By Kayode Emola
It is no longer news that the greatest challenge Nigeria is facing in its nascent democracy is insecurity. It is also not news that the Fulani militias has been described by the global terror index as the fourth deadliest terrorist organisation in the world. Perhaps what could be breaking news is that the Nigeria government could now be classed as a state sponsor of terrorism. Many people may not consider the latter as a very serious threat to humanity but if the Lugard 1919 report is anything to go by, we would know that we are a very precarious situation in Nigeria.
Lord Lugard had stated in his report that Barth described northern Nigeria as the densest in all of Africa some sixty years before Britain acquired it in 1900. However, due to inter-tribal wars and above all slave raids by the Fulani militias, their population dwindled significantly. For anyone who cares to listen, they will know that there is a history of violence in the Fulani DNA. This would perhaps explain why the Fulani militias rose to prominence in the global index for terrorism in the world.
Why give the Fulani so much control in Nigeria?
Giving the earlier anecdote, and the history of the Fulani people to violence, one would have thought a great deal of effort to deradicalize these people would have been put in place in the form of basic education. Alas, this was not done and the menace was left to fester making the world a more dangerous place to live in. Maybe the neglect of this simple task to educate a lawless people is benefiting some group of people and/or even foreign government who sees Nigeria as a cow to be milked whatever the cost.
In the past when Britain took over the reins of northern and southern Nigeria as a protectorate in 1900 having conquered some places and signing treaties in other places. It could be recalled that the taking over of most nationalities in Nigeria by Britain wasn’t done on a gentle man basis. For instance, the taking over of Bonny in Rivers meant that its King, Jaja of Opobo had to be kidnapped by the British vice consul Henry Hamilton Johnston. Johnston had invited Opobo for negotiations over taxation of British merchants who sell goods to the interior of Nigeria only to arrest him on arrival aboard a British vessel in 1887. Opobo was then tried in Ghana before being exiled to London and then Saint Vincent in the West Indies and then to Barbados.
Looking at all these antecedents, it goes to show that the violence that has occurred in the geographical location called Nigeria till today has been brought in by Foreigners. First by the marauding Fulani invaders who came to settle in the northern part of Nigeria in the guise of reviving the dwindling Islamic religion in the North. The second is by the British who did not hide their intentions to trade freely and would do anything and/or take anyone out of their way to get their desired goal. Such was the fate that befell Oba Ovanramwen of Benin on 9 February 1897 when he was deposed and sent into exile in Calabar.
When the British was reluctantly giving up direct control of Nigeria in 1960, it thought of a way to retain power for herself. Knowing fully well that leaving Nigeria and its vast resources in the hands of the natives could pose a challenge for ongoing exploitation. The British thought of no other tribe than their Fulani friends who could be confused as Nigerians to hand over the control of the country. They knew that giving the control of the country to a like-minded people will in turn hand over control of the lost empire back to them to indirectly continue to reap the benefits of a country they acquired for free according to Lord Lugard’s document 1919.
The undoing of the Fulani reign of terror
It is now very clear to all concerned that the Fulani people whether hiding in the forest or hiding in the seat of power in Nigeria desires nothing but power. They are now so power drunk that they unleash mayhem to their host communities who have been accommodating for over hundreds of years. This mayhem and intolerance is what is driving the agitations of the Southern and Middlebelt people to demand the disintegration of the country. Had the Fulani been willing to live peacefully with their host communities, there would have been room for everyone to thrive. Their arrogance and genocidal behaviour towards the natives are now so vile that the whole world can no longer stay silent.
Looking at multiple horrific videos on a regular basis of the beheading of innocent people by the Fulani people is now a worrisome phenomenon in Nigeria. The kidnapping of women and children in hospitals, farms, schools, churches etc is now making the world alive to the atrocities being committed by the Fulani people both in the forests and in the cities. The atrocities being committed by the Fulani people are not limited to the forest and cities alone but are now being exhibited by the central government of Nigeria. This was brazenly exhibited when the Nigerian government performed a rendition in the kidnap of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from Kenya in June. As though that was not enough, it went ahead to attack a private citizen Chief Sunday Adeyemo aka Igboho Oosa in his private home on 1 July, killing two of his associates and arresting 12 other people.
To further complicate matters for itself, the Nigeria government is now holding the detained people for more than two weeks without charging the case the court. Perhaps the government is scared that its inadequacies in the application of justice will further expose it as an agent of terror to its own citizens. For all it seems, the Nigeria government do not play by international norms and regulations. It behaves as though it is a rouge nation. If that were to be the case. It begs the question about what the Yoruba and other indigenous nationalities in Nigeria must do to free themselves from this mess.
How the Yoruba must respond to this wave of terror
The Yoruba people and other nationalities that make up the Nigerian state must now realise that our liberality has earned us nothing but slavery in the past and neo-slavery in this present time. We have left the most important and significant function of government to outsiders. In that we have contracted the security and safety of our lives and property to foreigners. That is why we get being chased about from pillar to post wherever we find ourselves. We must all together realise that there is only one task at hand and that task is to protect ourselves and the lives of our fellow Yoruba people and their properties. Once we are able to achieve this, the remaining challenges we face as a people will almost disappear as there will be level playing field for everyone to thrive in our new Yoruba Nation.