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Is time to allow President Tinubu to govern Nigeria

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On Sunday, 10th March 2024, almost all Nigerian newspapers and social media platforms were awash with the highly inflammatory news of the alleged padding of the 2024 budget with a whopping 3 trillion naira.

This weighty allegation was made by a group that called itself the Northern Senators Forum.

The Chairman of the group Senator Abdul Ningi chose the British Broadcasting Service, BBC, (Hausa) to make this broadcast in which he made order weighty and inciting allegations that portray the North as being at the receiving end of the Tinubu administration.

The Senate President, Senator Godwill Akpabio, was also portrayed as being complicit in short changing the North in the 2024 budget appropriation act.

In the publications under reference, the Senate Committee Chairman on Media and Publicity, Senator Yemi Adaramodu, promptly debunked the allegations of his Northern colleagues.

Curiously, Senator Ningi had gone international with his damaging allegations while stating at the same time that his forum would meet with President Tinubu and Senator Akpabio separately to inform them about the discoveries they made after their hired Consultants had combed the 2024 budget with a fine comb.

The proposed visit will come after demarketing the country on a respectable international media platform. It was not long ago when Senator Ali Ndume, another prominent member of the Northern Senators Forum, came out firing from all cylinders, threatening political consequences if President Tinubu did not order the reversal of the administrative actions of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Aviation Ministry to move some of their departments to Lagos for a more efficient and cost effective service delivery.

Again, a recent visit of the Israeli Ambassador to the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, H.E. Nyesom Wike attracted the ire of Alhaji Abubakar Gumi, a controversial Islamic cleric who imputed religious undertone in what was clearly an official visit.

It will be recalled that it was the same Alhaji Gumi who raised a false alarm that the appointment of Nyesom Wike as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory by President Tinubu was a plot to deny the North of their birth right.

In his warped thinking, the FCT ministry was the exclusive preserve of the North, even where there is no such provision in the Nigerian Constitution.

President Tinubu is yet to complete one year in office, and a few vocal political scavengers from a particular section of the North have vowed to blackmail, intimidate, and distract the President until his administration is derailed.

While they are on it, they are also targeting the Senate President, Senator Akpabio.

I can now see the wisdom and the hand of God in placing Senator Godswill Akpabio as the Senate President at this time.

I shudder to imagine that our dear country would have gone up in flames by now if Akpabio’s closest rival was elected as the Senate President.

Opposition politics is healthy and contributes to good governance if it is constructive. I am an apostle of constructive opposition.

I have observed with dismay that when the same political elite who are 99% responsible for the multi dimensional backwardness in their own part of the North, are out power they hide under the umbrella of the non-existent monolithic North to mobilize forces against the government in power.

These unpatriotic elements must not forget that it was North-controlled Military Governments that systematically moved Nigeria from a 4 Regional structure to 36 State structure and the Federal Capital Territory that has the status of a State in the Nigerian Constitution.

In Nigeria’s 64 years of independence, the North has held executive powers at the federal level for 46 years, including 26 years of totalitarian military dictatorship. It was under the military governments that Nigeria was also carved up into 774 local government areas.

The Northwest was allocated 188 local government areas, while the Southeast was reduced to 95 local government areas.

We have borne this and other deliberate acts of marginalisation with stoic equanimity.

I am glad to observe that the Middlebelt covering over 8 states in the North are now wiser and are progressively and strategically asserting their geopolitical identity and civic rights.

They can no longer be anybody’s political beast of burden going forward.

President Buhari had his 8 years, and history will judge him. President Tinubu should be allowed and cooperated with to govern Nigeria, and history will judge him afterward.

I urge all well-meaning Nigerians to be eternally vigilant. We must protect our hard earned democracy. It is in our national interest to do so.

Chief Chekwas Okorie Ojeozi Ndigbo

Founder and Pioneer National Chairman,

APGA.

11th March, 2024.

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