The Governor of Niger State, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu took the political scenery by storm when he took over the mantle of leadership in 2007. For him, it is the concept of servant leadership, a veritable system of government that will favour the average poor and truncate the crushing systemic rot and politics of 'divide and share'. The latest revelation of what actually transpired before the 2011 election of an agreed resolve to allow President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan run for a single term has not only gone viral on the social networks but is presently on the table, dissected by interested parties.
The governor who is also chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) was only expressing himself within the confines of what had actually transpired, positing in his belief that having had such an arrangement, it was only proper and decent for President Jonathan NOT to renege. It is therefore his candid opinion that Nigerians should not even accuse the incumbent of nursing a plan for re-election in 2015.
Amazingly, an innocent statement of fact made by the Chief Servant stirred the hornets nest, a situation unforeseen based on natural demand of honor that all stakeholders to an agreement should abide by its contents and spirit, in spite the consequences. The pre 2011 election decision was indeed, handled or, managed by key stakeholders in the Nigerian project to usher in an atmosphere of peace which was clearly flaking off on account of the unanticipated death of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua and subsequent agitation by the North to immediately present a replacement.
The tension was high in the North and was choking from the presidency and all options available were not savory especially to the aggrieved region. Despite the heat from Northern Nigeria, the NSGF first deliberated and concluded plans to shift grounds at their own expense. When the NSGF was done, governors under the umbrella body of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) decided to draw up an agreeable settlement in a desperate move to give peace a chance.
As the time for restitution approaches, the North has become anything but good. Laid desolate by terrorism, vulnerable to looming doom of flood according to this year forecast, nothing seem to appeal to other parts of the country if it regards the North. It is the North that must be blamed for all the evil in the country. It is the North that must provide immediate succor for the Hydro Electric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) operationalized since 2010 when it was signed into law. As the rains come, the people are doomed to their watery graves.
Yet after making commendable sacrifice in the 2011 election, all the region gets now is scorns booing and outright ostracizing. It is indeed sad how Nigerians can easily forget. A very bad example is in the offing and I believe that next time, no group or region would so willingly shift grounds in similar circumstances.
It is however a good thing President Goodluck Jonathan has remained quiet on the bourgeoning agreement saga but it is sad for Ahmed Gulak to call the well respected Governor of Niger State names, all in vain attempt to shield his boss, Mr President. I am quite sure he would eat his words as the development continues to expose the reality hitherto hidden from public knowledge.
Sometime however, one imagines the line between freedom of speech of some political aides and impunity. In some countries, using derogatory words call for severe sanction but caution must be played up as decorum appears to be a very scarce commodity among some class of political appointees.
So many utterances suggest something must have transpired in the build up to 2011 election. The remarks of the president in Ethiopia stating in categorical terms that "Nigerians in the diaspora will not vote now but I will work towards it by 2015, even though I will not be running for election" is obviously a veritable signature of a man telling the world he is abiding by a mutually beneficial agreement.
The statement above is unambiguous; the message very categorical and except for absolute foolery or pathological buffoonery a Nigerian worth his mettle will explore all logical sequence before ascribing negatives to the Chief Servants position on the second term debacle. Once again, Nigerians should take note of dissenting voices on this matter, at least for once lets make example of systemic liars who have continued to mislead Nigerians and its leaders.
Despite the fact that Dr. Aliyu did not anticipate that a simple statement of fact could generate the level of debate so far, he remains a committed servant leader whose concept of leadership is anchored on championing the cause of the common Nigerian by delivering dividends of democracy, telling the truth and defending for the good of all no matter whose ox is gored.
-Ebije is Senior Special Assistant on Media Relations to the Niger State governor