Yesterday Bayelsa State government enacted Law giving themselves their own Flag, Coat Of Arms and Anthem; this is the best time for MASSOB to declare the actualization of Biafra, if my siblings are serious about their call. First, the Ogoni people declared autonomy, self-government or whatever, and then Southern governors want state police, now Bayelsa has its own Flag, Coat of Arms and Anthem. Recall also that Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, had Monday inaugurated a State Security Squad, aka, State Police. These looks to me like a conscious movement towards a Confederation or at best Federalism.
It is clear what is going on: the Southerners are ready for true federalism, after growing tired of only talking about it, but the North as usual is not ready, they believe state police will balkanize the country.
In reaction to what appeared like a betrayal, some southern governors on July 31 took a swipe at their northern counterparts for backtracking on the general call for state police, as contained in a communiquÃ© by the Nigeria Governors Forum after its meeting in Abuja on June 24.
But about one month after, the Northern Governors Forum after a meeting held on July 26 and presided over by the Chairman and Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, made U-turn on the earlier agreement. The meeting was attended by 18 of the 19 NGF members. Rather than state police, they asked for the national police to be strengthened.
Supporting the NGF, National Convener, Concerned Northern Professionals, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, said the issue of state police was a step towards a divided Nigeria.
He said no country had ever broken up at the negotiation table but at war, adding that the problem was not about who manages the police but how the police is managed.
Mohammed, who believed the state police was a Southern agenda, added, â€œThe agitation for state police is just a tip of the iceberg. It is for the breakup of Nigeria. Afterwards, there will be a call for state army and parastatals. The issue of constitution amendment usually comes up when there is ulterior motive.â€
Back to the Goodluck Digbooâ€™s Ogoni land; in declining to blink an eyelid following the declaration of self-determination by the Ogonis, President Goodluck Jonathan has sent a clear signal that it is okay, provided he remains the general president of a Federal Republic of Nigeria, that all is well.
Besides that, his Minister of Environment Tuesday appealed to the Ogonis that FG is intensifying efforts to clean up their environment of the effects of the oil spill.
These are very curious times indeed.
Those deafening calls for SNC whose objective is autonomy, is probably over. Now the federating components are taking their destiny in their hads. To your tents O Israel!
In rejecting the State Police, the north seems to be swimming against the tide of popular agitation. Rather than state police, they asked for the national police to be strengthened, despite the fact that National policing has failed woefully to stem the tide of insecurity of lives and property: kidnapping, armed robbery, Okene church massacre, Jos, Plateau state crimes against humanity and suicide bombing by boko haram runs rampant.
The Northern governors new position, however, contradicted the earlier position taken by all the 36 governors, in which they had agreed that the violence in the country would best be tackled with the establishment of state police.
A communiquÃ© issued by the NGF read, â€œThe forum is not in support of the creation of state police. It, however, resolved to prevail on the FG to embark on police reforms that will assist the states in the control and management of police affairs on a sound philosophy of modern policing by amending the provision of Section 215 of the constitution.â€
In his reaction, Governors Babatunde Fashola (Lagos State), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta State), Rauf Aregbesola (Osun State), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo State), and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti State), criticised the Northern governors for shifting their position, while insisting on the state policing system.
Ironically, the Plateau State Governor, Mr. Jonah Jang, a member of the Northern forum, supported the Southern counterparts.
Jang dissociated himself from the decision of other northern states, insisting on the earlier position taken by the 36 governors under the Amaechi-led NGF.
Senate President, David Mark, at a recent retreat held in Asaba had confirmed what the general populace desires:
â€œA consensus seems to have crystallised around areas like devolution of powers, fiscal federalism, the concept of federating units, local government administration, including funding, creation and autonomyâ€, he said..
â€œOther areas include judicial reforms, creation of states, national security â€“ terrorism and insurgency, boundary adjustment, fine-tuning of the electoral system, state police, citizenship versus â€˜indigeneship,â€™ role of traditional rulers and the prisons.â€
However, Nigerians do not trust David Mark and his National Assembly on this issue, describing their planned constitutional amendment as unpopular. Some observers argued that the exercise would have been effective if the issues were tabled at a national conference, where all sections and groups would be represented.
