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Eclipse Of A Country: The Buharistic Dominionphobia

buhariChinua Achebe was a literary prophet and a real gem and icon second to none in Africa. No other African writer can be compared with Achebe. His book, “A Man Of The People” was published in 1965. The book discusses the Nigerian politics which was practiced between 1960 and the time of publication of the book, the kind of politics that was played was the politics of national cake sharing. The rot was enormous. There was nothing politicians did not do to get power and to sustain it. It was dirty politics; politics of self aggrandizement, greed and the win takes all syndrome, politics of bitterness, calumny and voodoism. The major actors are chief, the Honourable, Dr. Nanga and a young promising purist cum activist, Mr. Samalu Odili. Odili is a young patriot who sees and abhors the rot in politics and intends to join politics to change the equation so as to put food on the table of the poor and the entire suffering masses. He is to confront the likes of Chief, the Honourable, Dr. Nanga who belongs to the old bloc and represents the unpatriotic politicians who are into politics for self- aggrandizement, those who believe in incompatible titles which they prefer to integrity and political purity, using same as an instrument of intimidation of political opponents.

As far as the prevalent dirty politics is concerned, Samalu Odili is an odd figure or character and a strange element. The nepotism, tribalism, gangsterism, jujuism, occultism etc. which become introduced into politics begins to drift the country into comma that the book ends with a military coup upstaging this set of political cabals and power hungry bigots. That is, ‘A Man of The People’.

In 1966, precisely in January of that fateful year, for the same reasons that led to the military intervention in the book, ‘A Man of The People’, the Military, led by five majors prominent among them, Major Kaduna Chukwuemeka Nzeogwu struck and ended the rotten political system.

Indeed, the prophecy of Chinua Achebe is not the kinds of prophetic miscalculations we now hear in present day Nigeria. Though not a General Overseer or G. O., Achebe was among the major prophets that would shape the political history or landscape of Nigeria, the pride of Africa.

The book, ‘A Man of The People’ was among the books written by Chinua Achebe at the cradle of his writing career. As Achebe was getting ready to die, he wrote another book which like, ‘A Man of the People’ and ‘Things Fall Apart’ sprang both necessary and unnecessary reactions and comments. That book is, ‘There Was A Country: A personal History of Biafra’. As indicated, Achebe tells his story of what led to the Nigerian Civil War popularly referred to as the Biafran War, the roles of the major actors, including the role he played in the Republic of Biafra and that of the great sage, Obafemi Awolowo (of blessed memory). In Achebe’s honest view, the role played by late Awolowo was most treacherous against the Igbo or Eastern Region or call it Biafra. Awo (Yoruba), according to Achebe conspired with Gowon (The north) to eliminate Biafra.

In page 233 of the book, ‘There Was A Country’, in Part 3, under the sub-head, ‘The Case Against the Nigerian Government’, Achebe writes the following about Obafemi Awolowo; “A statement credited to Chief Obafemi Awolowo and echoed by his cohorts is the most callous and unfortunate”: “all is fair in war, and starvation is one of the weapons of war. I don’t see why we should feed our enemies fat in order for them to fight harder”, said Awolowo.

The writer continues: “it is my impression that Chief Obafemi Awolowo was driven by an averring ambition for power for himself in particular and for the advancement of his Yoruba People in general. And let it be said that there is, on the surface, at least, nothing wrong with those aspirations. However, Awolowo saw the dominant Igbos at the time as the obstacles to that goal, and when the opportunity arose – the Nigeria-Biafra War – his ambition drove him iflto a frenzy to go every length to achieve his dreams. In the Biafra case, it meant hatching up a diabolical policy to reduce the numbers of his enemies significantly through starvation eliminating over two million people, mainly members of future generations.”

