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Minorities, Jonathan presidency and Isyaku Ibrahim’s bigotry (2)

THE logic of democracy, which Ibrahim may not know, is that the competent minority candidates normally mobilise and solicit the support and votes of the majority.

That was how Obama, a minority Black, won the votes of the majority in America to become the President. Jonathan has never ignored the North; he merely believes that there are reasonable men and women in the region who will support his bid for the presidency at the general elections in 2011. Nowhere in the modern democratic world has any section of a country made the claim that other sections are barred from holding certain political offices by virtue of their minority status.

Another warped reasoning in Isyaku Ibrahim’s interview was his explanation of why the South-South should be grateful to the North. “When Biafrans invaded the Mid-Western region, it was the Nigerian Army, led by Murtala (Muhammed) that liberated the Mid-West … And that war was executed with the money from groundnut, cocoa, cotton, tin, etc, because the oil area was cut off … With all their talking, they were not in a position even to defend the oil.”

What an infantile level of reasoning! Did the Nigerian Army become Northern Army by virtue of the number of personnel from the North? Such was the low level of mentality that influenced politicians of Isyaku’s mould when they held sway in those days and it would appear that their relics are still very much around. Pray we don’t infest our children and generations to come with such a mentality.

Ibrahim’s condescending attitude is sickening. He refers to our political history and credits himself with almost everything good and positive, and his opponent with whatever is negative. What he does not say, however, is the ignoble role that he played in the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN)-controlled Federal Government.

In the interview in question, he arrogantly talked about how he single–handedly made Joseph Wayas President of the Senate, as if he was a super-politician and Wayas a political handicap. In any case, if Ibrahim were such a successful king-maker, how come he failed woefully in 1998 when he supported Alex Ekwueme for the presidential ticket of the PDP? Was his candidate, Chief Sunday Awoniyi, not defeated by Barnabas Gemade in 1999 when he sponsored the former for the position of the National Chairman of the Party?

It is pathetic that Ibrahim would, at this point of our political history, be indulging in the politics of majority ethnic groups against the minorities, as if the minorities do not have the right to aspire to be president of the country. Fortunately, he cannot intimidate the minorities out of their right to freely contest for the presidency.

Jonathan, who is from the minority Ijaw ethnic nationality, barring any eventuality, will fly the flag of the PDP in the 2011 presidential elections on behalf of both the majorities and minorities of Nigerians in the national interest.

There is no doubt that Ibrahim was not speaking for the North.  The North and South-South are political allies and genuine effort is being made to secure the support of the overwhelming majority of Northerners for South-South and indeed Jonathan to clinch the presidency in 2011.

Finally, Ibrahim claimed that he stopped attending meetings of the Board of Trustees of the PDP because of Obasanjo and Anenih. If this is true, then he certainly has all the characteristic features of a bigot who must not be allowed any political space in modern Nigeria.

No doubt, he has become jaded by current changes and, therefore, unable to cope with the new political realities. To say that Anenih is not a politician only confirms that he (Ibrahim) is really out of touch with the current situation in the country.

Mr. Uruma Omatseye, a political analyst, writes from Warri, Delta State.


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