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Northerners’ Born-to-Rule Manifesto: ‘Them Are Fighting Words’

By

Ahmed Garba

I deliberately chose an American informal/colloquial expression in the title of this article to demonstrate from the outset, how ridiculous it sounds to hear people, that is, some Southern Nigerians make the comment that Northerners believe that they are ‘born to rule Nigeria’.

In the last couple of years in particular, a lot of us Northerners have become quite familiar with this remark that, especially the so-called Hausa/Fulani have arrogated to themselves, the right to rule Nigeria.  You could just see how the neck vein of the proponents of this belief swells to the size of a goiter as they launch into some eye-popping tirade when this subject comes up.

The issue was once again brought to my attention recently, via an email that has been making the rounds, which contained an article entitled “[ICAN-NG] THE NORTH AND THE CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF NIGERIA—A MUST READ! “.  The article—which the author doesn’t seem too proud to claim by refusing to state his/her name upfront—made references to some comments purportedly made by Sir Ahamadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto, the late Premier of Northern Nigeria, in which he supposedly declared/revealed the “Northerners’ born to rule” manifesto.  The evidentiary proof, according to the nameless author is the following:

“The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate from our great-grand father Othoman Dan Fodio. We  must RUTHLESSLY prevent a change of power. We must use the minorities of the North as willing tools, and the South as conquered territories and never allow them to have control of their future”

 This ‘fatwa-like’ remark was said to have been made by Sardauna on October 12, 1960, and the author claimed that the quote came out of a magazine called PARROT (what an apt name for a source of information of this nature) issued on the same day.  As Nigerians will say, this is ‘arrant nonsense’!

In this article, I will engage in both qualitative (i.e. narrative) and quantitative (i.e. statistical) analyses of this alleged northern arrogation of power, in order to properly address this prevailing anti-Northerners, anti-Muslims, and anti-Hausa/Fulani acrimony pervading the country.

QUALITATIVE (Narrative) ANALYSIS

Sardauna was well known for speaking his mind, but even then, it is doubtful, if not inconceivable that he could have uttered the quote above.  Apart from the fact that the remark lacks the kind of political sophistication that one would expect from the caliber of Sardauna, when put in the context of early 1960s Nigeria, this quote screams ‘utter insidious fabrication’ from someone too crude and inept, trying to sow mischief.  I would say, this is a case of sending a boy to do a man’s job.  Now I have to spend precious time poking holes in the shoddy job done by this dullard, while at the same time correcting the misinformation aimed at his/her intended audience.

First, let’s begin with the spelling ‘Othoman Dan Fodio’.  Anyone familiar enough with Nigerian political history will know that the correct spelling should take one of these forms: Usman Dan Fodio (correct Hausa spelling); or Uthman Dan Fodio; or Usman Dan Fuduye (Francophone African spelling); or Usman ibn Fodio (Afro-Arabic spelling).  So, where did this author get ‘Othoman’?  From an Orientalist?

Secondly, when Sardauna made this remark, what were the responses of his southern counterparts after reading such inflammatory comment at this time of Nigeria’s formative period?  Let’s keep in mind that even now, in the year 2012, some Southerners never fail to denigrate Northerners as illiterate, backward, unsophisticated, nothing but ‘cattle herders’, how much more in the early 1960s, when Sardauna supposedly made this comment?  Wouldn’t the Southern Premiers have come out in full swing with their Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard education to ‘put our Mallam in his place’?  But the author somehow failed to come up with any appropriate retort or fiery response from the “highly educated”, and “more sophisticated” Premiers of Western and Eastern regions. Not even belligerent Awolowo or the erudite Azikiwe came up with an equally apt  response?  How could they have let this ‘Cattle Herder” get away with such derogatory, and provocative comment?   The nameless author went on to add:

“Note that the ‘do or die’ election of 1959 did not give the North the required majority to form Government until Eastern Nigeria (Today’s South-East and South-South) came to the rescue.”

So, here we have the author telling us that one year before Sardauna made the previous condescending remark; the Southerners had generously subjugated themselves to his northern party, by literally handing the party the votes needed to form majority government.   What were they thinking, with all that advanced education?  Were these Southerners just too magnanimous, and for what reason?  The author of this diatribe apparently does not understand the concept of parliamentary system and coalition government.  An agreement between two political parties (NPC and NCNC) to form a majority government in a parliamentary system was hardly a generous sacrifice on the part of the Eastern Nigerians.

