Reflections of 98-Year-Old Patriot: A Message to Those Planning to Rig Elections
by Tanko Yakasai OFR
I have been pondering on what motivates those who plan to rig or scuttle the upcoming elections in Nigeria and particularly the presidential election. Do they believe they can do so without consequences?
In 1966when the fist attempted military coup was made. I was at that time the national publicity secretary of the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU), secretary of the Northern Progressives Front, and deputy national president of the Nigerian Youth Congress, during which I witnessed the tragic events of the 1956 coup attempt, in which late Chukuma Nzeogwo and his other misguided associates assassinated Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa our first and so far the only prime minister for Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna of Sokoto also the only premier of northern Nigeria, Brigadier General Zakariya Maimalari, Colonel Yakubu Pam, Colonel Kur Muhammad and other military officers were murdered by he coup plotters.
I was also present during the Kano riot, which was a response to the murders of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and others I mentioned earlier. That tragic event resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and took place in various parts of northern Nigeria. The exact number of casualties, both military and civilian, has yet to be determined.
From this tragedy, I learned that when people are consumed by their inordinate desires, they become blind to the bigger picture. This is why I want to advise those considering manipulating the results of coming presidential elections not to take any actions that could plunge our nation into catastrophe.
At 98 years old and as an only surviving child of my parents, with only a few relatives, all I have are my children, and grandchildren. I am a billionaire not even a businessman. My concern is not for myself, but for Nigeria and its people. I believe that for Nigeria to properly care for its teeming god given population everyone in the country must live in peace and harmony. While some may not share this patriotic concern, it is born from my patriotism and desire for the survival of Nigeria and wellbeing of its people. There are those who are only concerned with their own silfish interests unconcerned about the country and its people. Such people are carloads and unpatriotic.
Furthermore, it is crucial that Nigeria develops in order to properly care for its burgeoning population. This can only be achieved if the country remains United, peaceful and harmonious. Those who prioritize winning the upcoming elections at all cost may not understand my concern for the survival of Nigeria and its people, which only stems from my patriotism. I can assure all that this concern is genuine. I am in politics for patriotic reasons, not personal gain.
Unfortunately, there are unpatriotic individuals who are solely focused on their own selfish and narrow interests and do not care about the future of the country and its people. But there are many Nigerians who are only concern about the country presperity and of its people but who are concerned about peace and harmony as well as peaceful coexistence of the over 200 millions of its people and humanity. I therefore urge patriotic citizens to rise in defense of our motherland and its future not to allow the tiny misguided minority among Nigerians who are not looking at greater picture of the country. We should together engage in cooperative understanding of doing our atmost endeavors and cynergy to save the country and protect its future.
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria long live its peace and prosperity.
Tanko Yakasai OFR
Sunday February 5, 2023.