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« Pax-Americana and the African Worldview | Main | The Ngige Transparency »

January 25, 2006

The Yoruba Nation: What's Up?

by Peter C. Eze --- As a child growing up, I was made to understand that the Yoruba is the most educated, most organized, most intelligent, most united, most sophisticated, best politicians and most everything under the sun. The same was said of the north minus the most educated. In my adult life I am beginning to question whether that notion is a fact or a myth. Whatever it is, Obasanjo and the drama going on in Ibadan have shown that all those notions are a myth.

It has also been said that Awolowo could have been the best leader Nigeria would have ever produced, but given the Obasanjo phenomenon and Yoruba leaders political antecedents, I don’t know how many people that still hold to that fallacy. I cannot decipher the difference between the late chief Awolowo and chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Both have history of treasonable felony, both are ex-convicts, both are tribal zealots, both are igbo haters, both are opportunists, both are introverts, both are corrupt, both have no human conscience.

Well people will argue that the late chief died before he could actualize his three attempts, but he left an imprint that leaves no one in doubt as to what kind of prime minister or president he would have been. After the northern military mutiny in the summer of 1966, General Ojukwu released Awolowo from Calabar prison. By 1967, the late chief had become Gowon’s finance minister and vice chairman of the federal executive council. Between then, while chief Anthony Enahoro was junketing the world denouncing Ojukwu and 50% resource control which Ojukwu had successfully secured for the south at Aburi Ghana, Awolowo was advocating and implementing starvation against Ndigbo as a weapon of war, never minding the young, the pregnant women and the elderly. Never mind that he had advised and supported that there was no basis for Nigerian unity. Such that east would go, west would go, mid-west would go and north would go. Never mind that in 1952, he injected tribalism into the nation’s political horizon by undermining Dr.Nnamdi Azikiwe’s opportunity to become premier of the west Nigeria, through his tribal bigotry.

As for Aremu, I wonder if he could have still been in power if it hadn’t been for Ndigbo. What happened to his first term, 1999 through 2003 when there were no Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iwuala, Prof. Charles Soludo or Dr. Oby Ezekwsili? Yet this man would stop at nothing to undermine Ndigbo and what they stand for. Supposing there were no Ngozi Iwuala, no Soludo, no Akunyiri, no Ernest Ndukwu and no Oby Ezekwesili, what would have Nigeria been like under Obasanjo? Yet if this opportunist was not in Akwa Ibom desecrating Ojukwu, and Ndigbo and how he single handedly defeated Biafra, he would be at Amichi reminding Ndigbo how he averted their massacre at the end of the civil war in which Britain and Russia as well as US inaction fought for them.

During his first term, a period of yorubaniztion of Nigeria and her resources, he spent the whole four years creating political and economic empire for the yoruba. He had ‘Prof’ Borishade in the ministry of education, who refused to up grade Alvan Ikoku college of education to a university, but in partnership with Dr. Peter Okebukola of the NUC, they flooded Yoruba land with mediocre universities in the name of private universities, while other states or tribes were denied their applications for more universities. He had one Olujmni in the ministry of justice as A-G, whose legacy was injustice and misinterpretation of Nigeria’s constitution. He has Martin Kuye as the de-facto minister of finance, who in alliance with Joseph Sanusi in the central bank making sure the oil money was being dumped in the west, hitherto Obasanjo was and is still the oil minister. In the police establishment, first he had Alhaji Muslin K. Smith, whose legacy was intrusion and humiliation of the nation’s senate president, the late Dr. Okadigbo. Perhaps he was too slow in his application of police to terrorize Nigerians, he booted him out and brought in one the most notorious hypocrite Africa has known in police uniform named Alhaji Mustafa Balogun. With Tafa Balogun in the police hierarchy, the rest is history. At NNPC, when perhaps chief Gaius Obaseki was not remitting enough money to the coffer of the west, he booted him out and replaced him with Kukpolokun, PPRA has Gbadamosi, and DPR has another Yoruba, the yorubanization of Nigeria’s oil resources was complete. In the financial and administration department, it was wholesome with Joseph Sanusi in the central bank, Naijeyu in the general accounting, Joseph Ajiboye was and is still is in the general auditing. The security department was not left out in the Yoruba factor. Perhaps what the late chief Awolowo could not complete in his life time, Obasanjo completed it in four years. He was not done yet. With the help of corruption, he sent Nigeria’s oil money to the gullible Nigerians in the nation’s parliament and like starving dogs unleashed from the barn and saw a heap of fried meat outside the barn, your guess is as good as mine. That was the end of Nigeria’s NASS. Today what we continue to hear is, Obasanjo building university in Badagary, Cargo international airport in Abeokuta, Ogun state, giant oil refinery in Ogun state, typical of the then northern military and political war lords that suffocated Kaduna with industries and federal establishments on the absence of non in other geo-political Nigeria.