What one sees in Achebe’s lamentation in that part 3 of the book is the unholy conspiracy between Northern Nigeria and South-West to crush the rest then called Eastern Nigeria under the cover of the war. They did and won and carefully styled it ‘No Victor, No Vanquished’. But that was a blatant lie. It took the Eastern part (now Southeast and South-South apart from Edo & Delta States) Over 40 years to become Chief of Army staff or Inspector General of Police. It took providence for a South-Southerner (Goodluck Jonathan) to become Nigerian’s president. When Goodluck Jonathan became the president, the North and South-West entered into another unholy pact again in the name of a political party called the APC to put an end, the leadership of a perceived former Eastern Nigerian (A people they believe to be underdogs). Chiefs Bolaji Ahmed Tinubu and Olusegun Obasarijo are the direct representatives of the South-West (Yorubas). Buhari is only a figure head of the Yoruba cum Hausa/Fulani intelligentia. The conspiracy is a chronic one, infact, it is congenital if not pathological borne or conceived from a malicious tenet. It started in 1967 during the war. It is always the last option against the present day South East and South-South. It is not about the quest for good governance or war against corruption as they would make us believe. It is a war against the eleven (11) states that they believe can never match their conspiracy: the conspiracy of 19 States plus 6 States. The outburst of victory was projected on that calculation aided by the mathematics and politics of under-age voting. It is a truth that 19 plus 6 will give 25 and the politics of eleven states of South-South and Southeast is a miserable one. Head or tail, it is over for South-South/South-East. The politics started from the creation of empty rocky and dry grounds called states in Northern Nigeria and the acknowledgement of ancient kingdoms of Yorubas as states. It is true that Northern Nigeria believes that they are born to rule and that Goodluck Jonathan was their act of charity to South/South and Southeast. The tripartite conspiracy of the Southwest, north and a supposed unbiased commission has placed a lid on the political progress of Southeast and South-south which are only an appendage to Hausa/Fulani/Yoruba Oligarchy. From what has happened the Hausa/Fulani/Yoruba has sent a clear signal to us that leadership of Nigeria must Oscillate between Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba because 19 plus 6 is 25. I don’t believe that South/South and South Easterners are Nigerians in the context of political balancing. We are only Nigerians at the conveniences of this oligarchy and nothing more. The lopsided appointment made so far by President Buhari ignoring South-East and South-South geopolitical zones (with the North taking the president, the senate president and the speaker of the House of Representatives) deliberately is a clear pointer to the fact that these two zones of South-South and South-East are an appendage to Nigeria. There is no gainsaying that the doctrine of one Nigeria is becoming outdated and infact, old fashion. It seems to me that the Northern elites who felt that Nigeria belongs to them and their caliphate have got the opportunity perhaps to take back their Nigeria and fence the rest of us away. As far as the North is concerned, the former eastern Nigeria including South-south is only a visitor to the throne. The Niger Delta common wealth is seen by them as their personal estate or their raffia palm farm while the Niger Delta people are on-lookers or passers-by. Northern Nigeria is the present day colonial master to the rest of us. They dictate the pace of our political and economic perfidy; they share our fish and give us bones and we tell them, “thank you”. It is my view that our constitution be amended to allow those who want to break away conduct a referendum among themselves and be on their own if they decide so to be by such referendum. Canada conducts referendum every 10 years by extant constitutional provision. South-Sudan is a country today because they conducted such a referendum that gave them self-determination from Sudan. Our law must recognize this rather than try to force over 350 nationalities together in the name of a miserable unity that makes quest for self-determination criminal; to wit, treason, treasonable felony, sedition etc. This country is no longer here. No wonder Chinus Achebe wrote the book, “No longer at ease”. If I may ask, are we still at ease? Or if I may use Pastor Chidi Okoroafor’s language “Are we still brethren?” when there can’t be peace unless Hausa or Fulani man wins an election? What kind of country are we talking about here? Indeed, things have fallen apart, and the centre can no longer hold. Do we pretend not to see the mere anarchy lose upon the world (Nigeria)? These are the reasons I contend vehemently that Professor Chinua Achebe was a prophet par excellence. When he wrote his first book “Things Fall Apart” most of us were not born but now we can see that really things are falling apart; this country is dead. Let’s give it a befitting burial and live in peace. Gaskiya, we can’t continue this way.

Chinua Achebe who is to Nigeria what Nelson Mandela is to South Africa by my assertion wrote the book, “There Was a Country” in 2012 before his demise. It was his last book and infact, his last prophetic testament which though not wholly ambulatory is purely and posthumously testamentary. It is also as prophetic as, ‘A Man of The People’. It is my misfortune, therefore, to think that since the election has taken the shape of ethno/religious reflection and appointments in like manner; to wit, Hausa/Fulani character and not in a manner we can say, we are all Nigerians anchored on democratic and equal political fortune and balancing, it is better and apposite at this point to admit that THERE WAS A COUNTRY if that country is now dead and infact, presently decomposing in the mortuary of historical sepulchre. Nobody keeps a dead and decomposing body of a loved one in the name of Love and unity. After all, Chinua Achebe was never a prophet of doom. ###

Barr. Gideon Kpoobari Girigiri



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