Marginalization: Who Is Actually Marginalized?
The cry of marginalization is all over the place and the propensity is on the high rise with no consideration to the other side of the fact. To my understanding, the real concept of clamoring for marginalization is location specific. While in some quarters, the cry of marginalization is skewed towards religious differences, some is narrowed in aligned to tribal base and others are regional divide. Prior to the Nigeria’s independence, politicians advocated so many ways of winning the heart of electorates despite all its ramifications. However, the cries of marginalization normally come from people outside the corridors of power. The people crying for this cause either sponsored by their pay masters or determined to do so in many ways skipped the reality of the existing facts and advocate fallacy. I look at marginalization from various angles and strongly discovered that nobody is marginalized or all are marginalized. The cries of marginalization from people of Kaduna south senatorial district encouraged me to bring out some facts that may likely mediate between the scenarios.
The Nigerian constitution of 1999 stated clearly that there should be three Senatorial districts in every State and to be represented each by a Senator in the Nigerian Senate. Kaduna State is never exceptional. Constitutionally, the three Senatorial districts in Kaduna with population in parenthesis are: Zone one (North) comprising Ikara (194,723), Kubau (280,704), Kudan (138,956), Lere (339,740), Makarfi (146,574), Sabon-Gari (291,358), Soba (291,173) and Zaria (406,990) Local Government Areas. Zone two (Central) comprised of Birnin-Gwari (258,581), Chikun (372,272), Giwa (292,384), Igabi (430,753), Kaduna North (364,575), Kaduna South (402,731) and Kajuru (109,810) Local Government Areas. Zone three (South) composed of Jaba (155,973), Jama’a (278,202), Kachia (252,568), Kagarko (239,058), Kaura (174,626), Kauru (221,276), Sanga (151,485) and Zangon-Kataf (318,991) Local Government Areas.
Now, the question is this, where does the Southern Kaduna exists? To what geographical demarcation should Southern Kaduna be curved-out? And, from the constitutional nomenclature, the senatorial districts are named with suffixation of North, West, South and East after the States’ name while North-West and North-East exist in the case of Benue State and North-East in the case of Jigawa State and many others respectively. Now, if a Governor emerges from either of the senatorial zone, the other will produce the Deputy Governor in that order. This is the case in all states of the federation. The other positions of Minister, principal officers of the States’ Houses of Assembly, the Secretary to the state government, the Head of service and other key positions are determined by the politicians.
The allocation of federal constituencies in Kaduna State also carries the same weight. Zone one had six while zones two and three had 5 federal constituencies each. Some of the infantries of Kaduna South Senatorial districts are clamoring for equal treatment between southern Kaduna and Northern Kaduna but unfortunately there is nothing like Northern or southern Kaduna. All we have in practice across the whole states of the federation is three senatorial districts. It is good for those advocating for marginalization to look at some other states before they will cry-out their supposed grievances.
In Kano State, last week the speaker who is from Kano south Senatorial zone was impeached and replaced with a member from Kano central, the same zone with the Deputy Governor / Commissioner of Education, Head of Civil Service, chairman and secretary of the ruling party leaving Southern Senatorial zone with no any principal officer. However, the Deputy Governor, Commissioner of Finance, chairman and secretary of the ruling party are from the same LGA (Gwale). Despite the population density, on the issue of constituency allocation, it is only in Kano State where eight Local Government Areas (LGAs) produce four members in the state house of assembly while in Lagos State one LGA produces three. However, Gabasawa and Gwarzo LGAs fall in Kano North Senatorial zone. While Gwarzo is in the extreme part of western Kano, Gabasawa is in the extreme eastern Kano and does not share a common boundary with rest of any of the twelve LGAs that made-up the zone. Still, Gabasawa LGA paired with Gezawa LGA of Kano central to form a federal constituency. So, with what is happening in Kano State and most of the States across Nigeria, people from Kaduna south must not challenge the existence of Kachia LGA to be in Kaduna central not in Kaduna south, Lere LGA to be in Kaduna south not in Kaduna North, Birnin-Gwari and Giwa LGAs to be in Kaduna North not in Kaduna central respectively. It was never done in any way to weaken anybody. Once a political block is strong, so it shall remain. This is the same constituency and boundary cases with the Ideato North and Ideato South LGAs of Imo state.
In Jigawa State, three Emirates (Gumel, Kazaure and Ringim) with a total of twelve LGAs were merged together to form a Senatorial zone while Dutse and Hadejia Emirates emerged as Senatorial zones each. In some cases, things happened naturally. When Birnin-Kudu and Buji LGAs were merged as one federal constituency, Gwaram LGA which appears at the extreme end of Jigawa emerged as one LGA one federal constituency and the only in the State. This same eventual act happened in Kaduna where Zangon-Kataf and Jaba LGAs and Jama’a and Sanga LGAs formed federal constituencies, Kaura LGA was left alone and it emerged as one.
Likewise, Kotorkoshi Emirate Council in Zamfara State is in Bungudu LGA but you must follow through Gusau town, the headquarters of Gusau LGA before a Kotorkoshi man could get to his Local Government headquarter. With all these, Gusau LGA went ahead to merge with Tsafe LGA to constitute a federal constituency.
