lamented that age was affecting his performance and wished he was younger and healthier. He went on to spend considerable time in a London hospital while the country suffered in parturition. This must not recur. A body led by a set of rotten eyes will inevitably head for disaster. Nigeria should never be led by a sick president again. Peter Gregory Obi is healthy and rearing to go. Kindly go and verify.
Exposure Five: Peter Obi attended Christ The King College Onitsha Anambra State. Afterwards, he was admitted to the University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1980 to study philosophy, the acclaimed parent discipline. He graduated in 1984. Some lost souls are peddling the propaganda that he spent twelve years at UNN studying philosophy. Well, Obi graduated from UNN in 1984 at the age of twenty-three. If he spent twelve years studying philosophy at UNN, that means he was admitted to the university in 1972 at the tender age of eleven. These greasy-brained detractors will stop at nothing to merchandise falsehood of impudent dimension. Anyway, he attended Lagos Business School, Harvard Business School, London School of Economics, Columbia Business School and the International Institute of Management Development. He also attended the Kellogg School of Management of North-Western University, Said Business School of Oxford University and Judge Business School of Cambridge University, go and verify, no controversy.
As Nigerians feverishly trudge towards the 2023 election to save the country from imminent collapse, all the presidential hopefuls must be exposed and critically scrutinized. We must also remember that our present condition is the end-product of an odious conspiracy in 2015 by a few people with vaunting, inordinate, self-serving objectives. It appears that APC’s only objective as a political party is to preside over the liquidation of the Nigerian federation. Do they think we are stupid? We cannot succumb to ennui at the most critical moment of our corporate existence and allow the ruling potentate to further imperil our existence. We must ask the basic questions about all the candidates, their identity must be exposed, health profile, education history, and place of origin. I have exposed the Labour Party candidate. Expose APC and PDP candidates honestly and straight to the point.
Mountain Top University.
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The Failed Government Of Muhammadu Buhari
By Victoria Praise Abraham
We do not have problems in Nigeria. What we have is a failed leadership and a failed government of the APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari. His government cannot effectively tackle insecurity, unemployment, food security, incessant strikes by various bodies in the country and many other leadership challenges presently plaguing our nation.
When Buhari of the All Progressives Congress took over in 2015 we all thought our many problems as a nation were finally over. We thought that our great messiah had finally come and that our lives as a people would now finally get better, richer and healthier. The Buhari government had promised change and we were already in a bad place as a nation and as a people. Alas, this was not supposed to be.
Today, we all can testify that it has been a change from bad to worse and from the frying pan into the fires of life.
Life as a Nigerian living in present-day Nigeria has become extremely difficult, frightening and a great ordeal and struggle. Everything that can collapse has collapsed. The health care system, the educational system and even the economy is in the sliding bend. We have never had it worse than this and our prayer to God Almighty is for urgent interventions and deliverance from this clueless government that has helped to mismanage the economy and our naira.
We have been bruised and battered by the lack of leadership or poor leadership by this APC-led government of Muhammadu Buhari for more than 7 years. Our sensibilities have been assaulted as we daily now live in the fear of being kidnapped either on trains, on the roads and even in the air. The situation is dire, pathetic and desperate at all levels of life. The daily kidnappings, killings and abductions have now reached alarming low levels the kind we have never seen before to the point that the president himself is lamenting the situation. How on earth can you as a president lament the troubles in your nation? This is a clear and glaring sign of a failed leader and a failed government because it means that you are fed up and unable to properly cope with the challenges that you are facing as a leader in the 21st century Nigeria.
We are assaulted daily by terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, abductors, armed robbers and pen robber in the same Buhari-led government. If not, how do we explain the humongous thefts of our collective wealth by top people in the Buhari-led government? A case in view is the high-level theft by the accountant general of the federation Ahmed Idris who stole billions of naira from the coffers of the nation.
Unfortunately, we have a president whose greatest pastime is jetting all over the globe in search of pleasure and peace while his own nation burns under the fires of terrorists, bandits, armed robbers and pen robbers. It is an open secret that Muhammadu Buhari is the most-travelled president of Nigeria.
Muhammadu Buhari at the slightest invitation from any country and for any occasion is quick to accept these invitations and of course there are also his many medical trips abroad at the expense of the Nigerian state.
It has never been this bad in our national life. People no longer sleep with their two eyes closed especially in the areas worst hit by terrorists and bandits in Nigeria. The north and the south of Nigeria including some parts of the east and west are being bombarded and we are daily losing precious lives of our Nigerian youths and even the middle aged and elderly. Women and children are not spared by this daily ordeal of insecurity, and instability.
A large percentage of Nigerians can no longer eat three square meals because of the prevalence of poverty, food shortages and this is further compounded by poor or no health care systems. The power outages are another pathetic showing in the life of this APC-led Buhari government.
For the average Nigerian, it is hell on earth because they cannot eat well, they cannot sleep well and whenever they fall sick there is no access to good healthcare and so many are dying under the terrible hardship that never gets reported in the papers but this hard reality of the ordinary Nigerians is clear for anyone to see because more and more people have taken to begging for their daily living.
