I read through Dr Aliyu U. Tilde’s Discourse 301article and could not help but shake my head in disbelief.
In just a few months, especially after Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria decided to run for the Presidency in 2011, the quality of Dr Tilde’s writings has fallen so badly. These days, almost every paragraph of his essays could be mistaken as the placard ranting of a zoning zealot.
He has lost that flair for inciting communal reasoning and become the mouthpiece of that group of Northern Nigerians that is so bent on undermining the other constituent parts of the Nigerian State.
If Dr Tilde had taken the time to do a good research, he would have found out that the said NAIC report was not even a military report but a dubious, mischievous and concocted exchange between military officers.
Paragraph 54, page 27 of the said malicious document reads and I quote
".......It is believed that there is an orchestrated plan by the Niger Deltans (emphasis mine) to secede from Nigeria which is being played out over the years with every opportunity they (emphasis mine) have. It is also believed that they (emphasis mine) took maximum advantage of the unique opportunity they (emphasis mine) had with the successive appointments of Generals Ogomudia, Asemota and Azazi as GOCs 1 Div."
What is the writer inferring? Very easy to see. The writer is inferring that Niger Deltans no matter how highly qualified, should never be allowed to hold highly sensitive military positions any longer.
Any intelligent reader will have no difficulty in deciphering that this dumb memo was an exchange between a Northern junior military assistant to his boss of clearly the same ethnic stock. The objective of this dubiously lettered package was clearly to undermine the people of the Niger Delta and build a process that would continuously shortchange military officers of Southern origin. This is worthy of national condemnation and an act of ingratitude to the people of the Niger Delta whose resources have catered for the sustenance of the Nigeria state for decades now.
It is also shameful that even a Dr Aliyu Tilde could not even take some time to research further in spite of the fact that the internet has made light research very easy.
I am most curious why Dr Aliyu U Tilde did not research to find out and discover the malicious intent of the author of that report who deviously refused to include that the Nigerian Army had inaugurated a General Court Martial (GCM) to try the accused officers.
Neither did the report mention that the said officers were given various degrees of punishment including life imprisonment etc. That court martial was reported in quite a number of national newspapers. One of such was the Compass Newspapers of November 19, 2008. Read story here.
In a spasm of literary madness, Dr Aliyu U. Tilde opined that “………….if this trend continues until 2015. Niger Delta would have completed all arrangements for a secession: increased oil revenues that could be used to buy weapons; complete undermining of the military through posting agent officers as commanders especially along the coastal area and possible relocation of military hardware to the region; and well trained guards to oversee the illegal activities required to achieve this goal with the aid of Nigerian state machinery which they did not enjoy hitherto. Then, the conspiracy theory of the army intelligence corps would not need to be investigated into and ascertained. It would be a reality, just as would become of the prophesy of the disintegration of the nation by 2015 that is widespread in diplomatic circles.
This is the most tragic piece of literature to have come out of the Nigerian State in almost five decades and is a key pointer to the fact that Dr Aliyu U. Tilde is nothing different from the Northern fundamentalists who consistently threaten the peace of the North.
How else can anyone in his right senses decide to go so low?
Why would anyone seek to deliberately undermine President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan or the National Security Adviser General Andrew Owoye Azazi?
Is President Jonathan’s magnanimity being taken for granted? Were these people not holed up and silent in their homes when Abacha Gestapo was on the prowl?
Did Dr Aliyu Tilde and his likes come out to condemn Abacha and Babangida when they were running down the Nigerian State?
What manner of nepotism, parochialism and intense myopia is this?
Dr Aliyu U. Tilde has today declared himself as a barefaced ethnic regimental officer of the dubious ageing Northern war criers who believe that the governance and government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has become their birthright!
Their persistent attempts to color the current political and democratic agitations as a North-South fight for domination is to say the least damning.
It again begs the question. Would these pro-zoning power-mongrels from the North have allowed the people of the South OR the Niger Delta a piece of their action if the oil and gas resources were in their domain?
Could this be a wake-up call to the elders, youths and children of the Niger Delta?
How else can you explain Dr Aliyu U. Tilde’s careless and uncouth attempt to undermine, malign and impugn the character, capacity and competence of the current President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
How else can you explain how the PhD parading Aliyu U. Tilde can garner the temerity to declare that Nigerians cannot trust President Goodluck Jonathan GCFR because of a matter that surfaced when President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was Vice President?
In spite of everything, the South understood with President Umar Musa Yar’Adua during his time as President. What is it about the Niger Delta and President Jonathan that they fear so badly?
