Mallam Mamman Daura, President Muhammadu Buhari’s confidant, is any individual that speaks ravishing once in a blue moon. He most steadily grants media interviews or appears to be like at public events. Most efficient a couple of Nigerians can level him out in a crowd. A Google image search will return now not up to a dozen photos of him. For a one who used to be a journalist, editor, corporate participant and entrepreneur in his youthful days, this anonymity is awfully great irregular — ravishing because it’s irregular so that you can be older than your uncle. Technically, Buhari is his uncle, even supposing the president is youthful. Daura’s father is the first minute certainly one of Buhari’s mom. Daura, at 80, is the nephew and Buhari, at 77, is the uncle.
The observe in town since Buhari came to residing of business in 2015 is that Daura is the vitality within the attend of the throne. But in a rare interview with the BBC Hausa Service final week, Daura — who inspired Buhari to hitch the army in 1962 — denied having any undue have an effect on on the president, declaring that he easiest advises him if he seeks his conception. What’s extra, the snippets that came out of the BBC interview also delivered what many would take into yarn a bombshell on “vitality shift” in 2023: “This turn by turn, it used to be done once, it used to be done twice, it used to be done thrice… It is better for this country to be one… it must be for essentially the most competent and now not for any individual that comes from someplace.”
I am drawn to 2 aspects of Daura’s assertion. One, he didn’t namely dispute vitality must now not streak to the south. He simply acknowledged we must discard “turn by turn” — which is within the an identical family with “federal persona”. But many acquire taken this as a coded message. I will advance attend to this. Two, he acknowledged what the south in overall likes to hear — that “competence” must be the principle element and now not, await this, “turn by turn”. This quiet angered some southerners. On a correct day, southerners argue that there must be no “turn by turn” and that “competence” must decide on all the pieces. On this occasion, it seems they opt “turn by turn” to “competence”.
On the first level, there would possibly perchance be a overall assumption in Nigeria that the north will always opt who will seemingly be elected president. The north believes it has the numbers to always cast off and this also can use these numbers the ability it likes. That is why Daura’s message has bid the polity into overdrive: it’s taken that the “north” has spoken. For sure, the north has the numbers — 19 out of 36 states and over 52 per cent of registered voters, and always with the next voter turn-out since time immemorial. That is why when any northerner talks on this be troubled, the response within the south is most steadily ferocious attributable to up to now as they are involved, the north has spoken and it’s fait accompli.
On the different hand, the Nigerian structure makes it compulsory for a presidential candidate to acquire now not now not up to 25 p.c of votes solid in at least 24 states of the federation. For the reason that north has 19 states and the south 17, it ability a set cannot by itself elect a president. We can always need every varied, even if it has to return to maintaining a urge-off within the match that no candidate meets the brink within the first round. Furthermore, I’d treat Daura’s space as a deepest conception. The north is politically various and dynamic. The root of a monolithic north — that is, the notion that every person within the set faces the an identical direction — is now not supported by history or info.
Of us have a tendency to use Buhari’s victories in 2015 and 2019 as proof of a monolithic north. But at his easiest in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari — arguably the largest vote-successful machine that has ever advance out of the set — didn’t acquire for your entire states within the north. He received in 16. If the south-west had maintained its voting pattern of 2011, Buhari would acquire lost the historic election which noticed a sitting president defeated for the first time. So, even with Buhari’s awesome electoral also can, he quiet wanted southern votes to acquire. It must even be eminent that Obasanjo and Jonathan, two southerners, defeated Buhari in 2003 and 2011 respectively — with northern enhance, for sure.
What am I riding at? Anybody needing to be president must have solid alliances for the duration of the divides, as Buhari realised in 2015. For the sage, the north has shown — now not once, now not twice — its willingness to enhance a southerner in opposition to certainly one of its personal. It took residing in 1993, 2003 and 2011. Bashorun MKO Abiola defeated Alhaji Bashir Tofa now not easiest within the north but also in Kano, Tofa’s dwelling bid, within the June 12 poll of 1993. Essentially the most valuable style must be in 1999 when northern vitality brokers labored for the 2 presidential candidates to return from the south-west. Folks that opt to abuse the north over the vitality equation gradually neglect or ignore these info of history.
In essence, a bigger job of addressing the 2023 “vitality shift” be troubled, in my knowing, is for the southern political leaders to forge the ravishing alliances within the north and have a consensus to zone the presidential tickets of the main events to the south. Resorting to threats and contaminated language and promising brimstone and fire will now not treatment any subject. These identical southern leaders backed Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in 2019 and Buhari quiet received. The field didn’t advance to an cease. Taking half in politics the ravishing ability and negotiating the ravishing alliances will work better. As I acknowledged, the north has shown willingness to enhance a southerner above a northerner several times within the previous.
The 2nd level is “competence”. I will’t accept as true with that a northerner would quiz that competence be outdated in selecting the Nigerian president and some southerners would kick so onerous. What’s the area changing into? All my lifestyles, I had been urged that the least colorful southerner is better than essentially the most colorful northerner. I had been urged that northerners can easiest acquire one thing else if it’s based on federal persona or quota design and southerners will acquire all the pieces if it’s based on competence or merit. Ensuing from this fact, shouldn’t southerners be wrathful that Daura acknowledged competence must decide on our different in 2023? I am reasonably perplexed that southern leaders are kicking in opposition to competence!
