This concluding part of our treatise on selective king-making in Nigeria starts by saying that nepotism and the ‘Aruna’ factor are some of the reasons given by both the first Nigerian coup plotters led by Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and Biafran secessionist attempt led by Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu for their actions.
But things have gone worst thereafter, transforming quietly to what Nigerians and the international community bemoan as a religious cleansing.
The hitherto concealed, but now obvious religious cleansing in Nigeria has trickled down from the leadership and metamorphosed to selective application of justice by some Muslims in some Nigerian communities.
I have at my disposal, many eye-witness accounts of cases in Northern Nigeria, including the community where I live, where automatic extra-judicial death sentence by lynching is given to non-Muslim miscreants when, as first offenders, they steal such minor things as N500, yet their fellow comrades-in-crime who are Muslims are handed over to the police for appropriate action even when such Muslim offenders known to be hardened criminals in the neighborhood as well as multiple-time offenders use cutlasses and battle axes to rub their victims of huge sums of money and properties.
The Nigerian ‘Aruna’ factor in political king-making has made it impossible for a Christian to ascend the exalted office of the President of Nigeria, except, of course, by an accident as happened respectively for both the Obasanjo and Jonathan Presidencies.
Recall that to pacify the Yoruba ethnic nationality for the annulment of the Presidential election won by one of their own who later died in prison custody, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was brought out from prison custody and assisted, through a consensus of opinion by the military hierarchy and the Nigerian political elites, with the tacit approval and support of the northern political king-makers, to become the president of Nigeria.
As for the Jonathan presidency, but for the sudden and untimely death of Musa Yar’adua, another technocrat and the only one so far from the north being evidently the most detribalized northern Muslim president of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan would have had no chance to ascend the presidency. This much was expressed by the political king-makers who seemed to have questioned the omnipotence of God, when, to the utmost surprise of Nigerians and the international community, they attempted to frustrate and subvert the clearly-defined provisions of the Nigerian constitution which stipulates that a substantive Vice President should be duly sworn in as the President on the demise of the President. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as Amended states exactly the maximum period a Vice President in the acting capacity as a President will operate within which period he must be sworn in as the President. As a matter of fact, he could be sworn in immediately as soon as the President is confirmed dead by a competent pathologist, as the same constitution disallows any vacuum in governance.
To the ‘Aruna’ exponents, not even death, not less the constitution has any meaning, as long as they are in power. This is the reason why all coup d’etats in Nigeria not plotted or supported by them, no matter how cogent the reasons maybe, have failed including the Chukwuma Kaduna-led, and Gideon Orkar-led Coups.
Remember that the first thing they immediately after seizing power is to suspend the constitution and smoothen with Militarydecrees, any areas they feel maybe uncomfortable for their future efforts at conquest.
The ‘Aruna’ factor has become so obvious to the hundreds of other religious faiths and belief systemsin Nigeria so much so that it is one strong reason which will guarantee the disintegration of Nigeria if the northern politician king-makers insist on maintaining the status quo and the other ethnic nationalitieswhich are predominantlyChristians decide that they can take no more.
On the basis of these historical accounts,the use-and-dump treatment and the frustration that Chief Awolowo experienced because he wouldnot had been trusted enough as a president by the king-makers was exactly the same treatment meted to Chief Abiola in his bid to the Nigerian presidency. I had discussed the various assistance which Chief Abiola rendered to the kingmakers in his long preparation to become the president of Nigeria in part I of the work titled “June 12 2020 Revelation and the Journey of Nigeria to Nationhood” which was published in the Kaleidoscope. I also enumerated Chief Awolowo’s assistance to the king-makers in Part I of this work, in his effort to become the president of Nigeria.
My view is that this legendarypattern of use-and-dump applied to both Awolowo and Abiola maynot be different with the high-flying Jagaban, the Asiwaju, who seem to be the present pawn in the northern politician chessboard.
Though a Muslim, the Asiwaju may be considered by the king-makers as an ‘Aruna’ wherefore he may not be trusted enough to be the president of Nigeria, by the king-makers.
This is more so especially as the Yorubas are generally known to be liberal and easy-going Muslims with the possibility of same family sharing the Christian, the Islamic and theIfa (Orunmilla) religious faiths without qualms.
Another major obstacle to the presidential ambition of the Asiwaju in 2023 is that unlike Chief Awolowo and Chief Abiola who were much beloved by the Yorubas, the Asiwaju who is seen in some quarters as a political stooge of the Northern political king-makers is not visibly known to have contributed to the development of human resources of the Yoruba ethnic nationality as Chief Awolowo did with his free education in the old western region, and as Chief Abiola also did in contributing to the emergence of a new generation of nouve-rich in the Yoruba kingdom.
