By Douglas Anele
In 1983, Africa’s greatest novelist, Prof. Chinua Achebe, published a little book entitled The Trouble with Nigeria. In that book, after dissecting and lamenting the inability of the country to live up to the high expectations at independence given her expansive human and natural resources, located the problem squarely at the feet of incompetent leadership.
On the surface that conclusion seems justified considering that since independence, Nigeria has been under the blizzard of mediocre leadership such that at the moment she is the Mecca of global poverty and one of the most terrorised countries in the world. B
ut a deeper analysis reveals that the main reason for the paralysing recycling of mediocre leaders especially at the federal level is the inordinate ambition of descendants of the arch jihadist, Usman Dan Fodio, to entrench Fulani political domination of the country, which entails Islamisation as well.
This point has been corroborated severally in this column with explicit pronouncements at different times and occasions by AlhajiAhmadu Bello, Alhaji Abubakar TafawaBalewa, and Yusuf MaitamaSule. Even so, there is a statement credited to Mallam Baba Garuba and published in the December 30, 1964 issue of the West African Pilot in which he reiterated Ahmadu Bello’s ambition of Fulani conquest of southern Nigeria.
Recently Bala Mohammed, Bauchi State governor, clearly stated that there is a programme to resettle the Fulani across West Africa and the Sahel in Nigeria. All this put together, including decades-old northern domination of the military in terms of both personnel and installations, points to one conclusion, namely, that the likelihood of an ongoing clandestine northern (or more precisely Fulani) agenda to make Nigeria the homeland of the Fulani is not as far-fetched as some people might think.
Having said that, no administration has given credence to the suspicion of Fulanisation of Nigeria (and all the existential dangers it portends for non-Fulani and non-Muslims in the country) than the current government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari has almost erased all doubts about the plan through his extremely skewed nepotic appointments to the commanding heights of the security services and allied departments and units in favour of the north, a section of the country that contributes less than twenty percent of the funds in the national treasury. Now consider this: Aside from the bizarre kid-glove handling of the atrocities by Fulani herdsmen and bandits, the federal government seems intent on handing over ancestral lands in the south to the Fulani through outrageous policies and programmes.
From cattle colony to Ruga to grazing reserves to grazing routes to National Livestock Transformation Plan to grazing routes – these are strategies by the Buhari administration to seize lands from indigenous people and give them to herdsmen who predominantly belong to his Fulani ethnic group. Seeing the weird pro-herders policies of the Buhari government, anyone still sceptical about the intentions of the Fulani in Nigeria needs to see a psychiatrist or neurologist urgently.
It is so disheartening but not surprising that anytime the longstanding provocative northern quest for political domination and parasitic dependence on the south is challenged or criticised (sometimes even by honest northerners really fed up with the nauseating injustice inherent in Nigeria’s political power structure)a handful of prominent Fulani caliphate colonialists would start vituperating and threatening fire and brimstone, so to speak, instead of looking at the matter dispassionately to ascertain whether it has merit or not.
Moreover, some go to the extent of distorting history and making spurious claims to buttress the very questionable notion that Nigerians are better together as one country and that disintegration entails violence and war. All this, in my opinion, is refuted by repeated failures of the ruling elite to evolve solid institutions and traditions that can effectively check the centrifugal tendencies inherent in the ethnic, religious, and socio-cultural differences especially between the north and the south and generate in the citizenry consciousness of belonging to a nation bound together by a common historical destiny.
For sure if Nigeria breaks up now she would not be the only multi-ethnic multi-religious country that has evolved on to two nor more independent countries as a result of failure to settle amicably serious disagreements between different ethno-linguistic, cultural and religious groups.
For example, after several unsuccessful attempts at unification the Indian subcontinent fragmented into Pakistan and Bangladesh, whereas the Old Malaysian federation became Malaysia and Singapore. Consequently, it is a pernicious falsehood peddled by warmongers and bulimic beneficiaries of the current grotesque system of robbing Peter to pay Paul that the only way Nigeria can evolve into three or more sovereign countries is through armed confrontation.
To be clear, there is a high probability that Nigeria can survive in the long run either by reverting to the 1963 republican constitution negotiated bypioneer iconic politicians of the First Republic led by Dr.Nnamdi Azikiwe or evolve into a confederation just like Great Britain. But the major stumbling blocks are Fulani caliphate colonialists and their avaricious foot soldiers in the south and middle-belt totally lacking in strategic critical understanding of the imperatives of nation-building and necessity to unite against a common oppressor.
Notwithstanding concerted efforts by members of the ruling elite (including the somewhat invisible but extremely powerful caliphate government behind the visible government) to hide the truth, Nigeria as presently constituted and governed will collapse at some point in the future.
This prediction bears repeating, for aside from the centrifugal forces in the DNA of every multiply plural geopolitical formation, Nigeria was founded, and is presently standing on the foundation of deceit and oppressive internal colonisation held together by threat of violence against anyone or group calling for self-determination.
To cut a long story short, British colonial rule has been surreptitiously replaced with Fulani caliphate colonialism.However colonisation, as every 100 level student of history knows, cannot endure forever.
Going back to the parasitic relationship between northern and southern Nigeria, remember that sometime ago Prof. AngoAbdullahi claimed that before independence funds from northern Nigeria were used to develop the south.
Prof. Abdullahi’s ridiculous false claim was masterfully debunked by Prof. B.I.C. Ijoma who presented irrefutable documentary evidence showing that the reverse was actually the case, that indeed northern Nigeria’s economic dependence on the south began as far back as 1913 when the colonial administration began appropriating surplus funds from the latter to offset debts incurred in administering and building infrastructure in the former.
Without any scintilla of doubt the entire Nigerian project was conceived and implemented by British arch-imperialists Lord Viscount Harcourt and Lord Lugard for three major reasons that had nothing to do with the indigenous communities brought together to create the country. The first, and most obvious, was optimum economic exploitation of the colonial amalgam.
The second reason involves using surplus revenue from the south to fund colonial northern Nigeria and, as a consequence, relieve the British treasury from that burden. Finally, the amalgamation was for administrative convenience with respect to the colonial power, implemented through the indirect rule system which was quite successful in the north but failed woefully especially in the Igbo heartland.
Fulani caliphate colonialists always had the ambition of annexing the south as continuation of the jihad launched at the beginning of the nineteenth by Usman Dan Fodio.
To be continued...