By Ahmed Abdullahi.
For as long as one can remember, Northern Nigeria has always wanted to eat it’s cake and have it. Building an independent, homogenous entity in a complex, multi ethnic, multireligious society.
The Niger coup crisis has dominated headlines for quite some time now. Sadly, the whole debacle, again, like so many others before, is revealing the deep ethnic faultlines that still characterize our polity. While it is disheartening and a cause of worry to note that sixty two years after independence, our Northern brothers and sisters still consider the interests of their Sahelian counterparts above that of their own country, one can’t say one is entirely surprised.
The history runs deep. Blood is thicker than water after all.
What is good for the goose must also be good for the gander though. The constant harassment and maligning of citizens of south eastern extraction for being indecisive about whether they want to be a part of Nigeria must be history henceforth. If no questions are being asked about the North’s stance on Nigeria after the treasonous statements that have been emerging from notable clerics, elders and politicians of the North in recent weeks, then no questions should be asked when the likes of Orji Uzor Kalu queries the place of the Igbo man in today’s Nigeria.
The stigma that has contributed to their exile from the presidency even as the other two major tribes have had their fair share of power must therefore come to an end if the North is also considering their allegiances following Ecowas decision to respond with force against the military junta’s unlawful seizure of power and imprisonment of democratically elected president Mohammed Bazoum.
If Northern Nigeria’s allegiances are to Niger Republic and the rest of their Sahelian counterparts instead of Nigeria, then what right do we have to condemn the South East for their allegiance to Biafra?
A few months back, former governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara when asked about the candidacy of Mr Peter Obi who is of South Eastern extraction responded by saying that the Igbo man was still indecisive and his allegiances shifting between Nigeria and Biafra, and hencewith could not be trusted with governing a complex entity like Nigeria.
Perhaps it is time to ask Governor Matawalle again, what right does he and his Northern brothers have to govern Nigeria again given their loyalties are also in question at this critical time in our history?
If we will not allow Nigeria to be held to ransom by the South East and their demands, then we must also not allow Nigeria to be held to ransom by the North and their demands. The decision to invade Niger Republic and depose the military junta must be taken by President Tinubu and Ecowas free of fear, intimidation and threat of force.
Ahmed Abdullahi writes from Abuja and can be reached at 07013365133.