26 August 2016

ABIA:Police arrest 30 touts, recover 75 vehicles in Aba




Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia


Over 30 persons believed to be touts operating illegally in
different parts of Aba and its environs as agents of the Abia State
Government have been arrested and detained by officers of Aba
State Police Command.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had, in a press release, directed the Aba
Area Commander, ACP Peter Wagbara, to retrieve vehicles illegally
impounded and dumped at the premises of Abia State Fire
Service and Ministry of Works in Aba, respectively, after it was
learnt that the touts who posed as government agents
impounded vehicles and in most cases collected money without
paying such into the coffers of the government.

Ikpeazu, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr.
Enyinnaya Appolos, also directed Wagbara to immediately seal off
the premises of the Ministry of Works and the slate Fire Service
at Aba, where touts and hoodlums parading themselves as “task
force teams” used as their “offices”.

But search by our correspondent revealed that some of the illegal
and unapproved government agents had people in government
who they shared certain percentage of the money they collected
from both commercial and private motorists with on a daily
basis.

It was learnt that they (the touts and government agents) issued
fake receipts to their victims without remitting same into the
approved government account(s).

Sources within the Aba State Police Area Command said that as
at the last count while filing this report, 75 vehicles whose owners
were yet to come, identify and collect freely, according to the
directives from the state government, have been retrieved and
parked at the premises of the Aba State Area Command.

Wagbara while monitoring the execution of the state
government’s directive at the premises of the Ministry of Works,
along Aba-Ikot Ekpene expressway, confirmed the arrest of some
persons operating illegally as government agents. He also
announced the retrieval of some vehicles from the premises of
Ministry of Works and the state Fire Service office in Aba.

He urged people whose vehicles were confiscated and
impounded by the touts to come to the Aba State Area
Command of the Nigeria Police with proof of ownership. He said
they should come and carry their vehicle free of charge, as was
directed by the state government.

Thumps Up For ASA Development Union - By Don Ubani

Chief Don Ubani



I still remember vividly, with nostalgia, the cross fire that followed the infamous annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election that was widely believed to have been won by one of Nigeria's most philanthropic business moguls, late Chief M K O Abiola.

The nullification of that election, popularly referred to as 'June 12',by the then Military President, Gen Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, elicited a lot of reactions, both locally and internationally.

In one of his write-ups, an internationally acknowledged Nigerian business man and renowned captain of industry, late Chief Onwuka Kalu (Interbiz), the Okpuzu of Abiriba, wrote that 'a gunshot has been heard in the compound of the Yorubas and that natural responsibility beckoned at them not to run away but to rise up to the challenge of defending their compound'.

In fairness to the Yorubas and many other progressive minded Nigerians, that abrupt, unilateral and most undemocratic totalitarian decision of the northern military mafia was successfully fought even with their last blood.
At least, Gen Olusegun Obasanjo, who had been earmarked for death on trumped up allegation of treason, emerged from prison to become President.

For any creation God makes, He has His divine purposes.
Asa people in Abia State are a 'minority' group. God, knowing the peculiar challenges that confront the minority vis a vis their relationship with their majority neighbours, divinely endowed the people with a gift that is special and unique.

It is not by accident that Asa, which only by political administration is Ukwa-West, is the only oil-producing area in Abia State.
In 1999, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, being responsive to the pathetic plight of oil-producing areas of the Niger Delta region, initiated an Executive Bill for thirteen percent oil derivation fund to be made available for oil-producing states.

The essence of this legislation was to enable such states use the fund tackle the problems of the oil-producing areas of the state.
In the same vein, the Obasanjo administration brought about an Act creating the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The Act specifically stated that each of the nine states that constitute the Niger Delta Development Commission shall be represented on the Board of the Commission only by an indigene of that state who hails from an oil-producing area.

In Abia State, the oil company that operates as a drilling company is the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.
Milienieum Oil Company has a barely visible operational presence in the state.