The usual argument in support of this anti-North campaign is that for 37+ years, Northerners were at the helm of affairs in Nigeria.  But, for the bulk of those years, Nigeria was ruled by the military–an organization that had members from both the North and the South.  In fact, the very first military coup in Nigeria (January 1966) was carried out by Southerners (Ibos), who pointedly massacred polticians and military officers who were not from their own part of the country.  Strangely enough, Nzeogwu, the cold-blooded murderous mastermind of the coup, was not only reported to be the protégé of Sardauna, but, even he never mentioned that he was motivated by Sardauna’s ‘born to rule’ manifesto.  In addition, the brutal killing of Sardauna was gallantly avenged partly by those “minority Northerners” that he supposedly had blatantly described with the condescending words “willing tools”.  Furthermore, I am yet to find any citation, where even Ojukwu, in all his struggles for the state of Biafra, ever mentioned this purported remark by Sardauna.

Another point worth noting is that, since most of the 37+ years of rule by Northerners was achieved through military coups, what prevented the southern military officers from staging their own coup in the intevening years?  Was it that the spirit of ‘born to rule’ was so much in favour of the Hausa/Fulani officers that their coup could never fail? Or were they just brazen, and brave enough to put their lives on the line, and bear the consequences, only to have their southern counterparts and their descendants come out whining and distorting history years later?

If indeed there was anything resembling Northerners’ ”born to rule” manifesto put together by Sardauna, and expected to be maintained by “Northerners”, particularly, Hausa/Fulani, then they must have failed woefully, or they never believed in it.  Here is why:

ALONG CAME YAKUBU GOWON (1966)

Throughout the unfolding events of the July 1966 counter coup, Murtala Muhammed, a Hausa/Fulani man was one of the, if not ‘the central figure’ in this event.  He was in the thick and thin of it all, barking orders and following his own game plan.  However, despite reports of some heated exchanges between him and Yakubu Gowon, when the dust finally settled, it was Yakubu Gowon, a member of the minority tribe that was chosen as the head of state.  Could these brave Hausa/Fulani soldiers who put their lives on the line, quickly forget the ‘born to rule’ injunction from Sardauna?  They will just hand over the rulership to a non-Hausa/Fulani, when barely 6 years earlier; they supposedly have been instructed to arrogate power to themselves, ‘RUTHLESSLY’.   Recall also that not only did these northern military officers fail to maintain that ‘born to rule’ agenda, but they also went to war under the command and leadership of a non-Hausa/Fulani head of state.  Could the claim of northerners or Hausa/Fulani arrogation of power be anymore illogical?

ALONG CAME OBASANJO (1976)

In the 1976 failed Dimka coup, when Murtala Muhammed was laying in the pool of his own blood, and Shehu Yar’Adua and T.Y. Danjuma were busy putting down the coup, Murtala’s own second in command, Obasanjo was hiding under a rock somwehere (as he remained incommunicado for some crtitical hours).  It would have been easy for the Northerners to excercise their ‘born to rule’ agenda, by simply handing the mantle of leaderhip to, say, Shehu Yar’Adua, or T.Y. Danjuma (who was actually urged to take over, but he declined, preferring to follow order of seniority).  Instead, they waited for frazzled Obasanjo to crawl out of his hiding place, and appointed him as the new head of state.  Not only that, they stood by him to steady his shaky hands and build his confidence. I wonder why the  Northerners or the Hausa/Fulani did not dig up that ‘PARROT’ magazine to remind themselves of what Sardauna had instructed them?

ALONG CAME MKO ABIOLA (1993)

In the 1993 presidential primaries for Socical Democratic Party, M.K.O. Abiola, a Southerner defeated two Northerners (Baba Kingibe, and Atiku Abubakar) to secure the nomination for his party.  He then went on to defeat yet another Hausa/Fulani, Bashir Tofa in the June 12, 1993 presidential elections.  According to some accounts, Abiola was even well voted for in Tofa’s home state of Kano.  I wonder what happened to that Northerners’ born to rule agenda?

