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Northern Leaders: Between Lies, Mischief and Elderly Rascality

By: Jackson Ude
Call it senility or elderly rascality of the old brigades, you will not be too far from the best adjective that befits some members of the so called Northern Elders Forum, NEF and opposition politicians whose foray into politics have yielded next to nothing for the people they claim to represent.
Succinctly put, our political landscape and airwaves have been taken over by aged mischief-makers parading as elders. The same men whose politics, practices, actions and inactions have knocked the engine of progress not just in the North but the whole of our dear country Nigeria.
Foul-mouthed old men who have shamelessly put the country in the greatest abyss of development have suddenly found their voices, behaving like exuberant rascals and hiding under the cover of the sectional hegemony to threaten the existence of our dear nation.
With no resume of hard work and contribution to Nigeria’s development, these men have continued to pollute the landscape, inciting the people especially gullible Northerners against the Government and the person of President Jonathan.  
The polity, in recent times, has been so much charged, over heated by threats coming from the North by the group of old men clustered under the umbrella of NEF who should be in their homes churning out wise counseling for the growth and development of our dear country, Nigeria.
For over thirty years, these same men and their cronies and cohorts sat, nurtured and backed military coups led by soldiers from the North who are today parading themselves as Billionaires having stolen oil blocks from the South and the treasury of the nation with reckless impunity.
They trumpet the cacophony of hate, fanning the embers of disunity with the worn-out appendage on the President as “clueless and incompetent.”
That appendage-“A clueless and incompetent President” has now become the singsong of opposition party members and all those who cannot stand a Jonathan Presidency and those who see nothing good in the administration.
A former minister of the Federal Capital Territory and a latter-day activist is on the vanguard of this infamous and disingenuous branding of the President of the Federal Republic. Disrespectful, cheeky and self-righteous, this accidental public servant now aspires to be governor of Kaduna State. Imagine! The people of that state will decide his fate assuming he manages to secure the ticket of his party.
Professor Ango Abdullahi, a former Vice President of the Ahmadu Bello University, an elite university, a supposedly educated Northerner who should shine academic light on the people having attained the highest level of academic qualification, debased himself and champions the group throwing tantrums at the President.  
But as the opposition struggle to convince Nigerians that President Jonathan is clueless and incompetent and that only a Northern Presidency has the solution to Nigeria’s problems, let us take a peep into the successes of the man from the creek who is our President:
It is President Jonathan, a southerner, from the creek who initiated the building of over 100 Almajiri schools in 13 Northern States of Nigeria. The decision was to take children from the streets who most of them have become willing tools in the hands of terrorists.
We have had over 35 years of Northerners as leaders and none considered the huge number of children from the North without education, a priority.
And to further encourage education in the North that have often enjoyed “soft landing” in terms of admission to tertiary institutions, President Jonathan established Federal Universities in Lafia, Nasarawa
 State; Lokoja, Kogi State; Kashere, Gombe State; Wukari, Taraba State; 
Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State; and Dutse, Jigawa State.
For the past years the Railway system had shut down, no one remembered it as a veritable means of transportation. But under President Jonathan, the railway system is back. The Lagos-Kano line is back, the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri line is being rehabilitated
. Kano-Maiduguri, Kaduna-Abuja and Lagos-Port-
Harcourt rail-lines are also under construction and will be available before the end of the year.
But the so-called Northern leaders and opposition politicians do not see all these. They rather want Nigerians to believe that we have “an incompetent and clueless President.”
The President has also not turned blind eyes to the many death traps called roads. He has since his administration continued to develop new roads and rehabilitated old ones among which are: Onitsha-Owerri and the Vom-Manchok road, which has as at today been completed. There is significant progress on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway in Lagos; the Benin-Ore-Sagamu
 dual carriage-way; the Onitsha-Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriage-way; the
 Kaduna-Maiduguri dual carriage-way; Lokoja – Benin road; Lagos-Ibadan 
Expressway; Mokwa-Bida road; Akure-Ilesha road; Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega road; 
Enugu- Abakaliki- Cross River road; Ogoja – Ikom road; Vandekiya-Obudu 
road; and the East-West road.
 Work on the dualization of the Kano-Maiduguri and the Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja roads have reached advance stage.
The Onitsha Head-Bridge Flyover (Ojukwu Gateway)
 and the Oweto Bridge across River Benue have been completed. The Second 
Niger Bridge is under construction and the government is also undertaking
 the dredging of the River.
Seaport construction and 
the expansion of existing ports, including Warri, Baro, Calabar, Onne,
 Owerri and Onitsha are also on the list of achievements recorded under President Jonathan.
These cabals have shown high degree of disdain, disloyalty and hatred for a man who has not done anything wrong to them other than being born from a relatively unknown geographical entity not recognized by “Northern leaders” as qualified to produce a President of Nigeria.
It is on record that never in the history of Nigeria, has a President from the hitherto unknown Otuoke, Bayelsa State, South-South of Nigeria, succeeded in laying the foundation for the nation’s economic boom, enduring all the name calling and insults hauled at him.
What baffles my mind is that most of the so called Northern elders hauling invectives and warning of consequences should President Jonathan seek a reelection, supervised and backed the 38 year usurpation of the Military that produced many coup-plotting Generals among whom are General Muhammadu Buhari, General Ibrahim Babangida, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and the rest.
They forced Nigeria into the Organization for Islamic Countries, OIC, created lopsidedness in employment where Northerners both qualified and unqualified dominated Federal Civil Service and the Military and yet have nothing in the North in terms of developments to show for it.
Now that a minority from the South-South has seized the opportunity to right the many wrongs, he is being disparaged and called “clueless and incompetent.”
The vilification is just nauseating, the unwarranted attack malicious at best. Whether they like it or not, Nigeria is moving forward. All the indicators point to the fact that we are still the giant of Africa and President Jonathan’s administration has succeeded in placing Nigeria back to the zenith of the international community with prospects.
Ude, a Journalist and Strategic Communications expert has a Masters Degree in Political Management.
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