Both SPDC and Milenieum are present only in Ukwa-West.
The taste of the pudding, they say, is in the eating. Who ever is in doubt of my assertion could take a trip to SPDC office in Port-Harcourt. Just for the asking, the person would be shown the electronic map of SPDC's operations in Abia State on her power point.

The NDDC Act did not state that any state in which the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, has an oil depot shall be included as a beneficiary of the Act. If that had been so, Benue, Kaduna, Lagos and any other state in which there is an oil depot would have been part of the Act.
Since President Muhammadu Buhari nominated the Chairman of All Progressives Party in Abia State, Chief Chidi Nwankpa Enyinna, as Member to represent Abia State on the Board of NDDC and many Asa personalities, including yours sincerely, drawing the attention of the President to the travesty of justice inherent in that nomination, I have received a lot of threats, just for saying the truth.

Unfortunately, those threatening me do not know that I become more encouraged and emboldened to pursue the course of truth and equity when I am threatened.

As I had stated in my first post on this subject-matter, the people of Asa have heard a gun shot in their father's compound. They shall not run but shall wisely, brilliantly, professionally and most courageously defend their collective interest and pride.

As a highly civilized people, Asa people, under the aegis of Asa Development Union, ADU, have gone to court.

We have obtained a restraining expartee order restraining the Federal Government of Nigeria from pitching itself against the law.
The hope of Asa people as a minority is strengthened in the rule of law. We believe we are in a democracy and we strongly believe that the Federal Government of Nigeria will not turn our democracy upside down by desecrating the laws of our land.

I, therefore, commend the erudite leadership of Asa Development Union led by Pastor Ngozi Onwubuko Dike, Ph.D for taking the right steps at the right time.

Don Ubani, KSC, JP
Okwubunka of Asa
Executive Director
Centre For Equity & Eradication of Rural Poverty

SILVER JUBILEE CELEBRATION :Abia Govt To Unveil Logo, Anthem .





The Abia government plans to unveil a new logo and anthem on
Saturday to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the state’s
creation.

The Deputy Chairman of the Abia State Advisory Council, Chief
Bob Ogbuagu, told newsmen in Umuahia on Thursday that the
unveiling was part of the activities lined up for the silver jubilee
celebration. Ogbuagu said that other events included an
interdenominational thanksgiving service and the conferment of
awards on distinguished Abia indigenes and friends of the state.

He declined to comment on the implications of the new logo and
anthem within the context of a corporate Nigeria, saying that
everything would be made manifest during the unveiling.

“When the logo and anthem are unveiled, you will see the content
and be able to judge whether it has any negative implication on
the corporate existence of Nigeria or not,” he said. Speaking on
the protracted governorship tussle in Abia, Ogbuagu said that the
state would have been engulfed in a conflagration if the council
did not intervene.

“We have been talking to the gladiators. The state would have
been engulfed in serious conflagration if the elders did not
intervene,’’ he said.

He appealed to those still challenging Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu’s
election in court to embrace peace and remain calm so that Abia
would move forward.

NIGERIA FATALLY SLIDING INTO ISLAMIC STATE UNDER BUHARI- NCEF




The Nigerian Christians Elders Forum (NCEF), an affiliate of the
Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), wednesday said Nigeria
was fatally sliding into an Islamic State under President
Muhammadu Buhari’s government.

The NCEF position came as a response to serial killing of
Christians in the northern part of the country in recent times. Last
week, Christian students were brutally killed and burnt in Talata
Marafa, Zamfara State, over alleged blasphemy.
The NCEF also cited the arrest of Mr. Joe Chinakwe for naming
his dog ‘Buhari’ in Ogun State as a clear case of discrimination
against Christians in the country.

According to the NCEF Chairman, Chief Solomon Asemota (SAN),
“There is a bill now pending before the National Assembly, titled:
“NGO Regulatory Bill” intended to silence non-governmental
organisations (NGOs) including the Christian Association of
Nigeria (CAN).

