Southerners, Where Are We Headed?
by Charles Ogbu.
This one is not hearsay. This is from the horse’s mouth.
President Muhammadu Buhari specifically asked the World Bank to focus all their developmental activities in the North.
Let me quote the World Bank boss in his exact words:
“You know in my very first meeting with President Buhari, he said specifically that he would like us to shift our focus to the Northern region of Nigeria and we’ve done that. Now, it has been very difficult. The work there has been very difficult.”
This is from the World Bank’s Oga kpata-kpata.
Monies from NNPC are going to the North.
Firms are being compelled by the same NNPC to contribute 100 million monthly to develop the North.
There is Northeast Development Commission fully funded with oil money from the South.
There is a special percent of VAT kept specially for the North even as alcohol, which is a major source of VAT, is banned in the Sharia North.
Rail lines connecting the North to even Niger Republic are ongoing.
As I write this, President Buhari has signed the 3,050 MW Mambila Hydroelectric project in a strategic move to empower the North. In addition, the govt just re-acquired the Ajeokuta steel plant to supply steel to the Mambila Hydroelectric project. The local content participation in the project is almost 1 billion United States dollars.
All going to the North.
You can make your own finding to confirm all these.
Don’t forget how much billions of dollars that have been borrowed specifically to develop the North due to the Boko Haram activities.
How much was borrowed to develop Alaigbo after the Biafran war even when 3Rs was declared?
How much effort has been made to develop the Niger Delta which is the main area all those monies are coming from but which is unsafe for even non-living things to live in, due to oil exploration??
Meanwhile, a bill to gift Lagos state with a special status was killed in the National Assembly by Northern lawmakers with the help of their fraudulently acquired numerical strength.
A bill to establish the Southeast Development Commission was killed by Northern lawmakers with the help of their fraudulently acquired numerical strength.
Even the original Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) was killed by Northern lawmakers at the National Assembly. They only accepted the corrupt version of the bill when they succeeded in smuggling two Northern states as beneficiaries of special fund known as “Host Community Fund” even when those two Northern states are not hosting even a litter of oil.
When Buhari or any Northerner tells you that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable, this is exactly why. Nigeria, as presently constituted, is their ATM.
Those of you inundating us with your rhetoric and verbal gymnastics about RESTRUCTURING, you need to quit living in denial.
Telling us the benefit of restructuring is like selling coal to Newcastle. Even Ikenga, my two-day old son, knows the benefit of Restructuring. What he doesn’t know, like the rest of us, is how you guys plan on achieving that in the face of Northern resistance.
Go and read El-rufai’s speech few day ago. He’s the Chairman of APC committee on restructuring. He made it clear that those saying they want to control their resources are just being selfish and that such a thing will never happen because it will not benefit other Nigerians. He advised them to think of other Nigerians.
I’ve said it before and it bears repeating now, those expecting any form of RESTRUCTURING through the existing constitutional framework are either ignorant or dishonest or even both. But there is another option: they are fans of the status quo who are simply using the Restructuring rhetoric to douse the Biafra agitation.
To restructure, you need to change that iniquitous document that calls itself the 1999 Constitution. And to do that, you need 2/3 (not a simple majority) of all members of the National Assembly as well as that of the state Houses of Assembly in the entire country.
The entire Southern federal lawmakers won’t give you 2/3 even if you borrow 3 Northcentral states to join them. And don’t forget, some Southern lawmakers actually prefer the status quo where they are getting billions just for going to the NASS to sleep and snore.
YOU CAN ONLY GET GENUINE RESTRUCTURING THROUGH A RADICAL APPROACH.
Hate Nnamdi Kanu or love him, you cannot deny that he understands Nigeria problem and the best way to solve it better than all these theorists.
For weeks that we’ve not heard from Kanu, have we heard anything concrete from the Restructuring group??
Niger Delta boys, you all need to borrow yourselves some sense. Insist that no oil is lifted from your region until you are allowed to control your resources. You have the means to enforce this. You also have the bargaining chip.
Stop selling your dignity by collecting crumb in the name of amnesty. You are supposed to be the giver, not the receiver. Look at your environment for crying out loud!
OHANAEZE NDIIGBO, AFENIFERE and all Southern groups, you people need to stop theorizing and get real. So far, you all have been full of rhetoric. Nothing more.
Tell your people the time-bound practical steps with which you plan on achieving RESTRUCTURING in the face of Northern resistance. Do this and do it now. If you can’t, then shift one corner and allow the youths to do this the youthful way.
I am particularly disappointed that Ohanaeze Ndiigbo and Igbo elite, from governors to federal lawmakers, all seem to be on a mission to end the Biafran agitation by all means, EVEN WITHOUT GIVING THEIR YOUTHS AN ALTERNATIVE. This is quite disheartening. Very disappointing.
Buhari and his gang are not here to develop Nigeria. They are here to implement a Northern Muslims’ agenda. This is a govt of the North, by the North and for the North.
When all this is over, the question will be –
While the Daura-born Northern irredentist was busy implementing a Northern agenda, what were the Southern leaders doing??