In 1979, in the course of the campaigns for the scheduled elections to return Nigeria to civilian rule, first post-independence President, Nnamdi Azikiwe, rebuked a critic, Chuba Okadigbo, that “history will vindicate the just.” Additionally within the late ’80s, following rumours that Dr. Azikiwe had died, a prime Nigerian economist, Dr. Samuel Aluko, in his response to the pretend hypothesis, stated “Zik does not die.” To emphasize his level, Aluko intentionally meant his statement to be current steady.
READ ALSO: Ohanaeze shaped to counter Azikiwe, says IPOB
Both accidentally or design, each Zik and Aluko are available focus at the moment within the wake of the electoral injustice, if not fraud, dedicated within the Osun State governorship election. 1 / 4 of a century after
Zik died, his politics of precept and equity proceed to reverberate. Certainly, unknown to at the moment’s politicians with their infamous philosophy of something goes, as demonstrated within the inconclusive election for the governorship of Osun State, they recorded that history solely to vindicate Zik. Particularly, observe the Afenifere group standing on their heads in criticising the All Progressives Congress, (APC) for robbing PDP’s Ademola Adeleke of victory.
This isn’t to say there was no electoral theft in Osun State. PDP’s Ademola Adeleke gained the primary spherical of the governorship race by lower than 400 votes with greater than double that margin as rejected (as distinct from cancelled) votes. APC’s Gboyega Oyetola got here second whereas SDP’s Iyiola Omisore got here third. Therefore, INEC’s determination for a second spherical, since Nigeria operates a presidential system of presidency. Voters ought to, subsequently, have been left free to vote the best way they felt even when the voters ultimately, that’s, within the second spherical, have been to decide on a special winner. However this could not have been via the conspiracy of the second (APC) and third candidates (SDP). There isn’t any different identify for what occurred in Osun than electoral theft.
That political conspiracy was what Zik refused to countenance within the pre-Independence federal elections in Nigeria in December 1959. And for that principled stance, the primary era of Afenifere visited their frustration on Zik, a frustration since inherited, even by the current era of Afenifere not but born or extra of infants to know what went on. The outcomes of the 1959 federal elections in Nigeria have been just like the Osun election impasse.
Tafawa Balewa of Northern Peoples Congress (NPC) was the Prime Minister at Federal degree, whereas Zik and Awo have been regional premiers in East and West, respectively. The outcomes gave the topmost seats to Balewa’s NPC, adopted by Zik’s NCNC/NEPU alliance and Awo’s Motion Group/United Center Belt Congress alliance. By the best way, Zik’s alliance companions have been Northern Parts Progressive Union (NEPU). That was the political configuration underneath which Awolowo provided Prime Ministership to Nnamdi Azikiwe, a tenuous association which, in impact, would have robbed Tafawa Balewa of his electoral victory. Would which have assured bodily or electoral peace in an unbiased Nigeria?
READ ALSO: The core of South-West success story beneath Chief Obafemi Awolowo
Two political leaders of Southern origin, to conspire (okay, type alliance) to rob a political chief of northern origin of clear election victory? In such prospects, Zik’s supporters, particularly Easterners and mid-Westerners would have been straightforward targets of inevitable violent response of the supporters of the person robbed of victory. It was and
continues to be myopic for Afenifere, particularly the current era, to consider that the supply of alliance and even Prime Ministership was all that mattered. Therefore, whilst late as two months in the past, Zik’s critics on his refusal to hitch in robbing Balewa of victory in 1959 amounted to “How Zik sold Nigeria to Fulanis” or “How Igbos sold Nigeria to Fulanis.”
That was the unintelligent model of the 1959 supply of Prime Ministership was unfold on the social media.
As a lot as they owed their supporters some obligation of their efforts to type alliance with Zik or NCNC, the unique era of Afenifere have been very circumspect and by no means (repeat, by no means) went berserk with any incitement or derogatory remarks towards Fulanis or Igbos. Fulanis
are professional fellow Nigerians with rights underneath the structure to hunt political energy like different ethnic teams. Second, neither Zik nor Igbos bought Nigeria to any ethnic group. In any rivalry, one aspect should ultimately achieve the higher hand. Third, Zik’s NCNC, which in 1959 refused any conspiracy (alliance?) to rob Tafawa Balewa of electoral victory was not, in any approach, an Igbo celebration.