“It is not in dispute that Nigeria is an Islamic State contrary to
Section 10 of the constitution. What is in dispute is whether
Nigeria is ruled by mainstream Muslims or by Islamist Jihadists.
We plead with the Sultan of Sokoto to appreciate that Nigeria is
safer and more peaceful when the federal or state government
does not adopt any religion as ‘State Religion’.”

The NCEF explained that the overt dominance of the National
Security Council by members of the Muslim faith was worriesome
and expressed reservations whether Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
plays any role in the council.
“It is as a result of the understanding (or lack of it) of civilized
jihad that we are apprehensive of those in the ‘Security and
Intelligence Committee’ of the federal government by some
unexplained reasons who are mainly Muslims.

President Buhari, (Muslim), Chief of Defence Staff (Christian),
Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Minister of Defence,
Minister of Internal Affairs, Inspector General of Police (IG),
National Security Adviser (NSA), Director General of DSS are all
Muslims from the North.

“We are not too sure whether the Vice President is a member of
this committee following information that he was once excluded
from the meeting which the president called. When the vice
president summoned the same meeting in the absence of
President Buhari who was away in the United Kingdom, there was
resistance and the meeting had to end abruptly,” the Christians
elders stated.

Asemota maintained that going by the activities of the Fulani
herdsmen, it is clear that a jihad is being staged through the back
door, adding: “The atrocities committed by Fulani herdsmen such
as the number of persons killed, farmland and buildings
destroyed with other property during the same period were not
included.

“The conclusion which we, Christians, draw is that jihad is being
committed against our country especially when the cohesive
instrument of state is in the hands of three ethnic nationalities
and one religion. This enlists fear in the minds of the populace,
especially Christians.”

The group also differed with the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar
III, on the interpretation of the secular status of Nigeria, stating
that: “NCEF begs to disagree with the Sultan that Nigeria is a
multi-religious state based on the fact that the constitution which
forms the basis upon which our founding fathers agreed to live
together as a country, provided under Section 10 that ‘the
government of the federation or of a state shall not adopt any
religion as ‘State Religion’.

“Nigeria has multi-cultural and multi-religious communities, tribes,
ethnic nationalities but one nation. It is correctly assumed that in
the interest of peace and justice, the constitution in Section 10
prohibits the state from religious participation by way of
recognising one and two religions. Multi-religious country does
not fit the interpretation of Section 10 rather, it is its opposite.
“The Sultan’s interpretation, we submit, is intended to justify Islam
and Christianity as state religions until Islam dominates to
become de facto and de jure religion of Nigeria.”

On the arrest of Chinakwe, NCEF said: “If Nigeria is being run as a
secular state, Sections 10, 37, and 38 of the constitution
guarantees that the right of private and family life, right to
freedom of thought, conscience and religion should protect Joe
Chinakwe and the complainant would have been arrested but
because Nigeria is an ‘Islamic State’, Chinakwe has to face trial,
and in the process, promoting the most effective way to get rid
of critics which is to instill fear in ordinary Nigerians. One wonders
if the dog had been named Gowon or Jonathan would there have
been any furore about the matter.”

The Christian leaders also queried the short change of the Niger-
Delta in oil revenue since the discovery of oil in Nigeria, stressing
that it has been shown that out of N96.212 trillion crude oil
earnings, only N12.3 trillion was paid to the oil producing areas
as derivation.

Had 50 per cent derivation as obtained before 1966 applied, the
Niger Delta would have earned N48.106 trillion.

“The fears of ‘Christian’ in the Niger Delta is that the region may
be abandoned to its fate by an Islamist federal government, after
all, ‘all land in Nigeria has been bequeathed to the Islamists by
Allah and therefore, reserves’ the right to abandon same as the
British,” they observed.

