The recent youths’ call for the Igbo to leave Nigeria that has been made south and north and backed by the Northern elders forum and demonstrably by Igbo leaders swarming around pro-Biafran agitator, Nnamdi Kanu, underscores this critical reality of States: that wining an election does not translate to winning the State nor knowing how to or being able and ready to properly govern it.
In these modern times it is easier to make a surprising upset and win an election. It is also easier to lose a country you had an electoral victory to lead. Social media makes all this possible. Trump rather astonishingly won the United States’ elections but he is far from winning the country. The APC party won Nigeria’s presidential elections, majority senate seats and in many States but it is important the party knows that winning the country is an entirely separate process. In many instances less than a quarter of eligible voters participate and then the victory is by such a marginal difference that even rigging aside, it makes no significant statistical difference and is rather misleading. This is why to many, democracy at its finest is intellectually repugnant.
Unlike old times, massacres and secret burials no longer work to suppress the rejection of dissidents who are often a majority considering the low turn out in polls. Nigeria’s Buhari got only 12 million votes in a nation of 190 million with at least half, about 90 million eligible voters. Also, unlike the past where the government controls the media narrative and hence along with the armed organs of the State, easily represses contrary thought, today there are two independent and equally strong, often diametrically opposed media arms: the social and main stream. It is no longer a monopoly for the government, you just have to listen to the people.
When you look at Nigeria we see that in spite of the registered atrocities of Goodluck Jonathan, Diezani, Patience Jonathan and Sambo Dasuki, literally 95% of the south east and core south south voted for them. And in spite of the record of disregard for life, freedom and the law, recorded tribalist adventures and insinuations of violence by victorious president Muhammadu Buhari, 95% of the core north voted for him. At the end of the day, Buhari won the elections but was far from winning the country and made a promise to not do so when asked in the United states.
In my last article “Why We Cannot Heedlessly Lampoon The Kaduna Declaration Northern Youth, IPOB, MASSOB,” I tried to highlight the importance of the APC-led federal government and government of the northern States to listen to the youth, rather than simply condemning them as though they lack brains. In my view, governors el-Rufai of Kaduna and Shettima of Borno who led recent pronouncements against the agitations north and south, were simply mediocre, ignorant and tactless. Acting president Osinbajo too and Buhari have been obtuse and have not responded appropriately to a gathering storm that they have in many ways added more fuel to as I wrote to the Pastor on the 4th, after his Biafra remembrance “let’s just dance kumbaya” speech. I warned that by keeping our heads in the sand and not addressing the issues with the three Rs on the table –Referendum, Regionalism, Restructuring– we may actually be the ones promoting a bloody war than repressing it.
While it is condemnable to give a sack ultimatum, albeit non violent – you can request a splintering, but allow those who wish to live with you and have become part of you, remain– the central topic must not be missed and swiped away with a single stroke out of ignorance. People north and south have a right for self determination. Today the Northern elders forum has sided with the youth so what is Kaduna governor Nasir el-Rufai going to do? Order their arrest and unleash the army to go after them, massacre and secretly bury them?
Respect the youth!
Talk to the youth!
Dr. Perry Brimah; @EveryNigerian; 2019 campaign platform: http://