If you think Obasanjo has exposed the Yoruba unity, administrative and intellectual fallacy, wait until you hear this. During the late chief MKO Abiola presidential row, while he was being locked up by that ‘sariki yanka’(killer-in-chief) called Sani Abacha, many prominent yorubas, about 20 in number under the chairmanship of the crying and prostrating ‘General’ Donaldson Oladipo Diya, were converged in Kaduna soliciting for Abiola’s indefinite detention in exchange for contracts and political appointments. The trade-off in long detention of the late chief and robbery of his presidential mandate saw the yorubas flooding Abacha junta with more ministers than any other ethnic group in Nigeria. As if that was not enough tribal tragedy and humiliation, the man who annulled Abiola’s presidential victory was whole heartedly received and embraced by the same Abiola’s brother in Yoruba land, and the echo of Babangida’s presidential ambition is loudest in the Yoruba territory. In 2003, Obasanjo carried the most sophisticated political 419 against the Yoruba nation. They fell for it, again in exchange for the same familiar terms- contracts and political positions. Like a raging fire, the west was over run by the PDP. The same west was given a new year gift in January 13, 2006 in Ibadan from Obasanjo through Alhaji Adedibu. The most educated people on Africa soil could not fathom the mathematical 2/3 of a given number. In 1979, the same west had problem figuring out 2/3 of 19. Hey! Brothers and sisters from the west what’s up? May be you have to go back and learn buying and selling like Nigbo according to one sister named Modupe Adelalaja. If the Yoruba nation allowed the façade in Ibadan to stand, their claim of unity, intellectual and political wisdom are punctured forever.

It does not matter any longer if Dr. Nwabueze Ngige was removed by Obasanjo today or tomorrow through the instrument of his personified judiciary, Ndigbo have shown and demonstrated to Obasanjo that they are the most united and were no pushovers. Never mind the likes of Ubas, Maduekwes, Nzeribes and Mbadiwes. He used the late AIG Rafael Ige to over throw Ngige, Ndigbo resisted him. He employed the service of justice Egbo-Egbo, Ndigbo showed him that they are educated in the legal field as well. He employed the service of justice Stanley Nnaji, again that blew in his face. He employed the service of Tafa Balogun. Balogun true to his nature, withdrew the police security service of governor Ngige, Ndigbo supplied him security personnel. Today Ngige is still the governor of Anambra State, while Tafa Balogun is in prison, Egbo-Egbo is out of judicial service and Stanley Nnaji is dismissed from the judicial service. In November of 2004, he armed pervert Chris Uba and his hoodlums, with his police supervision, these hoodlums unleashed mayhem in Anambra State, hoping that Ndigbo would retaliate which would play into his hands to employ the state of emergency, but Ndigbo showed him the road to advancement and wisdom. The state assembly members remained steady fast and ignored all his entreaties. In Ibadan it did not take the acting chief judge and 18 members in the 32 member house of assembly more than 48 hrs to remove governor Rashid Ladoje and install a less than high school pervert as deputy governor.