Additionally, to his credit or discredit, the Asiwaju is known to own large expanse of real estate in choice locations around the world and vast investments spread across the world’s most lucrative industries in blue chip companies. The Asiwaju also has the collateral damage done to his reputation by the story of the bullion vans stashed with cash and his sarcastic response to journalists when he was asked of the source of the money.
A condition of topsy-turvy and systems failure characterize the present state of the county,courtesy of the ‘Aruna’factor and its negative implications.
What Nigeria presently understand as improved standard of living and infrastructural development as always claimed by government are chains of propaganda sponsored by government and churned out by the ministry and government agency bedeviled with theignoble job of marketing an inept, corrupt, confused and failed government.
Naira has gone down to an all-time low in Nigeria, being the weakest currency now in Africa.
In one of my numerous foreign tripsoverseas in my yearsas a young businessman in theseventies and eighties, I obtained $3,040 from my banker, Afribank, IBWA (International Bank for West Africa)with my Central Bank of Nigeria-approved BTA (Business Trade Allowance) of N 2,000. This particular transaction happened in 1981, amongst so many, many others, when, with happiness French ShopAssistants who had great respect for the ‘green passport’ will offer me ‘tea or coffee?’as a Nigerian businessman as soon as I enter their shops. I exchanged that money for better value in French Francs at the headquarters of my banker, Banque Internationalepour l’Afrique Occidantale located at 7 Avenue d’Messine where I maintained a well-earned fat bank account in French Franc and dollar.
Today, the naira equivalent of $3, 040 at N 480 per dollar is awhooping N 1,459,200.
It is the dilemma of intelligent and hardworking Nigerians to be governed by a bunch of mediocres whose little or no knowledge spiced with a certain genetic myopia that flows through their veins, leave Nigerians with a Hobson’s choice as Nigeria has quietly slipped down to the unenviable state of a Hobbesian country where people make do with what is offered by the mediocre rather than loose out entirely as no other alternative exists.
Sometimes, I will look at myself and wonder if I am still living in the same life, and this is especially worrisome because I am not yet veryold as not to recognize the difference in sudden change of status as a result of government-inspired mass drift of Nigerians to poverty.
It is unimaginable, and this type of degeneracy has never happened anywhere before in the world that N 1,459,200 in 2020 is equivalent to N2,000 of 1981 in the same country. Economist should please tell me the real implications, both social and economic, of a 99.87% decrease in the standard of life of Nigerians over a period of 39 years, because N2,000 is actually approximately 0.13% of N 1,459,200.
I declare here that all the figures the government in Nigeria have churned out over this period of 39 years signifying any type of economic growth, cannot be true because these figures can never, never be sustained from the realistic truth of the real, actual and almost worthless value of the naira which constitutes the benchmark and empirical measure of the GDP(Gross Domestic Product) and the PCI (Per Capita Income) both of which determine the strength of the economy and the welfare of individuals, respectively. I am not an economist, yet I understand little of economics to know that economics laws can not apply and be tenable unless they efficiently operate in human environments.
For the avoidance of doubt, I am an ardent believer and promoter of a controlled combination of monetarist and fiscal policies tailored to suit the needs of developing economies like Nigeria. The emphasis should be more on monetarism because monetarism is a most veritable way to create wealth in a developing economy, maintain a strong economic base with a controlled interest rate regime, which will promote cottage industries, check inflation, create employments and improve the welfare of the people. The U.S.A (United States of American) employs a certain combination of these two policies that the dollar-worth in government subsidy on a cow that produces milk for Americans is more than the PCI of a Nigerian.
Any economic policy that allows its monetary asset to saunter with the vagaries of external market forces is bound not to increase internal wealth, and this is a vicarious condition and most dangerous in developing economies with abysmally low levels as GDP and PCI.
The economics of Nigerian government are tales from the fairyland, no wonder Nigerians have been reduced to walking ghosts by poverty and penury.
Nigerians youths should wake up from their slumber and support efforts to a peaceful change of the system because nothing shall remain of this country for them to live on in the next few years, if nothing is done now. Worst still, they may lose their freedom to western Europe and Sino-Asian countries who will ambush them to collect the debt owed them by Nigeria.
Nigerians have been dangerously impoverished, dehumanized, and now are being killed in their thousands by sponsored armed men, and Nigerians are still dilly-dallying,not working towards the option of pathing ways before what happened in Turkey, the ancestral home of St Paul of Tarsus, repeats itself in Nigeria.