In Bayelsa State, there are eight LGAs with population of 1,703,358 (2016 projection) produces twenty four members in the state house of assembly with five members in the House of Representatives and three Senators as enshrined in the 1999 constitution.
The cry of appointment by people of Kaduna south senatorial zone is still a mockery. If Kaduna appoints fourteen commissioners and Kaduna south emerged with four or five, justice prevailed as the two other zones will struggle to get at least four or five as the cases may be.
While we continue to deceive our selves, in Nigeria, except in some cases in south west, religion plays a vital role in our games of politics. Muslims controlled seven council wards out of ten in Jos North LGA and yet could not produce council Chairman. Why? Because of their faith and are treated second fiddle. Could it be possible for a Muslim to emerge as deputy governor in the same Plateau State? Meanwhile, when Da Jang was Governor, he did not execute a single project in Jos North where the Hausa/Fulani settlers dominate. It was until recently when Governor Lalong was putting road network in the area from Angwan Rimi – Angwan Rogo – Filin Idi – Ali Kazaure and so on. The road network and most of the infrastructures in Kaduna south were put in place by Makarfi administration, not even Mallam Yakowa.
Evidently, it was ripe in Taraba State when Alhaji Garba Umar UTC was to be sworn-in as the Governor but never see the light of the day. Late Pharm. D. D. Suntai crashed at Yola International Airport while piloting self. That Taraba case was frustrated to the extent that when Garba UTC worked out his way to grab PDP ticket against 2015 election, Supreme Court sacked him as deputy governor and orders the re-instatement of the impeached Alhaji Sani Abubakar Danladi (Senator representing Taraba North) to continue as Deputy/Acting Governor. Prof. Jerry Gana from Niger State was among the people whom were busy frustrating UTC from becoming Governor and you know what that means. The case of James Bala Ngilari in Adamawa State followed same trend. In Borno State, hardly a minority tribe from Borno South to become Governor. The Kanuris, with two solid Senatorial zones intact in their possession, have coined the Gubernatorial slot in their favor.
Could it be possible for an Idoma man to occupy that public property along Sir Kashim Ibrahim Way in Makurdi despite the most qualified Idomites like Senator David Mark, Major General Lawrence Onoja, Hon. Abba Moro and co? The same fact applied to Kogi State when if not because of divine intervention that made Yahaya Bello Governor, Igala from Kogi east will continue to occupy the Lugard House in Lokoja as a result of their population. All Igalas needed is top-up from where they pick the running mate to win Gubernatorial election.
Let us come back to Kaduna. It was alleged that Hausa/Fulani sworn that no any Christian military or civilian shall occupy Sir Kashim Ibrahim house. This is a lie. No any rational thinking human being could thought of that. Incidentally, military or civilian, only Yakowa as a Christian occupied Sir Kashim Ibrahim house. But, they forgot to ask why there were never a Muslim governed Abia, Ebonyi and Taraba States? All these scenarios were co-incidences. Yakowa was made Governor in 2011 because of the modus accompli of Makarfi and Namadi. Quite sure, they instructed all the delegates from North and central zones to vote for Yakowa and however frustrated all great contenders to withdraw in favor of him. That was what they have done. When Yakowa was sworn-in, the people of Kaduna south were not yet satisfied because they felt he was not dancing to their tune. Incidentally, because of their ingratitude to God, the messiah Yakowa left us and travelled to the final kingdom. Now, does this people from Kaduna south intimidating their brothers from North and central zones to succumb power to them despite politics is a game of number? You have done well by voting PDP in 2015 but the vote was a message to everyone that you cannot change what the majority have decided. The population of Kaduna state was 2,231,106 (central), 2,090,218 (North) and 1,792,179 (south) respectively. El-Rufa’i in 2015 was a wrong choice but since the North and central zones decided for APC, they are now reaping the dividend of incompetency and inexperience. However, late Isaiah balat, Charles Garba Ali Madaki, Felix Hassan Hyet, Mallam Yakowa, Hadiza Mailafiya were all Ministers. Numerous sons and daughters from Kaduna south were prominent such as General M. L. Agwai as Chief of Defence Staff (the first four star General from the North who was never a Head of State), Justice Haruna Dandaura as chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau, Haruna Andrew as GMD NNPC and host of others. Does Kaduna south ever thank God for these tremendous blessings?
In most of the States in Nigeria, institutions are located in the State capital. Truly, in Kaduna State, majority was located in Zaria axis and is a work of colonial masters meant for their convenience. It is evidently clear that the entire people of Kaduna State and beyond made Zaria their home irrespective of where they come from. Kaduna south had its own share of institution. Birnin–Gwari as an Emirate and far away from the capital had nothing to show. However, the appointment of heads of the institutions is another politics of itself.
Another irony with Nigerian politics is that, people in power are one and one alone. No religion. No tribe. No region. They are united to the extent that they fight a common goal with commitment of unification. A commissioner from Kaduna south blustered those clamoring for marginalization that Kaduna south is fully represented and not marginalized. Hon. Sunday Marshal Katung may award his constituency project contract to his colleague from Sokoto and vice versa. The factitious means of governance in Nigeria, Muslims or Christians, North or South and across the ethnic nationals is the same thing.