ALONG CAME OBASANJO AGAIN (1999)

Let us remember that in 1998, a handful of Northerners (Rtd. Generals Babangida, Danjuma, Yahya Gusau, etc.), Muslims and Christians went clear across Nigeria, to a filthy prison in the dark crevices of the city of Yola to scrape up from the floor, a decaying convict of southern origin, and a Christian (Rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo).  Against everything that was right and just, they gazetted a pardon for him, and resuscitated his malnourished body with better than prison food; they made him shed that striped prison uniform and provided him with an assortment of quality clothing; they gave him seed money from their own ill-gotten wealth in order for him to run for election in 1999.  They didn’t stop there, they made sure that this southern Christian was successfully foisted on Nigeria, even against the will of his own southern people.  And we know how he rewarded these Northerners with generous amount of mischief and machinations.

Now, query: What happened to that purported ‘born to rule’ manifesto that Sardauna left behind for these Northerners?

THEN CAME JONAH (2010)

In 2010, when Goodluck Jonathan vacated his sense of honor, if he ever had any, and decided that his own party’s zoning arrangement did not apply to him, despite records proving that he was signatory number 32, Nigeria was suddenly informed that there had been a long standing Northern ‘born to rule’ mentality.  We saw manipulative, passive-aggressive, callous serpent—Jonah played victim and dragged Nigeria into his own party’s zoning brouhaha, and the NPLF (Northern People Leadership Forum), under the leadership of Adamu Ciroma, stupidly helped him foul up the air with their PDP in-fighting, with the result that the phrase ‘born to rule’ entered the Nigerian political lexicon.  No doubt, the war of words between the two cretins–Ciroma vs. Jonah, was the one factor that brought these fighting words to the forefront.

In spite of Jonah’s willingness to wink at his people of Ijaw ‘nation’, and other Southerners, egging them on as they  yelp ‘Northern born to rule’, the same two-faced, diabolic man was enlisting the help of Northerners to help him secure a win in the presidential election.  And some of them obliged! With the tacit agreement, in fact, blatant acquiescense of some Northerners, Emirs included–some of whom could even trace their family lineage to Sardauna himself.   We saw Northerners served as foot soldiers for the serpent from the South-South (By the way South-South is not a geographic point, it doesn’t exist even on a 16-point compass).  The Northerners, including the likes of Haliru Bello, a Hausa/Fulani man from Sarduana’s own place of origin, who were supposed to have that ‘born to rule’ mentality engrained in them, became Jonah’s errand boys.  They were frequently dispatched with “gifts/messages” to shameless northern traditional rulers, politicians, and other chief ballot riggers, so much so that when the elections were held, Jonah claimed that he secured close to 500,000 votes in the home state of Sardauna himself! .

These same ‘born to rule’ Northerners, worked fervently against one of their very own–Muhammadu Buhari, in favour of a southern Christian–Jonah.  The level of acrimony the Northern elites displayed against Buhari was more than palpable.  In fact, one of his most brutal antagonist was that self-loathing Sule Lamido, governor of Jigawa state, and a fellow Fulani!  He even went as far as to declare that if Jonah was not elected president, Nigeria will break up!  I wonder what the Southerners think of this remark, especially since they had tried to blame the post-election riots on Buhari.  Better yet, what does the SSS think of it?

Again, query: What happened to that purported ‘born to rule’ manifesto that Sardauna left behind for these Northerners?

If we were to believe that the 2011 presidential election was fair, then we will recall that Jonah claimed that he was able to get the required 25% of votes from many of the 19 northern states.  Yet, not even one of the three Northern candidates was able to secure a win in southern states, except for Ribadu, who managed to win one state in the South West.  Ironically, even Nuhu Ribadu, who was the flag-bearer for the ACN party could not secure a win in the southern state of Lagos, where his own party was head-quartered!  It is therefore, amusing to note that despite the foregoing narration showing how the Northerners or Hausa/Fulani have collaborated with Southerners or the so-called “northern minority tribes”, some people are still ranting about Northern/Hausa/Fulani domination.

QUANTITATIVE (Statistical) ANALYSIS

As I stated earlier, I intend to augment my narrative analysis with cold, hard statistics.  My approach to the quantitative analyses is therefore done in two parts.  The first is a summary of the data, while the second part goes deeper into inferential statistical analysis.

