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“This uprising will bring out the beast in us”

By Yinka Odumakin

THIS uprising will bring out the beast in us” was the infamous quote of former apartheid President of South Africa, Pieter Botha. On May 19 1986, frustrated by increasing ANC-backed agitation which was fuelling many elements of the disorder, the president called for air strikes against selected targets in Lusaka, Harare, and Gaborone. These included the offices of known ANC activists who had been living in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. Botha charged that these raids were just a “first instalment” and showed that “South Africa has the capacity and the will to break the [African National Congress].” Four days earlier, he had publicly warned neighbouring states known as open supporters of the organisation away from “unsolicited interference” in his country.

A speech by Botha to his cabinet was reproduced by David G. Mailu for the Sunday Times, a South African newspaper, dated August 18, 1985 where he said inter alia:

“We do not pretend like other Whites that we like Blacks. The fact that, Blacks look like human beings and act like human beings do not necessarily make them sensible human beings. Hedgehogs are not porcupines and lizards are not crocodiles simply because they look alike. If God wanted us to be equal to the Blacks, he would have created us all of a uniform colour and intellect. But he created us differently: Whites, Blacks, Yellow, Rulers and the ruled. Intellectually, we are superior to the Blacks; that has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt over the years. I believe that the Afrikaner is an honest, God fearing person, who has demonstrated practically the right way of being. Nevertheless, it is comforting to know that behind the scenes, Europe, America, Canada, Australia-and all others are behind us in spite of what they say. For diplomatic relations, we all know what language should be used and where. To prove my point, Comrades, does anyone of you know a White country without an investment or interest in South Africa? Who buys our gold? Who buys our diamonds? Who trades with us? Who is helping us develop other nuclear weapon? The very truth is that we are their people and they are our people. It’s a big secret. The strength of our economy is backed by America, Britain, Germany. It is our strong conviction, therefore, that the Black is the raw material for the White man. So Brothers and Sisters, let us join hands together to fight against this Black devil. I appeal to all Afrikaners to come out with any creative means of fighting this war. Surely God cannot forsake his own people whom we are. By now every one of us has seen it practically that the Blacks cannot rule themselves. Give them guns and they will kill each other. They are good in nothing else but making noise, dancing, marrying many wives and indulging in sex. Let us all accept that the Black man is the symbol of poverty, mental inferiority, laziness and emotional incompetence. Isn’t it plausible? therefore that the White man is created to rule the Black man? Come to think of what would happen one day if you woke up and on the throne sat a Kaff*ir! Can you imagine what would happen to our women? Does anyone of you believe that the Blacks can rule this country?”

South Africa is under rule today with Botha and his gang as historical references and a sour taste in the mouth.

Botha did not escape the lyrical vitriols of Afro Beat genius,Fela Anikulapo-Kuti in his classic “Beasts of No Nation” where he rapped Botha, Margaret Thatcher and other world leaders who were supporting the evil apartheid system.

There is a similar battle today for the soul of Nigeria between forces of development and productivity and those of indolence and sharing model. Restructuring of the country to proper federalism which was the template on which a functional economy was built in the early years of our independence.

The argument has been on before the collapse of the mono product (oil) economy but acquired greater stridency with the virtual disappearance of good governance and meaningful development. The issues are pretty clear that the country is not  working to almost every section of the country except the Bothas holding on to apartheid.

The Bothas have lost all the argument and the “uprising ” of sound ideas about remaking Nigeria into a functional country under federalism is bring out the ” beast” in them.

The most unintelligible contribution to the restructuring debate in the year 2017(except a more sickening one is made in the remaining few days) has just come from Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum  while opposing the call by the Southern Senators Forum on the President to revisit the reports of the 2014 National Conference Report.  Adamu, a delegate to the 2014 Conference, who spoke at the Northern Senators Forum retreat in Katsina said :

“Some of the agitators for restructuring are urging President Buhari to implement the report of the Jonathan conference because they believe the country’s political and economic future lies dormant now in the report.

