September 9, 2013

2015: North should forget presidency – Suleiman

By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
COORDINATOR of North- ern Emancipation Network, Mal. Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, yesterday, advised the North to forget presidency in 2015.

Suleiman who spoke with newsmen in Abuja, said that the Northern political elite had deceived ordinary Northerners for too long for their selfish benefits and that the game has changed.

He noted that the North has held the office of the President longer than any other region since independence, but that ironically it remained the most backward because the Northerners who held the nation’s highest office, worked only for their allies and their children, leaving the bulk of the Northern populace in abject poverty and under-development.

His words: “What we have today is a conscious North versus the Northern political elite. Before now, wherever the elite decided to go, the crowd followed them. But now, it is no longer the same.

People have started thinking that they should not allow the elite to pull them wherever they go. So, you can see even the political game is being played by the elite.

“By virtue of my position one as a journalist and coordinator of the Northern Emancipation Network, I really have the opportunity of meeting some of these players to discuss so many things and we agreed and disagreed. So, I am talking to you from the point of view of an insider.

An insider who they know is not in their squad (the elite). Those of us in the Northern Emancipation Network and our affiliates do not see the necessity of the north insisting on the presidency in 2015 or any time in the near future.

Holding of central power

“Our reasons are that if holding central power is the only key in the success of a people then the North ought to have been the most successful region in Nigeria by now! If that yardstick is true the Igbo nation ought to have been the most backward. Because historically the Igbo nation has not in practical terms had power at the centre. It only had Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who was a ceremonial president and policies were executed by the prime minister then.

And the brief stint by Ironsi in a tumultuous situation, he did not have the time to do anything either for himself nor his people. The Igbo nation would have been the most backward now the reverse is the case. The North held power for the most part of Nigeria’s existence as an independent nation yet we are the most backward.”

Suleiman said that the five northern governors: Murtala Nyako, Adamawa; Sule Lamido, Jigawa; Babangida Aliyu, Niger; Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, and Musa Kwankwaso of Kano, are former President Olusegun Obasanjo “boys” who are acting a script by their godfather.

“Their journey in the “New PDP” will not last.  They will have to leave Atiku because they have nothing in common. Don’t forget that Obasanjo will not support an Atiku candidacy for the position of president.

Ordinary Northerners angry with Al-Mustapha Mal Suleiman said that the chasm between the Northern oligarchy and the political elites on the one and the ordinary people has continued to grow and has now deteriorated to the extent that emirs are now being stoned by the people who once idolized.

According to him, even Maj. Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to former Head of State, General Sani Abacha who was recently released from prison has lost the sympathy of ordinary Northerners for visiting governors and Emirs.

His words, “when this guy came out from prison, he landed from Lagos, the first person he visited was Kwankwaso  and then he began visiting Emirs. Some of the people I spoke with are very angry with Al-Mustapha because he had lost touch with realities. The ordinary people are not prepared to take that.

“They are even more angry with him for not visiting Buhari.  Up till now, he has not visited Buhari and Buhari is their man.  Now Al-Mustapha will never receive the kind of cheers he received when he returned from Lagos”.