DATA SUMMARY

Looking at tables (1-7) in the Appendix section, in the 50 years or so since Nigeria attained independence, there has been a total of 14 heads of state, as shown in table 1, with varying lengths of service, and from diverse background.  The military accounts for 37 of the years of service.  As table 2 shows, people of northern origin account for 37.17 years of service, however, this figure includes 12 years of on-again, off-again civilian administrations.  Southerners, as shown in table 3 so far, have 14.27 years, with 10.25 years represented by civilian administrations.  It should be noted here that I left out Nnamdi Azikiwe from the sample for Southerners because he was a president in a parliamentary system of government, where the prime minister was more of the substantive head of government.  Besides, it will be ridiculous to show two heads of state at the same time, for the same country.  Furthermore, since the allegation is that Northerners have dominated the scene, it will look like cheating in their favor to substitute Azikiwe for Balewa.

Table 4 shows that Muslims account for about 28 years of service, while Christians (table 5) have about 23 years of service.  Interestingly enough, while Christians are represented from both the north and south, there has never been a Muslim from the south.  The often vilified Hausa/Fulani account for mere 14 years, as shown in table 6, while Non-Hausa/Fulani (table 7) have served for a whopping 37 years, almost three times as long as the much maligned Hausa/Fulani.  In fact, four Non-Hausa/Fulani heads of state (Abacha*, Babangida, Gowon and Obasanjo) have a combined total of over 33 years, and more than 20 of those years belong to the last two, who also happen to be Christians.  Furthermore, one Southern, Christian head of state (Obasanjo), accounts for more than two-thirds of the total years of service for all Hausa/Fulani heads of state combined (11 ½ vs. 14 ¼  years).

* I know that identifying Abacha as Non-Hausa/Fulani may be controversial, especially since some Southerners will rather lump him together with Hausa/Fulani, but I have a feeling that, if he were alive, he will prefer to self-identify as a Kanuri.  In fact, it is possible that his military enlistment records may reflect this classification.

 STATISTICAL ANALYSIS

As mentioned earlier, I intend to subject these widely-held and evidently erroneous beliefs to statistical analysis in order to ascertain/dispute the veracity of this anti-north propaganda.  As noted above, Nigeria has only been independent for about 50 years, and has been ruled by 14 heads of state.  Therefore, I decided to use a non-parametric test for this analysis.  I have therefore chosen two-sample t-test which helps to address the issue of non-normal (abnormal) distribution of the samples, as well as their small sizes.   The standard two-sample t-test formula is expressed as:

t = [(x1 – x2) – d] / SE

Where t is the returned/calculated value; x-sub1 is the mean for sample 1; x-sub2 is the mean for sample 2; d is the hypothesized difference, in this case we are saying that the difference between the means of any of the two sets is zero; SE is the standard error, calculated as (SE = sqrt[(s12/n1) + (s22/n2)] ); n1 (e.g. Northerners), n2 (e.g. Southerners) are the sample sizes. The model is repeatedly tested for each of the 3 pairs of samples—Northerners vs. Southerners; Muslims vs. Christians; and Hausa/Fulani vs. Non-Hausa/Fulani.  In order to remain faithful to the technical requirements of the t-test model, I used the mean rank values derived from the ranking by years of service (tables 1-7, in the appendix).  Also, in all of the following analyses, if the calculated t-value is greater than the critical t score and the associated p value based on the degrees of freedom (calculated as DF = (s12/n1 + s22/n2)2 / { [ (s12 / n1)2 / (n1 – 1) ] + [ (s22 / n2)2 / (n2 – 1) ] }) is less than 0.05–the expect value for alpha (α)–then the null hypothesis will be rejected.

 The preceding descriptive/summary analysis is obviously based on cursory observation, and, though it sheds some light on the matter, it still hides some salient facts.  So, in the following inferential statistical analyses, I will peel off some of the ‘layers of this onion’.  Let me re-iterate one critical proviso: The sample sizes (9 and 5 or 8 and 6) are not exactly large enough for robust analysis, but the data sets cannot be substituted with anything else.  They are what they are.

