Arewa Songs of Conquest (1) by Yinka Odumakin

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Arewa political artistes have been singing  songs of captivity lately and not a few ears would have tingling especially among the greedy lot whose misplaced expectations have led into this quandary.But thank goodness for the Col. Dangiwa Umar of that region who sings redemption songs.
Among the former who see Nigeria basically as the northern soil and conquest from the south is Senator Saidu Dansadau.
His surname is from the Dansadau Emirate of Zamfara, the land of Sharia.He carries the typical aristocratic traits of many Fulanis,at least that was my impression when I entered his residence in Abuja in 2006 at the peak of the battle to stop Obasanjo’s evil agenda to change the constitution so he could have a third term in office.You cannot but want to give up on Nigeria when you see the same man as “navigator” carrying useless memos from some silly think-tank on the future of a country he nearly plunged into war over inordinate ambition.
Back to Dansadau.I was invited to some event in Abuja in 2006 at the Adamawa Governor’s lodge in Abuja by then Hon Sola Adeyeye (now a Senator) to gather more pressure against the third term gambit. Obasanjo’s deputy, Atiku Abubakar was part of the night’s event. We were about an hour into the meeting when security operatives stormed the place with an instruction to disperse the gathering.
The day after, Prof Adeyeye whom I spent the night with invited me to a meeting at Dansadau’s residence in Abuja.He was soft-spoken (as if they are trained in it) with the usual aloofness.
I did not see him again until the 2014 National Conference where we were both delegates. One of his major contributions at the conference was the call for the establishment of a Women and Children Islamic Commission to deal with the prevalence of divorce in northern Nigeria. He said men in the region were not compliant with Sharia when it comes to divorce as many kick out wives after eight children. He spoke about a gentleman who already had 78 divorces in his 50 years on earth.
But why I’m writing about him this week is his song of conquest that just went viral even before the inauguration of a northern president. It was a simple question to him on whether the APC South West demand for Speaker of the House of Representatives was just and fair. He said it was gluttonous after having the Vice-President as if there is no aspirant for the same position from the North West where the President comes from. I personally don’t give a damn how they share their spoils.
The bit that got my goat, however, were the further speaks that came from the abundance of his heart and I quote the former Zamfara Senator verbatim:
“Nigerians should take note of the voting trend since independence. In fact, since the 1950s, the North Central per se had never voted in the manner it did along with the other parts of the North as it did at this particular time. These are the kind of things we have been looking for, (for) a long time. Various initiatives have been put in place in order to see that northerners from wherever they are, from the 19 states, become one as far as voting is concerned. We are not saying 100 percent of northerners should be in one political party but that northerners should have one voice, they should decide and dictate the politics of Nigeria; like it has been before independence and even during the First Republic because of the numerical strength of the North.
“But of recent we became divided so we became so vulnerable. But God in His infinite wisdom and mercy used the goodwill of General Muhammadu Buhari and we have gotten the kind of unity that we have been yearning for, for so long. We have realised this dream now. So, now that we have achieved the unity we long for because of Buhari’s goodwill, it is only fair that we now make some efforts to consolidate these gains because General Buhari will not be the president for ever. So that after him, we have consolidated on this goodwill and we will be able to grow this unity, political cooperation, electoral cooperation from strength to strength so that the North will as much as possible dictate the political landscape of the country and what happens in Nigeria as it used to do. This is necessary because my fear is that not that Senator Ahmad Lawan is not qualified, he is very much qualified, but in third world countries where there are lots of crises and ethnicity and religions, you have to balance power in such a manner that every ethnic and religious group as much as possible will feel satisfied with the balancing of power. That is all we are saying.
“And for the North East, they really deserve the Speakership. There is no doubt going by their number and what they contributed to the success of the APC going by the candidates contesting for the position, they truly deserve a very important office in this dispensation. There is no doubt about that. But I feel no sacrifice is too much as far as the unity of this country is concerned. No sacrifice is too much as far as it concerns the growth and the continuity in power of the APC. So, in order not to take a decision that will make the strength of APC wane so quickly, I think regional groups and individuals should learn to make sacrifices.
“In fact, where I fault the leadership of the APC is why should the leadership do zoning in piecemeal? Why should they zone the Speakership to the South West? When you are taking that decision, why didn’t they take the entire zoning together? That was what the PDP did in the past and since it is good, the APC should emulate it. If any crisis arises as a result of the zoning I will blame the leadership of the APC. Why, because if they had sat down from the word go to zone all the positions, this problem wouldn’t have arisen.”
Only the naive and uninitiated would not be able to get his drift.
Senator Abraham Adesanya in his lifetime was fond of telling the story of two friends,the cock and the fox.The fox was relating with the cock with respect thinking that the comb on its head was a burning fire until the day the latter, driven by greed, asked the former to feel his head in exchange for a favour.The fox did and discovered that what it feared as fire was so cold and delicious.That was how the cock that was hitherto feared became a regular meal for the fox.

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