In Nigeria, analysts say one thing this moment and later contradict themselves. Professor Tam David West, a former Minister of Petroleum, was a strong advocate against the removal of fuel subsidy. In 2012, he was on air pummeling the Jonathan-led government and declaring "there is nothing like fuel subsidy". In one of the episodes Yomi Layinka's interview, Professor West was full of praise for Muhammadu Buhari and was one of the persons whose influence on people like us was drastic. I personally respect the Professor so much but he dissapointed me with his illusory accolades for Buhari. The same factor that was partly responsible for the removal of Goodluck Jonathan from office -by the will of the people anyways- eventually stared Professor West in the face. The same which existed not was that which Professor West's choice removed. The subsidy was probably not visible to the professor but really, there was something like fuel subsidy.
Nigerians are proud people and for a magnificent nation like this one, it is natural to be proud. Nigerians pride themselves with the natural ability to resist dictatorship. Afterall, only a few years earlier, President Olusegun Obasanjo was fanning the embers of civil unrest with his third term agenda. People like Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila openly confirmed that 50 million naira was offered for the third term bid of the President. Former US Secretary of State, Professor Condolesa Rice in her book also confirmed the third term bid of Nigeria's most rogue president -Obasanjo. She said Obasanjo tossed the posser at George Bush who instantly turned down the posser. "My boss told him not to try it. Obasanjo was a rogue. He was so powerful and destructive. His presidency destroyed the foundation of Nigeria's fledgling democracy. He used state institutions to punish offenders. No his offenders. Obasanjo was the last authority on moral values. He even enjoyed nationwide loyalty and support. Still Nigeria ejected him from the system. Nigerians were interested in defeating the "incumbency". They were hasty in the removal of Goodluck Jonathan from office. They would prefer the man who, obviously, would disregard the democratic structures and keep his enemies from the old days behind bars, whatever it takes.
Only the not properly educated would have been unable to predict what was coming in a Buhari-led government. It's less than a year already for another election to be conducted. But then, I doubt if the hitherto proud Nigerian has the moral commitment to change a regime about which the best description would be failed. No more, no less. Unless the incumbency is invisible. Maybe there is more to be defeated than PDP or APC. Something that can only be found in the history of the country. It will make a lot of sense to identify the root. The incumbency is deep. In case you don't know, Nigeria is also a deep state. The deep, however, calls to the deep.
Obasanjo was installed by a northern backed coalition. The coalition which a few years before 1999 had prevented Chief MKO Abiola from being president despite his victory at the polls. The sole reason why Chief Abiola was not sworn in was that he was not of northern origin. At least these were the reasons stated by the power block that has been responsible for the administration of Nigeria since independence.
Abdulsalami Abubakar, under whose watch Chief Abiola was killed, was himself a product of the structure. He replaced Lieutenant-General Jeremiah Useni in a machination that came about in just a few hours after the death of Head-of-State General Abacha.
Sanni Abacha easily toppled Chief Ernest Shonekan. Sanni Abacha had known power since 1966 when the second coup happened. He was one of those who participated in the pogrom -the killing of hundreds of Igbo officers in the military in retaliation for a coup that had happened six months earlier.
Babangida was a product of the bloc too. Many ascribe his ancestry to the South West but he would not be favoured in a North dominated army if he was of southern origin. The army constituted the ruling class.
Major-General Buhari who as a military general disobeyed the order of the Commander-in-Chief and moved his battalion stationed in Bama into the Republic of Chad. President Shagari was opposed to the invasion but the then GOC Buhari would move the army 50 kilometers into South Western Chad. He would replace President Shagari. In the machination that lead to his emergence, the top ranking leaders of the Army were cramped together in Bonny Camp, Lagos when Major Jokolo (later Emir) who was commander of the security guard at the location stormed the place of meeting and declared "none of you will come out alive if Major General Buhari is not elected President". The debate was over. Buhari became Head-of-State.
President Shehu Usman Shagari who was replaced by Muhammadu Buhari was a first republic politician whose election in 1983 was not credible and fair. His rival Obafemi Awolowo had him sued for electoral malpractice. Other predecessors were; Obasanjo (who had to be supported by Lieutenant-General Theophilus Danjuma -a product of the northern hegemony who was used and dumped. Danjuma's isolation was responsible for his accusation of the Nigerian military as being pro Fulani, not neutral and deliberately permitting the killing of ordinary people by Fulani herdsmen. Danjuma himself is guilty of this. He was party to the tribal killings of July, 1966. He is said to have shot Major-General J. T. U. Ironsi after being tortured and having his testicles kicked and broken in the retaliatory coup. The "incumbency" knows it's own sons -and daughters, if there are any. Theophilus Danjuma as his name suggests is not a son. Muritala Mohammed was not at home with the emergence of General Dan Yumma Gowon. Gowon understood this. Muritala was anti-Gowon but the support of the British and Americans preserved Gowon for about 9 years before he was replaced by Muritala himself. After the death of Ironsi, Gowon had to douse the tension in the military by remarking that "we thank Allah for choosing another northerner to be the leader". A clear statement meant for political safety.
The incumbency at independence was so strong that the Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa was referred to as "my lieutenant in Lagos" by Ahmadu Bello who was just a leader of a section of the country. He was Prince and heir apparent to the Fulani throne in Sokoto. He was replaced by his other kinsman who compensated him with the leadership structure of the north. Would you compensate someone with what was not in your possession? So Nigeria, by extension is a property of the Sokoto Caliphate.
The incumbency is the Sokoto Caliphate. This has been in power since 1959. Helped, expanded and consolidation by British Imperial power, the Caliphate influence was brought over the Niger and Benue destroying the barrier imposed by the 1845 decisive Battle of Osogbo in which the Caliphate expansion was halted.
The strength of the Caliphate has always been the rot in the system. The caliphate survives on the ignorance of the people who blindly follows its scripts. The people are swayed by the belief that the will of the Caliphate Princes is the will of the gods. The will of the people is unimportant. Progress is unimportant. Poverty is strength and it holds the Caliphate strongly. Once you cross the Niger, all of these things are visible.
In contrast, the weakness of the caliphate is the education of the people and their revolt. The Caliphate has been a force responsible for the stagnation of the country. The Princes it offers are unfit to rule or simply incapable of understanding good governance at all. At looting they are excellent. Nigerians have come to terms with this situation. This incumbency is hard to defeat. Maybe not impossible but very hard. No individual who is not aligned with the incumbency has ever had it easy or even had it at all.
The North has its unity symbol in the Caliphate. Every tree that it had not planted, it uprooted by coup or dangerous political machination. The worst attribute is that it attempts a reconquest of lost territories. If you hear the likes of Theophilus Danjuma screeching and wailing or you hear some herdsmen taking over villages and giving them Fulani names, simply know what it means. The reconquest is tangible. It is systemic and will sacrifice any individual for itself. Turkey under General Ataturk shook off the Caliphate in 1924 and they are better for it today. The choice of Yaradua was a huge blow on the revolt. One way or another, we must get rid of the Caliphate from our system and the first step is to know how long it has stayed with us -too long.
The incumbency was not Jonathan, it was/is the Caliphate.
Ojo Aderemi is the founder of Platinum Deremi Hub and President of the University of Ibadan Students Union (2017/2018). His articles are published on platinumderemi.com.
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