By Ayodele Fagbohun
“What portion have we in David? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse? To your tents, O Israel” …1king 12:16.
The above notable Biblical quote was on the state of affairs in Israel at its flux and anticlimax on imminent breakup. Thus it typifies the current fragile and precarious state of affairs in Nigeria.
Despite the reservoir of enlightened and sophisticated political elite scattered across the country, it is a source of great concern for a particular dominant and less informed minority ethnic group to hold the country hostage and lord its heinous rule upon the rest of us. This is without corresponding increase in the living standard of the people and security of lives and property.
It is galling and nauseating that the country is being progressively run aground before our very eyes without any one raising a finger of protest to halt and correct the anomalies and ill trends, to put thins straight.
This spurious claim of oligarchy and ruthless cabal to have stranglehold on the highest political office of the land is to say the least very outrageous and paranoid, which will not augur well for peace, stability and unity of the country.
How dare this rodomontade insignificant cabal greedily and avariciously savour the milk of the cow while wantonly denying the rest of country men and women in the spirit of equity, justice fair play?
Against this background, since colonial administration, Yoruba nation has naturally and consistently been a critical and major player in the political evolution of the country.
It was the natural destiny of Lagos, a Yoruba town, to be strategically placed as leading port, administrative capital and commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. Lagos, is a cradle and cauldron of political party system. European civilization had an earlier impact of magnitude on this Yoruba town of high prominence to the future development of the country.
Missionary education flourished in Lagos. African who could read and write were employed by government agencies, merchantile houses and firms.
The most outspoken critic of the British Administration otherwise known as colonial rule, was Yoruba, Herbert Samuel Heeles Macaulay, a civil engineer by training; journalist and politician rolled into one. He was a maternal grandson of Right Revd. Samuel Ajayi Crowther, First African Bishop of Niger/Delta.
Herbert Macaulay a.k.a “Wizard of Kirsten Hall” was an astute politician and thorn in the flesh of British colonial master.
To blaze the trail of nationalism, Macaulay and his associates inaugurated Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP). He was founding president of National Council of Nigeria and Cameroons (NCNC) while Azikwe was the secretary.
In a funeral oration rendered at the graveside of Herbert Macaulay in Lagos, as a token of respect, Nnamdi Azikiwe (Igbo), a political son of the fallen hero said: Macaulay served the cause of Nigerian nationalism with unsurpassed zeal.
Azikwe said Great Macualay worked in nearly perfect harmony with his “his political son” from June 1944 until 1946 when he died at the age of 82.
After the World War II, the right of self determination, as proclaimed in the Atlantic Charter, was interpreted by the nationalists of British West Africa as a promise of self government.
Here again, Yoruba ethnic stock blazed the trail and took the headstart. In 1945, Obafemi Awolowo and several others inaugurated a pan Yoruba cultural society in London, Egbe Omo Oduduwa. Sir Adeyemo Alakija, a distinguished barrister, former president Nigerian Youth movement (NYM), was elected president and Mr Awolowo was chosen as General Secretary.
In no time, the complexion of the membership of Egbe Omo Oduduwa was too conservative to serve as a relevant platform for militant action.
In April 1951, Obafemi Awolowo, Barrister, publisher of Nigerian Tribune and General Secretary of Egbe omo Oduduwa launched an offensive Action Group (AG) at Owo. The primary motive was to win electoral control of Western Regional Government, preparatory to self-government.
When the House of Representatives met for its annual budget session in March 1953, Anthony Enahoro, the Action Group (AG) member for Ishan (Benin province of Western Region), listed a motion for the Honourabe House to endorse as a primary political objective the attainment of self government for Nigeria in 1956.
However, the motion suffered defeat due to the unpreparedness of our “brethren” in the North to key into early termination of obnoxious alien rule. Suffice it to say that Western Region, led by Awo, was granted self government, closely followed by the Eastern Region under the auspices of zik in the same year. The Northern Region led by Sir Ahmadu Bello, did not attain self government until 1959.
Gradually and steadily, Nigeria attained only flag independence filled with pomp and pageantry, not entrenched in serious and earnest ideological leadership to confront and tackle headlong the challenge of modern democracy.
So, our democracy at independence was built on quicks and of compromise, perfidy and betrayal. The resultant effect is a catastrophe. To worsen the already bad situation, the protracted military incursion into politics has ad infinitum done incalculable and irreparable damage to the cause of good governance in all its ramifications.
Meanwhile, let us put the current political party system aside for lacking the sinews to mobilize the citizenry for the task of good governance. The relationship of the so called two major political parties, the ruling APC and rival PDP, is between the devil and the deep blue sea.
By all means, power must shift to the south west geo political zone come 2023. Yoruba political elites generally have paid their dues in their respectivge milieu right from Herbet Macualay to indefatigable Awo. The epic contributions of core Awoists that held political sway from Lagos to former Bendel state in the Second Republic could not be wished away.
Awo fought diplomatic battle to keep Nigeria from being dismembered into various components during the unfortunate and genocidal war dubbed Biafra/Nigeria Civil war.
By all means, let us stop playing upon trivial issues of tribe and religion to avert the impending cataclysm of immense proportions, the end no one may predict.
Let us unite spiritually and politically to ward off the clamour “to your ten O Israel, Nigeria look unto thyself.”
With great determination and grit, Nigeria’s project will succeed, under one provision that political power must shift from the hotbed of insecurity and banditry where loss of lives and properly is the order of the day to a more relatively peaceful and stable environment, preferably the south west geo political zone.
Those who come to equity must come with the clean hands. It stands to reason therefore that those who cannot reasonably manage their home fronts will surely find it difficult to handle the affairs of a larger society.
In this connection, the former Governor of Lagos State Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, is a versatile political acrobat of no mean order. As a distinguish Politician, Bola Tinubu has excelled as a prime founding partner of All Progressives Congress (APC), the first ever political outfit that electorally uprooted the entrenched status quo ante of conservation after long spirited and fruitless efforts for elected progressive government since independence.
To his advantage, Bola Tinubu is a shrewd accountant and financial guru; with a distinguished career in Mobil, a blue-chip multinational company.
In no holds barred recent interview in the authoritative Nigerian Tribune, former governor of Oyo State, Alhaji Rasidi Ladoja, said candidly that Bola Tinubu would be the best material and invaluable asset for presidency in 2023, going by his achievements as former Lagos Governor and impressive track records in public administration.
Nigeria is in dire need of national leadership versed in reliable statistics to marshal every ingredient of good governance to the benefit of the citizenry and in the uplift of Nigerians to the world map as a truly progressive and prosperous economy once again.