 Northerners vs. Southerners

Null hypothesis (1) H0: μ1 = μ2): There is no statistically significant difference in the average years of service between Northern and Southern heads of state.  That is, the hypothesized mean difference is 0.

t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Equal Variances
  Northerners Southerners
Mean Rank 6.889 5
Variance 10.611 13.5
Sample Size 9 5
Pooled Variance 11.574
Hypothesized Mean Difference 0
df 12
Calculated t Stat 0.9954
P(T<=t) one-tail 0.1696
t Critical one-tail 1.7823
P(T<=t) two-tail 0.3392
t Critical two-tail 2.1788

Figure 1

As figure 1 above shows, there have been 9 Northern heads of state and 5 from the south.  Their mean ranks, based on years of service are 6.89 and 5 respectively, with variance of 10.6 for the north and 13.5 for the south.  The calculated t value of 0.9954 is far less than the critical t of 2.1788 (two-tail).  The p-value of 0.3392, for 12 degrees of freedom is far greater than the chosen p = 0.05.  Therefore, even though there are almost twice as many heads of state of northern origin, there is no statistically significant difference in their length of service compared to the southern heads of state.

Muslims vs. Christians

Null hypothesis (2) H0: μ1 = μ2): There is no statistically significant difference in the average years of service between Muslim and Christian heads of state.   That is, the hypothesized mean difference is 0.

t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Equal Variances
  Muslims Christians
Mean Rank 6.375 6
Variance 9.4107 16.8
Sample Size 8.0 6
Pooled Variance 12.4896
Hypothesized Mean Difference 0
df 12.0000
Calculated t Stat 0.1965
P(T<=t) one-tail 0.4238
t Critical one-tail 1.7823
P(T<=t) two-tail 0.8475
t Critical two-tail 2.1788

Figure 2

In figure 2 above, we have 8 Muslim heads of state and 6 Christians.  Their mean ranks, based on years of service are 6.4 and 6 respectively, with variance of 9.4107 for the Muslims and 16.8 for the Christians.  This shows that even though their respective means are close, there is a lot of variation among the Christians.  We can even tell by looking at the spread, Shonekan’s ¼ year of service to Obasanjo’s one-time 8 years or his total of 11 ½ years. The calculated t value of 0.1965 is far less than the critical t of 2.1788 (two-tail).  The p-value of 0.8475, for 12 degrees of freedom is far greater than the chosen p = 0.05.  Therefore, there is no statistically significant difference between Muslim and Christian heads of state.

Null hypothesis (3) H0: μ1 = μ2): There is no statistically significant difference in the average years of service between Hausa/Fulani and Non-Hausa/Fulani heads of state.   That is, the hypothesized mean difference is 0.

Hausa/Fulani vs. Non-Hausa/Fulani

t-Test: Two-Sample Assuming Equal Variances
  Hausa/Fulani Non-Hausa/Fulani
Mean Rank 5.8 6.44
Variance 8.2 14.53
Sample Size 5 9
Pooled Variance 12.4185
Hypothesized Mean Difference 0
df 12
Calculated  t Stat -0.3279
P(T<=t) one-tail 0.3743
t Critical one-tail 1.7823
P(T<=t) two-tail 0.7487
t Critical two-tail 2.1788

Figure 3

Figure 3 shows; there have been 5 Hausa/Fulani heads of state and 9 Non-Hausa/Fulani.  Their mean ranks, based on years of service are 5.8 and 6.4 respectively, with variance of 8.2 for the Hausa/Fulani and 14.53 for the Non-Hausa/Fulani.  This shows that even though their respective means are close, there is a lot of variation among the Non-Hausa/Fulani.  We can even tell by looking at the spread, Shonekan’s ¼ year of service to Gowon’s 9 years, for instance. The Hausa/Fulani tend to have a series of “shorter” lengths of service.  The calculated t value of -0.3279 is far less than the critical t of 2.1788 (two-tail).  The p-value of 0.7487, for 12 degrees of freedom is far greater than the chosen p = 0.05.  Therefore, even though there are almost half as many Hausa/Fulani heads of state compared to Non-Hausa/Fulani, there is no statistically significant difference in their length of service.

What has become clear from the foregoing is that all these heads of state have come about as a result of random chance.