In his short time as President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has done far more than most Nigerian Presidents did in far more years. He has visited more states across Nigeria than many of those before him. He has commissioned more projects across the federation than many before him.
Nigerians no longer have to hoard petroleum products or stand in line at long queues to buy gasoline because those days are gone. It took President Goodluck Jonathan only a few months to deal with an issue that past governments, from Abacha to Obasanjo could not do even though they continued to increase the price of gasoline each day. How can we be so ungrateful so soon?
To tackle the power situation in the country, President Jonathan has assembled some of the best minds in the Industry to come up with a radical master plan that would ensure that Nigerians begin to enjoy uninterrupted power supply. He has given the team express mandate to deliver on time. Yet these people say he has not done anything. Are they serious?
Where were these people when their godfathers were ‘switzering’ up the Nation’s coffers? Billions of naira was siphoned to secret bank accounts in Switzerland in what became a way of life for many of them. Much of these will never be recovered to build Nigeria or even compensate the Niger Delta.
What could have been the intent of Dr Aliyu Tilde and his co-conspirator author of the Sahara Reporters article? Where they angry that General Andrew Owoye Azazi was appointed National Security Adviser (NSA)?
Could this be because General Azazi is the only non-Northerner ever to be National Security Adviser of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in almost 4 decades?
Why question the competence of someone whose credentials is the most impressive of all former NSAs?
In his previous active years as Chief of Army Staff and Defence Staff, General Azazi was the object of tons of media and personal attacks by militant groups in the Niger Delta who accused him of giving his total loyalty to the Nigerian state and having disdain for his region.
It is therefore laughable for Dr Aliyu Tilde and his likes to suddenly wake-up from their groping nightmare and accuse the same General Azazi of aiding and abetting the activities of armed militants in the Niger Delta.
And then they talk about trust.
Come to think of it. Who should talk about Trust? Dr Aliyu U. Tilde? A member of a distasteful Northern Cabal that has for decades now been cloaked in the garment of tragic mistrust and distrust? Let us now take a look at the Trust profile of some of their leaders.
General Muhamadu Buhari was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3rd Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army in Jos when he overthrew his then principal and President Shehu Shagari in December 1983. Trust or Distrust?
General Ibrahim Babangida was Chief of Army Staff of the Buhari regime when he overthrew his principal and head-of-state under trumped up allegations of high-handedness in 1985. Babangida then plunged Nigeria into 8 years of destructive loose-handedness which saw Nigeria and Nigerians witnesses increase in drug trafficking and the murder and execution of hundreds of promising young Nigerian military officers. Trust or Distrust?
After a long rigmarole in dubious political transition programs which cost the nation billions of naira, General Babangida ended up annulling what was famed as Nigeria’s most successful elections on June 12, 1993. Trust or Distrust?
Prior to stepping aside in 1994, General Babangida handed over to an Interim National Government headed by Ernest Shonekan after cunningly drafting General Aliyu Gusau to serve as Chief of Army Staff in the Interim Government. The rest is now history.
In a quick daylight operation, three top military generals – General Abacha (Secretary of Defence in the Interim National Government), General Oladipo Diya (Chief of Defence Staff) and General Aliyu Gusau (Chief of Army Staff) walked into the office of their principal (and the Head of the Interim Government) Chief Ernest Shonekan and asked him to resign. That was November 17, 1993.
Are these the kind of people who should be talking about Trust? Certainly not!
This is a New beginning and a fresh generation of Nigerians are looking for good leadership. They want a government that will listen to them and give them the opportunity to access the opportunities provided by a better quality of life. Coming from a long history of leadership by military dictators who did not trust themselves and even went as far as executing and murdering themselves, Nigerians may be unwilling to trust too quickly. Most importantly, we seek leaders who will earn and win our trust.
At The Jonathan Project, a volunteer movement for the support of President Jonathan, we have gone a step further. We understand that Trust and Confidence building is a mutual thing. Therefore, we have challenged ourselves to encourage President Jonathan to work towards winning the trust of progressive minded Nigerians by doing the right thing for all Nigerians.
We believe in President Jonathan because he has lived a life of service to mankind. We trust in President Jonathan because he believes in the Almighty God and so we expect that he will trust the Good Lord to direct his path in bringing great leadership to all Nigerians.
So far, so good. We are committed to building a new Nigerian where new levels of trust will grow between all ethnic nationalities within the Nigerian federation.
One thing is sure, we will succeed. Our success will never be dampened by the antics of a myopic thinking bunch. They will fail.