The Drums Of War……? Nigerian History Since Pre-independence - Muslims And Christian Biafra Separatists

06 April 2012

By Ali Abubakar Sadiq

In ancient Africa, drums were used as the most reliable means of communication, announcing marriages, festivals, sports and war etc. In fact in those times, drums serves as equal to modern day media. The drums of war are as varied as wartime activities, because there are drums that signify the invocation of war, praising and energizing warlords, of impending attack and heralding of victories.

War has been an art only mastered by the human species on this planet and wars had been fought as long as the history of the human race. From local wars, at the dawn of the last century, we saw the breakout of a global war in 1914 that claimed millions of lives and vast (needed) resources. War has now become a business, monopolized and masterminded by the global elite in ensuring their agenda of amassing the vast resources of the world under their finger and controlling the fate of the human race.

Oil resources have become a curse to modern nations because of its tendency to attract war merchants. In the recent past we have seen the protracted war between Iran and Iraq, the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq and the subsequent gulf war. We have seen the orchestrated 9/11 attacks that paved way for war on two fronts, Afghanistan and Iraq. Just recently we have seen the collapse of Ghaddafi and the threat of civil war in once peaceful Libya.

Students of history are aware that all wars were instigated by a single incidence; take the First World War: It began when Archduke Francis Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by a Serbian nationalist. The Second World War: Was as a result of Hitler's over ambition and the preaching of racist brand of fascism. The invasion of Kuwait by Saddam resulted into a big war in the 90's. And the 9/11 attacks led to the global war on terror by George Bush. Reasonable uprising led to the death of Ghaddafi. All of the above wars could have been avoided if people were sincere without an ulterior motive. As I said earlier, war has become the biggest business for the global elite as millions of dollars worth of arms were sold to both sides and billions of dollars siphoned through the warring economies. The money spent by the US in the last ten years on Iraq and Afghanistan would have eradicated poverty on the globe (we are talking of trillions of dollars).

Back to the home front, here in Nigeria, we have our own experience of a war. The civil war has many reasons, principal being the secession of Biafra by Ojukwu. It was the largest conflict on the African continent resulting into the loss of a million lives. Not taking too much of your time on history let us turn to the issue at hand; The drums of war are once again roaring in this country. If we can carefully discern the writings on the wall we can see it clearly. It began in 2007 when a leading American diplomat declared that Nigeria is on a collision course with destruction come 2015. Five years later and halfway to the predicted year of our doom, you can agree with me that at least 50% of us believe it is surely coming to pass. If our troubles were to be likened to a tree, this is where the seed of our current crises was sown. Lest we forget that Elitist ideology once declared "If you want to predict the future…create one"

Despite being a true nationalist, Obasanjo, in his desperate move to cling unto power convene the National conference in order to smuggle the third time agenda. This conference opened a can of worms as he lost the bid and it reawakened the deep mistrust between the North and South as some South-South delegates walked out. The cry from South-South for a turn in the presidency immediately after Obasanjo was the root that took hold of our current situation. As a Nationalist, Obasanjo knew that if someone from south-south were to succeed him, it will be a recipe for disaster thus he refused, but not without a contingency plan. He anointed Yar'Adua knowing all too well he would not last his term and push Jonathan as his VP.

The stem of our present crises reach maturity when Jonathan, as acting President decided to cast away the tacit agreement by PDP for rotational presidency. This single act has been the most disastrous decision to be taken by any President in our entire history. Some may accuse me of exaggeration but let us face the facts. Throughout Nigerian history since pre-independence, due to our heterogeneous nature, we always survive under tacit agreements and alliances. In the first republic in the 50's we saw the alliance of NCNC and NPC when parties were formed under ethnic/geographical unity. In the second republic when parties became national, we saw the old alliance re-emerged under NPN. The federal Government under its civil service created the Federal character commission. Political parties at the national level always consider it when pushing candidates for the presidency. That had been the only unifying force for our corporate existence but Jonathan and those in league with him, out of selfishness, kicked against it.

Nigerians are some of the most patient people in the globe and they always give leaders the benefit of doubt. When Ironsi took power from the Major Kaduna led insurgent, Nigerians welcomed him and gave him a chance. When Gowon took over from him it was the same thing, likewise when Murtala sent Gowon packing. After Murtala's assassination Obasanjo was welcomed…it goes on like that up to the time when Yar Adua died. Every new Government is welcomed with open hands by Nigerians except Jonathan's…Why?

You cannot rule out bigotry from the Northerners surely, but the reason why their bigotry was kindled was the breaking of the rotational presidency by Jonathan. Trust is the most important item in any relationship; between God and Man, parent and child, husband and wife, friend and friend, leader and the led. Jonathan had broken that sacred trust…and the whole country is now paying.

