President Obama is an African from Kenya. He is also an American citizen by virtue of a white American mother. When he was elected the first African American President, the whole Africa was agog with happiness. Kenya went crazy with joy. Black men every where in the world shed tears of love. African Americans thought their problems have come to an end. African governments thought aids to Africa from America will quadruple. But it was not to be. African Americans remained the most uneducated, the poorest, and the most jailed even after the government of Barrack Obama. African governments witnessed the least aids during the regime of Obama. Indeed, Obama tied the aids to Africa to Africans accepting the practice of same sex relationship. Due to the principled stand of Africa on this, he turned his back on Africa. He went to Kenya with a sac of clothes before he became President and was warmly welcomed but refused to visit Kenya after becoming President. Nigeria went further to criminalize gay practice and this made Obama government go to the extreme of refusing to sell military equipment to Nigeria to enable it defend itself from the insurgency of Boko Haram and other criminals. Eventually, he became President for himself and to achieve his own goals in his own name and not in our name.
Africans, blacks and particularly Nigerians must learn a big lesson from this. Everybody has his own agenda and whatever a leader does, he should be personally held responsible, not his people, because, he did everything to satisfy his own objectives not anybody else’s objectives. In a democracy, the people vote for an individual not for a group of people and the people must learn to hold whoever they vote into power responsible not the people of the person they vote into power. Nigeria is even more pathetic having being governed by the military for a long time. It is preposterous to hold the people of a person who shot his way to power responsible for his actions when the people did not choose him to lead them. It is like holding the parents, brothers and sisters of an armed robber responsible for his actions simply because they are related to him.
Nigeria has really come to the precipice many times in the past because of this misplaced aggression against the people of a leader. When in 1966, the violence became excessive in Western Nigeria as a result of alleged rigging of the elections in that region, some young military officers, concerned about the state of affairs in the country and in order to salvage the country carried out a coup in which they killed some top politicians and officers around the country. Rather than holding the young military officers responsible for their actions, it wasn’t long before the hatred for their actions was transferred to their people. What was a pure military coup was erroneously termed an Igbo coup as if Major Kaduna Nzeogwu, the leader of the coup, had a meeting with Igbo people to carry out the coup. Nobody remembered again that it was Igbo officers who foiled the coup. Col Emeka Ojukwu stood against the coup in Kano State and the entire north, while Gen. Aguiyi Ironsi foiled the coup in the South. Lt-Col Arthur Unegbe, the Quartermaster-General of the Nigerian army, an Igbo Officer in charge of the armoury, was believed to have been killed by the coup plotters because he refused to give the armoury key to them. Others believed he was killed because of his closeness to Brig Maimalari and would have raised alarm against the coup plotters. In the counter coup that followed, innocent Igbos were killed along the streets of Nigeria to avenge the actions of some military officers who happened to come from Igboland. This led to the civil war that nearly destroyed the Nigerian nation. From henceforth, it is unhelpful to refer to that coup as an Igbo coup. It should be called for what it is, a military coup. Afterall, Madaki, a distinguished Military Officer from Northern Nigeria, who was a Military Governor under Babangida, lost his commission because he said that the only coup in Nigeria that was carried out for national interest was the first coup of 1966. Brig. Gen Ibrahim Sabo, former Director of Military Intelligence from the North, reiterated this position during his presentation before the Oputa panel. Even Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former CSO to Abacha also reiterated this point during the Oputa panel. The bottom line is that we must learn not to hold the people of a leader responsible for the actions of that leader. The leader must be held personally responsible for his actions.
In the prosecution of the war, Awolowo was reputed to have said that hunger was an instrument of war against the Igbos. After the war every Igboman was given only 20 pounds to start life in spite of how much he had in the bank. Some Igbos are still holding grudges against the Yorubas for this statement and actions of the late sage as if Awolowo consulted the Yoruba race before taking such actions. Because of the actions of the late sage then some Igbos now erroneously believe that the average Yoruba will betray you if you deal with them. They are quick to forget that Adekunle Fajuyi, the Yoruba Military Governor of the Western Region gave his life to protect Gen Aguiyi Ironsi when some officers decided to kill him during the counter coup of 1966. Even the Bible states that greater love has no man than this, that a man gave his life for his friends. The Bible likened what Fajuyi did for Aguiyi only to what Jesus did for us. So there is no basis to carry any misgivings for the action of the late sage to the Yorubas, he should be personally held responsible for his actions. Whatever he did, he did in his own name not in the name of the Yorubas. Kudos for his achievements, knocks for his mistakes, none should be transferred to the Yorubas.
General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, organized the June 12 elections and at the end cancelled it. It wasn’t long after he cancelled it before a lot of Southerners began to sing around that the main reason for the cancellation is because the North doesn’t want the South to become President of Nigeria. That it is the manifestation of the born to rule mentality of the north that led to the cancellation. They quickly forgot that without the North voting for MKO Abiola in the first place, Abiola wouldn’t have won. Abiola won Tofa, his opponent, even in his own Kano State. How can one say that the Northerners did not want a Southerner to be President, yet they voted for him. They forgot also that Babangida had earlier cancelled the Presidential primary elections won by two Northerners in the persons of Shehu Musa Yar’Adua of the SDP and Adamu Ciroma of the NRC. Everybody then believed that Babangida had a hidden agenda and did not want to leave power and that was the reason for all the cancellations. Eventually, Babangida was forced out of power and guess who succeeded him, Chief Ernest Shonekun, a Southerner. The same Northerners they accused of not wanting to cede power to the South came together and voluntarily relinquished power to Southern Nigeria. For the first time in Nigerian history and probably the only time, only Southerners of Yoruba extraction contested for the Presidency of Nigeria in 1999. The main point here is that General Babangida should be personally held responsible for his actions, not the entire north because what he did, he did in his own name, to achieve his own objectives. He did not do it in the name of the North.
From henceforth, it will be unhelpful for anybody to continue to think that there is a conspiracy by any section of the country to deny another section of the country its due just because of the actions of a leader. Whatever President Buhari does today must not be attributed to the fulanis because he is not doing anything in the name of the fulanis. The idea of fulanization of Nigeria just because a fulani is in power is a misplaced aggression because whatever other people from other ethnic groups are suffering today in Nigeria, the fulanis are suffering too. We voted for the person of Buhari not for the people of fulani. So praises for Buhari if he does good, knocks for him if he makes mistakes but no hatred or aggression towards the fulanis for his actions. We must grow up as a nation.