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Whose North?

Whose North? .

Saturday, 20 February 2010 00:00 Nigerian Compass   

. .The drumbeats of war have begun; the unwary should take heed. The Northern caucus of the National Assembly was on Thursday reported to have, quite distressingly, told Acting President Goodluck, in no unmistakable terms, to prepare for impeachment if he dared dissolve the current federal cabinet.

Twenty-four hours after the threat, which was reportedly issued after the caucus met at the Apo Quarters of Abdul-Ningi, there has been no rebuttal of the claims. So it is safe to take the report as true.

Apparently to them, it is irrelevant if the ministerial team is incapable of pushing through the visions of the Acting President, or even of the ailing President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, let alone that of the nation. The cabinet has come to stay, pure and simple.

That the cabinet has since inception failed to raise power generation and supply across the country, and has not given any indication that it will anytime soon, is irrelevant to the Northern caucus of the national legislature.

It also does not matter to the caucus that the current cabinet has failed to frontally tackle Nigeria’s heavy food imports, or improve the provision of water, or get  appreciable results on road construction and repairs. We are nowhere near the starting blocks in science and technology, or education, or industry. Please, do not mention the petroleum sector where Nigeria has continued to behave like a slowpoke, watching Western nations refine its crude oil, shipping the black gold abroad for refining, and milking us all the way through.

To the legislators in the caucus, the current Minister of the Niger Delta can continue being busy doing nothing; federal highways can be death traps until eternity, the national healthcare system can continue to be in the hands of usurious private medical practitioners; indeed, the status quo that preserves the so-called advantages of the North in the current dispensation must be maintained.

And, oh!, Michael Aondoakaa, who has served the interest of the North so well must be kept in office in whatever shape or form. He can still be of great use, whether in the Ministry of Justice or as Special Duties minister.

Fortunately, the North has the numerical advantage in the National Assembly, going by Nigeria’s peculiar history, a trend that dates back to the colonial days. Thus, it is irrelevant if the entire South and the common people of the North are agreed on an issue, it will be defeated when put to vote once the Northern elite decide against it.

The only unfortunate thing is that the so-called interest of the North that they seek to protect is narrow, very narrow. It does not include the interest of the farmer in Kaura Namoda, whose children may never go to school and are either sent into almajiri training, when males; or  married off at tender ages, when female. The so-called northern interest that is being sought to be maintained at all costs by this caucus does not include the mass of the people in Maiduguri who have no access to electricity, or enjoy it only in fits and starts; or the pregnant woman in the other parts of the North, like her counterparts in the South,  who in the subsisting dispensation is left to her fate, both in delivery and training of the offspring. It does not include the interest of the nomad, or the elderly man who has been a street beggar all his life and has sired more beggars and deserve a national leadership that will come up with a programme of social security for the young and the aged.

It does not address the serious disconnect between the leaders and the led that bred boko haram, a doctrine that sees all sorts of Western education as evil since virtually all its known beneficiaries have put the knowledge to negative uses.

Truth be told: the so-called Northern interest, if it continues to be at variance with that of the nation, will impoverish the average Northerner, equally, if not more that his Southern compatriot.

Pray, what is wrong in giving the Acting President a free hand, so that he can make the best of the remaining years of this joint presidency? Is it in doubt that even if he is well enough and returns to the country today,  Yar’Adua has been presented to Nigerians and the entire world as one who abdicated his throne without justification; that the ailing President has been alienated from the citizenry by those who preferred to run the country on his behalf, anonymously and without being held accountable?

Without doubt, it is a warped sense of Northern interest, and not national cause, that led Yar’Adua’s handlers to keep him away from Nigerians since November 23 last year, and have him held hostage by doctors in Saudi Arabia; the sitting president of another country!

That Nigeria’s president had to seek medical attention abroad is shameful enough, but for our legislators to insist that the status quo must continue is unacceptable. With such a disposition, it will be difficult, if not impossible to hold Jonathan responsible for the performance of the cabinet. It is not in doubt that in this clime, as well as most parts of the world, the choice of ministers is strictly of the President and not the party, much less of his deputy. If, in the unexpected development of the deputy taking over the reins, as is the case with Dr. Jonathan, the country must live with either a change of cabinet by the new leader or a lack-lustre performance by the administration. The decision to retain ministers and any other appointee ought to be left to the new leader who will take the ultimate credit or blame for the performance of the administration. Forcing a clearly unenthusiastic team on the Acting President is a disservice to not just the country but the larger Northern interest that the legislators purport to represent.

Shorn of its linguistic garb, the declaration of war by the caucus is not in the interest of the North, by any stretch of imagination, but of those who stand to profit from the dark clouds in the horizon. If something radical is not done about the Yar’Adua/Jonathan cabinet, as is being rigorously advocated by the caucus, the negative consequences will be suffered by the mass of the Nigerian people, including if not more particularly, those of the North on whose behalf the caucus purports to act.

http://www.compassnews.net/Ng/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=41657:whose-north&catid=666:article&Itemid=795

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8 answers

Poverty and hunger remains an attractive tool for some

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I could not believe my eyes reading what the author had to say about interest of the north and the nonsensical question about the north. The writer should have done self criticism.

Whether the interest of north is narrowed to a gap or utterly wrong in formulation, I could not bet against such endeavor in achieving the political ends. The funny thing about all these political shenanigans remains that the so-called south shall be elevated to the position of errand boy tasked to make sure the narrow interest of the north is satisfied.

It happened in 1964, 1966 and 1967. A pal has poured unfettered praises on the sons of the north such as Maj Umar, Balarabe Musa, the late Aminu Kano, El Rufai, Nuhu Ribadu. All I have to say is the same narrow interest of the north produced these individuals. Evidence has shown that when push comes to shove, theses follows had and will always lineup behind the narrow interest of the north.

Regardless of how narrow or unfounded the interest of north may look, I always admire what I have seen coming from the north politically.

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^

I have come to see him a good man who genuinely cares for Niger state. Am I wrong?

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^

Exactly! When there are men like Babangida Aliyu, why would Northern Nigeria continue to to be led by all sorts of vultures like Aondoakaa and other jobbers?

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@Beaf, you got it!!

This people don't just get it. That argument is dead on arrival. Maybe, what Lukman is doing is in the interest of the north but they have not asked themselves how exactly you are improving when you cannot compete on the global stage. I listened to an interview granted by Works minister and i could see the intellectual shallowness that the establishment is telling us is in the interest of the 'north'.

Maybe, if you ask me what is in the interest of the 'north', is will say that you just listen to Babangida Aliyu of Niger state or Nasir El-Rufai.

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The answer to the question, "whose North?" has become increasingly urgent.

These people are not looking out for any Northern interests. They are criminals who are after lining their pockets with greasy lucre, the nation needs to stand up to them.

This specie of despicable criminal is known collectively as "the hawks".

With every passing day, they are becoming a deep embarrassment to the region they represent; yet, this is the same region that produced Maj Umar, Balarabe Musa, the late Aminu Kano, El Rufai, Nuhu Ribadu and countless other sons and daughters of distinction; there is an urgent need for the renaissance of Northern progressives, who seem to be an endangered species.

Jonathan should go right ahead, call their bluff and sack two thirds of the serving ministers and other deadwood. They can't do jack.

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people want to continue living on past glory, well they have right to be aloof

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