Friday, 15 February 2013

Opinion: Self-Serving Cry Of Marginalization By Nigeria’s Elites

Nigeria's President Jonathan

By Jaye Gaskia

My take on this cry of marginalization, is that for all intents and purposes, it is a cry that is even among the Yorubas, quite a sectional, and perhaps self serving one!

A section of the Yoruba elite who have lost out at home are now trying to whip up sentiments in order to win concessions at the center. I do not think that those who are gained ascendancy at home consider the Yoruba to be marginalized! What real significant difference would occupying any of those position by the political elite making the the claim, make in or to the lives of ordinary Yorubas? When under the OBJ presidency a section of the Yoruba elites occupied those positions, what significant difference did it make to the ordinary Yorubas and other citizens who lived in the south west?

In reality, has this so-called marginalization led to the undermining in any way, much less fundamentally, the business interests of the Yoruba elites for example?

Is the south west being at this moment governed by non Yorubas? Has it at any time in its history been governed by non Yorubas? I can even make bold to stir the hornet's nest and make what may be considered, a controversial assertion: 'The Yorubas, within the context of the politics of Nigeria, have made progress whenever they have been autonous of the center because of being governed by parties who are in the opposition at the federal level; than when they have been governed by same party as that at the center or by parties in alliance with the governing party at the center!

This claim of marginalization as in most of the cases of marginalization pushed and politicized by the political elites is at its heart very self serving. And in this particular instance of the Yoruba, at this moment in time, even more self serving than most!

We heard a lot from the political elite of the Niger Delta before GEJ's ascendancy about the marginalization of the Niger Delta [which is true in reality; but by which the elite meant their exclusion from access to the spoils of the federal center]. So is it that the fundamentals of the Niger Delta have been radically altered since GEJ? Is that why the Niger Delta is 'No longer marginalized'? Will the marginalization return the moment the Niger Delta elite lose their current first class access to the spoils of office at the federal center?

In reality, the real marginalization is of the under-privileged non elites, whose slum dwellings are routinely demolished; who are routinely evicted from urban centers; whose livelihoods sources are routinely criminalized; and whose living conditions have been permanently made hellish and unbearable. Or take the youth, among whom unemployment and unemployability has reached pandemic proportions! These are the real marginalized; and it is this truly marginalized citizen across the country who need to come together and organise themselves politically and autonomously of this light fingered thieving ruling class; in order to take the necessary political Action to Take Back Nigeria; and achieve our National Liberation and Social Emancipation.

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