Divide and rule had been the most effective tool leaders had been employing to subdue masses since the dawn of time. Nigeria was no exception from the time of colonial masters to date, but unfortunately we chose the wrong means. Nigerian leaders capitalize on religion as the basis of their divide and rule and if care is not taken it will consume each and everyone of us. Before the 2011 elections I wrote an article warning Nigerians not to vote PDP and my reasons were simple; let us judge what they did in the last twelve years, is their score card worth being trusted again? And in my prediction in that article was the first thing that Nigerians will suffer from PDP Government will be fuel price increase. (Unknown to me they are planning a deadlier punishment - subsidy withdrawal) but due to the divide and rule and our gullibility, especially our southern brethren went ahead and vote PDP en masse. The PDP Government has made sure that their policy of impunity transcends regional, religious or party affiliations. It should be clear to all (northerners and southerners) that Politicians only uses religious sentiment to garner votes and when in power impose their merciless policies on all.

Nigeria is now in chaos due to the twin problems of hardship and insecurity propagated by subsidy withdrawal and Boko Haram (the branches of our current crises). Both are avoidable if our leaders were sincere and committed to the people. There is no need for subsidy removal if leaders were to curve their wanton spending of public funds. Imagine the VP buying 3 billion worth of stationary in his office or 150 billion spent on food in the villa or 250 million salary of a lawmaker. Subsidy is "Fraud" as alleged by Prof Tam David West, who is one of the leading Guru's in petroleum matters. Besides we can root out the subsidy by making new refineries with the subsidy money? Estimate says we could repair all the existing refineries and make 4 new refineries with a trillion Naira. As for Boko Haram, I blamed late Yar'Adua for the current crises. When Yar'Adua was rolling red carpets in the villa for Militants in the Niger Delta charged with treason, boko haram members were hunted and killed extra-judiciously. Whoever saw the clip on Al-jazeerah on how securities murdered suspected Boko Haram in Maiduguri, will certainly know that it will come back to haunt us sooner or later. Sincere and well-meaning Nigerians (regardless of region or religion) condemn the barbaric act and call on Government to do something…as usual nothing was done.

Exportation of Boko Haram to Kano at this point in time raises serious questions? They struck on the eve of another wave of Anti Government demonstration over the fuel subsidy saga slated for Saturday in the city. During the week-long anti subsidy demonstration, every day millions of people, including women, swarmed the streets of Kano. No one in the country, Kano in particular, was talking about the subsidy removal anymore, as all eyes are now on Boko Haram. Isn't that a bit too convenient? In his recent article, Gordon Duff, Editor of US magazine – Veterans Today - A veteran intelligent analyst himself, who worked in Nigeria for decades has talked about a conspiracy hatched in two powerful western capitals with the sole aim of destabilizing three powerful African continents; two are down, Egypt and Libya. Nigeria is next.

The threat of Boko Haram will be nothing because elements that are bent on destabilizing this country will use their modus operandi to raise tension between Christians and Muslims that will eventually cause another civil war. If History is anything to go by, we should be very scary of recent trends because history may be trying to repeat itself. The 1950s election results led to violence in the Southwest as it did in the North in 2011 after the presidential elections. Mistrust between North and South were heightened then as it is now (One only need to look at comments posted on internet sites like Sahara reporters or Facebook. The tone of hatred emanating from both side is shameful). Already people are beginning to migrate from both sides across the Niger now, as they did then. The only card not on the table was the pogroms of the sixties but instead of it others are in place, as some low key explosives were planted at a garage in Sabon Gari area in Kano where Luxurious busses shuttle to the southern part of the country. Text message were circulating in the south scaring people to be wary of food items brought from the north (e.g. Tomatoes) and similar text message circulating in the north on the same effect (e.g. Palm oil).

I salute the leadership of senate and house when both David Mark and Tambuwal call for dialogue between Government and Boko Haram, Tambuwal even went further to call for total amnesty to perpetrators of Friday attacks in Kano. That is the only way forward because you cannot fight and win against faceless enemy; we have seen how organized and committed societies fail in their war on terror. As I write this, even the world chief of police (America) is engaging on talks with the Taliban. Besides we have a precedent considering the relative calm hovering over Niger Delta since the amnesty and empowerment of the militants. If those powerful voices were ignored, we will soon see more organized attacks, not only on security personnel and establishment but on religious establishment and personality. When that happen, we will begin pointing accusing fingers or, as the recent proclamation by CAN leadership, we will see some section of society beginning to protect themselves…and we know all too well what sort of a harbinger that would be.


©  EsinIslam.Com

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