CONCLUSION

When northern military officers worked together during the July 1966 counter coup, and eventually chose a non Hausa/Fulani–Yakubu Gowon, to become the head of state, we didn’t hear anything about Hausa/Fulani ‘born to rule’ agenda; when, after the assassination of Murtala, northern military officers waited respectfully for Obasanjo to crawl out of hiding, and collectively chose him to lead the country, we didn’t hear anything about “Northerners’ born to rule” agenda; when Northerners voted in droves in 1993 and handed Abiola victory, even in the home state of his Hausa/Fulani opponent, we didn’t hear anything about Hausa/Fulani born to rule mentality; when Northerners foisted once, and rigged twice for Obasanjo to become civillian president, there was no hula baloo about  “Northerners’ born to rule” manifesto.  However, when Nigeria got Jonah, the president who has been leading Nigeria to that road to division, Northerners collectively, or Hausa/Fulani in particular, are now being accused of a long-standing belief in arrogation of power.  Fortunately, the issue of Northern, Muslim, or Hausa/Fulani dominance of leadership in Nigeria is not, to borrow a word from Tam David-West, ‘photophobic’.  It can be put under the light and subjected to thorough scrutiny, as I have done here.  In all of this north-south mudslinging, the one thing that has remained incomprehensible to me is this:

On the one hand, Northerners have been portrayed as backward, illiterates, ‘Almajirai’—Sons and Daughters of beggars, and on the other, they have arrogated to themselves the right, and the ability to rule Nigeria.  How do the educated, enlightened Southerners reconcile these apparently conflicting portrayals of the Northerners?  If the arguments are true, how could backward ‘cattle herders’ rule erudite, sophisticated Southerners for so long, even if achieved by the barrel of the gun?

APPENDIX

Table 1: Nigerian Heads of State Since Independence
Head of State Years of Svc. Ranking by Yrs. Of Svc. Region Religion Hausa/Fulani Military/Civilian Note Svc. Start Year
Tafawa Balewa 5 9 North Muslim Yes Civilian 1960
Yakubu Gowon 9 11 North Christian No Military 1966
Aguyi Ironsi 0.5 2 South Christian No Military 1966
Murtala Muhammed 0.5 2 North Muslim Yes Military 1975
Olusegun Obasanjo 3.5 7 South Christian No Military 1976
Shehu Shagari 4 8 North Muslim Yes Civilian 1979
Muhammadu Buhari 1.67 4 North Muslim Yes Military 1984
Ibrahim Babangida 8 10 North Muslim No Military Gwari 1985
Ernest Shonekan 0.25 1 South Christian No Civilian 1993
Sani Abacha 5 9 North Muslim No Military Kanuri 1993
Abdulsalam Abubakar 1 3 North Muslim No Military Gwari 1998
Olusegun Obasanjo 8 10 South Christian No Civilian 1999
Umaru Musa Yar’Adua 3 6 North Muslim Yes Civilian 2007
Goodluck Jonathan 2 5 South Christian No Civilian 2010
Total Years of Svc.    51.42
Table 2: Northerners
Head of State Years of Svc. Ranking by Yrs. Of Service Region Religion Hausa/Fulani Note
Murtala Muhammed 0.5 2 North Muslim Yes
Abdulsalam Abubakar 1 3 North Muslim No Gwari
Muhammadu Buhari 1.67 4 North Muslim Yes
Umaru Musa Yar’Adua 3 6 North Muslim Yes
Shehu Shagari 4 8 North Muslim Yes
Tafawa Balewa 5 9 North Muslim Yes
Sani Abacha 5 9 North Muslim No
Ibrahim Babangida 8 10 North Muslim No Gwari
Yakubu Gowon 9 11 North Christian No Gwari
Total Years of Service 37.17
Table 3:Southerners
Head of State Years of Svc. Ranking by Yrs. Of Service Region Religion Hausa/Fulani Note
Ernest Shonekan 0.25 1 South Christian No
Aguyi Ironsi 0.5 2 South Christian No
Goodluck Jonathan 2 5 South Christian No
Olusegun Obasanjo 3.5 7 South Christian No
Olusegun Obasanjo 8 10 South Christian No
Total Years of Service  14.25
Table 4: Muslims
Head of State Years of Svc. Ranking by Yrs. Of Service Region Religion Hausa/Fulani Note
Murtala Muhammed 0.5 2 North Muslim Yes
Abdulsalam Abubakar 1 3 North Muslim No Gwari
Muhammadu Buhari 1.67 4 North Muslim Yes
Umaru Musa Yar’Adua 3 6 North Muslim Yes
Shehu Shagari 4 8 North Muslim Yes
Tafawa Balewa 5 9 North Muslim Yes
Sani Abacha 5 9 North Muslim No
Ibrahim Babangida 8 10 North Muslim No Gwari
Total Years of Service 28.17
Table 5: Christians
Head of State Years of Svc. Ranking by Yrs. Of Service Region Religion Hausa/Fulani Note
Yakubu Gowon 9 11 North Christian No Gwari
Ernest Shonekan 0.25 1 South Christian No
Aguyi Ironsi 0.5 2 South Christian No
Goodluck Jonathan 2 5 South Christian No
Olusegun Obasanjo 3.5 7 South Christian No
Olusegun Obasanjo 8 10 South Christian No
Total Years of Service 23.25
Table 6: Hausa-Fulani
Head of State Years of Svc. Ranking by Yrs. Of Service Region Religion Hausa/Fulani Note
Murtala Muhammed 0.5 2 North Muslim Yes
Muhammadu Buhari 1.67 4 North Muslim Yes
Umaru Musa Yar’Adua 3 6 North Muslim Yes
Shehu Shagari 4 8 North Muslim Yes
Tafawa Balewa 5 9 North Muslim Yes
Total Years of Svc. 14.17
Table 7: Non Hausa-Fulani
Head of State Years of Svc. Ranking by Yrs. Of Service Region Religion Hausa/Fulani Note
Abdulsalam Abubakar 1 3 North Muslim No Gwari
Sani Abacha 5 9 North Muslim No Kanuri
Ibrahim Babangida 8 10 North Muslim No Gwari
Yakubu Gowon 9 11 North Christian No Gwari
Ernest Shonekan 0.25 1 South Christian No
Aguyi Ironsi 0.5 2 South Christian No
Goodluck Jonathan 2 5 South Christian No
Olusegun Obasanjo 3.5 7 South Christian No
Olusegun Obasanjo 8 10 South Christian No
Total Years of Service  37.25
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Buhari Takes Jonah to School