BUHARI AND DSS REPLICATE “THE HUNGER GAMES“ IN BIAFRALAND

IPOB Press Statement



Muhammadu Buhari and agents of the Department of States
Services (DSS) will make Suzanne Collins and Gary Ross go green
with envy as they (Buhari and DSS) replicate “The Hunger Games“
in Biafraland by sponsoring hungry and jobless hirelings to pose
as members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

 The latest session in Buhari’s “Hunger Games“ is the sponsoring of
nondescript individuals and even using non-existent names to
come up with acronyms that have “Biafra“ in them. Within the last
24 hours Buhari has sponsored three different groups all claiming
headship or ownership of IPOB. One of the groups even boasted
that they have sacked the leader of IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
This is becoming comical and ludicrous. Buhari and DSS have
descended so low that they now take advantage of jobless
youths and engage them in “Hunger Games.“

The incompetence of Buhari and his vindictive motive culminated
into the ravaging hunger in the land and economic quagmire
persisting in the British criminality called Nigeria. From the time
he committed treason on 31st December 1983 till date, Buhari
has never had any personal development or intellectual
improvement of any sort. Yet he wants to lead a quintessentially
complex society like Nigeria especially in the 21st century where
leadership and organizational agility is the key tool for
comparative advantage. No wonder there is mass poverty
pervading the land while Buhari is docile and engages in shadow-
boxing and shadow-chasing.

Because there is hunger in Nigeria and there is no shortage of
hungry and jobless youths enough to do anything, Buhari requires
them to do his bidding especially in experimenting in “Hunger
Games“ in Biafraland. In a country where a woman cannot cook a
pot of soup without deploying a security guard, getting riff-raffs
to sign up to anything doesn't require much effort. That is why
we have miscreants today claiming to have sacked the leader of
IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.

On the other hand, we have been reliably informed that the reason
for this “one new IPOB fake group per day“ is to cause distraction
from the natural public outcry and possible reprisals that will
follow the Buhari/DSS planned slaughter of Biafrans at Enugu. We
have confirmed that the slaughter was meant to happen on
Tuesday night (August 23rd, 2016) so they fed Vanguard
Newspaper the usual garbage about IPOB split so people will be
distracted as the slaughter will go unnoticed. Because IPOB is a
huge newsmaker people will be drawn away from the slaughter to
focus on IPOB.

When the slaughter failed to materialize on the appointed day but
rather happened on Wednesday (August 24th, 2016), Buhari and
DSS cooked up another split of IPOB to keep the gullible public
entertained and it actually worked because people never
discussed or reacted to the massacre but rather dwelt on the
reigning topic everywhere which was all about IPOB split.

Although this will be our last official response to these hungry
nonentities associating themselves with IPOB, we hereby urge the
public to ignore these poor and wretched souls who have been
engaged by Buhari and the DSS as major actors in “The Hunger
Games“ being staged in Biafraland.

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the leadership of
Nnamdi Kanu is intact and shall continue to be intact till Biafra is
restored and beyond.


Signed:

Barrister Emma Nmezu
Dr. Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya
Spokespersons for IPOB

More photos from Olakunbi Oyelese & Lanre Tomori's Traditional Wedding

 Fashion Designer Olakunbi Oyelese and her man, Lanre Tomori had their traditional wedding in Ibadan, Oyo state, Thursday August 25. Gbemi Olateru-Olagbeji, Toke Makinwa, Mai Atafo and others attended the ceremony. More photos after the cut.

20 foreign shipping companies leave Nigeria over low business, 3000k workers left jobless

20 foreign shipping companies operating in Nigeria have reportedly left the country, leaving over 3000 of their staff unemployed. According to the President of the Dockworkers Union of Nigeria (DUN), Anthony Emmanuel Nted, the Federal government's importation policy is largely responsible for the closure of some of the shipping businesses.

The Federal government have put a ban on the importation of some commodities as part of efforts to revive the economy.

