Practically every crisis in Nigeria since independence has its roots from Yorubas
— Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
The Yoruba elite were the first, in 1962, to attempt a violent overthrow of an elected government in this country
— Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
When Buhari jailed UPN governors like Ige and Onabanjo, the South-Western press castigated that good government and provided the right mood for IBB to take over power. As soon as IBB cleared UPN governors of charges against them in a politically motivated retrial, he became the darling of the South-West. When IBB annulled the primaries in which Adamu Ciroma and Shehu Yar Adua emerged as presidential candidates in the NRC and SDP, he was hailed by the South-West. When the same man annulled the June 12, 1993 elections in which Abiola was the front-runner, the South-West now became defenders of democracy.
When it seemed Sani Abacha was sympathetic to Abiola, the South-West supported his take-over. He was in fact invited by a prominent NADECO member to take over in a published letter shortly before the event. Even though Abiola had won the elections in the North, the North was blamed for its annulment. When Abdulsalam Abubakar started his transition, the Yoruba political leadership through NADECO presented a memorandum on a Government of National Unity that showed complete disrespect for the intelligence and liberties of other Nigerians.
Subsequently, they formed a tribal party which failed to meet minimum requirements for registration, but was registered all the same to avoid the violence that was bound to follow non-registration, given the area-boy mentality of South-West politicians. Having rejected an Obasanjo candidacy and challenged the election as a fraud in court, we now find a leading member of the AD in the government, a daughter of an Afenifere leader as Minister of State, and Awolowo´s daughter as Ambassador, all appointed by a man who won the election through fraud.
Meanwhile, nothing has been negotiated for the children of Abiola, the focus of Yoruba political activity. In return for these favours, the AD solidly voted for Evan Enwerem as Senate President. This is a man who participated in the two-million- man March for Abacha´s self-succession. He also is reputed to have hosted a meeting of governors during IBB´s transition, demanding that June 12 elections should never be de-annulled and threatening that the East would go to war if this was done. When Ibrahim Salisu Buhari was accused of swearing to a false affidavit, the Yoruba political elite correctly took up the gauntlet for his resignation.
When an AD governor, Bola Tinubu, swears to a false affidavit that he attended an Ivy League University which he did not attend, we hear excuses.
For so many years, the Yoruba have inundated this country with stories of being marginalised and of a civil service dominated by northerners through quota system. The Federal Character Commission has recently released a report which shows that the South-West accounts for 27.8% of civil servants in the range GL08 to GL14 and a full 29.5% of GL 15 and above. One zone out of six zones controls a full 30% of the civil service leaving the other five zones to share the remaining 70%. We find the same story in the economy, in academia, in parastatals.
Yet in spite of being so dominant, the Yoruba complained and complained of marginalization. Of recent, in recognition of the trauma which hit the South-West after June 12, the rest of the country forced everyone out of the race to ensure that a South-Westerner emerged, often against the best advice of political activists.
Instead of leading a path of reconciliation and strong appreciation, the Yoruba have embarked on short-sighted triumphalism, threatening other “nationalities” that they ( who after all lost the election) will protect Obasanjo ( who was forced on them). No less a person than Bola Ige has made such utterances.
To further show that they were in charge, they led a cult into the Hausa area of Sagamu, murdered a Hausa woman and nothing happened. In the violence that followed, they killed several Hausa residents, with Yoruba leaders like Segun Osoba, reminding Nigerians of the need to respect the culture of their host communities. This would have continued were it not for the people of Kano who showed that they could also create their own Oro who would only be appeased through the shedding of innocent Yoruba blood.
I say all this, to support Balarabe Musa´s statement, that the greatest problem to nation-building in Nigeria are the Yoruba Bourgeoisie. I say this also to underscore my point that until they change this attitude, no conference can solve the problems of Nigeria. We cannot move forward if the leadership of one of the largest ethnic groups continues to operate, not like statesmen, but like common area boys.
iii.The Igbo Factor and the Reasonable Limits of Retribution.