“This, I am sorry to say, is a fallacy borne out of ignorance. I can safely bet that those who put their trust in the report have not even read it.

“Although it treats restructuring extensively, it actually fell back on the status quo. It is mealy-mouthed about fiscal federalism.

“The conference report is not the open sesame to a restructured Nigeria. The fact that the man who convened it, President Goodluck Jonathan, did not believe in its work effectively sealed its fate.

“It is unfair to ask President Muhammadu Buhari to implement a report to which he was not a party. He was not privy to its underlying philosophy or its primary objectives. Where would he start from?”

The Chairman of Southern Senators Forum, Senator Hope Uzodinma  countered Adamu saying “The statement reads: ‘’Adamu’s (Chairman of Northern Senators Forum) action and utterance smack of a town Union President who out of zealotry to protect his union and who erroneously sees the President of the country as a member of his union embarks on an indecent haste to speak for the President all in the name of protecting his Town a Union”.

He exposed the harebrained  argument that Buhari could not be asked to implement the report of the 2014 Conference because he was not part of it by questioning if he was part of the making of the 1999 constitution we are operating and the many international protocols to which Nigeria is a signatory.

Sound reasoning I must say. The 2015 budget was made by the previous administration but faithfully implemented by the current administration.”YOU WIN” was conceived by the ancient regime but continued by the present order.The Lagos-Ibadan Expressway rehabilitation commenced under the preceding regime and was continued by the present regime.Vice-President Osinbajo  represented by Chief John Oyegun at the commissioning of Zaria water project months ago was full of praises for Kaduna Governor for completing the project in 2 years  until Arc Namadi Sambo said the project did not proceed beyond where he left it as a governor. The only other project commissioned so far by this government in two and half-a-year was the Abuja-Kaduna rail done by its predecessor.Why is it that it is only 2014 Conference the President ought to have been part of to be called upon to implement?

Senator Abdullahi should come with more reasoned and thought out argument next time!



… $1b to fight “defeated” or “degraded ” Boko Haram

“Tell no lies,claim no easy victories “- Amical Cabral

TODAY, I can report  that the war against Boko Haram is largely won

“I can confidently say this because just recently, I led a group of 33 journalists from both the local and international media to the hotbed of the insurgency, that is, Maiduguri, Kondugua, Kaoure and Bama.

“I can confidently say this because just recently, I led a group of 33 journalists from both the local and international media to the hotbed of the insurgency, that is, Maiduguri, Kondugua, Kaoure and Bama.

“Today, I can report to you that the entire 70 plus kilometres stretch from Maiduguri to Bama and all the way to Banki which leads to Cameroun and the Central African Republic are in the hands of our gallant troops.”

“They have so degraded the capacity of Boko Haram that the terrorists can no longer hold on to any territory just as they can no longer carry out any spectacular attack.”

These were the words of Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on December 23,2015 on the dreaded group Boko Haram as a fulfillment of the promise of the present administration to end Insurgency in six months.

But two years after, the Nigerian Governors in their “legislative” sitting in Abuja “appropriated”$1b from the official corruption account (Excess Crude Account) to continue a war Alhaji Mohammed said we already won.

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki  who broke the news to State House correspondents at the end of the National Economic Council, NEC, meeting chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja said :

“The NEC also resolved through the chairman of the Governors Forum to support the effort of the Federal Government in the area of security. Pleased with the achievements that have been made till date in the fight against insurgency, particularly in the Northeast, the governors of Nigeria through their chairman announced at the NEC meeting that the governors have given permission to the Federal Government to spend the sum of $1billion in the fight of insurgency.”

We need Alhaji Lai Mohammed to tell us he lied to the the country that we have “defeated”Boko Haram.In the absence of that, citizens would be free to speculate that Boko Haram has becoming another “grass-cutting”.


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