Sometime in early 2021, news filtered out that Bola Ahmed Tinubu had assured the northern APC leaders that he would sell a Muslim/Muslim ticket to the Southwest and they would buy it. We later got to know that the original idea behind the Muslim/Muslim ticket was an attempt to frustrate his presidential ambition. Their thought was that he would object to a Muslim/Muslim pair and that they would insist it was the only option they had for him.
How do you tell a man whose wife is not only a Christian, but a pastor in one of the biggest Christian denominations in the country, that his presidential running mate would be a Muslim when he himself is a Muslim in a secular country like Nigeria? He knew the game plan, refused to allow it to deter him and assured them he would run with it. The culmination of such several attempts to dissuade and frustrate him out of the race led to his now viral outburst at Abeokuta- “Emilokan.”
As one group was scheming to get Tinubu off the race in APC, another group was stationed in the PDP to ensure one of their own emerges as the flag bearer of that party, (in case the recalcitrance of this “Emilokan” denies them of that party’s ticket). The emergence of Peter Obi in the Labour Party was an aftermath of his experience in the PDP. Though he has not disclosed what he encountered on his journey, Obi’s body language, despite his taciturn nature spoke volume.
Does southern Nigeria really think that a Northerner overseeing the election of Nigeria presidency will award the winning to a southerner? Whoever thinks that has obviously not followed the history of leadership races in Nigeria. It is for this general naivety and ignorance that I keep encouraging anyone who cares to, to get copies of the following books and read; Just Before Dawn by Prof Kole Omotoso and The Tale of June 12 by Prof Omo Omoruyi.
Make no mistake, there would be ongoing nocturnal meetings and scheming on how to retain power in the hands of the Fulani. How does Tinubu think an EL-Rufai will support him over Atiku? Has he forgotten that Atiku is not only EL-Rufai’s ‘brother’, but his benefactor, who more or less made El-Rufai?
Some of us are genuinely frustrated by the outright stupidity and gullibility of Southerners. When I see the sort of discussions going on in some social media pages, I can’t help but imagine how truly clueless most southerners are about the true state of the Nigerian project.
The Fulani does not want power shift to the south. Hear it again: The north will do anything to frustrate a power shift to the south. They do not care about any party. They want to see that it is transferred to another Fulani, not even to a Hausa or a Kanuri. It was for that reason Peter Obi was frustrated out of the PDP. It was for the same reason Tinubu was saddled with the baggage of a Muslim/Muslim ticket. The backlash was anticipated and they had calculated it would be a suicidal mission for him. The popularity and blossom of the Labour Party under Peter Obi was never in their calculation.
What the north has succeeded in doing is drag Yoruba and Ibo out into an election cycle, side-stepping the making of a new constitution that should have preceded any elections. They need the overwhelming participation of the Yoruba and the Ibos, the two other majority by which they can then give a semblance of fair representation in the process. They would then be able to say to the international community, “See, it was a widely and keenly contested election (may even get to a run-off). At the end, one person won, and that person happens to be a Fulani man”
If that happens, now what? How can the southern leadership live with a reality of a back-to-back Fulani rulership of Nigeria given the experience of the south and the middle belt in the hands of the Fulani over the last 7+ years? Are we not thereby helping to promote a Fulani to complete what Buhari started i.e., the domination and enslavement of the country by the Fulani?
And to think that the chief promoters of a back-to-back Fulani headship of the country are mostly southerners is mind-boggling. It is unconscionable, unbelievably shocking to see some southerners actually drumming support for an Atiku Abubakar presidency. So, Dele Momodu, Reno Omokri, the Obasekis, Dino Melaye (a Yoruba Okun from Kogi) and most disappointingly, Ifeanyi Okowa, (a supposed frontliner of the Southern Governors forum), would face their constituencies and be proud to inform them they are part of an agenda to use one Fulani to replace another Fulani? Unbelievable!
What would these southerners tell their future generations about their roles in the vanquish of the south; political expediency? Do people not have shame? Do they not think of posterity and what history will write about them? Afonja and his betrayal, which gave birth to an Ilorin Emirate over a century ago is still in our political discourse and will continue to be. Is that how these people want to be remembered?
To be continued tomorrow
• Omonua, an Officer of the Canadian Armed Forces lives in Ontario, Canada.