By

Ahmed Garba

Slowly but surely, even those who voted for him are beginning to come to the sad realization that though this emperor (GEJ, aka Jonah) has cloth, but it is a cheap suit.  No, he is a cheap suit.  It has become quite glaring that for as long as he has been in office, Jonah’s administration has failed to put forward something that Nigerians can “chew on”, that is, in terms of meaningful policy/policies.  His inability to present a coherent solution to Nigeria’s problems is too obvious.  Perhaps this is why “the General” could not resist the temptation to offer some lessons.

 Good Governance 101:  Lesson 1, chapter 1

In a brief moment, perhaps not more than 10 minutes, while standing on his feet, and without the luxury of illegitimate, over-paid advisers, Buhari presented, in a rather summary fashion, what Jonah and his surrounding cannibals could not even seem to fathom, as a viable solution to the ills facing Nigeria.  The General, who Nigerian political machinery likes to disfavor, proffers the following:

“To avert the looming chaos in the New Year, immediate steps should be taken to drastically reduce the cost of governance in the three tiers of government. Salaries and especially allowances should be drastically reduced; security votes should be abolished – not increased as the 2012 Budget has done….Votes for the Armed Forces, Police and Security Services should be transparent and accountable; foreign travel and estacodes should be stopped for at least six months other than for the Presidency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and medical emergencies. Government House expenses in all the states should be drastically reduced, foreign travel suspended for a while… The National Assembly should give a lead in reducing their allowances substantially and stopping their foreign travels. These savings should be applied to education, infrastructure and agriculture with emphasis on youth employment through meaningful and practical emergency programmes”.

Source:  http://dailytimes.com.ng/article/nigeria-verge-anarchy#.TvyMvm85uro.email

Here we have the sincere, seasoned leader teaching the schoolboy light-weight how it ought to be done. Without even batting an eyelash, the General is teaching Jonah the cardinal elements of good governance. Unflinchingly, without shuddering, and without as much as a crack in his voice, Buhari tendered not just a fair, but also a viable way out of the damning quagmire that Nigeria has found herself.

