By Osazua IVBAZE
In recent times, Southern Governors , have in attempts to gratify the expectations of the gallery, taken political comedy to ridiculous levels.
In their acts of grandstanding, they have failed to realize that there is nothing as incurably self destructive as self- deception.
Two examples will suffice.
The Petroleum Industry Bill spent quite a long time in the National Assembly. The debate on it was bitter and protracted. It took years. Critical stakeholders in the oil and gas sectors , of which Governors are the most visible were all aware. It was not a secret thing—it was an open debate in the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly.
While the debate lasted, Southern Governors behaved as if they were on sabbatical in Dubai.They made no attempt to interface with Lawmakers of Southern extraction in the Assembly. If they were really serious and not mere political comedians, this was the period they needed to bond with the lawmakers and arrive on what they considered equitable for oil host communities. They didn’t do that. They were on holiday.
Meanwhile, on their part, the Southern lawmakers were turned into weaklings by their northern counterparts. When host communities were granted just ridiculous and miserable 3% derivation, they raised no objection. They concurred.
And eventually the PIB was passed.
Shamelessly, it was at this point when the legislative deal had been sealed and sent to the President for Assent that Southern Governors decided to hurriedly come together to issue empty threats. They childishly asked the president that the bill must not be assented to.
At this time of their gallery display, President Buhari was enjoying his medical tourism in UK.
He came back a few weeks later and wasted no time in assenting to the bill— which is why it is now called Petroleum Industry Act.
Recently, Southern Governors met again in Enugu. Curiously, almost all the five Eastern Governors were represented by their deputies. Does that not send a strong message about the position of the East on whatever resolutions were adopted at the meeting.?
At the end of the meeting in which Eastern Governors showed no serious commitment, a communique was issued warning that power must return to the South in 2023.
How they intend to achieve that was not made known to the public. They didn’t say the Ibos and the Yorubas have decided to forget the past and unite around a common objective in 2023. The North knows that when the real contestation begins, both the Ibos and the Yorubas will pack sand and throw into each other’s gari at the behest of Northern hegemonic calculations.
Let no one get carried away about
power “ must “ shift to the South in 2023 because the “must” has no teeth. The Governors who have boasted will , one after the order be seeking personal political survival and visibility when the whistle is blown.
I wish my prediction would be invalidated.