By Yinka Odumakin
SHEIK Ahmed Gumi,a fiery Islamic preacher in an interview with a weekend Newspaper packed a lot of truth to power. His critical intervention at a time Nigeria lies prostrate at the intensive care unit of dying countries is the stuff of a great teacher showing up at a teachable moment .
Lovers of this country have pontificated in diverse ways on the need for Nigeria to tinker with its structure in order to have a governable country and create a productive polity where accelerated development would take place.This has been rejected by the apostles of unitary rule who want to keep Nigeria as it is for the sake of command and control in subversion of the well being of the peoples of Nigeria.
President Buhari as the número uno of the band of defenders of the status quo that has stripped Nigeria of its status lampooned advocates of restructuring while receiving some Urhobo Chiefs recently as people with “personal agenda.” But hear Sheik Gumi teaching sense: “We need to bring people together. Nigeria has reached a stage to restructure. Restructuring is mandatory. We need leaders that people can trust. The masses are very skeptical about him(Buhari).If people have representatives, let’s restructure Nigeria and you will see how we can live as a nation. We need a new crop of leadership.”
In an April 8,2015 article in New York Times titled “Can Nigeria’s Former Dictator Become a Democrat ?,Max Siollun made the following observations.
“In most countries, a 72-year-old retired general who once led a severe military dictatorship that imprisoned its opponents without trial, publicly executed convicts by firing squad, arrested journalists who criticised it, ran an Orwellian intelligence apparatus that bugged the phones of government ministers — a man whose overthrow three decades ago was welcome with relief by his countrymen, and who lost three consecutive presidential elections in 12 years — would be considered unelectable.But not in Nigeria.” He concluded the piece by saying “Nigeria at the moment needs a reconstructive surgeon and not a bulldozer.”
It would appear that bulldozing leadership paradigm it has been in the last three years and hence Gumi’s admonition. “But because of the problem that we have in Nigeria, we need a person that can truly unify the country, pacify and put the country together. So, when I see a leader polarising or dividing the polity, no matter how he claims to be good, he is not good for the situation. You see, it is not every time you have a leader that is good for a situation. Every situation has its own remedy. We need in Nigeria a person who can listen and bring everybody together and also have a way of negotiating in the murky water of politics.”
One bizarre phenomenon has afflicted this country in the build -up to the last election till now in public discourse.It is the virus of a group of Internet thugs a.k.a Buharideens.They are not people who believe in arguments based on refined engagements.Every argument with them within two exchanges degenerate to “your father,your mother.” Sheik Gumi has some words for these elements: “Buhari is just a common man. He is just an ordinary one man in Nigeria. We cannot be hypocrites, hiding facts because of a man. Why are people shivering because of him because he has a team of illiterate, fanatical followers? We can deal with them. They should not hold us to ransom. He is a victim of this ignorant, unemployed and senseless followership. When politicians see that, they become frightened. We won’t succumb to that. Let’s do what is right. Put the right Nigerians to lead us, if not, we will destroy ourselves. We cannot be victims to these rascals. When you try to correct the president, they come out in their millions trying to abuse you. They don’t even counteract your points with knowledge. If you think abusing us will deter us, you are mistaken. There is problem with and in the government. We have absolute failure in government. People are dying, things are not good. We cannot continue this way.
….If you think the fault of a man should not be mentioned, because he is your hero, then you take him as a small god. Only God does not make mistakes. The idea that he should not be corrected; that he does not make mistakes is a deification which is wrong. It is imperative on us to speak out loud with anger about this kind of follower-ship. It is not healthy for our well-being. We cannot be subject to a cabal. What is the truth about what they call Buharism? It does not put food on my table, it does not educate my child, it does not provide security; so what are they talking about? What are his economic policies? How can we cage ourselves?”
Another fascinating point Gumi made in this national teaching is the imperative of modernisation in the North of Nigeria.He is North and therefore cannot be accused of putting down his region of the country.He only wants modernisation which Nigeria would be better off for when he said:”The northern region, even though supplied many leaders, has been backward. One of the reasons is the nature of the northern man. He has a psyche that is molded by the emirate system before the coming of the white man which is the absolute control. In some places, you cannot even put on a very clean cloth because they will say you are competing with the king. The society has not changed. They feel that they are the new kings. An ordinary northern leader thinks of northerners as subjects. He does not want to improve their economic and social well being. For instance, it is high time we stopped this genuflection before the emirs. They don’t have any power over us. We are human beings. They maintain the feeling that ‘I am superior, the others are subjects.’ They do not want to assist the region. This is the Northern psyche. Even though they have been ruling for a long time, the north has been backward. The masses have been looking for a messiah that will free them from this bondage”.