The reason imperialist market forces emphasis and encourage currency devaluation as a system to balance an unnecessary, ‘unbalanceable’, and unequal scale of the developing economies markets with those of the developed economies is because it is the quickest and easiest way to impoverish and permanently put those developing economies on the edge and solely dependent on external comfort ( multi-lateral loans, unilateral loans, and other capital assets properly tied with apron strings) for their economic survival.
In an eight-part series, an in-depth research I did on Nigeria which I dedicated to her on 59 Independence Day, titled, “Nigeria at 59: Analysis and Commentary on her Underdevelopment”, (part one of which was published in The Authority Newspapers in 2019), I identified four remote factors and another four immediate factors as being responsible for the socio-political and economic underdevelopment of the country.
In that work, I mentioned the IMF-induced Structural Adjustment Program (S.A.P) of the IBB government as the third immediate precipitating factor responsible for the socio-political and economic strangulation of Nigeria. It is my opinion that Nigeria would have survived the other seven abuses on her, overtime, if she was saved the S.A.P. onslought.
In another previous work some twenty-seven years ago, I had warned that IBB, who was allowed to remain in power by the ‘Aruna’ proponents because the Buhari/Idiagbon government shocked them and clipped their corrupt enrichment activities, was experimenting with Nigeria and Nigerians with his ‘political engineering’ governing philosophy.
In that work, I wrote, inter alia, “The concept of political engineering in Nigeria more than being a process of trial and error in governance, casts doubt to the very idea of professionalism, and the need to learn one’s trade before one practices. It also reduced Nigeria into a political workshop with Nigerians and all possible national institutions as equipment” (‘Swan-Song of Unity” Reflection Column, The Guardian on Sunday, October 10, 1993 paragraph 2).
S.A.P. and the consequent destruction of Nigeria’s economy is the price Nigerians paid for IBB experiments obviously because he came into power either without a clear economic agenda, naivety, greed or all of the three, which made him succumbed to the imperialist influence of the International Monetary Fund (I.M.F).
Though people, especially his close associates flaunt IBB’s presidency as having achieved several milestones in infrastructural development, history will record that the actual slide of Nigerians to abject, beyond-the-Rubicon poverty, started with the Structural Adjustment Program. WithS.A.P., the naira, in one swoop, took an unprecedented plunge as prices of products in Nigerian markets plummeted.
IBB’s government actually traded the welfare and life of Nigerians with the provision of infrastructure, most of which are now lying comatose around the country. What could be the underlying reasons behind the weird choice of selling off Nigeria and Nigerians? Most probably, Nigeria under the IBB government was a victim of the economic hitmen sent across the countries of the world by the international business jackals of the |World Bank, and other international creditor organizations including the London and Paris clubs of creditors.
Nigerians should read the book, “Confessions of An Economic Hitman” By: John Perkins. I went beyond reading the book and watched the interview granted to the Thom Hartmann Show, a well-respected American international business and political review television channel, during the launch of Mr. Perkins new book, titled “New Confessions of An Economic Hitman” (a book that discusses the clandestine activities of economic hitmen in America and the more developed countries).
After watching and listening to that interview, I was convinced that the government led by IBB, both in inexperience, naivety, and greed (which three qualities are the usual toga of military governments around the world) fitted in very well inMr.Perkins description of the type of African and third world governments that will normally play ball with the economic hitmen.
General Sani Abacha did well in stabilizing the Nigerian economy. Though he had his weaknesses for which reason he and Chief Abiola became victims of the covert application of decapitation to put a quick end to an internal war and possible class suicide within Nigeria political class, General Sani Abacha exhibited strong political will and displayed fiscal independence and control in his management of the Nigerian economy. But for his extreme despotic characteristic and insatiable, consuming appetite for corrupt enrichment, (the later misdemeanor being noticeable, may be, because he was not smart enough to hide his loot in foreign investments through proxies like his compatriots), General Sani Abacha, if he was allowed to stay longer, would have stabilized the Nigerian economy and rid her of some of her human political wastes who presently constitute clogs in the wheel of progress of the country.
I understand General Sani Abacha as a man, the catalyst, who would have played a similar role in Nigeria as Napoleon |Bonaparte of Ancient Regime France played in the French revolution.
The French revolution which Napoléon Bonaparte initiated and assiduously pursued eventually landed him to exile in Helsinki after he had cleansed France of her long-accumulated rot, leaving France ready for integration into modern economic civilization.
