By BASHIR ADEFAKA
Bashir Tijani-Funtua is not just a concerned Northerner but one with passion about unity of Nigeria as a factor in determining who rules the Africa’s most populous nation as President at any time.
He is one of my active friends among 5,000 on Facebook and about 2019 and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar/Peter Obi ticket of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) he sent me a scary warning submitted by a friend if his, Umar Oyibo.
Seeing the importance of making the submission and considering it is a document for the public consumption not of me alone, I have decided to use it to fill my column which I wrote in Abuja this Friday as a content. Read the concern about Peter Obi’s penchant for national divisiveness as follows written by Umar:
“I think we are making some progress, a few months ago Emeka would never have sent a unity campaign message like this. Thank God the emergence of Peter Obi as Vice Presidential candidate in the Zoo is beginning to change the narratives.
“Unity of all the people of the country is good but when campaigns for election start in earnest, the candidates will move across parts of the country to canvass for votes. I wonder what Obi will tell the Northern people especially the Hausa and Nupe Muslim community why as a governor in Anambra he decided discriminate against them by demolishing their markets, like the Northern Goat dealers Market , Arewa Park , Arewa Onion Dealers Park etc
“When he goes to Yoruba Land he will have to explain a similar action too at
Osogbo Park , Akure Park and Ilorin Park.
“These parks at Bridge Head have been in existence since 1977 but he decided to demolish them in an attempt to force the non’ indigenes ‘ surrender their businesses to indigenes.
“As a popular and influential trader himself in Onitsha he instigated people not to lease or sell their land to non indigenes.
“The Sultan Sa’ ad Abubakar and Etsu Nupe together with the GOC 82 Division personally visited and pleaded with him to give them time to look for alternative places but he refused. The demolition of all their business structures and six Mosques were carried out. Many of them had to relocate back to the North.
“A lot of the people of Yoruba community especially the Kola Nut dealers had to leave too.
“There is another person who tried to intervene, a certain Minister of National Planning from North West. He was a deputy governor in CBN. One Yoruba Muslim cleric who leads prayer at Uga Street Mosque, Fegge area in Onitsha was in Mecca performing lesser Hajj and was in the same company with the then Minister of National Planning, he was complaining bitterly about the discriminative stand Obi was taking around that time especially to the Northern and Western people . Fortunately the Minister knows Obi very, he had to put a call across to him, he pleaded on him to tamper justice with mercy, he never did, it was alleged that he (Obi) went ahead to report him to GEJ. What he told the President, no body new but people reported that he instigated his sack from office and boasted about it later , saying : we are in charge, this is our time.
“It will be hard selling Obi as a unifying factor not only to the North but even to the South West, we all will remember how he instigated hatred against Yoruba people by sensationalizing Fashola’s innocent action when he repatriated beggars on the street of Lagos and handed them over to their state governments. There are more beggars of Northern origin in Lagos than there are from the South East, not a single Northern Governor accused Fashola of any discrimination or incited hatred against Yoruba people.
“When you are in politics seeking public office, people will not look at the length of your CV, the schools you attended etc, they will be more concerned with your antecedents.
“This is the time people will remind you about your past. Atiku and Obi’s past are not lost in our memories. And the best place to remind them is the polling booths.
“We are ready with our PVC.” He wrote.
To the cynics who politicise everything about our public life in Nigeria, accepting this submission as content in my column may look like hate speech, but reasonable ones know it is not.
Those, who may have been taken in by his passion for money and stomach, will call this as pro-government or pro-Buhari propaganda to cost Atiku his 2019.
But does it matter to me what misrepresentation that is ascribed to this content that has done not more or less than patriotically amplifying a clarion call that is warning my people against imminent Nation’s collapse considering how the Obi’s past action being brought to the table now caused part of resurrected Hate Speech that started in renewed agitation for Biafra?
People like Charles Soludo and Ike Ekweremadu are saying today that Nigeria has never been this divided. I am yet to see a divided Nigeria. What I see is their own frantic effort at sponsoring discomfort amount the tribes and religions so that they would have reason for demanding the break of the country or make the nation ungovernable for the Fulani man in power who has failed to declare Herdsmen as terrorist group like, according to them, militarised Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) (not Igbo tribe) were declared as terrorists by court of competence.
Their hypocrisy is therefore getting clearer as they want to vote and work with a member of the same Fulani tribe they so much hate with passion and want to be declared terrorists for nothing. It thus shows that since Atiku and Buhari are the same by tribe and religion, the only difference that the likes of Obi, Ekweremadu etc hate is his fight against corruption and unrepentant commitment, not only to keep Nigeria together as one Nation one people but also, to taking the ownership of Nigeria from the few owners of yesterday to the hands of its rightful owners that is the masses of the Nigerian people.
It is important this is mentioned this time for citizens working against the peace and unity of their country today to realise how nature will turn them round at the mercy of the nation they seek to destroy for self or sectional reasons. So, if Peter Obi had done that worse to the unity of Nigeria and is now happy to seek office as Vice President of the same nation, wa tor, commonsense should let him know why he cannot reap from where he did not sow.