Buhari, IBB Truncated Northern Domination —Don


Former Director  Centre for Democratic Studies (CDS), Prof. John Ayoade says the  political errors of ex-Heads of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari and General Ibrahim  Badamosi Babangida scuttled the domination of the northern region over the southern part  of the country.

Ayoade at a lecture said the political errors committed by the two northern military  helmsmen foiled the plan of northern political and military leaders to remain in control  of the Nigerian state.

He traced the domination by the northern region of the country’s political system to what  he described as the 1914 amalgamation of Northern and Southern Protectorates without any  plan by British colonial administration to integrate the people and the massive  recruitment of the northerners into the military and police.

Ayoade spoke on the topic: Nigeria: Positive Pessimism and Negative Optimism to mark his  final exit from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, South West of Nigeria after spending  four decades in service.

According to him, the era of northern domination in Nigeria has gone forever, adding that  the 2011 general elections would further change the Nigerian political order and totally  break the domination of the North considering intense apathy against its entrenched  political leaders in all the northern states and increasing divisions in the rank of  Northern Governors Forum (NGF).

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“The creation of states dealt a serious blow to the solidarity of the North. The division  of Nigeria into thirty six states still conferred its numerical superiority with 19 of  those states. Its composite nature has become much clearer particularly in the absence of  a northern leader acceptable to all the states”.

He therefore explained how a recent meeting of the Northern Governors’ Forum to decide  whether the presidency was zoned to the North in 2011 showed lack of a common position  among the state governors, arguing that their pattern of votes obviously reflected their  agenda rather than what the region stands to gain.

“The vote was almost evenly divided between supporters and opposition. The division  followed the majority/minority divide in the old Northern Region. The state creation  process equally weakened the Eastern Region which lost the minorities and became  landlocked. The federal system also suffered a critical distortion,” he argued.

He stated that the 1983 military coup led by Buhari was organised “to prevent the  northern region from losing the political power” and that the northern ascendency in  Nigerian politics is the military largely comprised the northerners.

Even though the coup did not take place, Ayoade explained that there was an allegation  that the North “would have abandoned the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) at the end of  President Shehu Shagari’s term in order to prevent power shift to the South. The North  would have adopted the People’s Redemption Party (PRP) of Mallam Aminu Kano. Senator  Barkin Zuwo was being promoted as the arrowhead of the alleged deal.

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