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*Nigeria: Why Some Northern Political Leaders Fear Jonathan
( Article submitted April 5, 2011 )
By Kali Gwegwe
For the very first time in many decades, northern political leaders were told the home truth. This was made by no smaller a personality than the Sultan of Sokoto himself, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Saàd Abubakar. He was of the strong opinion that northern political leaders have failed the north; pointing out that the late premier of northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, “sacrificed his life for the North and Nigeria in the pursuit of the ideals which bind us together as a nation.” He was therefore forced to ask his northern brother this direct question: “...what has happened to Sardauna’s cherished legacy of unity in diversity and being your own brother’s keeper?”
In the Sultan's opinion, hatred has taken over the place of love while violence has become very fashionable. The same sentiments have been raised by youths from the northern part of the country. Under the leadership of Mallam Ibrahim Waiya, the Northern Youth Assembly blamed political leaders from the north for being responsible for the sad tale of underdevelopment and widespread poverty in the region. Since assuming the presidency about nine months ago, President Goodluck Jonathan has made concerted efforts to reform the nation's social, political, and economic sectors.
Unfortunately, many individuals and organisations have hidden under different platforms to sabotage these noble efforts. The opposition of Jonathan's candidature even after the PDP primaries is one of the efforts aimed at salvaging the north from the claws of a few but powerful cliques that has for centuries thrived on the ignorance of the masses. One can clearly see the influence of Robert Greene and Joost Elffers' "48 Laws of Power" in the way and manner northern political leaders have related with the masses. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria (2010 - present)
In the book, law 11 states that, "To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you." The ongoing reforms will put an end to all of these and the apostles of "48 Laws of Power" in the north are not comfortable with this emerging trend. Fearing that their foundation would be unearthed, they resorted to hiding behind all sort of banners to derail the good intentions of the president.
Education is a foundational effort to fight ignorance and poverty. President Jonathan appreciates this fact and decided to liberate the Almijiris with a special educational programme aimed at improving literacy in the north. In order to reduce poverty in the region, the president also approved the release of about N30b to bail-out the textile industry based mostly in the north. A similar fiscal policy has been extended to the leather sector also in the north. The lower Niger is being dredged to stimulate massive economic activities in the north. President Jonathan has also directed that oil and gas exploration activities be intensified in the north.
This is aimed at increasing the nation's foreign exchange earnings and also indirectly improve the federation account allocations to mineral-producing states in the north. Furthermore, President Jonathan has sent an executive bill to the National Assembly seeking to establish a Hydro-Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPADEC) to cater for the needs of the host communities of Nigeria’s hydro power plants just like the NDDC is doing for the oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region. With all the above and other noble efforts of the president in mind, it will be safe for one to argue that Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is more Hausa/Fulani than the immediate past and present generation of northern political leaders. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing some major cities, including the Federal capital (Abuja or FCT)
He has shown enough will to liberate the north from social, political, and economic bondage. It will be rewarding therefore for the north to support his presidential ambition. Unknown to many, one of the strongest reason why a section of northern political leaders are against Jonathan's candidature is the latter’s choice of Architect Namadi Sambo as vice president. Right from the onset, Sambo has shown that he is not prepared to promote the "old order" in the north.
Groups like the NPLF would have preferred a northern vice president that will be in Aso Rock to pursue the interests of a few northern elitist "old brigades." The average northerner is now wise enough to read the hand writing on the wall and has decided to jettison the “old order” that has confined them to the dustbins of their few selfish elites in the corridors of power.
This is a new Nigeria. This is the reason why most northerners are singing, “I am Goodluck Jonathan. I was not born rich. If he can make it, I too can!”
Kali Gwegwe (CEO, Nigeria Democracy Watchtower 2) writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org ( 0806 407 4810 )
*Tags: Nigerians, Northern, Africans, Goodluck, Jonathan, Political, Politics, Leadership, Masterweb
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