Monday, 7 February 2011


The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), a respected socio-political cum cultural group north of Nigeria is taking their joke against President Goodluck Jonathan, the rest of the country, and democracy in Nigeria too far. It’s time someone called them to order else, the joke gets out of hand.

Already we have seen clandestine moves which we do not know if they originated from the group, such as the mass text messages that circulated around the country soon after the PDP convention where northern governors who the ACF believed encouraged delegates from their respective states to vote en-bloc for Jonathan had been labeled bishops and Christian apologists.

The subtext of course, you would understand in a region that has produced (and continues to produce) myriads of religious riots and implemented some Sharia laws which included the decapitation of citizens and the stoning to death of women for committing adultery, is palpable – predominantly moslem-north is being encouraged to see the election of President Jonathan from religious prism.

While nobody can say for sure where the Arewarists are drawing their strengths from, their threats both subtle and bold must be taken seriously. It is poignant to note that before the PDP primaries, it was the same Arewa group and its standing committee headed by no less a person than Adamu Ciroma who had crowded out the then “over-crowded” field of the PDP presidential field from the north, to settle for a single candidature in Atiku Abubakar.

Honorable Atiku, they believed would have given President Jonathan a good run for his money at the PDP primaries. And true, a good run for his money did Atiku give Jonathan. Then, northern PDP governors, who showed real or passing interest in voting for Jonathan had been threatened by pro-ACF interests all over the north. I remember hearing a well heeled northern politician predict that the governors, who had earlier endorsed the candidature of Jonathan in public, were only deceiving him. “At the appointed time,” he had predicted, “they and their delegates would return home to vote for a northern consensus candidate.”

Now that the primaries are over and the PDP as a party had spoken through the ballot box on who it intends to carry its flag come Election Day, one would have expected the northern Nigerian ethno-religious gladiators to sheath their sword, issue a statement (like the statesman IBB did) in support and in respect of the verdict of the delegates, majority of who said they chose Jonathan over Atiku. But, no, not the northern Nigerian divisive patriarchs who seem bent on burning what until April 2009 had been known and addressed as Nigeria, indivisible!

Hear them after a recent meeting in Kaduna: “the emergence of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as PDP presidential candidate is legally and morally wrong because it is a violation of that party’s constitution which clearly requires that under the zoning/rotation formula, a northerner be returned as candidate in the 2011 general elections…. In this regard, and in the light of its principled stand on fairness and rule of law, the ACF rejects the outcome of the PDP presidential primaries.”!/Newgenafrica



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