There is no job for the poor man. There is no peace for the poor man. There is no joy of any kind for the poor man. Even the educational sector is not spared in this great failure of leadership by the APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
A large number of Nigerians live below a dollar a day. This situation is so bad that Nigeria has been dubbed the poverty capital of the world. Most of our youths are jobless, helpless and hopeless. The government has not deemed it fit to create an enabling environment for job sustainability.
There is nothing concrete and planned on the ground to curb youth restiveness, so you find most youth taking to crime because somehow, they have to find a way to live.
The Buhari government of the APC party has failed to provide these teeming millions of youth jobs to secure their future. A president that cannot think outside the box and be creative enough to find solutions to our myriads of problems is not my ideal kind of president.
During the campaign season just before Buhari took charge of the running of Nigeria as president he pledged to tackle insecurity, unemployment, and corruption. In his presidency these problems have worsened at a frightening rate.
Under this Buhari-led presidency Nigerians have become poorer and impoverished in an alarming fashion. The exchange rate of the naira to the dollar has been on a free fall for years now and the central bank governor under the Buhari-led government does not seem to know what to do about the problem.
The economy has been battered and bruised because of the lack of proper structures that can help grow the economy. Nigeria is importing everything and exporting less and less. Even the oil that is produced in Nigeria is again taken out of the country for refining before it is again imported back into Nigeria.
Our economy continues to struggle at the lowest levels. We are rich as a nation but poor as a nation and as a people. This is a great mystery, misnomer and travesty.
We are unable to travel interstate to do business with each other as Nigerians because of incessant abductions. Economic activities continue to dwindle to an all-time low since the Buhari-led government took over from the Jonathan-led government in 2015.
Buhari has borrowed so much from international bodies and China that we will spend many years repaying all that he and his government have borrowed in the last seven years and more.
We are in desperate times because our innocent citizens are being kidnapped, and killed daily all over the north. There are problems of IPOB in the eastern part of Nigeria and we all remember the killings in the Owo massacre of Sunday the 5th of June 2022.
President Muhammadu Buhari never deemed it proper to visit Owo to commiserate with the indigenes of Owo over this dastardly act of terrorists in South West Nigeria. This lack of empathy and compassion from Buhari is unbelievable and acceptable. It shows that as a leader he lacks compassion and a very strong attribute of a great leader is empathy and compassion.
The Buhari government has not deemed it proper to enact laws that will stop Fulani herdsmen from roaming the lands of Nigeria and wreaking havoc on the innocent land owners of the south. We have a government that prefers cows to the precious lives of its human citizens in Nigeria. Under the present Buhari-led government we have become more divided as a people and as nations. Nigeria is a marriage of many nations and a wise leader will work at uniting these different nations with the Nigeria nation and not work hard at dividing it as the Buhari government has done in the last seven years.
Our present situation as a nation is pathetic, frightening and we are in need of quick divine interventions from God. On a practical level it is time for the impeachment of Muhammadu Buhari because in his time we have had unprecedented records of death of innocent Nigerians, more corruption, higher levels of the unemployed Nigerian youths and general insecurity and traumas.
The problem we have as a nation is not the myriads of problems but rather a failure of leadership or no leadership at all. Our leaders at the highest and at all levels have failed us a nation. We are rudderless, leaderless and clueless as a nation.
Our leaders at the highest helm of governance has failed woefully and it is time for them to all bow out and retire back to their bases.
It is time for the Buhari-led government to be impeached to save our fatherland and our unborn generation from further slide, decay and destructions.
We do not have problems in Nigeria, what we have is a president that prefers to jet around the globe to seek pleasure and peace in faraway Britain, Dubai, France and Spain rather than stay in Nigeria to fix the challenges confronting his leadership.
What we have in Nigeria is a leadership problem because everything starts and ends in leadership.
All these other countries that Buhari prefers to stay in is as a result of leadership that works, that is effective and promising. We have leaders that lack the know-how, of how to properly solve problems in Nigeria.
In 2023 we need a president who is visionary, intelligent, fearless, selfless, courageous, compassionate, a unifier, sincere, competent, charismatic and a good communicator to help us rebuild our nation Nigeria,
We have fallen as a nation and we need a rescuer and a builder to help us rebuild and restructure the Nigerian nation.
As it is now, we are yet to find the messiah. As we begin the countdown to the search for the next crop of leaders, we must be very clear and discerning so that we do not choose leaders that will traumatize us as a people. We must choose credible, competent and compassionate leaders going forward. We truly do need ‘CHANGE’ now not the change Buhari promised us in 2015 but the change that will help to move our great nation forward forever. The APC-led Buhari government has failed woefully. He must now do the decent thing by resigning or be impeached by the senate.
A new Nigeria will emerge by the special grace of God Almighty.
. Abraham is an award-winning author and CEO of Vic-Abraham Media Nigeria Ltd.
