2015: Northern leaders woo Danjuma, Middle Belt •Jonathan to speak on national issues today

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As Nigeria celebrates her independence day next Tuesday, Hausa-Fulani leaders from emirs to top political bigwigs are reported to be making frantic efforts to rebuild the widening gulf with the Middle-Belt region targeting General Theophilus Danjuma as contact point.

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Sunday Tribune was told that the leaders involved in the reconciliation project include top emirs from core North, influential clerics, elected governors and leading professionals, who are said to have concluded that rebuilding the old alliance between the Hausa-Fulani and the Middle-Belt elites is a condition for defeating President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.

The Hausa-Fulani leaders were said to be alarmed at increasing integration and mobilisation of minority tribes across the three zones of the North in an anti-Hausa-Fulani agenda. The interpretation of new Middle-Belt region was discovered to be encompassing of all other tribes in the North, except the Hausa-Fulani.

Findings by Sunday Tribune showed that core Arewa leaders also noticed that Middle-Belt leaders involved in the new Middle-Belt project are heavily funded and enjoy support from influential Middle-Belt people like General Danjuma. The minorities in the North are said to harbour a political agenda which was to assert themselves and achieve what the late Joseph Tarka and others failed to do in the aborted Third Republic.

A top northern leader who was involved in the Project Danjuma lamented that the efforts to woo Danjuma had failed and that the Middle belt appears to have sealed a pact with the South-South.

Why Danjuma shuns Core North- The Yar’ Adua/Atiku Connection
Sunday Tribune investigation, however, revealed that the general who was a top operative within the Arewa elite in the late 60’s and due to his alleged nasty experience during first and second time of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as military and civilian leader of the country.

Findings revealed that the relationship between Danjuma and his old Hausa/Fulani friends started to crack soon after the assassination of General Muritala Muhammed and ascension to power of General Obasanjo in 1976. Danjuma could not be made the chief of defence staff because a Christian/ Christian ticket won’t work.

Obasanjo was said to have conceded that Danjuma should search for a chief of staff agrreable to him. According to a source very close to the situation then, Danjuma brought General Buhari but the Ota farmer reportedly told him Buhari would be too independent minded for the job at hand.

Danjuma was said to have later settled for late General Sheu Musa Yar’Adua, who relatively young was accepted by both Danjuma and Obasanjo as the right choice for the position. The occupant was, however, to hold the office symbolically while Danjuma,the Chief of Army Staff, was to be the de facto second in command.

The arrangement was said to have worked for some few months until the late Yar’Adua came under pressure from Arewa elite still smattering from the death of Muritala. Obasanjo later succumbed to pressure to treat all service chiefs the same way and enforce reporting by service chiefs through the Chief of Staff,adegence Headquarters.

Danjuma was thus reduced to the level of other service chiefs, despite the circumstance under which late Yar’Adua was brought into government. He was said to have left government a changed man who believed he was maltreated simply because he was a minority Christian in the Middle Belt. Reports indicated that Danjuma shifted his wealth and inflluence to funding Christians and ideals of Middle Belt as a distinct from that of Hausa Fulanis.

If the experience of 1976 to 1979 changed Danjuma fundamentally, it was learmt that the event of 1999 to 2003 under the Obasanjo presidency sealed any hope of the General realligning with the core north for ever.

The rift between Danjuma and former Vice President Atiku Abubskar when Danjuma was the defence minister was cited as the ladt straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

An Hausa Fulani traditional title holder disclosed on condition of anonymity that while Danjuma started funding Middle belt groups since 1980,he has since leaving government in 2003 become the largest single financier of Christian associations in the North.

“Because of that relationship with both YarAdua and Atiku Abubskar ,The General has foreclosed any thought of unity with the core north. We know he felt betrayed and wounded by events in those days”, the source said.

An official of the Middle Belt Forum from kaduna state confirmed to Sunday Tribune that the core north indeed tried to recruit Danjuma into thier anti- Jonathan agenda but he declined

“ The General rebuffs them. He told them nobody should drag him intranet fight. And we stand by him and we stand by the President” , the official. Who said he was not authorised to speak said.

Meanwhile, PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will host another edition of the Presidential Media Chat today 3 at 7.00 p.m.

President Jonathan will, in the course of the programme, answer questions from a panel of journalists on current national issues and events, as well as policies and actions of his administration.

Nigerians who have questions for the President to respond to on the programme may send them in via Twitter to @mediachatng1.

The programme will be broadcast live on the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and the Voice of Nigeria (VON).

 

Source:Nigerian Tribune

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsolahttps://naija247news.com
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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