Sunday, March 11, 2012

Before Nigeria implodes

Business Day
9 March 2012

Chido Onumah    .

On Sunday, February 19, 2012, a national daily carried a frightening story with the headline, “S’East, S’South, Middle Belt form Alliance”. It was a report of a meeting attended by youths from the three zones and led by Mujahid Abubakr Dokubo-Asari, leader of the Niger Delta Peoples’ Volunteer Force (NDPVF).

According to the report, “Members of a coalition, comprising ethnic nationalities and groups from the North Central, South-East and South-South geo-political zones of the country, yesterday, converged on Enugu to hold an all-night vigil and chart the way on how to retain political power even beyond 2015.... Leader of Niger Delta Peoples’ Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Asari Dokubo, led the gathering into sending a red signal to the core north, which has ruled the country for the greater part of its existence, saying the core north will no longer smell power in the capacity of a president in the nearest future.”

Dokubo-Asari’s strong rhetoric, we are told, is in response to “the core northern part of the country, which believes it is born to rule the country”. According to him, “The plan of the coalition is to ensure that the leadership of the country will be retained within the three zones until the core north people who think Nigeria is for them to rule perpetually would beg to leave.”

With a wave of the hand, Dokubo and his cohorts contrived to excise a section of the country. If this is not a declaration of war, I don’t know what is.

What could be driving the likes of Dokubo-Asari? Perhaps he believes he can resolve the current crisis by replacing “Hausa-Fulani hegemony” with “Ijaw-Niger Delta hegemony”. It is the height of political naivety to think that because an Ijaw man is the president of the country, Dokubo-Asari and his group have the prerogative to determine which individuals or groups will or will not rule or should be part of Nigeria.

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