Our Problem Is Not Ethnicity But Ourselves – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has reflected on the complexities of the Nigerian condition, concluding that neither ethnicity nor religion was to blame, “but we ourselves,” for inherent injustices.

The President spoke recently while receiving members of the Muhammadu Buhari/Osinbajo (MBO) Dynamic Support Group, who visited State House, Abuja, to present a compendium of five years achievements of the administration.

“Our problem is not ethnicity or religion, it is ourselves,” the President said.

President Buhari went into the trajectory of his struggles to get justice at the courts, after disputed results of presidential elections in 2003, 2007, and 2011, submitting that people who ruled against him were of his own ethnic stock and religious persuasion, while those who stood up for him were of other faiths and ethnicity.

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His words: “After my third appearance in the Supreme Court, I came out to speak to those who were present then. I told them that from 2003, I’d spent 30 months in court.

“The President of the Court of Appeal, the first port of call for representation by presidential candidates then, was my classmate in secondary school in Katsina. We spent six years in the same class, Justice Umaru Abdullahi.

“My legal head was Chief Mike Ahamba, a Roman Catholic and an Ibo man. When the President of the court decided that we should present our case, my first witness was in the box.

“Ahamba insisted that a letter should be sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to present the register of constituencies in some of the States, to prove that what they announced was falsehood. It was documented.

“When they gave judgment, another Ibo man, the late Justice Nsofor, asked for the reaction from INEC to the letter sent to them. They just dismissed it. He then decided to write a minority judgment. That was after 27 months in court.

“We went to the Supreme Court. Who was the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN)? A Hausa-Fulani like me, from Zaria. The members of the panel went in for about 30 minutes, came back to say they were proceeding on break. They went for 3 months. When they came back, it didn’t take them 15 minutes, they dismissed us.

“In 2007, who was the CJN? Kutigi. Again, a Muslim from the North. After 8 months or so, he dismissed the case.

“Again in 2011, because I was so persistent, Musdafa, a Fulani man like me, from Jigawa, neighbor to my state, was CJN. He dismissed my case. I’ve taken you round this to prove that our problem is not ethnicity or religion. It is ourselves.

“I refused to give up. I had tried to wear Agbada after what happened to me in Khaki. Something was done to me because I did something to others. You know it. In the end, I myself was arrested, sent to detention, and they were given back what they had taken. I was there for three and a quarter years. This is Nigeria.

“I hope historians and intellectuals would document this because it is a fantastic state of political development. Let our grandchildren and great-grandchildren see how we came along. We didn’t get it as easy as other people think. Not because God has given us a great population and resources. We have suffered along the line.

“I try to mention these things because you got yourselves together, used your resources, energies without any input from me. I cannot thank you enough. I’m very grateful to you and to Nigerians because in 2019, I visited all the states, the people that turned out to see me across the country (because I’m dedicated to serve Nigeria and Nigerians), the love is genuine.

“Thank God that over the years, they can’t accuse me of corruption. And I’ve been everything; Governor, Minister of Petroleum Resources, Head of State, President, and in my second term. I thank you that nobody forced you, but you got together, used your energy, time, and resources, I thank you very much. I assure you, history will do you justice.”

Eid-el Maulud: Jonathan Asks Muslims To Pray For Peaceful Elections

Goodluck_Jonathan_President_of_Nigeria_New_Year_Speech_Today has been declared a public holiday to mark Eid-el Maulud, a day which Muslims commemorate the birth of Prophet Mohammed.

This year’s occasion falls on a Friday, the day of worship for Muslims.

In his goodwill message, President Goodluck Jonathan, asked adherents of the Islamic faith to offer special Jumat prayers for successful and peaceful elections in Nigeria.

The president reassured Muslims that the Federal Government will do everything possible to ensure free, fair, credible and and peaceful elections in February.

He also urged the Muslim faithful in the country to use the New Year and Eid-el-Maulud season to reflect deeply on Prophet Mohammed’s teachings on piety, charity, tolerance, justice and peaceful co-existence with others.

While wishing Muslims a happy and peaceful Eid-el-Maulud, President Jonathan gave an assurance, that no Nigerian will be discriminated against on the basis of religion, ethnicity or social standing.

National Conference: Real Issues Are Corruption And Ethnic Differences – Ezeala

A Legal Practitioner, Chukwuma Ezeala, has recommended that the National Conference must have real representation of Nigeria’s 6 geo-political zones, for it to truly address the issues confronting the country.

While speaking on Channels Televison flagship breakfast programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’, he noted that since the year 1964, the main issues confronting Nigeria had bothered on corruption and ethnic differences.

While admitting that leadership was also an issue, he argued that one of the reasons Nigeria has not had good leadership was because of the ethnic problems, explaining that the ethnic problems affect the way the leaders emerge.

He explained how ethnic groups determine who should be the Nigerian President and also influence who would be Ministers to work with him. He claimed that it has also been ethnicity that had shielded corruption over the years.

Mr Ezeala, however, suggested that this situation does not require that the National Conference be tagged ethnic. He said that what Nigerians must ensure is that issues of ethnicity are discussed. He said: “If we already have accepted to 6 geo-political zones, why don’t we make sure that there is real representation of those 6 geo-political zones, which represents the ethnic issues and which has fairly equal representation?”

On the issues of a “no go area”, the lawyer said: “If we must discuss how we are going to live, first thing will be to affirm that we want to live as one country. I think that 90% of Nigerians want us to be together, so why are you avoiding it?

“Let it be that for the first time, Nigerians have said they want to live together.

“Now, the next question is yes we want to live together but how do we live together? Is it possible for an Ondo man to come to Lagos and become the Governor of Lagos State? I think it should be possible if he is the most qualified…but we need to agree because my own view should not be the view of Nigerians.

“We should come in, discuss, decide this and we now give it a print of authority to say this is what Nigerians have done, and any president and any leader can now enforce it and not say that it was Decree 24 that brought us together and decreed how we should live.”

In a show of cautious optimism, Mr Ezeala expressed confidence that the constitution of the National Conference has the ingredients to address the Nigerian issues once and for all, provided that at the end of the conference there is a written agreement which would make it easy for political leaders to enforce the people’s resolution.

He also suggested that the National Assembly should pass a law that would enable the outcomes of the National Conference to go through a referendum, and if they are not ready to do so, the Conference could recommend or decide that what they had done should go through a referendum.

He also spoke about the structure of the representation at the conference as it affects the body of lawyers in Nigeria.