Today Afenifere is calling for impeachment of Obasanjo, alleging constitutional infringements. Haba! Was it not the same Afenifere in 2003, that threatened fire and brimstone should Obasanjo be impeached and even went as far as declaring Arthur Nzeribe, the author of Obasanjo’s twenty-one constitutional violations a persona non-graecia in Lagos. Among all the ministers in Obasnjo’s cabinet I can not think of any Yoruba minister or ministers making any headline in excellence in national development. Mr. Ojo his A-G and minister of justice has proved that all what Yoruba stand for in national political service is salary and spoil of the office. Mr. Ojo as we know was the president of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA for short, during which he was very vocal in calling Obasanjo regime to respect the rule of law and Nigeria’s judicial pronouncements. Today as the A-G and minister of justice, he has fallen in the same class of Olujimni of Obasanjo first term and Dr. Olu Onagoruwa under Abacha. Same lip service and yes type A-Gs.

Dr. Onagoruwa was known for his legal strength and was critical of military regimes. But once appointed attorney-general by Abacha, he subverted the press freedom by closing media houses viz, Guardian News paper and co. Mr. Ojo would never see any illegality in Obasanjo’s political actions, so long he would be allowed to draw salary and enjoy the spoil of the office. Mr. Ojo is presiding the plat form by which Obasanjo violates the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. From the scheming and all tricks going on in an effort to actualize Obasanjo’s third term, is anyone still in doubt as to why he handed over very quickly to Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 1979? Several people had attributed his 1979 hand over as statesmanship, but it is clear now that his action was purely on personal safety based on military and political exigency then as opposed to statesmanship. The military then was dominated by the northern Moslems and would not relinquish power to any other tribe. The north then saw the southern Nigerians and Christians as subservient and 2nd class citizens. Any challenge to the power from any other tribe was unacceptable. Remember Atiku Abubakar great quote: “The north determines the direction of Nigeria’s politics and her political temperature. When the north sneezes the rest of the country catches cold”. That was vintage Atiku Abubakar.

By Chidi P Eze

Posted by Administrator at January 25, 2006 12:40 AM


I feel sorry for you. Who voted for Obasanjo, and not for Falaye that the Yoruba support? Obasanjo is a Yoruba man in his first term and an Igbo man in his second term?
You are still crying that Zik never became the Premier of the West but who else can be Premier in the East? You forgot to tell us how Zik became the Premier in the East.
Take out Yoruba and replace it with Igbo in your article and see how the rest of your four fingers point to you. I feel bad for your jealousy and I hope you get cured. Nobody should carry so much burden in life. Yoruba and Igbo will move on with or without people like you.

Posted by: Nibo at January 25, 2006 04:38 PM

What have you contributed to make your point apart from contradictions obvious in your write up.