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Muslim-Muslim Ticket Narrative: The Republic In Peril
By Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha
The Muslim-Muslim ticket which the APC under the otherwise shrewd and perspicacious Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu has adopted promotes and reinforces a dangerous narrative which the seven years of the Buhari administration have negatively entrenched in the minds of Nigerians. For, before Buhari, it was largely in somewhat hushed tones that the mythical Fulani ownership of geographical Nigeria was discussed. Not supported by any instruments of pre- or postcolonial relations, that dangerous supposition was essentially in the minds of a few and believed by fewer persons. For most southerners it was a joke, an infantile joke to claim that the rich waters and oil of the Niger Delta belong to some fellows who live one thousand miles away. It is like the Israelis claiming that the oil fields in the Arab states belong to them because God had promised them the land flowing with milk and honey!
With the style and composition of the Buhari government, the irredentist president made his plans clear to all – government was by a section of the country, for a section of the country and for a particular religion! To boot, Fulani from some countries in Africa have started assembling in the country to make Nigeria their home. The hostile scoundrels who kidnap, maim or kill are not indigenous to Nigeria, I dare say. The baffling thing is that southern leaders could not effectively challenge the gradual dismantling of a national consensus that had governed interethnic relations since 1960. Most of them in mainstream politics simply latch on to the received wisdom that to gain power in the centre you must suck it up to the holders of power from the north. So, they sacrifice their people on the altar of greed for power!
In 2003, before the grand alliance of unlikely forces that finally gave Buhari access to federal power, Bola Tinubu was reported by Wikileaks to have said that “Muhammadu Buhari is an agent of destabilization, ethnic bigot, and religious fanatic who if given the chance would ensure the disintegration of the country. His ethnocentrism would jeopardize Nigeria’s national unity’. It is true that the Tinubu camp has vigorously argued that their principal never said any such stuff. But Farooq Kperogi in Notes from Atlanta (December 4, 2021) has laid the authenticity of the statement to rest by asserting that ‘I took up Tunde Rahman’s challenge and showed that Tinubu indeed said what he was quoted to have said – and worse’, citing diplomatic cables wrenched from Wikileaks trove.
READ ALSO: Rivers APC Ex-governorship Aspirant Resigns From Party Over Tinubu’s Muslim-Muslim Ticket
In skewed appointments both to cabinet and non-cabinet positions, Buhari made no bones about telling Nigerians that he meant to govern Nigeria as a colony of Fulani hegemony. Nowhere is this hegemony so evident than in the security architecture of the country. Also, the marauding herdsmen in the country never fail to remind abductees that Nigeria is their patrimony and that accounts for the soft approach of the incumbent government in dealing with the menace posed by terrorists and bandits. Nigerians have cried aloud about the skewed appointments in favour of one section of the country. Nothing has entered the ears of the Commander-in-Chief! Suddenly, the successor administration if the APC wins is a Muslim-Muslim band. Not good for the sight. Not healthy for perception. Not healthy for inter-religious harmony.
Nations build institutions which sustain and protect the core values of the country. In a country as multiethnic and multireligious as ours, no individual or administration should violate those core values. It is possible to argue that the fundamental principles for national unity have not been defined and nationally accepted. For example, power rotation, the place of religion and ethnicity must be worked into the Constitution. Nothing must be taken for granted. No section or religion must claim or preach superiority. It has the capacity to implode the country, either now or in the future.
It is against this background that the APC Muslim-Muslim ticket must be resisted by pressure groups, ethnic and religious associations. The issue must be on the ballot box on election day. A northern Christian who was Legal Adviser to APC resigned his position because of his objection to the Muslim-Muslim ticket. Ironically, Senator Tinubu and the APC had expressed reservations about the same-religion ticket in 2015. It was for this reason Professor Yemi Osinbajo was drafted in with his impeccable Christian credentials as a pastor in RCCG. What changed in 2022 or 2023?
The ethnic tension in the country that has reached a crescendo is alarming. Whether by design or default, the Tinubu and Shettima ticket is an attempt to further increase the tension and permanently destroy the fragile attempts at inter-religious harmony. It promotes the inane idea that one ethnic group or religion is superior to others in the federation. It is foolish to believe this nonsense, even if the ethnic group is numerically stronger. The point must be made that this rejection would not have mattered if the operating conditions in the country were settled or acceptable. For as we know, a Muslim could be as bad as a Christian in governance and vice versa. In other words, promotion of a religious faith does not bestow administrative or governing competence on anybody. The list of those who have misgoverned the country includes Muslims and Christians, with religion playing no moderating role in attitudes to the commonwealth. The ruling APC which has mismanaged Nigeria into a freefall is slapping Nigeria further in the face by tying to force an anomaly on the nation.
The APC has attempted to make things look good by appointing spokesmen who are Christians. This is after suggesting that a Christian from the north as a running mate to a Muslim from the south is not good enough to attract votes from the north. What a slap to northern Christians. This accounts for the bold and resolute reaction of the Dogaras and Babachirs, something we must take seriously.
All Nigerians must queue up to vote for their candidates in 2023. Hopefully, votes will count this time around. If they do, the Nigerian people will speak on who they want to govern the country. Sadly, the PDP ticket is also guilty of negating one of the assumptions that had governed the country – power rotation. We are therefore in a fix with the two old political parties. What will the end be?
Professor Eghagha writes from the Department of English, University of Lagos.
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