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Elections 2019: Yoruba, read Buhari’s hands – Waterways Bill, “federal” government’s funding of State Judiciaries & State Houses of Assembly, et cetera, NOT his lips (MKO-honors) – pathfinderinternational.com

June 10, 2018

Nigeria

 

Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration is proceeding apace with more centralization, to wit, the impending Waterways Bill which gives control of rivers and its banks to the Central Government; the “State Houses of Assembly” Bill which he hurriedly signed even while inviting a large segment of June 12 activists to a ceremony supposedly honoring MKO and others but which, in reality, will be celebrating True Federalism’s death-knell.

While all of these were going on, the rise in herdsmen killings saw him “appealing” to the victims to see these criminals as “neighbors” and live peacefully with them, even as he later claimed that the perpetrators are from Libya. Meanwhile, his Defense Minister was going all over the place seeking the abrogation of the anti-Open Grazing Laws in some States, which the Fulani herdsmen association, MACBAN, had claimed to be the reasons for the violence perpetrated by the herdsmen. Muhammadu Buhari was once president of MACBAN under whose umbrella he came to confront Lam Adesina in Oyo State, to protest about the resistance to the violence of “his people”. He is also named as one of MACBAN’s patrons.

 

 

THIS ESSAY APPEARED AS – Yoruba Nation: Beware of the Trojan Horse  
The Pathfinder International June 10, 2018

 

The Buhari Administration’s announcement of June 12 as “Democracy Day” and a post-humous recognition of M.K.O Abiola and others raise the specter of neutralizing True Federalism despite the Administration’s vindication of the Peoples’ struggles to actualize “June 12” via this recognition; therefore, rather than praise Muhammadu Buhari or his Administration for it, we should thank ourselves for maintaining the momentum to such an extent that this Administration has no choice but to vindicate it. And that is where it should end, while the quest for True Federalism gathers a stronger momentum.

To Muhammadu Buhari’s credit, he made an appearance, even if briefly, on the closing day of the PRONACO Conference on the Re-Formation of Nigeria; did not utter a word and left. The best that can be read into this symbolism was an attempt a scouting the mood of the day in the hope that it can be incorporated into whatever political agenda he was nurturing at the time.

One of APC’s “legacy parties”, the ACN, was established by prominent NADECO activists, especially in Yorubaland, some of whom are now playing major roles in the Buhari Administration, not to effect True Federalism, which was the foundation of ACN from its roots in the AD, but to champion not only the person of Muhammadu Buhari but also the so-called achievements of his Administration.

His anti-corruption mantra failed from the beginning by not accurately defining what corruption is. We are thus left with a political grandstanding in terms of arrests and prosecutions that are neither here nor there, whilst leaving the source of corruption intact, this source being the Architecture of the Nigerian State with a corrupt foundation bringing forth a “Federalism” which is so only in name.

When he declared that he is “for everybody and for nobody”, he was telling us that the political party that brought him to power is irrelevant; and this was clearly shown in his early appointments dominated by his “inner circle” mainly from the Fulani Nation. Other appointments pointed to an attempt at creating alternative centers of power in the “zones”, with the aim of neutralizing established centers, particularly in Yorubaland, such that the demands for Federalism as our political niche would be neutralized.

He went on to pooh-pooh the entire notion of Restructuring anchored on what he says is our “impatience”; and, “having rejected the Parliamentary System…. give a long period of trial and improvement before the system we have adopted is anywhere near fit for purpose”. It must be noted that Muhammadu Buhari did not address the question of “we”, that is, who rejected and adopted what, just as the question as to what constitutes a “long period” was left unanswered more so when there was a previous experience which was not given “a long period of trial and improvement” before the military of which he was a major part truncated it. This previous experience, the First Republic, was adjudged to have offered the best template for socio-economic development ever experienced.

