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    MASSOB Biafra-Nigeria News: Junaidu’s Empty Sound and Fury

    Dr Junaidu Mohammed is a Mallam Aminu Kano disciple gone bad. The revered leader of the Northern Elements’ Progressive Union, NEPU, and Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, espoused nationalist ideals in his lifetime.

    He shared the same vision of a united country with the doyen of Nigerian independence, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, and frequently contested elections as an ally of Zik’s National Council of Nigerian Citizens, NCNC, sparing no contempt at the regional fundamentalism of the leadership of the Northern Peoples Congress, NPC, led by Sardauna Ahmadu Bello.

    Mohammed has always been an articulate, firebrand politician even way back in the Second Republic when he and colleagues like Alhaji Sule Lamido were the younger elements that portrayed a bright future for the legacies of the fighter for the interests of the downtrodden, the Talakawa. Military rule did much to put Mohammed and most of the Aminu Kano boys in the political doldrums.

    But in recent years, Mohammed has bounced back to the public arena, not as a true product of his political progenitor, but as an arch-conservative regionalist with a lot of ill-concealed grudges against an intolerable political dispensation that has kept the presidency out of the North.

    The medical doctor is one of those who want to snatch power back from the South at all costs in 2015 (or earlier if possible). As a regional bashibazouk, he is rapidly out-performing the older, now frustrated reactionaries such as Dr Umaru Dikko, Alhaji Lawal Kaita and Professor Ango Abdullahi in his newly self-assigned role of defending what he and his cohorts see as “Northern interests”.

    It is the reactionaries in the North that posit that Nigeria is the booty of Arewa; the North is born to rule Nigeria; the North must maintain all the undeserved advantages heaped upon it by the British colonial masters and fortified by the North-controlled military political class between 1960 and 1999. Any section of the country that calls for a peaceful resolution of the crisis arising from the inequities in the system is threatened with war.

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    When Senate President, David Mark made a surprising call for “a conference of ethnic nationalities” at the opening of this year’s legislative year, and many commentators took it as a sign that the ruling establishment might be softening its hard line stance on the need to restructure Nigeria, Junaidu burst out of his lair and started chanting war songs.

    The way he went about it, Professor Jibril Aminu, the intellectual ideologue of the Northern political establishment, could not have done better.

    Junaidu teased those who are calling for a sovereign national conference to come out with their real intention, which he said, was to disintegrate Nigeria.

    He boasted that Nigeria was indivisible and indissoluble, and that the North would descend with war on anyone who tried to divide the country. He bragged the North had proved its capacity to clobber secessionists by the way it handled the Igbos when they plotted “their coup” and tried to secede over 40 years ago.

    My reason for writing this piece is to point out a few misconceptions which Dr Junaidu Mohammed and his deluded cohorts who obviously live 40 years behind the current realities of Nigeria need to take note of. The first is the assumption of the continued existence of united Northern Nigeria.

    The second is the presumption that the North is the guardian and guarantor of Nigeria’s existence as an indivisible entity.

    Contrary to Junaidu’s assumptions, it is the South, not the North, that is the guardian and guarantor of Nigeria’s continued existence. The moment the South finally decide they have had enough of Nigeria, this country will cease to exist. It is because the South has never achieved a consensus to break up that Nigeria has remained a single entity.

    Since the British colonialists created Nigeria in 1914, it is the wealth of the South that has sustained the country. The South made all the concessions that led to Nigeria’s independence in 1960.

    If the leaders of the South had been as unbending in their demands as those of the North, the latter would have gone it alone or delay independence till heaven knows when.

    Even when Biafra seceded, it was the involvement of foreign powers, the Minorities and the rest of the South against Biafra that led to the victory by the federal side. Take note: It was the federal side that won the Nigerian civil war, not Arewa Northern Nigeria! In fact, it was the Minorities of North and South and the Yoruba that did much of the fighting for the federals. Arewa merely led the effort and grabbed the spoils of victory.

    It is also the people of the South as well and the Minorities that have always made it possible for Northerners to emerge as president of Nigeria, both under civilian and military dispensations. Even in these days of Islamic terrorism, it is the stoical and patriotic patience of the Southern peoples that allowed Nigeria to survive Boko Haram attacks across the North before it became localised in the North East.

    If the Southern people had responded with reprisal to Sharia and Boko Haram attacks, no army could have controlled the anarchy that would follow it its wake. It is the wealth of the South and the patriotism and avuncular fortitude of its peoples that enabled Nigeria to survive the many crises that the North foisted on the nation in its failed quests to wrest power back by hook or crook.

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    Coming to the issue of the North as a united entity moving against any group calling for conference, it is just an empty boasting. The most the North will do is to refuse to participate in a conference, or if they do participate, to vote against any attempt to change anything that is to its advantage. That is the weapon they have always wielded, and that is why there have been so many conferences and constitutional tinkering that gave way to more calls for genuine conferences.

    The North is not what it used to be. It is the most internally divided of the three former regions. From its earlier fractured history, the former Eastern Region (which is now called South East and South-South) has discovered a new partnership based on mutual respect and binding common interests. The result showed in the 2011 presidential election.

    The Igbos have settled with their Minorities. The North cannot boast of this. If anything, the region is torn asunder along religious lines, and the Christians/Minorities will no longer join the Arewa group in any future military adventure outside the region because their leading roles in Biafra is being rewarded with Janjaweed-like killings on the Plateau and Boko Haram terror in their villages and churches.

    The North is also unhinged because the ruling class has so alienated the downtrodden that the latter has taken up arms and, supported by foreign allies (Al Qaeda), are seeking to overthrow the ruling class rooted in the Sokoto Caliphate.

    Junaidu’s sabre rattling and war drums ring hollow and sterile. There is no alternative to mutual respect if we must build a great, united nation. The days when foreign powers built up a regional monster and armed it to terrorise the rest of Nigeria for their (foreigners’) interests are over, dead and buried.

    Dr Junaidu Mohammed is a Mallam Aminu Kano disciple gone bad. The revered leader of the Northern Elements' Progressive Union, NEPU, and Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, espoused nationalist ideals in his lifetime.

    [See the full post at: MASSOB Biafra-Nigeria News: Junaidu’s Empty Sound and Fury]

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