On Wed, May 31, 2017 at 9:12, Vincent Bodam
TIME FOR A MIDDLE BELT PRESIDENT!
It is an unwholesome fact that the core north of Nigeria is power hungry, power drunk and power mad to a point of hubris. From the conception of this country in 1914, the people of the north (with reference to the arid parts), have positioned themselves close to the corridors of power while other parts kept snoozing.
While one can argue with inalienable facts that power infact does not like them, they are yet to accept or realise that fact. Utterances from highly placed Northerners clearly shows a desire to cling to power at all cost by core northerners. That is why even in our state of kaduna, no election will take place without northern participation no matter the stakes! Ditto at the Federal level.
But is power kind to them? Not by a long shot in my opinion. The north by colonial geographical design is almost 70% of the total land mass of the country, from Taraba to Sokoto and from Ilorin to Maiduguri on a cross diagonal description. However, the top parts of the country are always in the forefront in power grabbing or power sharing. But let’s look at the political dynamics since independence in 1960.
Sir Ahmadu Bello was supposed to be Prime minister but chose to remain in Kaduna as Premier of The Northern region and was replaced by Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa at the center in Lagos. They were both killed in the coup of 1966 led by Major Kaduna Nzeogwu. After another coup in the same year which ousted the over smart General Aguiyi Ironsi, General Yakubu Gowon took over for nine years. And while away in Kampala for an OAU meeting, General Murtala Mohammed staged a coup and took over. He was shot in the head by Lt Col Bukar Dimka six months after. Gen Olusegun Obasanjo took over and handed power to a democratically elected president Shehu shagari in 1979. He was toppled shortly after his first tenure in 1983 by Gen Muhammadu Buhari. Two years later in 1985, Gen Ibrahim Babangida brushed Buhari aside and took over. He lasted 8 years, stepped aside and brought Chief Shonekan who only lasted 4 months and yet again another Northerner grabbed power. This time, it was Gen Sani Abacha who spent 5 years and died in mysterious circumstances in 1998. Gen Abdulsalam took over and hurriedly left after an election that brought Obasanjo once again to power 1999.
Alhaji Umaru Yar’adua came in after the 8 years of Obasanjo, he was active for just a year and took a year grappling with a terminal disease which took his life in his third year in office. After five years of Goodluck Jonathan, Muhammadu Buhari took over power after 12 gruesome years of attempting to become President. But two years into his reign, he seems to be facing a life threatening ailment at 74 years of age, spending more time with Doctors than in office. Another Northerner rejected by power!
In a nutshell, Tafawa Balewa, Murtala Mohammed, Sani Abacha, Umaru Yar’adua all core northerners died in office. From the middle belt, Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalam Abubakar all survived and are still alive to this day. IBB in fact survived about 3 deadly coup attempts. A cat with 9 lives, he survived a coup by his bosom friend, Mamman Vatsa in 1987, Gideon Orkar who fired shells and bombs into his house at Dodan Barracks in 1991 and the June 12 imbroglio!
Although the core Northerners love power so much, history shows that power doesn’t love them that much! So can we learn from history and give the middle Beltans a chance? Maybe the North can be better off! Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the thought of fools.
So help us God!