Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
Third Term: Death Pill For Yorubas
Otunba Wale Johnson
March 9, 2006
A very dangerous, self-destructive propaganda is sweeping through Yoruba land presently with the capacity to ultimately destroy the legacy of democratic tradition of this enlightened race. The advocacy posits that since presidency may not return to Yoruba land in the next Forty years, then third term is an attractive option to allow the race to stay in the presidency for four more years. This ill-thought out agenda is being spread in towns and villages by a few demagogues who cloth their power-mongering interest under the cover of Yoruba agenda.
Recent interactions with some leading members of this cabal expose a warped conception of democracy, a total disconnect from the 1914 till date remain the best advocates of rule law, equity and Justice and democratic norms and tradition at a time when many are yet to accept the ideals. It is unfortunate that these new and emerging tyrants whose antecedents has nothing democratic has hijacked Yoruba political direction, pushing an otherwise enlightened race into the path of dictatorship advocacy.
The shallowness of the third term agenda as being in Yoruba interests most many points and questions which nobody is raising now. If third term is to allow Yoruba to stay in power for four more years, in what ways has that strengthen the race, as it must in the final analysis quit the seat? With the increasing negative perception of the Yoruba race by other geo-political entities, is the third term crew not further destroying the political fortunes of the Yoruba race by their many atrocities and unenviable records which are sure to be laid at the doorstep of the race in the nearest future.
If misuse and misapplication of federal might is justified by these half-baked pretentious democrats, the question is what happens when other zone took over the presidency? The many sins of a Yoruba son in the presidency are sure to be revisited on the unprecedented in history. If third term is pushed through, other zones will introduce fourth or fifth term when they assume the presidency.
If the Yorubas then resorted to their culture of protestations, they would have lost the moral high ground, which conferred legitimacy in those days of anti-Balewa and anti-Shagari struggles. Such a new president can brutally suppress protest and discontent in any Yoruba towns and villages. If need be, he can call out the military to wipe out a Yoruba town. At least, a Yoruba man leveled Odi and Zaki Biam with impunity. The new leader can tamper with the constitution and disobey it without any regret while hounding any renegades with state coercive instruments. The fragile federation would have lost the moral voice of a Yoruba race which for decades called the nation to the path of democracy, equity and justice. The Yorubas thus run the risk of moral extinction if they swallow ongoing propaganda over third term.
If one may ask, what has the Yorubas benefited in the last seven years to warrant destroying a legacy built over more than four decades? A trip round the south- west geo- political zones showed that pauperization is advancing rather than receding. Unemployment is deepening and service in the federal government has brought sorrow and anguish to many leading families. Their son hand over all the commanding heights of the economy to the Igbos with the consequence that top Yoruba technocrats are being weeded out of service unjustly and without any protection from their in power.
Yorubas are poorer today than pre-1999. Their infrastructures are down. Their real leaders have been decimated, driven out of potent existence. Their values are being destroyed with the zone now converted to military garrison where the rule of law is suspended indefinitely. A pervading sense of despondence has taken over the zone, a condition not even as bad as when late Akintola ruled the region. The Obasanjo presidency is to many Yorubas a curse rather than blessing.
What good will another four years do to this otherwise proud race now reeling under the jackboot of an emerging dictatorship? The reality is that while many Yoruba leaders are angry and bitter about the trend of event, many lack the courage to stand up and be counted on the side of democracy. In their rooms and caucuses, they are only praying for any miracle to happen, for many of them are convinced that the route they are being led to is that of moral and democratic perdition. But such an approach is not right as what one would not accept as a rich man, as we say as a people,one should reject as a poor man. If the blood thirsty Abacha is resisted, the situation now is even more precarious because the legacy of an entire race is under jeopardy due to the misadventure in power of a single man.
The unfolding drama took a new dimension when the South-West PDP reportedly endorsed the President for third term. In times of serious national crisis, men of the Southwest governors backed the bid is simply a sad commentary on the quality of leadership in this democracy. Understandingly, the Ribadu commission is a threat; yet sacrificing the interest of a race so carelessly is even worst.
What is more, the endorsement was contrary to all existing party rules and constitution of the Federal Republic. The PDP constitution is clear on how its presidential flag bearer should emerge. One wonders how few leaders can just sit and allocate a presidential ticket to one of their own. Second, the constitution knows nothing like term. May be the South-West should have directed its lawmakers to back constitutional amendment for third term. Even at that, reports are emerging indicating that many South-West lawmakers are now afraid of what might befall them in the hands of their people if they openly back third term plot.
The totality of the emerging scenario is that Yorubas at home and abroad should rise to protect their hard-earned reputation in the democratic process. Third term propaganda is a sure death pill for all what Yorubas stand for within the Nigerian federation; it can only bring anguish and generational retribution; it can only become an albatross which succeeding generation of Yorubas will carry on their shoulder.
Rather than third term, what Yorubas need is a continuation of their age-long tradition of agitation for true federation, democracy, rule of law and social justice.
The third term propaganda is antithetical to Yoruba tradition and legacy of democracy and struggle for the rule of law. Men of conscience should rise and defend what is right and just or else, on the day of reckoning, other Nigerian nationalities will conclude a guilty verdict of the Yorubas with generational retribution for the South-West. This is a fate we donít deserve as a people.
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