General Sani Abacha, if he was a benevolent dictator like Napoleon Bonaparte of France, and Mustafa Kemal (Atartuk), the father of modern Tukey, (who perfected Turkey after the long reign and grip by the Otto-man dynasty) would have cleansed the augean stable of the Nigerian political landscape and be remembered in history as Napoleon Bonaparte, of having gone with his revolution.
In summary, the ‘Aruna’ factor in Nigeria and other conditions that preceded the declaration of Biafra by Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu are still very much around in Nigeria, fifty clear years down the line after the and war.
More than ever before, these conditions exist today with impunity, having engulfed not only the Igbos but also other ethnic nationalities of Nigeria, including the Middle Beltans and the indigenous Hausa natives and other inhabitants of Northern Nigeria who are just rediscovering themselves.
In his first visit to the Ogoni Kingdom many years after the civil war when he was granted amnesty by the NPN (National Party of Nigeria) government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu gave a terse, one-sentence message when he was called to deliver his speech as the Guest Speaker in a town hall meeting at Ogoni land.
In a late afternoon and almost before dusk, after the numerous and elaborate eulogies by the MC (Master of Ceremony) on the need to listen to the important personality who will mount the rostrum to address the teeming crowd, Dim got up, moved to the rostrum, and greeted, ‘Good morning, Ogoni people’, he got back to his chair, and sat down.
Some people in the gathering thought that the man was confused, while others expected him to go back to the rostrum and say more. But the man simply sat down there calmly, and unperturbed.
To bridge the disquieting silence, the MC quickly picked up the mic (Microphone) and pleaded to the audience that the man was tired and really had nothing to say. But Dim was neither famished nor physically worn out. He had already said everything.
Dim’s invitation by the Ogoni people to address them as they articulated their challenges was an unexpected irony, and he made sure that he wrapped it up in wry and wicked humor.
Dim was actually referring to the concerted efforts of Ken Saro Wiwa and some prominent South South traditional rulers who, tele-guided by the Northern political elites, the ‘Aruna’ exponents, botched the strategies of Biafra to enlist the support of the then newly created Rivers State under the military government of Diette Spiff when the Eastern Region was hurriedly balkanized to checkmate the strength of the region in the looming civil war. Saro Wiwa, a young commissioner from Ogoni land was a vocal member of the states military administration under Col. Diette Spiff.
By the tune the Ogoni people invited Dim after they had experienced the king-makers wrath and cruelty first-hand (the kingmakers plotted and executed Ken Saro Wiwa for campaigning and championing for own control of crude oil resources in the South South) to seek his counsel, Dim felt that though it had well passed the dawn, it was still their ‘morning’.
But beyond this opinion of heralding the dawn for most of the Nigerian ethnic nationalities as compared to the Igbos who long discovered the injustice in Nigeria, I must admit that the structure and nature of the abuse of Nigeria and Nigerians by the ‘Aruna’ political king-makers have magnified and is exhibited with impunity as the years rolled by, and the other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria seem to be discovering what the council of Igbo Chiefs, the Igbo intelligentsia and businessmen of the sixties, with foresight, found out more than fifty years ago, before they asked Ojukwu to declare the Republic of Biafra. My recognition and sympathy for this sudden, gradual, but general awareness in the fraternal spirit of the biblical injunction,“shall we continue in sin that grace may abound” is the reason why I am playing the waiting game in giving my approval and support to both MASSOB and IPOB, though they surely have cogent reasons for their campaign.
As an Eastern I am also tensed because If Biafra and Northern Nigeria were to swap places, Nigeria would have been torn to shreds if the North were not allowed to achieve their self-rule objective.
Being our brothers keepers, and in considering this latest development in general awareness of the excesses of those who usurped the function of political king-making from hundreds of millions of Nigerians, two questions come to my mind:
1. What will happen to Nigeria if consecutive central governments insist that the present status of nepotism and selective king-making of their own or their stooges in the country should not give way for a Sovereign National Conference (S.N.C), or a Referendum?
2. What will happen to other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria who are now justified as events have revealed, to say that they are marginalized, if Biafra who is already championing the move, succeeds to pull out of the Nigerian union?
A probable answer has earlier been given in this work for the first question. As for the second question the answer to which will terminate my waiting period to give my approval and support to both MASSOB and the IPOB campaign, I, most sincerely and honestly think that individual answers must be provided quickly by those indigenous ethnic nationalities who feel that they presently suffer marginalization in Nigeria.
He that wears the shoe and knows where it pinches him should know when and how to put off the shoe.
BY ABUCH OBIORA
ABUCHI OBIORA can be reached through email@example.com
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