There are those who will contend that it is easier said than done.  They will argue that after all, the jumbo salaries and their attending perks were established by law/bill passed by that “august” gathering of unconscionable thieves—the legislature.

I say, as long as this law was not written by the fingers of God, it can be repealed, and it must!

Unless one is an animal that revels in eating its own young, it will be hard to argue with what Buhari has suggested above. Common sense will dictate that in a country, where a disproportionate number is a toiling masses, ravaged by hunger and other forms of deprivations, beneficial populist policies have to take precedence over bourgeois advantages or lifestyle.  It is absolutely untenable that, in a Nigeria where the average person survives on $2.00/day, 2 families or even 500 people can justify spending half a billion naira on food in one year!  This is even more appalling if one considers the fact that the president of the richest country in the world (USA) pays for his and his family’s food (except for state dinners).  The president even pays for sundries such as tooth paste and toiletries!

Now that “the General” has been kind enough to throw Jonah a bone, let’s see if he can comprehend it, and run with it.

Never Ending Embarrassment

As the Nigerian masses toil away in unwarranted anguish, there are callous members of the Nigerian elite class who are at once “living large”, and busily shaming the country as well. Tell me a true-blooded, proud Nigerian that will be unperturbed to read stories such as this one:

“Ambassador Felix Oboro, the Nigerian Ambassador to Venezuela, a nominee representing Bayelsa State, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s home state, was searched in spite of his diplomatic privileges because he was giving diplomatic cover to an alleged drug peddler and for his frequent travels and excessive use of the VIP airport lounge at the Simeon Bolivar International Airport, Caracas Venezuela, according to investigations by Nigerian foreign ministry personnel….Embassy documents revealed that between January and March 2011, he had used the VIP lounge twelve (12) times for frivolous travels….The foreign Ministry officials are irked that the Nigerian government has refused to sanction Oboro because he was nominated by then Vice President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. They are also irked that he has not represented Nigeria well in Venezuela, being an OPEC member state that has recorded huge successes in the oil and energy sectors.”

Source: http://dailytimes.com.ng/article/nigerian-ambassador-searched-drugs#.TvyCxffXnkY.email

So, this crude and crass man has literally appointed himself the Chief Officer in charge of Embarrassing and Disgracing Nigeria (Abroad).  Even a farm animal can be trained to know where to pee.  To add insult to injury, it turns out that this village nitwit is also a merciless, unapologetic THIEF!

 “Some of his alleged excesses include spending mission funds without the approval of the foreign ministry for the medical treatment of his step-son Sapre-Obi which cost taxpayers $75,000.00 (Seventy five thousand US dollars); blowing $286, 541 of hospitality allowance between July and August 2008, and the equivalent of $1, 000, 000 (One million USD) on entertainment in 2009…In a letter dated February 24th 2011, to JP Morgan Chase Bank, United Nations Plaza New York he confirmed that he authorized a withdrawal of US$100,000 (one hundred thousand US dollars) from the embassy account for the purchase of a vehicle which has not been delivered till date.”

Source: http://dailytimes.com.ng/article/nigerian-ambassador-searched-drugs#.TvyCxffXnkY.email

To think that this creature, who is no better than a pediculus humanus (head lice), has been doing these embarrassing things for close to four years now, and no action has been taken against him, is beyond comprehension.  This is even more painful when one considers the agony of the technocrats who have been trying to rescue Nigeria from the hands of this ingrate beneath the fedora (bowler) hat.  Under a serious and effective administration, characters such as Oboro would have been taken to the wood shack, to put an end to this inexcusable tomfoolery.  In fact, he should never have been tolerated for a blink of an eye.

In the end, I would have to say, if I didn’t know that it will add a crushing weight on Jonah, I would have suggested that while he is taking these lessons from Buhari, it may do him good to tackle that “little” matter of immunity clause, for extra point.  But, I know that is asking for too much.  So, I will wait until that day when Nigeria, by the mercy of God, or dint of sheer luck, is blessed with a real and true government.

 

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