When simplified, the word, Equity, means fairness. Wherever there is peace and progress, there must be fairness. But where crisis exists, a critical survey would link it to absence of fairness. Fairness is Justice. Fairness is human and humane Consideration.
The various ethnic peoples that formed the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria before its amalgamation with the Southern Protectorate in 1914, today make up the three geopolitical zones of North-Central, North-East and North-West. Put together, the three zones have nineteen out of the thirty-six states of the Nigerian federation.
Nigeria’s political history will not be said to be complete if the involvement or intervention of the military in governance is not captured.
Of the three geo-political zones of the North, the North-West has, so far, produced Nigeria’s Heads of State six times, though in five persons.
General Murtala Mohammed was Nigeria’s Military Head of State from 30th July, 1975 to 13th February, 1976. He was from Kano State in the present North-West. Alhaji Shehu Shagari, from Sokoto State of North-West, was Nigeria’s first Executive President and held sway from 1st October, 1979 to 31st December, 1983 when he was rudely overthrown by Gen Muhammadu Buhari.
From 31st December, 1983 to 27th August, 1985, General Buhari was Military Head of State. He is an indigene of Katsina State, in North-West.
Late Gen Sani Abacha hailed from Kano State in North-West. He ruled Nigeria as a maximum military dictator from 17th November, 1993 to 8th June, 1998. Of course, Kano is in the North-West.
Between 29th May, 2007 and 5th May, 2010, late Musa Yar’adua was President of Nigeria and he hailed from Katsina State in North-West.
The five persons mentioned above have ruled Nigeria at one one time or another.
President Buhari has been on the saddle since May 29, 2015, making it the sixth time the North-West is occupying Nigeria’s highest position.
The North-Central, made up of six states, has ruled Nigeria three times. The first was by General Yakubu Gowon, 1966-1975. Gowon hails from Plateau State.
Gen Ibrahim Babangida, from Niger State, was Nigeria’s first self-styled Military President from 1985 to 1993.
Also from Niger State is Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar, who patriotically transitionally presided over the affairs of Nigeria for a very short period, 18th June, 1998-29th May, 1999 and willingly handed the country over to a democratically-elected government of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
While the North-West has governed Nigeria six times by five persons and the North-Central three times, the North-East has governed only once. Sir Abubakar Tafa Balewa, who hailed from Bauchi State, was Prime Minister of Nigeria from 1st October, 1960 to 15th January, 1966.
It would also be necessary to point out, at this juncture, that Sir Ahmadu Bello; the late Sarduana of Sokoto, was the Premier of defunct Northern Region of Nigeria. He was also from the present North-West.
Equity demands that the people of North-East of Nigeria, who, like the people of South-East, have not been privileged to be at the helm of affairs of Nigeria since after 1966, should be given a fair consideration in deciding who becomes the next President of Nigeria.
This clarion call has become even more imperative when taken into perspective that the present President, Muhammadu Buhari, has, apart from being physically and mentally weak and incapable, created a lot of divisive tensions in the country, arising from his policies of nepotism, religious bigotry and overt inconsideration for sanctity of lives and property of Nigerians.
All the same, while equity naturally makes a case for the good people of North-East to produce the next President, especially now that they are blessed with a Candidate that enjoys nation-wide goodwill and acceptability in the person of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, it is their duty to prove to the world that they are not their own Worst Enemy. By this, they should not be seen as people who would see Gold in their domain but instead of digging up the metal would be asking God why He should endow them with such uncommon riches. They should come out in their number on Saturday, 16th February, 2019 and vote massively for their son, Atiku Abubakar and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the Umbrella Party. They have to assure Nigerians and the world that they love themselves.
Sir Don Ubani.
Member, Media & Publicity Committee,
PDP Presidential Campaign Council.
14th February, 2019.