By Basil Okoh
It is telling of the sorry state of Nigerian political development that the same group of grandees who as young men participated in the independence movement of Nigeria are still today in the mix of Southern and Middle Belt emancipation movement, taking charge of and redirecting Nigeria to the original dreams of nationhood. Edwin Clark, Ayo Adebanjo etc.
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has in the course of the seven years of Muhammadu Buhari rule, taken the government head on, building a structured, informed and well constituted opposition that the main opposition party PDP has not been able to provide.
These grandees of Nigerian politics, to the utter shame of a younger generation of politicians, has been engaged, now as in previous civilian regimes, in providing issues based and vision driven political opposition, proposing better pathways for the management and future survivability of Nigeria. SMBLF continues to outflank Muhammadu Buhari’s regime in providing workable alternatives for constitutional change and restructuring of Nigeria.
SMBLF highlighted to Nigerians early in the regime, the gross biases in appointments by Buhari, government concentration of security and financial institutions appointments in his Fulani ethnic group, his seizure of the commanding heights of the nation’s economy for the unearned benefit of only his ethnic group, the Fulani.
Buhari’s many manouvres to position the same Fulani to take possession of ethnic lands leading to the disruption of the sociopolitical equilibrium in the nation was loudly heckled and shouted down by the SMBLF.
The recurrent theme of SMBLF and the communiques arising from its meetings hammered on the restructuring of Nigeria, the reworking of the constitution to reflect an evolving nation with an abiding commitment for the financial and administrative autonomy of its parts. SMBLF has advocated the convocation of a sovereign national conference for the ethnicities of the nation. The objective of all these, SMBLF insists, is to bring about buoyant economic growth all round and free the nation from constrictive centralization.
The SMBLF continues to alert the nation to the ineptitude of Muhammadu Buhari and his incapacity and unwillingness to confront the worsening security and dissonance in the country. The worsening disorder which has spread all over northern Nigeria and parts of the southeast has become the defining failure of the regime. The government itself stands accused of fostering the ruling maelstrom to pursue a Fulani supremacist agenda.
Government is believed to want to take advantage of the violence in the regions to weaken the popular will and make people ready to accept a Fulani to Fulani transition of government. This it is believed, is to finally achieve the objective of the many schemes of Fulani predation like the RUGA.
But as the regime prepares to implement its closing agenda of continuing Fulani domination through the subterfuge of keeping the presidency in the north, the SMBLF has to move fast and develop a diplomatic response to meet with the urgency of telling the world the story of Southern and Middle Belt people of Nigeria.
The SMBLF has to promptly set up a diplomatic mission to inform the world of the Nigerian situation and its commitment to save the Nigerian state through the pursuit of justice and liberty for its regions.
The SMBLF has to move beyond just issuing communiques. The portentous developments that will consume Nigeria going forward into the 2023 elections will attract foreign concerns and interventions. The SMBLF should have a team ready to explain to the world the case of the region it represents.
The Fulani oligarchy has a historic and legacy diplomatic engagement with the British since Lord Lugard. It also has established diplomatic dealings with the United States and the Arabian nations. The South has none.
Goodluck Jonathan realized late in his regime that he needed a lobby group to speak for him and defend his government in the arcane halls and chambers of decision making in Washington and Whitehall, but he acted too late to develop channels to defend his government as positions had been taken against him through the moves of the more proactive Fulani on behalf of Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari’s international adoption for the Nigerian presidency in 2015 was canvassed mostly in his speeches at Chatham House, St. James Square, London. The advisers of Muhammadu Buhari knew ahead of the campaign that Buhari needed to surrender himself to British approval and was coached to mouth his usual anti corruption catch phrases in order to win over the British audience.
His previous autocratic misdemeanors were forgiven and his adoption was whispered to the American Government. Thereafter, Rahm Emmanuel, the Jewish Barrack Obama’s winning campaign manager, was promptly deployed to design a campaign proposition for Buhari’s presidential election. The irony of a Jew designing a political campaign program for a Muslim zealot like Buhari was never lost.
The Fulani oligarchy always solicits and wins the support of the British to rule over Nigeria and do what is necessary to maintain a winning confidentiality with the British establishment. They guarantee the protection of British interests in Nigeria. But the Southern people in the belief of the justness of their cause, refuse to lobby the British to its side.
Britains overwhelming political influence in Nigeria cannot be denied or wished away. Neither can its influence in the international and diplomatic arena be denied. The failure by the Southern political establishment to mediate this influence and to take advantage of it, shares in the failures of southern internationalism since independence.
Britain’s fear of the splintering of Nigeria and the resultant refugee deluge across the world if the Fulani is forcefully removed from power is central to their policy on politics in Nigeria. This fear has to be allayed by diplomatic discussions and assurances.
Britain has to be made to help free up Nigeria for growth and all round development. She must not continue to share in the historic guilt of a failed Nigerian nation. Britain must not be seen to be identifying with and backing a backward Nigeria or its parts.
The SMBLF has to move nimbly to erect a diplomatic mission to advance the cause of a free, restructured and robustly managed Nigeria. We need to mount an effective lobby and win the sympathies and support of the international community for this undertaking.
- Obi giving Tinubu treatment IBB gave Abiola
- Atiku, Obi, two others ask tribunal to nullify Tinubu’s victory
- Ogun ex-permanent secretary, wife found dead in Lagos home
- APC chief upbraids Amaechi for linking Tinubu to INEC boss appointment
- Blame politicians, INEC for vote-buying: EU observers
JOIN OUR MaTaZ ArIsInG COMMUNITY!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER NOW
Our newsletter gives you access to a curated selection of the most important stories daily.
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via:
TEXT AD: To advertise here – Email firstname.lastname@example.org