I have interacted with a lot of friends from the North who are already in the world Gumi painted. I have seen a lot of northerners rising to lead the charge against bad governance shattering the myth that an average northerner will support a leader from the north -good or bad.That tribe must increase!
Nigerians generally do no scrutiny of those they want to employ as leaders.They do better job scrutinising and background checks on people they want to engage as drivers than they do of people they want to put in leadership position. Gumi has some lesson for them on this: “You don’t give power to an angry man. Give somebody whose head is calm and can sit down and prioritise his development. Buhari came in angry and was trying to catch thieves and people were clapping for him. The time is gone. Fighting corruption is good but it should not become your slogan. It should not be your only political selling point.”
Give it to Gumi for speaking out when it matters!
Let VP Yemi Osinbajo resign
By Amaibi Abraham-Bakumo
IN Esther 4:14, the Bible says “For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet, who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
We know the story of Esther and how she saved the Jews from annihilation through her royal position. Now Vice President Osinbajo is in a position to do something about what is happening with the herdsmen killing of people, most of them Christians and we have not seen any action on his part. His silence is loud and clear and I wonder if the reverse was the case if the President will sit down and do nothing, with the way Buhari is he would have turned against Osinbajo or resigned.
I heard of a story, I was not in the country then, when there was a situation involving Fulani herdsmen in Oyo state and how Buhari challenged the government in Oyo State at that time and asked:”why are your people killing my people?” Now we have a situation where people are being killed, the bulk of them Christians and our Vice President a notable Christian is not doing anything. A few days ago I reflected on how this government is guilty of bloodshed in the eyes of God and it came to my mind that all in government if they do nothing about this matter, regardless of faith are guilty of this sin.
So my advice to the Vice President is to act to save the lives of people, the majority of them Christians or resign. Is he going to say he cannot not do anything about Leah Sharibu. If the LORD, being omniscient, has put him there for such a time as this then Osinbajo has failed us. Let him stand up for what is right and be a soldier for Jesus. If you do good to one Christian you have done it to Christ, also if you do harm to one Christian you have done it to Christ. So with what is happening to Christians today, let Osinbajo do the maths.
Re: Death on presidency’s calculator
THANKS for your write-up on “Death on Presidency’s Calculator ” in today’s Vanguard Newspaper. Since the Federal government is unprepared to halt the killings, because it meets their secret agenda, there are two basic things we can do than just waiting for the herdsmen to come and slaughter us. This is warfare. So let’s incident these killings at the United Nations, the Commonwealth Council and the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. And then let’s prepare (NOT BEGGING) for self defence. Enough is enough.
Let’s boycott cow meat to send a message to their sponsors. Our political leaders (governors, senators, House of Representatives members ,Houses of Assembly members ,Local government Council Chairmen and traditional rulers )from South- south, South- west, South-east and North central should immediately summon a security council meeting to send a signal to those who believe that they have the monopoly of violence. So, as they say, if you want peace, then you have to prepare for war. We don’t have to be cannon fodders for their bullets.
Finally, let’s take the 2014 Confab Report and submit at the UN and the Commonwealth Council as the basis of our disagreement in Nigeria. Let each states in the South-south, South-west, South-east and North- central pass the 2014 National Confab Report and let’s see if the remaining zones will not call us to a round table. Our people too dey fear, according to Fela. And then foolish loyalty by our political class to the hegemony is so disparaging. It’s so nauseating to see a first class traditional ruler from very far north, declaring open the Rivers State Traditional Rulers’ Secretariat in Port Harcourt last week. If Governor Wike was serious, he could have invited the Ooni of Ife, or Olu of Warri, or Oba of Benin, or Asagba of Asaba, or Obi of Onitsha or the Alafin of Oyo, or the Gwon Gwon of Jos, etc. And I just recall that it’s the rat in the house that tells the outside rat of food within. Yinka, we have got to purge ourselves from within first because I can see a very long day ahead. Thanks