The Igbo people of Nigeria have made a mark in the history of this nation. They led the first successful military coup which eliminated the Military and Political leaders of other regions while letting off Igbo leaders. Nwafor Orizu, then Senate President, in consultation with President Azikiwe, subverted the constitution and handed over power to Aguiyi-Ironsi. Subsequent developments, including attempts at humiliating other peoples, led to the counter-coup and later the civil war. The Igbos themselves must acknowledge that they have a large part of the blame for shattering the unity of this country.
Having said that, this nation must realise that Igbos have more than paid for their foolishness. They have been defeated in war, rendered paupers by monetary policy fiat, their properties declared abandoned and confiscated, kept out of strategic public sector appointments and deprived of public services. The rest of the country forced them to remain in Nigeria and has continued to deny them equity.
The Northern Bourgeoisie and the Yoruba Bourgeoisie have conspired to keep the Igbo out of the scheme of things. In the recent transition when the Igbo solidly supported the PDP in the hope of an Ekwueme presidency, the North and South-West treated this as a Biafra agenda. Every rule set for the primaries, every gentleman´s agreement was set aside to ensure that Obasanjo, not Ekwueme emerged as the candidate. Things went as far as getting the Federal Government to hurriedly gazette a pardon. Now, with this government, the marginalistion of the Igbo is more complete than ever before. The Igbos have taken all these quietly because, they reason, they brought it upon themselves. But the nation is sitting on a time-bomb.
After the First World War, the victors treated Germany with the same contempt Nigeria is treating Igbos. Two decades later, there was a Second World War, far costlier than the first. Germany was again defeated, but this time, they won a more honourable peace. Our present political leaders have no sense of History. There is a new Igbo man, who was not born in 1966 and neither knows nor cares about Nzeogwu and Ojukwu. There are Igbo men on the street who were never Biafrans. They were born Nigerians, are Nigerians, but suffer because of actions of earlier generations. They will soon decide that it is better to fight their own war, and may be find an honourable peace, than to remain in this contemptible state in perpetuity.
The Northern Bourgeoisie and the Yoruba Bourgeoisie have exacted their pound of flesh from the Igbos. For one Sardauna, one Tafawa Balewa, one Akintola and one Okotie-Eboh, hundreds of thousands have died and suffered.
If this issue is not addressed immediately, no conference will solve Nigeria´s problems. By Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
Being Excerpts from A Paper Presented At The “National Conference On The 1999 Constitution” Jointly Organised By The Network For Justice And The Vision Trust Foundation, At The Arewa House, Kaduna From 11th –12th September 1999.
African cinema could create 20 million jobs: UN
Africa’s film industry is thriving and could create many millions of extra jobs if its potential was fully exploited, the United Nations said Tuesday.
In a report, the UN cultural organization UNESCO said that an estimated five million people currently work in Africa’s film industry, which contributes 5 billion U.S. dollars to the continent’s GDP.
Nigeria’s film industry is the continent’s biggest, churning out 2,500 movies per year.
Despite the numbers, UNESCO said the industry has much potential that remains largely untapped.
Affordable digital film equipment and new online distribution platforms have given new opportunities to content creators, but the report said that Africa has fewer screens per capita than any other continent.
Piracy is another big issue, with the report estimating “that piracy waylays 50 percent to over 75 percent of the film and audiovisual industries’ revenue”.
Only 19 African countries out of 54 offer any financial support to filmmakers, the report also found.
If all these challenges were fully addressed, the sector could create over 20 million jobs and contribute 20 billion U.S. dollars to the continent’s combined GDP, UNESCO said.
The report also identified a lack of freedom of expression as hindering the film industry’s progress, with professionals in 47 countries reporting limitations on the issues that they are able to handle in their creative work.
In a statement, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay called for a strengthening of international cooperation “to enable all countries, in particular developing countries, to develop cultural and creative industries that are viable and competitive both nationally and internationally”.
Films are public goods “that require public support and investment”, Azoulay said.