While all of these were going on, the rise in herdsmen killings saw him “appealing” to the victims to see these criminals as “neighbors” and live peacefully with them, even as he later claimed that the perpetrators are from Libya. Meanwhile, his Defense Minister was going all over the place seeking the abrogation of the anti-Open Grazing Laws in some States, which the Fulani herdsmen association, MACBAN, had claimed to be the reasons for the violence perpetrated by the herdsmen. Muhammadu Buhari was once president of MACBAN under whose umbrella he came to confront Lam Adesina in Oyo State, to protest about the resistance to the violence of “his people”. He is also named as one of MACBAN’s patrons.

To give credence to herdsmen intentions, his Administration relied on what it called an ECOWAS Trans Human Protocol which Nigeria signed in 1998, without reference to the various Peoples concerned and which obliged the Federal Government not to restrict the movement of pastoralists and their cattle coming from other ECOWAS countries. This was under Sanni Abacha’s Administration, of which Muhammadu Buhari is proud.

He recently eulogized Sanni Abacha whose tenure we all know about and need not be repeated here. Muhammadu Buhari made a subtle attempt at equating his Administration with that of Abacha by lauding Abacha’s “development of infrastructure” just as his Administration showcases same as one of its major achievements.

Dictators, authoritarians, fascists and racists like Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini provided the needed infrastructural and industrial base for the Nazi Republic and Italy; just as the Stalinist regime did in the former Soviet Union. Yet, these did not prevent the Nationalities in the Soviet Union from advancing their cause for freedom; neither did it prevent the development of different forms of opposition to the Third Reich both inside and outside of Hitler’s Germany.

Recognition of “June 12” within this context is therefore telling us that his Administration, just like Abacha’s, is developing infrastructure, hence Abacha need not be held accountable for his atrocities more so when he can undo the political damage created by Abacha, which he has now done. Yet, the principal demand of “June 12” activists is True Federalism; therefore, recognizing June 12 without it is a Trojan Horse.

Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration is proceeding apace with more centralization, to wit, the impending Waterways Bill which gives control of rivers and its banks to the Central Government; the “State Houses of Assembly” Bill which he hurriedly signed even while inviting a large segment of June 12 activists to a ceremony supposedly honoring MKO and others but which, in reality, will be celebrating True Federalism’s death-knell.

Federalism, by definition, is a co-equal relationship between the national and subnational; a component must therefore have absolute control over its internal affairs, save those which it willingly gave up to the center. The Federating Units create the center and exercise the prerogative of what to give up. Now that the Central Government wants to retain funding for the State Judiciaries and Houses of Assembly, the Central Government will now have absolute leeway in, at best, influencing decisions of the Houses of Assembly, and at worst, intimidating them to do its will thereby reinforcing Nigeria’s “feeding bottle” Federalism.

The excuse that Governors are corrupt is not tenable because a True Federation relies on the power of the people of the Federating Unit, who can then devise their own means of addressing corruption in their environments more so when such a Federating Unit has no central godfather to rely on. And assuming Muhammadu Buhari is all that he is claimed to be, what happens after he leaves office?

Barack Obama once came to Africa to lecture us on the importance of “strong institutions instead of strong personalities” as the solution to Africa’s leadership crisis. The Yoruba, in their ancient wisdom say “ile to ba toro, omo ale k’o tii y’oju ni”. (an orderly environment indicates the hibernation of its vagabond). Barack Obama himself is wondering, today, whether American institutions can withstand the onslaught to which they are being subjected to, now, despite its supposed strength.

Meaning, True Federalism will allow for cultural impulses of the people to address whatever challenges they might face.

The above rendering on Muhammadu Buhari is an open book, yet most of it were ignored in 2013 to 2015, where political reality dictated the necessity to make hard choices, the major one being the formation of the APC and Muhammadu Buhari’s subsequent election. The time for hard choices are here again.

This time around, the Yoruba Nation must re-energize the pursuit of True Federalism as a sine qua non for Nigeria. Otherwise, the recognition may become the burial ground for Federalism.

He who has an ear, let him hear.

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 10, 2018. 12:49 P.M. [GMT]

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