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A second opportunity

another opportunity has happily presented itself for the North to regain political control of the country, which it surrendered on the platter of gold to…

another opportunity has happily presented itself for the North to regain political control of the country, which it surrendered on the platter of gold to uphold national unity that unfortunately is only observed in words whenever a non-Northerner leads the country, as demonstrated by AguiyiIronsi, OlusegunObasanjo and now President Goodluck Jonathan.
To avoid repeating the mistake of 2003, it is necessary to recall that during the second anniversary of Arewa Consultative Forum in 2002, I presented a paper outlining the numerous atrocities the then president Obasanjo inflicted on the region and warned that if allowed to continue for a second term, he would do much worse. I then urged the Forum to do all it could to ensure the emergence of a credible, respected and popular consensus candidate who had what it took to defeat the vindictive president.
However, as the Forum lacked powers and authority to enforce its decision and as time was fast running out, Major General MuhammaduBuhari who had earlier resolved never to participate in active politics or contest any elective position had to be persuaded to change his decision in the interest of the region, which he patriotically obliged.With his immense popularity and commendable credentials, he was chosen by people but mischievously schemed out in an election that was nationally and internationally adjudged to be the worst of its kind in recent memory.
The painful condition which Northern Nigeria has found itself in, especially in the last three years, is more devastating than what obtained in 2002. With the sudden convening of the National Conference, which the President had earlier resisted vehemently, and the threat by South East and Niger Delta to secede from the country if Jonathan is not allowed to continue for a third term which even a more cunning Obasanjo, a four-star army general, could not realise, there is a clear indication that 2015 presidential election would be more than a do-or-die affair.
But as everything that has a beginning will surely come to an end, the formation of All Progressives Congress (APC) by the highly respected and popular statesmen, Major General Muhammadu Buhari and Senator AsiwajuBola Tinubu, is a divine intervention that a new party with defined goals and objectives has emerged to save Nigeria from collapse and disintegration.
And as 2015 is the legitimate right of the North to assume leadership of the country – notwithstanding Jonathan’s intransigence, not only against his promise to lead for only one term but also against reasonand common sense – the need for the North to choose a broadminded, honest, credible and popular consensus candidate is more compelling now than ever before.
Given the difficulties and hardships the people of the region have been made to suffer and endure, they fervently hope and pray that traditional, religious and political leaders would embark on wide consultations and appeal to both Senator Tinubu and GeneralBuhari to choose an upright candidate whose support cuts across ethnic, regional and religious boundaries, and at the same time prevail on those intending to stand to curtail their ambitions in the overall interest of the region and country.
It has been decided by a group of eminent and patriotic Northerners who are not involved in active party politics but are genuinely concerned and truly worried about the fragile position of the North in the country’s affairs that they would undertake extensive tour of the 19 states in the region to explain this need. They should remind people of who we were prior to the brutal murder of our civilian and military leaders in 1966, and of the urgent need to forget our trivial differences and unite so as to regain our lost glory and save the present and future generations from further exclusion.

Ibrahim Abba, former Vice President of Golf Union of Nigeria, wrote this from Zaria Road, Kano.

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