Nigeria, biggest climber on FIBA Rankings





THE national men’s basketball team, the D’Tigers may not
have qualified for the quarter-finals at the just concluded
2016 Olympic Games in Brazil but they have emerged better
than they were before the Games as figures released by the
sport’s world governing body, FIBA show.

According to the monthly ranking just released by FIBA,
Nigeria emerged the biggest climbers on the ranking from
25th before the Games to 16th now, just below Venezuela,
another country that improved tremendously on the table to
15 from their previous 22.

By this Ranking, Nigeria is now the highest ranked African
team, overtaking perpetual rivals Angola who incidentally also
fell to the D’Tigers at last year’s Afrobasket in Tunisia while
Tunisia who were however, not at the Olympics also gained
two steps to now occupy the 21st position from 23rd,
ahead of Angola who fell 8 steps from 15th to 23rd.

After Nigeria and Venezuela who were the biggest climbers,
Serbia who lost the Olympic gold to the USA also climbed
three spots from 6th to 3rd while Brazil gained two steps to
now occupy the 7th spot.

The USA remain top of the Ranking and are followed by
Spain, semi final losers at the Olympics. Serbia, France,
Lithuania, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Russia and Australia
make up the top 10 countries in that order.

Vanguard

DELTA, Rolling Out The Drums At 25- By Collings Agwam



By Collins Agwam

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under
the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and
a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time
to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep,
and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance”.

Going by the forgone biblical quotation of Ecclesiastes 3: 1 - 4, there was truly a time of planting in the old Bendel State, when the then
Head of State, General Ibrahim Gbadamosi Babangida conceived the creation of Delta state on August 27, 1991 with its capital in Asaba.

This, the then federal government, did to bring development to all
nooks and crannies of the the old Bendel state and to ensure equality
and equity in the distribution of the state resources.

Since its creation, Delta state has been blessed with an array of
great leaders who were  military administrators and others, civilian
governors at different point in time, in the history of the state.

These great men, who have contributed immensely to the creation and development of the state are; Captain Luke Chijiuba Ochulor who was the pioneer military administrator from August 1991 to January 1992, Late Felix Ibru who was the first civilian governor of the state, from
January 1992 to November 1993, Compol Abdulkadir Shehu who served as acting administrator between November 1993 to December 1993.

Others are Bassey Asuquo who served as administrator from December 1993 to September 1994,  Capt. Ibrahim kefas who served as administrator  between September 1994 to August 1996, Late Col. John Dung who served between August 1996 to August 1998 and Navy Capt.
Walter Feghabo who served between August 1998 to May 1999.

With the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, Delta state, has been blessed with another set of democratic leaders who have brought great transformation to the state, which have made it become the cynosure of all
eyes.

These democratic leaders of the state includes Chief James Onanefe Ibori, who ruled between May 1999 to May 2007,  Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, who governed between
May 2007 to May 2015 and Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa who is the incumbent governor of the state.

Just like his successors contributed to the development of the state,
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has in just one year of his administration in
the state, transformed the state beyond imaginable possibilities.

His giant strides in the state, which are: the construction of roads,
building of hospitals, empowering the unemployed, reforming the health and educational sector, and a host of other developmental projects scattered across the 25 Local Government Areas of the state.

It is in view of these great works, that it is no coincidence to me,
that the celebration of the silver jubilee is coming during his reign
as the governor of the state, as his works postulates that he is a
divine messenger to the state.

Commenting on the celebration, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said, “twenty years ago, many of us were young men and women confronted with the normal adjustments of defining our place within the dictates of time and space”.

“ As a state created 25 years ago, our leaders and indeed, all Deltans, were full of high hopes, expectations and the determination
to build a state of unity in diversity.

“ Twenty five years after the creation of our state, we have cause to celebrate our existence as a state, believing that there is sure but
steady progression towards the upliftment of human dignity and
socio-economic development”, the governor added.

