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Paul Mamza





February 27, 2005


Lest we forget, the National Political Reform Conference commenced with all the supposed contending forces agreeing on its mode and intentions. The conference had at least been approved via veto that it is desirable both by the miniscule representations and the power of enforcement as represented by the presidency. By the sides interest groups had bemoaned lack of fair representations. Some of the recent suspicions are hypocritical, others replaying the Obasanjo tactics and the rest; an attempt at self abnegation.


Severally severed by past moral questions, the Nation just rises up to an alert and retires back with quietude. This dispensation has proved this point more at least by the extinguishing flavour of conflict of interests to the advantage of political game-players reminiscent of the military divide-and-rule policy of conquest. Every day as the tendencies are fattening, rationality loses its succor. Such are far reaching points secured incapacitating the salient issues. Along the line interest - fighter groups, activists, freedom-fighters lose foresights, mission and vision. For example, with new trends one may pose to ask some definitive questions by drawing from reminiscences and the confab fall-outs.


Where are the Northerners, when northerners like General Ishaya Bamaiyi, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, Commissioner of Police James Danbaba and Colonel Jubril Bala Yakubu were marooned in a trial case for six years now- an obtuse unprecedented case of fair trial in the history of trials?

Where were the Southerners when the President had used the Southwest against the Southeast and vice-versa, the Southsouth against the Southeast and vice versa in his political game-plane?

Where were the Igbos when Chief Chuba Okadigbo - a new symbol of an emerging Igbo political magnanimity and one of the most versatile politicians of our times (only rivaled by late Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe and Dr. Alex Ekwueme from the Southeast) teargased to death at a public forum?

Where were the Yorubas when Chief Bola Ige, who had spent all his life defending the Yoruba interest in politics more than anyone else in the contemporary Southwest only competing in the past with Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin but now erroneously projected by President Olusegun Obasanjo) shot at the heart of Yoruba land in the public gleeful eyes of the Yorubas?

Where were the South south tribes when the terrorists of shadow of death tactfully eliminated Chief Harry Marshal and Chief Aminasoni Dikibo?

Where were the Hausas, Kanuris, Angas, Fulanis, Bachamas, Marghis, Nupes, Tarohs, Highis etc. In the North when their lands were used as test grounds to execute someone else agenda?

Where were the Christian crusaders when some few Governors used Political Sharia to trample on the rights of Christians and the adherents of other religions?

Where were the Muslim - interest protectors when late General Sani Abacha - a Muslim - was singled out in a war of vindictiveness even though, dead and General Muhammadu Buhari- an embodiment of Sharia proper (which encourages justice, fairness, transparency and accountability) - allowed to use only his own personal devices to fight against an injustice that had engrossed the nation at large?

Where were the adherents of other religions other than Christianity and Islam when even a mention of their religion not made while discussing national issues?

Where were the activists when a bill sent through the National Assembly deactivated activism aimed at emasculating the labour - being the symbol of activism?

Where was the freedom - fighters when freedom was massacred at the Eagle Square, venue of a protest, where reputable Nigerians like General Muhammadu Buhari, Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu and late Alhaji Wada Nas were teargased by local police for venturing to express freedom?

Where were the middle-belters when Chief Audu Ogbeh - a core middle - belter by attribute of honesty - sacked for daring the lion of aso rock and Chief Joshua Dariye still scrambling for cover from agents of persecution, for holding a contrary political opinion with the master of the game?


The present situation in Nigeria is a case of a miniature injustice left unchallenged becoming a collective injustice. The latest outcry which is a fall - out from the Confab is divisionary because we told anyone that wanted to hear from the onset that the foundations are faulty being unconstitutional, the composition is faulty being very selective and the issues to be discussed faulty being not all - encompassing. At the end of this, the President is as usual the winner by showing that the winner takes it all. He would have proved by his politics and self - agenda that the Christians do not need the Muslims in his political chess - game, the South do not require the north, in the prevalent political equation and that Yorubas can do without the Igbos, the Igbos can go without part of the North, part of the North can pursue its line of action without the other and so on - a divide - and - rule tendency. It is therefore illogical, uncharitable and an abuse on our collective responsibilities for anyone to come out now to remind us of fair-play as Northerners, Southerners, Hausas, Igbos, Yorubas, Christians and Muslims when there was no basis for fair-play from the very onset from the call for the conference, itsí intentions and the hypocritical inclusions. Not even those planning to opt-out in future will convince us. This is not the time to shed crocodile tears but the time to shed our conscience. The President has once again proved that he is the undisputable conqueror of our national consciousness, period.


 Mamza writes from Ahmadu Bello  University, Zaria



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