Posted by: Jaju at January 25, 2006 07:23 PM

The ibo people of nigeria continue to make noise about the yorubas did this, yorubas didnot do that, all the noise seems like complaints about nothing, yes, nothing that the yoruba people have done to ibos. by that, I mean that no ibo person male or female, young or old can come out with any evidence, concrete or soft evidence to show that the yorubas collectively as a people did anything wrong against the collective of the ibo people.if there are any such hard evidence please be just to publish it with your wrintings. By hard evidence I mean, evidence of wars, of attrition, of subjucation, of oppression, of suppression, of hate, or war of any kind that the yorubas waged against the and carried their men, women and chidren into captivity and held them for generations. It is sad that the ibo leadership have continued create atmosphere for war of nerves between the ibos and the yorubas for reasons of their political agender or political insanity. And this has been going on since the days of Nnamdi Azikwuwe ( the famous ZIK of Africa ).
And talking of ZIK, it is intresting that the have refused to do self-examintion to see the role this iboman named Benjamin Nnamidi Azikwue place in tthe misleading of the ibo people into the situation in which they found themselves today. It was Zik who coined the phrase "the national cake", a phase that became the political slogan of the ibos for many years, even, till today. BY SUCH PHRAASE OF BUSSWORDS, ZIK MISEDUCATED AND MISLEAD THE IBOS OR IGBOS TO BELIEVE THAT THE MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS THEY COULD MAKE TO EFFECTIVENES OF NIGERIAN POLITY AND POLITICS IS THE though FIGHT FOR THEIR LION SHARE OF THE NATIONAL CAKE AS HE HAD NEGOTIATED WITH THE FULANI MINORITY IN THE NORTH IN A COALLITION FORMED TO rule at the center and CONTROL THE NATIONAL CAKE = in meaning - the national wealth in the federal treasury.
Still talking of Azikwe, he made himself as much as the yorubas helped made him, particularly the yorubba leadership of Lagos colony. AZIKWUE WAS still a student in America while the yoruba leadership UNDER Mr.HERBERT MACAULEY started the struggle and intelligent fight with the British government to free nigerian people from colonization that was then another form of slavery of a whole nation on their own soil.
AND when he returned from the U.S.A (AMERICA) he soujorned in the Goldcoast ( later known as Ghana ) before he came to settled down in Lagos, a city that was then predominantly yoruba socially and politically in a sence.
Truly Azikwe joined force with HERBERT MACAULEY and his Lagos yoruba ellite leadership, and because of his writing skills and leadership talent, he,Zik, would become the secretary general of the political organization that H.
Macauley had started. By all mentioned abve Iam trying to show that the yorubas with their leaddership have never been partial nor discriminate against the ibos or igbos in their mist, in yoruba land. If the yoruba were discriminatory, - 1) there is no way Azikwe could easily have taken over the leadership of N.C.N.C upon the death of Herbert Macauley, 2) there is no way ZIK could have easily won an election into the Western Region House of Assemmbly from Ikeja, ( mind you, not Okija in Nnewiland but IKEJA that is now the capital of Lagos state ),without the support of the yorubas who lived there till today. 3) Azikwe DIDNOT leave western house of assembley because he was frustrated by yoruba leadership in his bid to become first premier of western region, rather he was advised by his ibo people to come home to the Eastern region where he could be more appreciated and more productive, and besides Azikwe had nothing in his political manifestos, agenda or political and social programs that equaled what Chief Awolowo had in the platter plate for the people of western region that then icluded edos, urobos, ijaws and the western ibos.By unequaled social programs of Awolowo I mean the free primary education, free medical and health services, increased secondary education facilities throughout the region provision for university training.
4)If Azikwe had all these free social amenities on his political agenda he would have implemented such for ibos and others people of Easter Region under his premiership.But he did not.
Finally I say, if the ibos would not credit the yorubas for the positive contribtion that they had made to socio-economic lives of the ibos especially those living peacefully in yoruba towns, you all should give the yorubas some- respects for goodness! you donot have to unload your frustration on the yorubas every time you fail or suffer in schemed coalition with your nothern allies.

Posted by: kola ajayieso at February 1, 2006 10:17 PM

Now you know why a Yoruba mother who tells their children how Fajuyi died, how Banjo died and how Soyinka almost died all for the love of the Igbo, is talking facts not prejudice.

Posted by: Tawaki at February 2, 2006 04:08 PM

I feel so disappointed on the way we criticise each other(tribe),especially when it comes to politics.If we all feel we are nigrians,we should start to talk about problems facing the citizens.
There is high level of corruption in nigeria today especially in the police,national assembly members and most government officials.
The people that were elected to represent their people are there at Abuja scrambling for money for their own pocket while their people are dying of starvation and diseases, no money to go to hospital,no good road, no basic ammenities.Most importantly no security.
For how long should we continue to blame each other.We should all stand up and make sacrifices.Those that catapult our God given resources to countries that are far better than ours will definitely suffer for it.They will never see peace.
I call on all Nigerians to come out and kick against this third term agenda,injustice,and corruption in the police force.Even the police are like secret cults ,they cover each other up when they commit crimes, those that are suppose to protect us.Just because they've got guns.
If we still love Nigeria and still want it to be indivisible,we should be fair to all tribe in the distribution of the national resources.I belive that due to the unfair distributions ,that is what is causing all this tribalism among Nigerians.
I call on all the students and good people of Nigeria to come out and protest and fight for their future.They(greedy Politician)who are our tribesmen wants to morgage all nigerians to perpetual suffering.
We will Never live to see that happen.

Posted by: ONWUBUARIRI at April 29, 2006 09:06 PM

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