October 4, 2022
News Politics Uncategorized

A letter to Bola Tinubu and Orji Uzor Kalu on politics (1) – New Telegraph Newspaper

  • October 29, 2021
  • 8 min read
A letter to Bola Tinubu and Orji Uzor Kalu on politics (1) – New Telegraph Newspaper

This letter to Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the Jagaban Borgu and Senator Orji Kalu is deliberate and for a purpose. The purpose of this letter is to appeal to the current generation of Nigerian politicians which is the third generation after the first generation that spanned the colonial and post-independence era that dovetailed to the second generation of politician of politicians that spanned military and postmilitary interregnum that ended in 1983. The third generation of Nigerian politicians originated from the military created and supervised political programmes that spanned 1989 to date.
This third generation of Nigerian politicians includes military officers that retired into politics especially after the 1990s and having amassed enormous wealth through the reinterexploitation of government offices occupied hijacked Nigerian politics. In control of the socio-cultural, political and economic system, they controlled it and bastardized it to their own selfish advantage. It is these hijack of state, subjugation of the society and privatization of the system that former Chief of Army Staff, General Mohammed Chris Ali eloquently criticized and condemned in his book – ‘The Federal Republic of Army: The Siege of a Nation’.
The present generation of politicians was part of the military conquest, subjugation and privatization of Nigerian commonwealth which Wole Soyinka in his book: ‘You Must Set Forth at Dawn’, lampooned. Senators Tinubu and Kalu remain the most prominent representatives of this generation of Nigerians hence my letter to them. Being so involved in the problem created by the first and second generation Nigerian politicians, I deem it necessary to write to them to take up their generational cause, prosecute and win it.
In time past, I had written an open letter to Senator Tinubu on one of his birthday anniversaries on his politics, not out of relationship or fraternity but driven by public interest and love of country. For Orji Uzor Kalu, I have written none except a personal memorandum to him on Igbo leadership question which was a rejoinder to his musings on Igbo leadership question in his rested column in the ‘Daily Sun’. This joint letter to these great men and politicians from ‘Southern Nigeria’, one can actually use this term now courtesy of the Southern Governors’ Forum that revived the forum started by Governors Kalu and Tinubu and other Southern governors during their 1999-2007 tenures.
Is there anything like ‘Southern Nigeria’ in Nigeria politics? There is, of course, but not in real governance sense as it had a short historical existence between 1900 and 1914 when Britain was still juggling its cards in the configurations and structuring of Nigerian polity.
The area then carved out as Southern Nigeria had been carved out by combining the Oil Rivers Protectorate and the Colony of Lagos and Protectorate which covered the present Southsouth, Southeast and Southwest states to form the Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria while the present Northcentral, Northeast and Northwest constituted the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria.
After the amalgamation of 1914, which on the advice of most British nationals, politicians and public officials but particularly on the report of the Selbourne Committee, the British Imperial Office and also on the insistence of Lord Lugard had heeded, the Northern and Southern Protectorate had been amalgamated and Lord Lugard posted back from Hong Kong to superintend it. Later restructuring by Lord Lugard resulted in the split of Nigeria into Northern Region, Eastern Region and Western Region.
The North remained as it was in 1900 but the South was broken up into West and East and there began the troubles of East/West schism in Nigeria politics, due largely to the absence of administrative structure and praxis as a wedge was deliberately put in the political understanding and relationship between the Yoruba, Igbo and Southern minorities. On the other, the unity of the North was maintained with the Sokoto Caliphate political structure and sociocultural praxis deployed to provide a sense of political unity and understanding between the constituent parts but Northern political relationship with Southern Nigerian was deliberately stymied.
If this bare structure had been left to operate as three co-equal regions without the political infrastructure being rigged against the South and infused into it in 1951 perhaps, the current troubles of Nigeria would have been obviated, but Britain deployed political chicanery and subterfuge to short change the Southern regions to make the Northern Region the master of joint deliberation of the Nigerian commonwealth.
Britain achieved this masterstroke at the 1950 Constitutional Conference it had organised without the political parties that were in existence, namely; the National Council of Nigerian Citizens, the Action Group and the Northern Peoples’ Congress. The exclusion of Nigerian political parties were deliberate as Britain had reasoned that the nationalists then congregated in the National Council of Nigeria Citizens and the Action Group and led by two foremost southern Nigerian leaders – Nnamdi Azikiwe and Obafemi Awolowo were not authentic Nigerian political leaders. To Britain, these groups of leaders were impostors, not to be trusted.
So, it organised the Constitutional Conference without reference to these political groups as it ordered that memorandum should be presented from the districts, provinces and such memoranda collated at the regional levels for onward transmission to the central government’s office of the colonial secretary to the government of Nigeria ably manned by Hugh Foot. After the collation of the memorandum and the articulation of the agenda made by the secretary to the government of Nigeria in conjunction with the British Secretary of State for Colonies, the micro-conferences were held at the district and provincial levels up to the regions and thereafter the National Conference held at Ibadan in 1950 conference. At the Ibadan 1950 conference, Britain gave the North 50% representation in the central legislature but it was in 1953 conference that it was debated and by short sighted acceptance by Nnamdi Azikiwe was politically entrenched.
Left on its own this political manoeuvre would not have been a seed of discord and a perpetual source of instability in Nigeria but Britain built in fraudulent population data in favour of the North to achieve the political dominance of the North through fraudulent elections. The operation of this British diabolical system has kept Nigeria as a dysfunctional, incoherent and unstable state with catastrophic consequences for the people of Nigeria.
The politics based on this fraudulent constitutional structure and political infrastructure has been a disaster for Southern Nigeria from 1951 to date as Britain while in control (1951 to 1960) manipulated Southern politicians to achieve its object of ensuring that Northern politicians of Hausa/Fulani extraction maintain absolute dominance and control of Nigeria to the discomfort of other Nigerians especially the Yoruba and the Igbo.
The British while in control manipulated and played Awolowo against Azikiwe so that the Southern Nigerian politicians never think or act as one people with a national purpose and focus. Having taken control of Nigeria from Britain, this Northern political establishment in control of the constitutional structure and the political infrastructure has played this politics of dominance and control to a very dangerous ends through civil to military and back to the civil era to a catastrophic ends which have reduced Nigeria to its present condition of dysfunctional state, battered economy, socio-cultural disintegration and general insecurity.
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