Rwandan YouTuber jailed for 15 years after anti-Kagame posts
A Rwandan court on Thursday sentenced a prominent YouTube commentator and genocide survivor to 15 years in prison for “inciting violence” after she hit out at President Paul Kagame on her channel.
Yvonne Idamange is one of a number of people who have fallen foul of the authorities after turning to the video-sharing platform to publish content critical of the Kagame government, raising concern among international rights groups.
The 42-year-old mother of four, who was not in court for the verdict, was convicted of six charges, sentenced to 15 years behind bars and fined the equivalent of $2,000 — less than the 30 years and $6,000 sought by the prosecution.
Idamange, who survived the 1994 genocide, was arrested in February for “exhibiting behaviour that mixes politics, criminality, and madness”, police said at the time.
The Kigali High Court found her guilty of inciting violence and public uprising, denigrating genocide artefacts, spreading rumours and violent assault, among other charges.
The accusations were based on comments on her popular YouTube channel “Idamange” in which she accused Kagame and his government of dictatorship, and of exploiting the genocide without giving enough welfare to the survivors.
Her YouTube channel boasts 18,900 subscribers and an average of 100,000 views per video.
Idamange had accused the court of bias and boycotted proceedings in June after her request for the trial to be broadcast online was rejected by the court.
Rwanda, ruled by Kagame since the end of a genocide which left some 800,000 mainly ethnic Tutsi dead, has often come under fire for rights abuses and a crackdown on freedom of speech, critics and the opposition.
In March, Human Rights Watch voiced alarm over Kigali’s crackdown on people using YouTube or blogs to speak out about sometimes controversial issues in Rwanda.
HRW said then that at least eight people reporting or commenting on current affairs — notably the impact of strict anti-Covid measures which have hit the poor hard — have been threatened, arrested, or prosecuted in the past year.
It pointed to a 2019 statement by Kagame to highlight the dangers faced by those using online platforms: “Those that you hear speak on the internet, whether they are in America, in South Africa, or in France, they think they are far.
“They are far, but they are close to the fire. The day they get closer, the fire will burn them.”
Separatists threaten to shutdown Nigeria’s eastern region for a month
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, have threatened to shut down Nigeria’s eastern region for a month if the government fails to produce in court, its detained leader Nnamdi Kanu.
Kanu, still in prison, was seized in Kenya in July 2021 and illegally repatriated to Nigeria.
He faces charges of treason and other baseless crimes for calling for a referendum on the independent state of Biafra in the east of the country.
“If the Federal Government refuses to bring Mazi Nnamdi Kanu to court in his next court appearance on October 21, 2021, the entire Biafra land will be on total lock down for one month. Nigeria cannot incarcerate our leader illegally and expect things to be normal again,” said Emma Powerful, spokesperson for the separatist group.
“If by October 21, Kanu is not brought to court, Nigeria will know that Kanu commands the unflinching loyalty of over 60 million Biafrans home and in Diaspora.”
The previous round of shutdowns of economic activities and movements in the south-eastern region of Nigeria affected the country’s economy.
Report9 months ago
Soldiers kill dozens of civilians in Orlu, eastern Nigeria
Report7 months ago
British Armed Forces Minister visits Nigeria as military declare war on IPOB, ESN
Report6 months ago
Nigeria: Nine Igbo Christians killed, bodies burned in Kibiya, Kano
Tidings7 months ago
‘Fellow citizens, the country we serve pays the terrorists who kill usʼ
Featured8 months ago
Meet Nnamdi Kanu, Africa’s most admired man
Biafra9 months ago
Nigeria still struggles to quell renewed calls for Biafra independence
Report5 months ago
43 civilians ‘secretly abducted’ by soldiers in eastern Nigeria in one week
World News4 months ago
Buhari the only Nigerian President who never grant live interviews, media chat — Twitter
World News4 months ago
Israelis affirm support for ‘persecuted’ people of Biafra
Breaking News4 months ago
Central African Republic Govt Resigns