By Dan Okojie
Southern Nigeria [Igbo, Yoruba and Niger Delta] listen to me carefully.
Forget your PhDs, businesses, “abroad exposure”, “open-eye”, big big grammar, social media sagacity etc. Get your notes, go and beg the Hausa-Fulani to tutor you on how to play politics.
The average Fulani man may look dirty, uneducated, unexposed, deprived or stupid but he possesses a knowledge of the importance of political power and how to use it. The Hausa-Fulani are not by any means stupid. In fact, they are masters of Nigerian politics.
Nigeria’s transition to democracy in 1999, was heralded as a new dawn for a brighter future. In preparation to enthrone himself as a civilian President, the late General Sani Abacha created Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Nassarawa, Zamfara, Gombe and Ekiti States. Now making 36 in total. The South had absolutely no idea that by this, the balance of power would forever tilt towards the North even in a democratic setting. Only on this premise did Abacha agree to an eventual transition to democracy which General Abdusalam would see through. The 1999 constitution [the one supervised and crafted by the Caliphate], put paid to the aspirations of the South and set the stage for its perpetual subservience to the North. Our politicians didn’t think much about it-we were happy Obasanjo was made President.
In today’s Nigeria, Northern Nigeria dominates virtually every aspect of the nation’s political dynamics. Democracy is a game of numbers and with this fact, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Niger etc., will continue to play significant roles in who becomes President of Nigeria, their members in the national assembly will continue to constitute the majority without which key bills would falter if not in their interests-PIB, NNPC sale, oil blocks licensing, electoral reforms, restructuring etc.
No matter your wealth, the real power lies with who calls the shots in politics. By fiat, your billions could be frozen by the President whimsically. The average Southerner is not politically conscious. He doesn’t understand politics nor does he think beyond an election cycle. The Hausa-Fulani plan across generational lines. They think ahead. You often see the shoemaker, sugarcane seller, herdsman, suya man and others glued to their transistor radio. They don’t bother about Davido, Tuface or Teniola. They are focused on what’s going on in the polity-propaganda, religious directives, strategies, policy etc.
Their mosques are centers for religious, political and social engineering. In every election, they vote en bloc for a particular candidate regardless of performance. Once their leaders direct, they follow. Some may call this foolishness but I beg to differ. It is exactly why Buhari was so confident going into the 2019 elections having performed disastrously. Southern Nigeria’s churches focus on tithes, wealth and bogus spiritual promises of a “better life”.
You don’t find Hausa-Fulani killing themselves during elections. But the supposedly “Educated” South is always a war zone at every election cycle.
While Southerners target Shell, Mobil, Total, Chevron, Zenith bank, traveling abroad, bagging degrees etc, the average Northerner’s focus is the NDA, military, CBN, NNPC, DPR, NAPIMS, Police, DSS and other organizations that have considerable strategic influence in the affairs of the country.
Northern Nigeria is way smarter, united, politically mature and coherent than the South. Kwankwaso may disagree with Buhari but he would never get into a war of words with him like Amaechi did with Jonathan in 2015. Kwankwaso and Ganduje may be political enemies but you would never see their supporters shelling themselves with bullets like those of Amaechi and Wike. Buhari and Atiku [both Fulani men] contested the 2019 elections, not a single bullet was fired in the North but over 50 persons were killed in Rivers State alone due to the feud between Amaechi and Wike.
We need to come down from our high horse, go on our knees to beg them to lecture us for we are but babies in this game.