The National Publicity Secretary, Action Congress of Nigeria, who also held this view, said, â€œWe have made it clear several times that there is a need for all the regions and sectors in the country to come together through their representatives and discuss how they want to be governed.â€
Be that as it may, whatever the politicians do, the revolution is here! All this talk about â€˜balkanisationâ€™ of Nigeria had always sounded like mag-mago, to me, but it is beginning to sound like there is something in the air, from Ogoni to Bayelsa. Oduduwa and Biafra give way, the Niger Delta is on the move!
We donâ€™t need to do anything by mago mago. Put everything on the table. In that way, those that want to stay should stay and those that want to go should go. No
Many conferences have been called, since 1984-85 and yet the particular demands of the people had always been swept under the carpet. The peoples are now taking complete ownership of their interests and by themselves lay them on the table for resolution â€“as is happening now â€” that is the expression of sovereignty. we say no more of those â€œconferencesâ€ that only end up in â€œarrangeeâ€ Constitutions.
This is what Boko Haram terror aims to neutralize, for whatever it is Boko Haram wants, it does not have to go about it via a terror spree. Let them force their leaders to practice their sharia.
Everyone, from Boko Haram to those crying â€œbalkanizationâ€â€“and all points in between, including the Ijaw, who say their issues are not subordinate to any other.
So, the real question is; how are these issues are to be decided?
Secondly, with all these things happening in Jonathanâ€™s backyard, what does Goodluck really want?
In 2010 Jonathan said those asking for National conference were 96 years late as they should have asked for that in 1914. He went on to contest the Presidency of Nigeria as a united entity.
Now there is widespread fear that upon assumption of office, Jonathan has started to use the Nigerian presidency to promote the Ijaw nation.
Then Ogoni and now Bayelsaâ€¦and the incessant drums of war between the Ijaw and the Arewa.
Many have argued that there is no big deal to the Bayelsa declaration: Cross River State in 1999 had her own flag, Coat of Arms and anthem. The flag of Cross River State is blue white blue. The anthem is â€œland of my birth. The Former Regions had their own Constitution, Coat of Arms and Flag. The Western Region even had a Court of Appeal. It was the military that abolished all this. The military claimed that they wanted to promote national unity. The military was adverse to regionalism. The military also killed State Police. Now that we have returned to democracy there is no reason why a federating State should not all these symbols of authority including State Police.â€
But the pointer is in the TIMING! â€“ The Arewa Youths Forum (AYF) responding to what it called the â€œoutburst and frontal attack on the northâ€ by Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, who leads the Niger Delta People Volunteer Force, yesterday declared that the north is not afraid of war, and that the North can take care of itself.
On August 6, 2012, Asari Dokubo, the Militant Leader had said: â€œOn this issue of Boko Haram, Northern Nigeria will lose. We are just waiting. What will happen will be unimaginable in the history of the world. We will cut them (northerners) off from the world. We are capable of doing it. There will be no food and they will pay dearly for their actions. This is war. It is no joke. When the war starts, other ethnic groups like the Yoruba and the Igbo will also tell the North that they are on their own. We are saying nothing must happen to Goodluck Jonathan because if anything happens to him, the world will see the consequences.â€
In a press statement signed by Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, Arewa Youth National President replied: while it was pertinent to let the war mongers know â€“ Asari-Dokubo and others that that the region was the mainstay of the Nigerian state before the discovery of oil: â€œWe are not war mongers and will not and will never call for war within the polity of Nigeria,â€ the statement said. â€œBut we are bothered that, Asari Dokubo, Edwin Clark and co are turning President Goodluck Jonathan into an Ijaw leader instead of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that he is.â€
My question is this: Why should Jonathan instead of calling a conference or coming out to support devolution of power to states, supporting state police, calling a plebiscite, or calling a conference and letâ€™s put the question, why is he using the presidency of Nigeria to undermine the rest of the country and promote his own Ijaw nation?
He has used soldiers against peaceful protesters in Lagos, detained and killed MASSOB members in the East but encouraging his own people to do what these people never did by his silence or even subtle support; what is wrong?.
There is nothing wrong with him sir. He is acting in line with a STRATEGIC AGENDA that is unfolding item BY ITEM towards â€œTRUE FEDERALISM OR RESOURCE CONTROL.â€
Remember the contract for coastal security? Or silence over the event in ogoniland? National Assembly is wasting time trying to create more states.
Is Goodluck really clueless as the last powerful president in the centre? Bayelsa Governor, Dickson may prove you wrong because by the 2015 Nigeria may not be the same again.
Nigeria will be like USA or Switzerland.
We are living in interesting times as the Chinese saying goes.
Report by Ogbuefi Ndi./AHE