NCNC gained the 1954 federal elections within the Japanese and Western areas into the Home of Representatives in Lagos. NCNC’s federal elections victory in 1954 in Western Area was Yoruba response to how NCNC’s elected members crossed the carpet to Motion Group in Western Home of Meeting in 1952. The defunct Western Area comprised immediately’s South and Delta in addition to Edo states. For years, NCNC was the dominant get together within the Mid-West, together with core Yoruba areas like all the Ijeshaland, Ibadan and Oyo areas. For his or her complete dedication to NCNC, leaders and members of NCNC in these very important areas have been subjected to violence and a collection of political victimisation by
the identical Motion Group. Their properties have been compulsorily acquired by the Western regional authorities.
NCNC leaders in Mid-West included Chief Humphrey Omo-Osagie, Chief V.I. Amadasun, Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh and Chief Dennis Osadebay. Normally, their followers have been imprisoned for petty costs.
Adegoke Adelabu solely narrowly escaped jail after a courtroom trial for concocted corruption throughout his tenure as chairman of Ibadan District Council. However earlier than the trial, the report of the probe compelled Adelabu to resign as Federal minister of social providers (comprising well being and schooling portfolios). Zik was not spared the political victimisation. Ikeja in Lagos was a part of the previous Western Area and Zik’s home (close to previous Punch newspaper workplace), named by public transport operators as Ile Zik (Zik’s home) bus cease, was compulsorily acquired by West regional authorities purportedly for industrial functions. No penny (kobo) was paid as compensation and, until at present, the entire space is residential with no single business.
When, subsequently, supply of alliance with NCNC and Prime Ministership to Zik got here in 1959, the primary consideration was equity to the person who gained the elections – Tafawa Balewa. There was additionally nationwide curiosity. And, above all, Zik should carry his get together hierarchy with him. Arising from bitter experiences, primarily carpet-crossing and victimisation of their supporters, the belief was not there between the 2 sides. And to make their level, Mid-West and Yoruba wings of the NCNC threatened to interrupt away ought to Zik type any alliance with the Motion Group. And for that Zik is being accused by immediately’s Afenifere of promoting Nigeria to Fulanis? Or that Igbos bought Nigeria to Fulanis?
Now, listed here are cogent questions:
(a) Why the present intermittent falsification of our previous political history and discrediting different leaders in addition to derogatory thumb down of different ethnic teams within the nation? It savours of revulsive vanity.
(b) How truthful wouldn’t it have been if Obafemi Awolowo gained 1959 federal elections just for Zik and Tafawa Balewa, in conspiracy or alliance to rob and stop him (Awolowo) from rising as Prime Minister?
(c) Who would assure peace after such improvement?
(d) if right now’s Afenifere proceed responsible Zik for not robbing Tafawa Balewa of victory in 1957, why do the identical Afenifere fellows of the second blame the APC for robbing PDP’s Ademola Adeleke of potential election victory in Osun?
The bitter fact is that, no matter is incorrect with politics in the present day – carpet-crossing, poll field snatching, violence throughout campaigns, particularly towards political opponents, potential alliance to rob winners of election victory – began in Western Area. Ayo Rosiji, federal secretary of Motion Group, confirmed it in his biography. A.M. Akinloye confirmed it in newspaper ads on November 16, 1994, congratulating Zik on his 90th birthday. Adeleke Adedoyin, considered one of NCNC’s members who crossed carpet confirmed in a character interview in Lagos-based VANGUARD newspaper earlier than he died. Even Bola Ige in his reminiscences, expressed reservations on the carpet-crossing saga.
These desperately denying history until right now fail to elucidate the origin of the coverage of “East for Easterners, West for Westerners and North for Northerners” to justify carpet-crossing in Western Area in 1952.
Might Zik have been the one politician involved with any injustice of robbing a rival of clear election victory? Definitely not. Within the 1974 basic election in Britain, incumbent Prime Minister Edward Heath of the Conservative Celebration, was crushed to second place by opposition chief and former Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Defeated Prime Minister Edward Heath tried to rob Mr. Nilson of victory by providing alliance to Jeremy Thorpe of the third celebration, the Liberals. Mr. Thorpe, like Zik in Nigeria in 1959, turned down the supply on the bottom that Labour’s Harold Wilson gained the elections and should not be robbed of victory.
READ ALSO: INEC denies plan to postpone 2019 common elections
Nnamdi Azikiwe was not an ideal human being. However as Ayo Rosiji of the Motion Group concedes in his (Rosiji’s) biography, Zik was an honest man. A person all the time vindicated by history, regardless of how lengthy. Properly, Osun State governorship election has vindicated him for his stand on an indecent tried alliance in 1959.