Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

Nnamdi Ebo | NewsBlog

In my NewsBlog Nnamdi Ebo, I provide perspectives on news, events and analysis of unique stories, and I also offer original content, articles and photos; with contributions from some of the best minds.

 

NORTH BY NORTHWEST

Will “Tinubusm” and “Buharism” still be married in 2019? Will the north concede power to its strange bedfellow from the west? Whither the east in these calculations? . . .

“North by Northwest” is a 1959 American thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The epic movie is a tale of mistaken identity; an innocent man pursued across the US by agents of a mysterious organisation trying to prevent him from blocking their plan to smuggle out microfilm that contains government secrets. The power equation in Nigeria shifted in 2015 when a North by Northwest grand alliance pursued a sixteen-year “PDP dictatorship” from power using a mysterious political organisation called APC.

The north is running for something in 2019 and no region is pursuing it. Some have surreptitiously declared their intention but not the parties. The north is running for something – again. One politician from the north has run many times before, much to the utter amusement of his former principal: Obasanjo. Why Obasanjo finds it incessantly amusing whenever Atiku is running for something is best known to Obasanjo but Atiku is running again, the fourth time.

The north is not a monolith (as against the dwarfish west, whose monolithic political prowess has never been tested since the division of the colony of Southern Nigeria on October 1, 1954 into east and west). The north is a power bloc and the power behind the throne even when the east, west and south south held the reins of political leadership. As a political bloc, the north has produced nine leaders: prime minister, military and civilian Heads of State and presidents in a totality of governance that spans more than 35 years, equivalent to approximately 62% stay in power, in Nigeria’s 57 years of independence.

The PDP zoned the presidency to the north while the APC has an incumbent from the north, who may run again in 2019. Nigeria is set to have a president from the north in 2019, wether anybody likes it or not, and irrespective of Ayo Fayose’s political juvenility as presidential candidate of a party in denial. In 1957, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sadauna of Sokoto, the Premier of the North and de facto leader of Nigeria (photo: below), said inter alia: “We the people of the North will continue our stated intention to conquer the South . . . after the British leave our shores.” This political hegemony began 12 days into Nigeria’s independence on October 12, 1960.

The north has always been in power except when four majors struck in 1966; the assassination of Murtala Muhammed; and Ernest Shonekan’s 11 weeks hiatus, before the north took back their power. As a result of June 12 wahala, the north conceded power to the west and later made sure it is the last time they allowed a “shoeless” south south minority to venture into Aso Rock.

According to an “urban legend” many Nigerians believed the country was going to disintegrate in 2015. Ominous dark clouds gathering as Nigeria descended to the brink towards 2015. The north became jittery, on edge and ready to unleash mayhem if their candidate failed to win. Many Nigerians were aghast when the APC contraption won through north by northwest power brokerage.

Nigeria has had three attempts at disintegration in its chequered history. One, when the north’s delegates to the pre-independence Constitutional Conference in Lagos asked for secession after being irked by the west’s motion for independence through Anthony Enahoro. Two, the Nigeria-Biafra war. Three, Major Gideon Okar excised eight states from the Muslim north in a failed coup d’état.

Since independence, the north has produced the majority of Nigeria’s leaders, leading to the political concept of “northern primacy”. The British deliberately bequeathed a north bigger than the South combined. The north developed a political theory of domination: east to control trade, west to control the civil service and north to control political power.

Economic and social imbalance between north and south makes political power sharing a sensitive issue. The north has long feared domination by the more advanced south and there is the long standing view that only through political power can the north catch up. The banality of power in “democratic” Nigeria is its unoriginality which is an essential banality to the history of Nigeria.

President Buhari’s health challenges sparked intrigue occasioning a north-south flare-up, awakening the politics of succession (which revolve around an assumed power-sharing arrangement between north and south) which led to increased irredentism and separatism from the east. Echoes of separatism in the west sounded doubly – from calls for Oduduwa Republic – to restructuring of Nigeria. The north has had intermittent demands for Arewa Republic, while some talk of the “north” as if it is “a country within a country”.

The south south has shades of separatism embedded in demands for “resource control”. In essence, there is a fairly generalised feeling of alienation among the various constituents of the Nigerian federation. However, because there has never been a referendum, it is difficult to know whether the leaders of these various separatist groups reflect the wishes of the people of those areas or whether the agitations are masks for pursuing other agendas.

The north dominates Nigerian politics (a metaphor for Hausa-Fulani domination, which is a myth), despite the north’s religious, ethnic, tribal and linguistic differences, but one lingua franca: Hausa. The crux remains that if the south is more intelligent and educated than the north, the south will nevertheless serve the north, if the south is not united, and the north is united, because unity is greater than both intelligence and education.

Will the mysterious political organisation with the north by northwest expediency win in 2019? Will “Tinubusm” and “Buharism” still be married in 2019? Will the north concede power to its strange bedfellow from the west? Whither the east in these calculations? Will both candidates from the north in the APC and PDP lock horns? Win or lose the 2019 presidential election, the north will win! Will north by northwest alliance still be relevant in 2019? Friction between “North by Northwest” may just be simmering as 2019 looms in the horizon.

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ByNnamdi Ebo
The White Paper |
Political scientist | Author | Social commentator | THISDAY Contributor | Scholar in Legal literature & Politics | Online Newspaper Publisher | Blogger | NR Columnist