Jokes apart, I acquire always argued that competence is in every fragment of Nigeria. There would possibly perchance be now not any ethnic neighborhood, faith, set or bid that would now not acquire of us that are qualified to manual. Be it tutorial qualification, journey, exposure, expertise or enterprise, no ethnic neighborhood or faith has the monopoly. Perchance in 1914 or 1960, there used to be some monopoly. But nowadays, it’s inherited prejudice that will design anybody sit someplace and classify every person from a entire set as incompetent. I don’t know of any bid that cannot boast of getting produced graduates, dwelling and out of the country. That some states acquire extra than the others would now not indicate the others are illiterate and incompetent.
So what? I return to my argument: in a multi-ethnic and multi-spiritual bid, we can now not dispute also can is ravishing. We must evolve a design that comprises and integrates every person. That is the ideal cause I enhance the highly controversial federal persona: our form must replicate in matters of mutual relevance. I don’t desire to streak to a federal ministry and every person there would possibly perchance be from my village on the tell that they had been all recruited on merit. No multi-ethnic union can dwell to convey the story that means. We must affect a mode of belonging. And I divulge that since there would possibly perchance be competence from some distance and huge, we can put into effect merit-based federal persona. Let every share bring their easiest abilities to the pool.
In the hobby of national peace and team spirit, therefore, it’s miles shining for vitality to shift to the south in 2023. Opposite to Daura’s conception, rotation can incorporate each “turn by turn” and “competence”. They don’t must be mutually weird. There would possibly perchance be now not any bid in Nigeria nowadays that would now not acquire correct presidential affords. More so, now we desire to support watch over our quiet nationhood correctly. We can now not take care of the existing mutual suspicion and be troubled of domination if we support insisting that “also can is ravishing” or “now we acquire the numbers”. Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna bid, expressed identical sentiments early within the year and asked that vitality must streak to the south in 2023.
Nation-building is calculated, orchestrated and nurtured. It would now not happen unintentionally. That is why I am now pondering: is it time to entrench vitality rotation in our structure? It is very sure that Nigerians fancy rotation of vitality. The easiest subject is that some enhance or oppose it searching on where they stand at a level in time. Why don’t we stop pretending and ravishing affect it? Indeed, there are too many disorders that must be priorities: healthcare, security, education, infrastructure, industrialisation and inequality, among others. Bickering your entire time over vitality is a adversarial distraction. It destabilises us.
Let’s delivery up to commit our energies and feelings to the cause within the attend of correct governance and nation-building, assured that the vitality system is already sorted. The perennial stress and mischief over the vitality equation is hurting national cohesion. Let’s be ravishing: we’re but to acquire better from the Yar’Adua be troubled of 2010. Yar’Adua’s loss of life supposed the north also can now not entire its eight years and the penalties are quiet shaping political feelings. We are in a position to amend the legislation such that if the president leaves residing of business earlier than the expiration of duration of time, the replacement will advance from the an identical set thru a by-election. We would possibly perchance presumably like consensus and compromise. We badly need national therapeutic.
AND FOUR OTHER THINGS…
Anytime I hear of one more outbreak of killings in southern Kaduna, my heart bleeds. Whereas I convey for the unimaginative, the injured and the bereaved, I always marvel if these killings will ever advance to an cease. In the previous, now we acquire had abominate-fuelled, apparently intractable killings in Ogbe-Ijoh (Delta bid) and Ife/Modakeke (Osun bid). But at a level, the neighborhood leaders got drained of the bloodshed and determined to bury no topic the hatchet used to be and dwell collectively in peace. Southern Kaduna leaders desire to return to that fact — that there can easiest be peace if they all willingly comply with it. I know the abominate and bitterness is deep, but fancy conquers all things. They ravishing desire to give peace an different. Wisdom.
How would it now not had been if Boko Haram had succeeded in killing Prof Babagana Zulum, the governor of Borno bid, in Baga, on Wednesday? He used to be on his ability to search recommendation from some internally displaced folks (IDP) camps in Kukawa LGA when his convoy used to be attacked. We are thankful for his survival. But if the insurgents also can streak this some distance with a governor, the signal to frequent electorate is that they are removed from being safe and stable. The protection drive would need us to accept as true with that they’ve the Boko Haram be troubled under support an eye fixed on, but that is now not the vibe we acquire every day. There would possibly perchance be one thing we’re quiet now not getting ravishing no topic your entire sweat and sacrifice of our gallant troopers. Worrisome.
I used to be reasonably taken aback on the huge global response to a tell by Dr Stella Immanuel, a US-based Nigeria-expert Cameroonian doctor, that she outdated hydroxychloroquine, zinc and azithromycin to treat COVID-19 sufferers and he or she got outcomes. Dr Vladimir Zelenko, also US-based, made exactly the an identical claims in March but nobody descended on him. In fact, the peculiarities of COVID-19 signs in sufferers indicate the an identical treatment can yield varied outcomes. Genuinely, hydroxychloroquine has ended in the deaths of some aged sufferers. For the reason that jury remains to be out on the effectiveness of this treatment, I judge Immanuel’s clout-chasing outburst used to be very unprofessional. Reckless.
Dr Goke Tosin Akinrogunde, my buddy and brother, is a rare gem — one irregular Nigerian clinical doctor who places sacrifice and carrier above self, who elevates of us above profit. He determined to acquire a look at pills after a wretched minute one died for the reason that doctor would now not aim the appendicitis without a N1,000 deposit. Akinrogunde would later turn out to be an activist in his university days, overcoming rustication and persecution to pursue his needs. I acquire watched him, as the lead volunteer for a clinical charity, sacrifice his sleep and belly to bring smiles to the faces of the wretched and the downtrodden in unglamorous areas. I wish him a overjoyed birthday in arrears. Golden.
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