Skip to main content

(58): Rotimi Amaechi: A Signpost for a New, Better Nigeria

By
Muhsin Ibrahim
@muhsin234

A fact known to some of my readers is that: praise-singing of individuals, especially politicians of whatever party, is not what I do. Yes, it is still the same. Today’s article is no different; for, I actually see nothing that extraordinarily admirable with the person of Rotimi Amaechi. He’s much like, below or a little above, his mates such as Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Malam Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano; to PDP) Aliyu Wamako (Sokoto), Kashim Shettima (Borno; from ANPP) and other PDP renegades. To me, and I don’t stand to be corrected, they all deserted their former party after a meticulous foresight that, among other things, they would not get what they wanted in the party, and that could cost them very dearly to the extent of losing relevance in the nation’s polity. Thus, to avoid anything of the sort, they renounced their loyalties and found a niche in APC.

Today, many people (supporters) think high of Amaechi as well as others. The recent debacle around his screening/confirmation as a minister of Nigeria leaves a lot of salient lessons but which many people have not traced. The massive, unprecedented support he enjoys marks a milestone for a better Nigeria where differences in religion, region and ethnicity are forgotten, or, at best, repressed. The ‘quality’ a person embodies is seen first and above everything else. This is an evident of a moral awakening and a paradigm shift in our politics which was usually characterized by hostility, bigotry and ethnocentrism.


I believe it couldn’t be only me that noticed a kind of a vogue among numerous youths interested in the country’s politics in the recent days. When the news broke out that some so-called concerned individuals had petitioned against the National Assembly not to screen Amaechi, many angry youths from around the country started protesting. The protests took two shapes: physical and virtual. Those that demonstrated in the Capital, Abuja could, as it were, be a hired lot who might have little or nothing to do with their ‘messiah’. But those on the social media did it with great passion and force. 

It’s particularly the northern youths that fascinated me the more, hence this article. Many among my friends made several posts, decrying why their man, Amaechi was not screened till the last day. They openly criticized their own, a fellow northerner and a Muslim, the senate president, Bukola Saraki and accused him for plotting everything. That’s interesting. Hitherto, what could have been happening was the other way round, Amaechi’s close relationship with the President notwithstanding. That’s why many northern youths did not see the Muslimness of almost everyone in the former president, Goodluck Jonathan’s government, including his VP, Namadi Sambo. They were simply all arna, infidels. Thus, whosoever voted him had ‘blasphemed’, according to some zealots. It’s unfortunate we were (and some still are) that extreme. No doubt Boko Haram thrives.

I firmly believe that many among the pro-Amaechi horde know little or nothing of his records as the former Speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly and a governor. He’s, to them, a dedicated, uncorrupt Buharist who did everything possible until Buhari was declared the winner of the 2015 presidential election. Hence, he deserves to be rewarded. Others however believe that had the past mattered, he could not be one of the ‘Meeks’ to form the President’s cabinet. Present and future are all we should worry about; past is forgiven. And more theses still emerge. You may not buy any of those suppositions, but one thing stands unique, and that’s how a typical Hausa-Muslim youth from the North supports a typical non-Hausa and Christian Southerner.

I hope the trend continues. Nigeria is a pluralistic nation. The earlier we realize the beauty and benefit of that the better. As I saw in a viral video a few days ago, some Igbo people are calling for the recreation of Biafra. I doubt if they know how Nigeria is. They should for once travel down North to see how their kinsmen live in almost every dwelling of the region. Should they be granted the secessionist state without any bloodshed, what would be the fate of those millions Igbo? Should they take or abandon everything and migrate to Biafra, or stay and, perhaps, be killed in the North? I recently learned that some Igbos in Kano have vowed not to go anywhere whatsoever would happen. They have been here for generations. A similar scenario may be obtained of the northerners living in the south. This is it. This is our country; unity in diversity.

Popular posts from this blog

(99): Ali Nuhu and Adam Zango’s Unending Dispute and its Implications on Kannywood

By Muhsin Ibrahim muhsin2008@gmail.com University of Cologne
The Hausa version of this article, with a slight difference, was published on the BBC Hausa website.
According to numerous accounts and lived experiences, rivalry is natural among both humans and animals. It is barely, if at all, avoidable especially between contemporaries. It becomes more probable when one of the lots becomes way more successful than the rest. Mr A may begin to envy Mr B and question why he is luckier or more much-admired than I. In response, Mr B may start feeling pompous, declaring to all that he is ahead of Mr A. Therefore his accolades and achievement are due to his hard work and talent. Again, the people around the two are sometimes yet another cause of the enmity. For one reason or another, they do all it takes to plant a seed of dissonance as they profit by getting favour from either person. There are more causes for strife, but I guess these are very typical.
In Kannywood, the relationship between the ace…

(76): Girl-Child as ‘Endangered’ Human in our Society

Muhsin Ibrahim muhsin2008@gmail.com
“Muhsin”, Shamsiyya (not a real name) called my attention. I answered, and listened. “Come and marry me”, She finished, retorting my allegation that she was still unmarried not because she lacks suitors, but for her being too choosy. It was later that I pondered on our lengthy conversation and realised that I was wrong. Many men are afraid of successful women like her. She is from a wealthy family, has two degrees and works with an international organisation. She also confided to me that she could not stretch the cultural perception and norms to seriously ask anyone to marry her. She would instead continue to wait for Allah’s choice. I was left in a daze.
I came back home, sat down and ruminated over our chit-chat. I then recalled Dr Muhammad Tahar Adamu aka Baba Impossible’s lecture back in our freshman year in the university. He one-day spent many minutes of his period admonishing the ladies in the class on relationship and marriage issues. He was u…

(96): Kannywood, a Film Industry in Need of Revaluation

By
Muhsin Ibrahim University of Cologne muhsin2008@gmail.com
As I wrote elsewhere, the relationship between cinema and the orthodox religious institutions is often marked by uneasiness if not outright hostility. From its very beginning, the Puritans see the raison d’être of visual art as only to entertain, which means to distract people from their duty to God and ethical undertakings. Until today, the accusation is all the more raging. How filmmakers handle the questions of morality, culture and spirituality is under censorship. Kannywood, the Kano-based, up-and-coming motion picture industry of and by the predominantly Muslim Hausa speaking people in northern Nigeria, is not an exception.
It is not news that Kannywood struggles with the culture-war message of several critics who see everything with them as corruption or dilution of the “prestigious” Hausa culture. However, with the ever-expanding rise (encroachment?) of globalisation, I think this feeling is, at best, empty and, at worst…