However, while rolling out the activities to mark the silver jubilee
of the state, the state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, who is also the Chairman of Publicity sub-committee for the ceremony, in a statement, disclosed that the week-long activities will begin with a children’s party to be hosted by the wife of the state Governor and Founder, 05 Initiative, Dame Edith Okowa, on Wednesday August 24, 2016 at The Event Centre, Asaba, by 10 am.

He added that it will be followed by a Cultural Parade on Thursday
25th August, 2016 at the Cenotaph, Asaba.

“The high point of the celebration will be the Delta State Economic
and Investment Summit scheduled to hold on Friday 26th and Saturday
27th August 2016 at the Event Centre, Asaba, from 9:00am each day”, Ukah said.

He also disclosed that, a Grand Gala and Awards Night will also take place on Saturday 27th August 2016 at Event Centre, Asaba, by 5:00pm.

According to the statement, the milestone celebration will be
concluded with a thanksgiving service at St. Phillip's Anglican
Church, West End, Asaba, on Sunday 28th August 2016 by 10:00am.

After many years of hustling and bustling by our past and present leaders to keep the state afloat in success, it won’t be out of place to buy into the bible injunction of” a time to dance”. Indeed! There is a
course to roll out the drums for celebration. HAPPY SILVER JUBILEE DELTANS, THE SEASON IS NOW!

  Collins Agwam is a Public Affairs Commentator and a Political Analyst.
  He can be reached via  agwamcollins@gmail.com

For Nigeria, Knocking On Heaven’s Doors by Demola Rewaju




In the aftermath of the loss of Goodluck Jonathan, my
pain as one who had supported him stemmed not from
the feeling of a personal loss but anger that he had
seemed to assume that his mandate was a personal one
that nobody had a right to feel more angered by than
himself.

I saw this as selfish – his occupancy of the position of
President was not just about him. It was about his wife
who had stood by him for years faithfully, who had fought
battles in defence of the man whom she had always loved
and who even if he was just still a lecturer at the
university, she would still love as much as she did when
he was President.

It was about a political party, used to having its way at
elections with the sheer strength of state machinery –
men who are now hounded into exile, into jails and into
silence by their political foes.

It was about a people – those of the Niger-Delta who had
waged battles against the Nigerian State ever since the
discovery of oil led their environment into degradation and
who had contributed sons like Isaac Adaka Boro who died
while fighting the civil war against Biafra and Ken Saro-
Wiwa. It was about the peoples of the north in a way – for
whom those years of power-holding had not yielded
anything but a certain feeling of superiority with nothing to
show for it in improved living standards or education other
than that their kinsman was in power.



That election was beyond the person of Jonathan. His
was the culmination of years and years of battle against
an old Northern establishment that has laid claim to power
as a birthright since the departure of the colonialists.

As certain realities on which some of us warned now come
into play, it feels again like a call to the trenches that our
fathers once stood in and did battle that old enemy. It is
unfortunately a battle that robs even the victor of a bit of
himself.

“Lord, take these guns away from me/Cos I can’t shoot
them anymore” – these lines from Dolly Parton’s version of
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door came to mind and stirred my
muse – a battle has to be fought but it is not one we will
relish fighting.

I came to know Awolowo through the writings of Chief
Bola Ige but both men for me were Yoruba Leaders – with
the latter being a bit more nationalistic than the former. I
preferred Zik whom I always thought was a lot like Ige – in
oratory prowess, in leapfrog thinking and in writing.

Themore I grew in political enlightenment, the more I
appreciated Awolowo and how he came to become a
sectional leader. Awolowo fought with all his might against
a northern establishment that was patterned on the ideals
of Feudalism. Northern minorities were either loyal to the
Fulani aristocracy or were dealt with ruthlessly. Awolowo
fought valiantly against this – forming alliances with
Joseph Tarka from Benue and several others. Campaigning
heavily in northern territory in his quest to become
President of Nigeria, promising free education and a more
equitable form of government.

 But Ahmadu Bello could not understand why everyone wouldn’t just stick to their ownterritorial base and let others advance at their own pace.
For Ahmadu Bello, the title Sardauna of Sokoto was more
valued than being Prime Minister.

