On Wed, May 31, 2017 at 9:12, Vincent Bodam
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!
Vincent Bodam


  1. On Jun 2, 2017 1:38 AM, “Christian Galadima” wrote:
    Dear All,

    At a time when the persecution was unrecognized and unacknowledged, I maintained that the middle belt (indeed, like any institution) is and remains a mirage until its traditional leadership form a recognizable and identifiable corpus.

    If the failure of the middle beltan traditional institutions to aggregate into a body with a distinct role and voice like other parts of the nation has not inspired circumspection, then it is time I put it to you that ‘we lost asking why’ along our hurried rides to cliquedoms.

    We thunder about our constitutional rights of association at personal, religious and political levels except at intercommunal levels; how convinietly hypocritical?!.

    Enough said, for now!.

    Chris, G.

  2. Dear Vincent,
    I share in your dream and will gladly be happy to see it happen. But I am afraid the MB is yet to do things that should make their own occupy Aso Villa. Their inability to build consensus and evolve a strategy for communal sense of togetherness is frightening.

    As we speak, the concept of MB is still contestable. While Muslims continue to see the MB as a concept to foist a crusader symbol on the area, ethnic bickering continues to be our albatross. Christianity that should bind us together has been subjected to manipulation.

    Permit me a personal narration. Before Chief Obasanjo handed power in 2007, he had promised Lar and others long before his exit that he was determined to relinquish power to a son of MB. To actualize that, the media tour became a platform for Jerry Gana to reach out to all groups. Sensing that there was a ploy to that effect, Atiku and late Gov Kure blocked Gana’s comeback after the 2003 polls. It took the personal stronghead of OBJ to appoint Gana as political adviser. Less than two years to the 2007 polls, disagreement broke out between TY Danjuma over oil bloc.
    While Danjuma swore never to let go of the seized part of the bloc, the oil magnet gave whopping sum of money to Gana to kick start his presidential campaign. OBJ was livid, and told the former information minister that it was too early. Faced by the cabal of the North and abandoned by TY Danjuma, OBJ safe valve became the choice of Yaradua. Many insiders believe if Danjuma were humble and push for the Gana Presidency, it would have served the interest of the Northern minorties. The rest is now history.

    Vincent, if your focus is to ensure the election of a Muslim Middle Belter, I can see success. But if it is a ChristIan minority, then forget about it for now. As Chris rightly pointed out, the hypocrisy of our political class that eat kolanuts on our behalf will always be there to cripple it. We are now worst off than we started in building bridges of understanding across the Tower of Babel called Middle Belt.

    So long for now. Best of regards


  3. Brethren,

    This quite a fascinating debate. But then, Simon, is there such a thing as “a Middle Belt Christian?” That sounds like an oxymoron to me. We need to come together as a people and build a strong momentum as a third force in national politics, intermediating North and South. We are the glue that holds this country together. Yakubu Gowon proved that, when given the chance, Nigeria under Middle Belt leadership will flourish!



  4. Dear Simon,
    Your pessimism and that of others will hold us back. It will take us no where. Your position is like that of Tobiah and Sanballat or like the ten spies who said “we are unable to take over the land; for amazons and the Giants are in the way”. Let the Joshuas, Calebs and Nehemias amongst us not to give up. We will overcome. We will get there. The journey might seem long. But by taking one step at a time we will get there, with one step in front of the other and not looking back. Blessings.

  5. Dear Likita,

    Thank you for the comprehension and words of encouragement.
    As a matter of fact, my take is a depiction of a people who should understand that power really doesn’t favour them even though they love it so much and therefore should do the needful by stepping aside to allow for the middle belt to take a shot at it.

    We really do not need to make any efforts as portrayed by SF and others. In the spirit of the north, the middle should also be allowed to step on the platform since we are part and parcel of the north.

    Krgds to all.


  6. Mailafiya,

    You’ve just strung at a note that resonates with me, or should I say, every aching hear of all us from Middle Belt region of Nigeria! MB is a region and not a state or country; to have a “president”, there must first be a “country”, and so, you’re right, and because you’re, I concur with your sentiment – suggestions entirely.

    However, let us cool it with this idea of “presidency” at this time and approach things logically. We all remember Professor Tunga’s article (and several others) some weeks back, when he detailed in vivid terms the suffering of our folks back home and also inferred about the militarization of the MB area by a military battalion. Then very recently Samuel Tabar gave us in his own presentation the modus operandi of the Hausa-Fulani North, which in essence is hegemony. What most of us in MB do not quite grasp, is the fact that this evil dictum comes straight out of the quran. I’m sure you remember the quote of the Sardauna of Sokoto, which I quote:

    “The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate or our great grandfather Uthman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the North as willing tools and the South as conquered territory and never allow them to have control over their future”. (Parrot Newspaper, October 12, 1960).

    Ladies and gentlemen, Nigeria was just barely out of the political “womb” in to existence – 12 days after independence, then comes this diabolic statement from one of its supposed leaders! This statement is derived from the text of the quran, and I quote:

    “You (muslims) are the best community from among mankind. You judge with the truth and reality, you advise abstinence from things that are contrary to religion and you believe in Allah with comprehension…” (Ali-Imran Sura 3:110).

    Brother Bodam also lamented in his recent piece, when he queried the sanity and or the mental status of our yesteryear politicians, as they squabbled over the scrap-meat on the pieces of bones that their Hausa-Fulani “masters” had thrown their way purposefully to detract them, even as they lay the ground work for their total domination and or destruction, back then.

    These kinds of statements can only be issued from a “ultimate-sinner” or “supreme-sinner” – Satan- that is, and his evil minions, one of which was the Sardauna of Sokoto! To use people as useful idiots or “willing tools” and “conquered territory and never allow them to have control over their future”, is similar to the condemnation of the kuffar or “kafir” to dhimmihood also spoken in the quran:

    “Fight those who believe not in God nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden, which had been forbidden by God, nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth (Christianity & Judaism), from among the Muslims, until they pay the Jizziyah tax with willing submission and feel themselves humiliated”. (Al Tauba sura 9:29).
    I’m sure that you will all agree that these are not attributes of the “best” of humanity! Any “good people” will respect humanity and human dignity, observe moral laws and rules, denounce hegemony and not promote it; condemn immorality and not make excuse for its prophet who lived a debased life!

    Therefore, ladies and germanmen (gentlemen), please, let us stop the in-fighting that we have been so notorious of and the main vehicle that that the evil triad has successfully exploited against us; cast avarice out and totally reject it; “put heads” together into devising a roadmap that will lead to making MB a country first, were that to be done, then the presidency will fall-in as a natural consequence! Let me suggest that we choose amongst us people of high integrity, Professor Lergo for one and Dr. Freeman for two, to spearhead this worthwhile committee. I acknowledge that some will construe this and try to equate it to the sedition of the Onjukwu caliber; far from it – no such thing! Instead, this is jus an agitation by a suppressed group of people trying to separate themselves from their deaf “evil master”. I’ve cast my dime, and sticking by it!! Anyone with me?


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