What could have caused the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to recently talk like a separatist leader among some of his audience? What does he gain from such an act of divisiveness? What could have triggered him to speak in the mode of a secessionist?
Nigeria, by estimation is a population of 218 million people and is home to over 250 different ethnic groups. So, what made him not understand the nature of the ethnic groups by the rough percentages of: Hausa 30%, Yoruba 15.5%, Igbo (Ibo) 15.2%, Fulani 6%, Tiv 2.4%, Kanuri/Beriberi 2.4%, Ibibio 1.8%, Ijaw/Izon 1.8%, and the other 24.7%?
With the current population dynamics and social currents taking place in Nigeria, with the collective call for unity on display and the need to find a way to pull all people from the pain of insecurity, dislike, poverty, and suffering, Atiku dug into the mind of tribalism, which is a loyalty or preference to one’s own people. Atiku dug into the ways of separatism, which is the advocacy of ethnic, tribal, religious, and regional separation from the other groups of Nigeria.
In terms of political speech-production blunders, could Atiku have suffered from a slip of the tongue, which is a part of speech error, a factor that may have triggered unusual recent remarks that most of all strides have become concerned about, see media headings such as:
“Northerners Don’t Need Yoruba Or Igbo Candidates.”
“Northerners need me, not a Yoruba or Igbo candidate.”
“Northerners should vote for me because I’m one of you.”
“North should vote me a northerner, not a Yoruba or Igbo.”
“North should vote for a northerner as president in 2023, not an Igbo or Yoruba.”
“Northerners Don’t Want a Hausa, Igbo, or Yoruba President.”
“Northerners need someone from the north as president.”
Northerners need me, not Yoruba or Igbo candidate- Atiku pic.twitter.com/D6v1r0it17
— Shadrach Joshua ObiFlagboysquad (@shadrachjoshua4) October 15, 2022
Atiku Abubakar, a 75-year-old man who served as Nigeria’s vice president from 1999 to 2007 during Olusegun Obasanjo’s presidency, and at various times participated in presidential elections, was he having what is known as “senior moments” or dementia—the loss of memory and thinking skills severe enough to interfere with independent and appropriate expression? I don’t know because I haven’t tested him psychologically or seen any cognitive or neuro-psychological report on him.
Could Atiku be suffering from “Wike Stress,” speaking of Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, an apparently known power-drunk and headstrong Nigerian politician? Could Atiku be experiencing poor sleep, agism, and even some medications’ side effects, as these can interfere with one’s memory.
Why I don’t know if these obvious discriminatory thoughts, tribalistic, separatist, and divisive expressions are the result of memory lapses coming out in the form of slipups or something more serious psychologically, it is clear that Peter Gregory Obi, who has emerged as a political force inter-regionally and has electrified the people, is stressing and leading his major political opponents like Atiku down the path of self-destructive and possible disastrous political ending.
This remains an open question for all Nigerians as they watch some of these politicians stoking ethnic resentment and fear as we draw near the 2023 Nigerian presidential election, which will be held on February 25, 2023. Let’s hope that day comes.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, who was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria to a father who served in the Nigeria police for 37 years, is an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult and child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional, and Career Development. He is a former Interim Associate Dean/Assistant Professor at Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African Settings In 2011, he introduced State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and Nasarawa State University, where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. He is currently a Virtual Behavioral Leadership Professor at ISCOM University, Republic of Benin. Founder of the proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien Open University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of Truth, Ethics, and Openness. Over forty academic publications and creations, at least 200 public opinion pieces on African issues, and various books have been written by him. He specializes in psycho-prescriptive writings regarding African institutional and governance issues. His most recent textbook publication is Concise Psychology: An Integrated Forensic Approach to Psychology for Global African Settings.
Prof. Oshodi wrote in via firstname.lastname@example.org