By 1979, advances had been made – Shehu Shagari was
not your feudal lord neither did he have blatant religious
ideals. With inroads from the likes of Abubakar Rimi and
Balarabe Musa who brought populist/progressive ideals to
the north, the glass ceiling was cracking – politicians from
the south and the north seemed to have found enough
common ground to be able to sit at the same table as
equals..even if corruption was one of the unifying factors.



Until the Coup of 1983.



The country returned to another era of ethnocentricism that
would culminate in the death of a democratically elected
MKO Abiola. The same men who had managed to forge
the old alliance of balance had grouped together under
G-34 as northern leaders finally decided to join in the push
against dictatorship – Abacha had become a threat not
only to the Kudirats, Suliats, Rewanes and Obasanjos of
the South, but also to the Yar’Aduas and Dasukis of the
North.

And so it was that after 16 years of military rule, Olusegun
Obasanjo, a compromise candidate, liked more by those
outside his own tribe than by those within (Bola Ige, his
good friend, was an exception), became the President.

The North dared him on Sharia and though Uncle Bola
huffed and puffed, Obasanjo was never going to let
himself be drawn into a battle with that northern
establishment that had brutally hacked down many of its
own for showing weakness. Having agreed (like Jonathan
would) to be President for only one term, Obasanjo
managed to beat the north at its own game of power by
promoting many northerners as his likely successors and
earning their support for his second term.

With one final move in 2007, Obasanjo placated the
northern establishment and the Yar’Adua political family
while also placating the Niger-Delta. But fate stepped in
and the Niger-Deltan became President…breaking the back
of an establishment that felt it was Born To Rule.

Fate may bring you into position but only self can grow
you into a position – Goodluck Jonathan failed to grow
into the Presidency and an alliance of the oldest surviving
and newest over-reaching power brokers saw him out. At
the arrowhead of that alliance was a familiar figure from
the December 1983 coup.

So we are here again: having to explain to compatriots
why organs of state should protect freedom of expression
rather than prevent me from giving my dog a bad name
because someone may feel offended. Having to watch as
the entire security machinery, both of force and
intelligence, military and espionage is concentrated in the
hands of people from the same section of a country, in a
multi-ethnic state. Fulani herdsmen now seem to be a law
to themselves – while the state by its silence continues to
encourage them. A bill to establish grazing routes or
ranches all over the country for their benefit is being
considered.

To be fair, I note with joy, admiration and respect, a few
northern voices continue to call out the present regime of
Ethnocentrism for what it is – the First Lady of one core
Northern state tries valiantly to explain to me that some
things are no longer just possible. From seeds like these
must the oak of nationhood grow.

And last night, presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu
gave another inkling into the thinking of Aso Rock. Try if
you can, to first ignore the information that our President’s
first page of visit in the daily newspapers is the cartoon
section which provokes a good laugh. Then think more to
see that he just doesn’t get it.

He doesn’t get that the ethnic region a President comes
from in Nigeria feels a greater sense of entitlement to the
use of state power, unless a clear and consistent signal
from the President himself is sent to them. He doesn’t get
it that other ethnic regions feel at the mercy of the ethnic
region in power unless a President takes steps towards
Inclusive Governance. I’ve once watched Mr. President on
national television at a national event hosted in the north
end his written-in-English speech with several minutes of
speaking in Hausa…not a big deal for many but such
instances reinforce certain feelings of dominance and
inferiority in different ethnic groups.

I refuse most days to dignify such discussions with any
form of attention, so long as sane voices continue to
speak against Ethnocentrism. I do not want to fight the
same battles that our political fathers fought – that why I
readily understood the significance of those lines from that
song – that’s why this is a knock on heaven’s door.

Demola Olarewaju is a Political Analyst and Strategist as
well as a member of the PDP. He tweets from
@DemolaRewaju