Is it any wonder that on October 12th 1960, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Saurdana of Sokoto and the Premier of the Northern Region, said
“This new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather, Uthman Dan Fodio. We must RUTHLESSLY prevent a change of power. We must use the minorities in the north as willing tools and the south as conquered territory. We must never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over the future.”
Is it any wonder that in 1990, Sheik Abubakar Gumi, the leader of the most powerful Muslim sect in northern Nigeria said ”no christian will be allowed to rule over Nigeria unless it is over his dead body”?
Is it any wonder that my friend and brother Governor Nasir El Rufai once warned the Nigerian military against what he considered to be their excesses in the fight against Boko Haram and told them that “anyone, whether soldier or otherwise, that kills a Fulani must consider it as a debt that, no matter how long, will be repaid?”
Is it any wonder that in 2001 some unscrupulous and irresponsible leaders in the core north invoked ”political sharia” as a secret weapon in their attempt to discredit, destabilize and destroy President Olusegun Obasanjo, a southern Christian President?
Is it any wonder that in 2001 President Muhammadu Buhari, a core northern muslim, said ”what is the business of christians if we muslims chop off our limbs in the name of sharia” and went further by saying that it is his intention and desire ”to spread sharia all over the federation”. Is it any wonder that the same man said in 2014 that “an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the north?”
Is it any wonder that Governor Bello Masari of Katsina state said that there was a link between Boko Haram and the Fulani militants/ herdsmen and that they both “kill people and rob them of their property”.
Is it any wonder that virtually every single notable southern leader in our political history that has ever aligned with the north, including MKO Abiola, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Isaac Boro and many others ended up secretly regretting it because after all their noble efforts of regional and ethnic bridge-building they ended up being cheated, insulted, marginalized, humiliated, maligned, misrepresented, used, dumped, jailed or killed? Worse still in the case of Saro-Wiwa after he was hanged acid was poured all over his body in order to remove all trace of him.
Is it any wonder that Dr. Junaid Mohammed,one of the leading apostles of northern hegemony, said that Nigerians should ”let the Biafrans go” and that ”they need Nigeria more than Nigeria needs them?”
Is it any wonder that Chief Bola Ige of blessed memory once referred to the Fulani as “the Tutsis of Nigeria” and that Mohammed Yusuf, a leading core northern civil servant, once referred to the Tutsis as “the Fulani in diaspora?”
Is it any wonder that virtually every single courageous, moderate, honest, liberal and truly progressive core northern leader, like Abubakar ‘Dangiwa’ Umar, Nuhu Ribadu, Kashim Ibrahim Imam, Halilu Akilu, Tanko Yakassai, Sule Lamido, Lawal Batagarawa and many others that sought to build bridges of peace and understanding with the south throughout his life and career, that insists on equity and fairness between the ethnic nationalities, that refuses to describe his tribe as the ”master race”, that resists racial and religious bigotry, that deplores injustice and wickedness and that stands up against the excesses of his own leaders and people is persecuted, viewed with suspicion, misrepresented and not allowed to achieve his full potentials by the deeply conservative and reactionary leaders of the ultra-conservative core north?
Is it any wonder that many are of the view that ”the biggest unifying factor in Nigeria is not football but crude oil. The very moment crude oil (in significant commercial quantity) is discovered in the north, that day will mark the beginning of the north’s agitation for a breakaway from the entity called Nigeria”.
The Bible tells us that “God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform”. When the misguided and ultra-conservative leaders of an ethnic nationality in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic state prides itself on building an empire, enslaving others, occupying their land and holding on to power by consistently using violence, religion, subterfuge, lies, deceit, manipulation and the shedding of blood, a terrible price has to be paid.
God is not mocked and neither does He sleep. He will ask the murderer, where is your brother Abel and He will tell him that “his blood cries out to me from the ground for vengeance”.
For those that doubt the veracity of my earlier assertion that every single core northerner that has ever ruled this country has either died in office or been removed from power and detained for a number of years permit me to enlighten you.
Kindly note the fact that General Yakubu Gowon, General Ibrahim Babangida and General Abdulsalami Abubakar who were also Heads of State of Nigeria and who were also from the north were not core northerners but Middle Belters.
That is what set them apart and made the difference. We are talking about core northern leaders here and the bitter and tragic end that each and everyone of them suffered after being Head of State, President or Prime Minister.
Consider the following. Sir Tafawa Balewa who was the Prime Minister of Nigeria from 1960 till 1966 was from the core north and he was killed whilst in office. General Murtala Muhammed who was Head of State of Nigeria from 1975 till 1976 was from the core north and he was killed whilst in office.
Alhaji Shehu Shagari who was President of Nigeria from 1979 till 1983 was from the core north and he was removed by a military coup d’etat whilst in office after which he was detained for two years during which he almost went blind.
General Muhammadu Buhari who was Head of State of Nigeria from 1983 till 1985 was from the core north and he was removed in a military coup d’etat whilst in office after which he was detained for four years.
General Sani Abacha who was Head of State from 1994 till 1998 was from the core north and he died under mysterious circumstances whilst in office.
Alhaji Umaru Yar’adua who was President from 2007 till 2010 was from the core north and he died under mysterious circumstances whilst in office.
No-one deserves to be killed or to die in such mysterious circumstances and no-one deserves to suffer incarceration unlawfully. I am saddened by what each and everyone of these respected leaders suffered and by what they were forced to go through.
I deplore murder, violence, bloodshed and the unconstitutional removal of democratically-elected Presidents and Prime Ministers.
I do not relish what happened to any of them and neither do I endorse what befell them. However it is clear to me, as it ought to be clear to any discerning reader, that there is more to all this than meets the eye. It is not a coincidence.
There is a clearly established pattern of sad and unfortunate events here that cannot be ignored or wished away and that must be critically examined. In short there is clearly a bigger picture in all this and a concise message that many of us fail to appreciate, acknowledge or recognize.
The bible says “he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword”. The efficacy of this spiritual truism and powerful scripture is better proved and exhibited in our country than perhaps any other.
Today in Nigeria God is asking Cain ”where is your brother Abel” and this time He must get an answer. (TO BE CONTINUED).