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Nigeria And The Global Media Manipulations

04 May 2011

By Hadiza Wada, DBA

Most analysts of the election outcome, especially the violence that followed seem to assume that Nigerians have short memory and/or are foolish. They, out of self-serving reasons mostly, attribute the violence that engulfed the nation to the loss of Muhammadu Buhari. They therefore limit their analysis on the fact that regardless of clear manipulations, the youth tirade was solely as a result of the loss of Muhammadu Buhari.

Yes, clear manipulations of the Presidential votes might have caused concern to members of opposition political parties, such as (a) the withholding of the results from areas that the incumbent President was favored by more than 24 hours, until figures from the ruling party's rival state were in; (b) The clear inflation of the figures in most South-South and South Eastern States where again the incumbent was favored, with claimed voter turnout that runs upwards of 80%; and several other ways which demonstrated that despite INEC's strategy, the institution was indeed infiltrated and its arrangement circumvented. Even foreign observers have spoken against it. All these were brazen actions that everyone watched as they unfold, which created doubts as to the outcome of the election. But that could not be the only reason.

A great majority of the local as well as international media, which of course today are not on the side of most of the values those youths hold dear, grabbed the ball and ran away with it, dancing to the tunes of the destructive sentiments that have inhibited the nation's growth. By that we mean the manipulation of ethnic and religious differences in Nigerian politics. They clearly failed to see that the youths are reacting to the possibility that their yearnings and interest will once again be shelved for the next four to eight years by a leadership that holds no interest in them. They have literally been abandoned by most of their regional leaders and doubly abandoned persecuted and killed at will by politicians who profess other religions, who target them based on religion and ethnicity.

These are all clear from what properties and which personalities they targeted. They did not just target religious properties of others as is commonly reported by the press; they also targeted their regional leaders as well because they feel they are part of the problem. Hence they were reported to have burnt down personal houses of local politicians that share the same ethnicity and religion with them. They even went as far as, for the first time, targeting their traditional rulers' properties. Remember, these are centuries old regional institutions they have for all these years respected. And not only that they even targeted their topmost Muslim ceremonial figure, the Sultan, forcing him to leave his centuries old family residence for safety. So please, do not deceive us and the world, by forcing everyone into the traps of the politicians who manipulate sentiments to bury real serious issues.

Yes, the issue those youths rose up against digs much deeper than the loss of Buhari. The youth have, and by extension their families and people they love felt abandoned. They feel abandoned when their regional leaders failed to stand up for them, allowing incumbent Jonathan to manipulate as well as violate an ingrained policy of the ruling party PDP, an arrangement which today gave the Southern Majority Christian politicians nine out of eleven years of presidency and still counting. Not to talk of the illegality of the rotation of leadership between the North and the South in itself, a clear violation of the Nigerian Constitution including any democratic principle anywhere, for the North is by far the majority in both area and population.

See physical area representation of what the North constitutes, and what constitutes the South. "The south" is literally less than one third of the Northern area.


So such rioting youths not only have a fight against their local leadership, they are expressing their frustrations against the national leadership as well for they feel doubly abandoned by those who should also uphold the Judicial supremacy of the nation's institutions, as ingrained in the separation of power, so as to bring in sanity to Nigerian politics of manipulation that keeps the majority of the people out of the mainstream of political power, their interests violated and their participation marginalized.

Winning a manipulated and illegitimate term by anyone should not be brushed under the carpet. Most of these news sources have conveniently forgotten the fact that Goodluck Johnathan's legitimacy ends on May 28, 2011. By May 29, 2011 in accordance with the PDP Policy the baton was supposed to be passed on to some other Northern PDP President to complete the regional term. The history is there, and the oppressed majority are still an issue to reckon with, in one way or another. A proverb goes "uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." Though that usually relates to machinations within the corridors of power itself i.e. at the peak, sometimes the rebellion comes from an oppressed citizenry down below and in this case the oppressed are in the majority.

The situation shows nothing personal against the person of Goodluck Jonathan, and I think even he knows that. Politicians and the enemies of national development both within and without, love to sensationalize situations and confuse the issues by force. Northern Nigeria has never had any historical antagonism in the political arena with the local population of the Niger Delta, and the records are there.

But the issue is, is Jonathan's insistence on bulldozing his way, a blessing for the nation or a curse. Has he exhibited or portend to possess the best credentials in terms of leadership qualities more than any other; which most importantly include the ability to check and fight corruption, embezzlement and the broad day light looting of the treasury that has rendered the nation's infrastructure useless. If we are to judge him by his tenure so far, he may turn out to be one of the worst the nation has ever seen. The figures are there, read our editorial from last week titled "Fiscal Responsibility a Must."

Any nation that cares less about accountability is doomed. No one seemed to care about turning around the fast deteriorating quality of the nation's education as the schools rot away. Billions in our foreign exchange is enriching foreign nations that our children ran out to instead, while those not able to afford are left in a hopeless situation. Healthcare facilities have broken down, where the ruling class, and now even the middle class have to run out of the country for simple ailments curable in simple dispensaries of other nations. Yet for sentiments, people are ready to continue along that line rather than fight to bring back into the mainstream credible people with the credentials to fight towards putting things back into shape.

For those who concentrate on Buhari, what about Nuhu Ribadu. This is a man who has proven his mettle by resisting millions and millions of dollars in bribes and potential bribery in order to fight for the nation and its effective use of resources. Who gave him a chance? Even in the South West where he was born and bred and was held up as the Presidential candidate for their most influential party, when it came to Presidential election they betrayed him. They chose their own people for local representation (from ACN) but turned around and went for a "Southerner" if I may use that term, from their opposition party PDP, when it comes to the Presidential election. What a shame!

Not only the rampaging youths, many whose interest have always been for the general good of the nation and not on personalities, want better and the most credible leadership that will turn around Nigeria's clear journey into destruction around. That hope surely does not lie with PDP's present leadership, and its destructive political machine.

It surely is not as simple as "the Northern Youth" were angry at Jonathan's victory because of his ethnicity and religion as reported by ethnically biased local as well as other international news sources including the Al Jazeera's local correspondent.

Local and International Media surely missed the point. We are not denying entirely that Buhari loss is one of the factors, because that is how the chess board of Nigerian politics has been set to manipulate people and their sentiments, but that is only a fraction of the point.

 

  EsinIslam.Com

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