Candid Notes

April 6, 2021

Yinka Odumakin’s last column

Yinka Odumakin’s last column

Popular Vanguard columnist, Yinka Odumakin, succumbed to the cold hands of death on Saturday, April 3, leaving his family and indeed most Nigerians, especially his readers, heart-broken. This was the last column he wrote for Vanguard on March 8 before his transition.

Decoding ‘no flight zone’ over Zamfara?

OUR parents out of ignorance over the demographic contradictions in the North were fond of saying: Gambari pa Fulani o lejo, Hausa lo pa Hausa(There is no case when a Gambari man kills Fulani as it is an intra-Hausa feud). We soaked the lie that the Fulani who were the last set of people to arrive Nigeria from the Futa Jalon were of the same status with the Hausa whom they deceived after the 1804 Jihad to accept “pure Islam”.

The Hausa were gullible and killed their kings so Fulani could rule over them. Then the Fulani moved on the Kanuris who told them they already had pure Islam before the Fulanis.

The Fulani subtly dropped Fulfude language to fully culturally assimilate the Hausa by speaking their language. A Fulani in the midst of his fellow Fulani can codeswitch to Fulfude and the Hausa will not understand a word.

It was after they finished the conquest of the Hausa that they moved to conquer the Kanuri who resisted them and said they were Muslims before them. This is the reason why all Hausaland today are under Fulani Emirs but the Kanuris are under Shehus. It has been strongly suggested that the Boko Haram insurgency partly has its origin in the Kanuri-Fulani feud.

I recall how one Hausa young man was making progressive contributions at the 2014 National Conference. It was at lunch time that I saw a Second Republic PRP Rep, who passed on recently, scolding him on the corridor thus: “It seems we are beginning to give too much education to some of you.” That is the depth of contempt the Fulani have for Hausa.

The “next level” Fulani suzerainty has brought out the worst in their people in the two leading parties who now talk to the rest of us like Boko Haram and Miyetti Allah. Only those who are not versed in the Fulani way would not understand the indifference of the Presidency to Zamfara school girls’ recent abduction. Much as Governor Bello Matawale tried to manage the situation, he was forced to make a declaration at some point.

[ALSO READ] A radio station for the Police

He first told the country what we all knew all along that we would be shocked at the identities of those behind kidnappings of school pupils and that there were people paying so that the abducted school children are not released. These are weighty allegations that a proper government in a country that has not totally failed should be interested in and investigate.

The shameful option was to declare war on Zamfara by declaring a “no fly” zone on the state. The National Security Adviser told reporters in Abuja that President Buhari has ordered that a no-fly zone be placed on Zamfara as part of measures to crush bandits operating in the state.

The NSA said the security agencies have been mandated “to go after all non-state actors whose activities are inimical” to peace. The marines are all ears but we know the object of the measure is to block the engagement of the state in productive mining activity and it flows from the clash of civilisations.

Food blockage and wake -up call to the South West

The recent strike by an Association of Foodsellers was a rude and crude attempt by some janjaweeds to hurt the Yoruba and other nationalities of the South. But it is an opportunity for us to address ourselves to the Nigerian affliction.

I recall being with Dr. Amos Akingba about two years ago and a nephew phoned from Ode Irele to inform him that he was hungry. He told him he should wait for his driver to come and bring yam for him from his backyard in Lagos. The question of food security has always been on the agenda of mini-national conferences I regularly had with Mr Femi Falana, SAN, who says it is embarrassing that our young people now engage only in Okada business.

He wonders what our governors are doing with respect to food security like Chief Obafemi Awolowo who established farm settlements all over the zone. The settlements have all become relics today. The governors must get back to that season and massively engage our young people in agriculture.

Vanguard News Nigeria