The Fulani Are Recent Immigrants into Nigeria; Their Ethnic Home Base Is in Futa Jalon Foothills of Guinea – Reveals Prof. Zacharys Gundu
Professor Zacharys Gundu, as an archeologist and anthropologist, is well versed in the historical demography of West Africa as well as relative movements by population groups in this vast territorial landmass. He is of the view that an understanding of the Fulani and their historical origins is essential for one to make sense out of the ethnic cleansing being spearheaded by the Fulani herdsmen terrorist militia and their sponsors in Nigeria’s Middle Belt Region and elsewhere in Southern Nigeria.
According to the university don, the Fulani first secured a foothold in the territory that comprises today’s Nigeria during the Islamic jihad of 1804-1808 instigated and led by the firebrand Fulani Islamic cleric, Sheikh Uthman Dan Fodio. The jihad leader deployed Islamist fervor to mobilize Hausa converts to join the forces that overthrew their kings who had ruled over the area for centuries before the first Fulani ever set foot in Nigeria. The Hausa kings of the era were all beheaded and their thrones were seized by the victorious Fulani-led Islamic jihad. The ruling houses of the collapsing Hausa kingdoms were converted into palaces for the new Fulani emirs who were appointed by Uthman Dan Fodio to rule over the newly created Emirates. Till date, only the Fulani can become an emir in all the emirates of the Sokoto caliphate. The Fulani finagled themselves into ruling over the Hausa majority population in the Arewa North for a century before the arrival of British colonial conquest and amalgamation of Nigeria.
After the British expeditionary army conquered the Sokoto Caliphate in the first decade of the Twentieth Century, the colonial administration chose to make a special deal with the Sokoto caliphate to still remain in power and rule over the newly conquered territories of Northern Nigeria on its behalf. This bizarre arrangement is credited for firming up the hold of Islam over the vast territories of Northern Nigeria, including areas that were never conquered by the Sokoto Caliphate forces before the arrival of British conquest. According to Prof. Gundu, the Fulani continued to enjoy the status of privilege throughout the decades of colonial rule.
With the final exit of British colonial rule over Nigeria at Independence, the Fulani schemed to perpetuate their privileged status over the rest of the country. The political leader of the Northern Region and the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, observed in the immediate aftermath of the October 1, 1960 Independence Day that: –
“The new nation called Nigeria should be the estate of our great-grandfather, Uthman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent the change of power. We use the minorities of the North as willing tools and the South as a conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us, and never allow them to have control over their future.” (Reported in the Parrot Newspaper of 12th October 1960)
The post-colonial history of Nigeria has been burdened by the relentless quest of the Fulani-controlled Islamic Sokoto Caliphate to dominate and impose its will throughout all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. The imposition has been political, but nonstop moves are being made to include economic and sociocultural (a. k. a. Islamization) arenas too. The Fulani-controlled Sokoto Caliphate has successfully imposed the now controversial 1999 Constitution on the rest of the country wherein the entire country is ruled from a single location in Abuja headquarters as a Unitary state. Agitation for a geopolitical restructuring of Nigeria has gained immense momentum to the extent that the issue became the contention that defined the just-concluded 2019 general elections.
The Fulani have no interest in using the political process to achieve their long-term goals in their newfound home base in Nigeria. They now see total domination and Islamization of Nigeria as a do-or-die affair and have thus sent out a clarion call to all ethnic Fulani in the West African sub-region to support and join the war of conquest to secure prime lands for their future use within Nigeria. It is a fact that the ranks of the Fulani herdsmen terrorist militia perpetrating the killings in the Middle Belt are not all Nigerian citizens. The Kaduna state governor, a Fulani, had admitted that funds under his control have been deployed in recruiting and paying for mercenaries who do the killing of the indigenous peoples of Southern Kaduna – his very own state.
The professor believes that teaching the history of the Fulani is an important conduit to make both Nigerians and foreigners to better understand the forces that underlie the murderous ethnic cleansing in Middle Belt Nigeria. The ethnic cleansing is to make way for the massive influx of Fulani nomads roaming the West African Sahel region to massively migrate into Nigeria and take over the territories already cleansed of its indigenous Christian populations as their own.