PENDULUM: The Truth My Fulani Friends Must Accept
by Dele Momodu
“Everything that has a beginning must have an end.
As they say on the street: “E fit take time, but one day, one day, monkey go go market.”
…“I love this quote about injustice: “Every person remembers some moment in their life where they witnessed some injustice, big or small, and looked away because the consequences of intervening seemed too intimidating. But there’s a limit to the amount of incivility and inequality and inhumanity that each individual can tolerate. I crossed that line. And I’m no longer alone.” – Edward Snowden. _
One day, and very soon, Nigerians will cross that line too.
…”For there is indeed a limit to human endurance. One day, we all shall rise to say Enough is enough. One day!” _
Fellow Nigerians, I have had to shelve the continuation of the celebration of Ovation International magazine at 25 in order to address matters of pressing national importance. I have just received some new horrific videos of bestial killings in some parts of Nigeria, and it is obvious Satan himself has landed in Nigeria.
The above quotation is from my cerebral Sister-in-law, Sister T, whose brain I respect a lot and whose comportment and composure are remarkably wonderful. Not much fazes her. She simply takes things in her stride. She has several outstanding features, qualities and principles. Above all else, and germane to today’s epistle, she was a Buhari fanatic. But today, she has parted company with him, for obvious reasons. Before I continue, let me introduce myself properly. It is important and necessary to do so as we currently live in the age of cynicism and ignorance. I do not want to assume that everyone knows my antecedents. I used to wonder why Chief Moshood Abiola used to introduce himself in those good old days. For a man who was probably the most famous man of his generation, I found it strange that he still greeted people with, “My name is Moshood Abiola!” He explained that one should never assume that everyone knows him. I later saw sense in that statement because it is simplistic but true. No matter how popular or notorious you are, a lot of people will never have heard of you and even if they have, most people will not have seen your face before.
So, let’s now go to my own personal introduction. My name is Dele Momodu. I’m a man of many parts, but I love to be known and described principally as a reporter and a journalist without borders. With all sense of humility and sincerity, I am bold enough to say that I’m a completely detribalized man. I come from a mixed ethnic and religious background. My Dad was from Edo State and my Mum came from Osun State. My paternal grandparents were Muslims, while my parents were Christians. I was born in Yorubaland and had all my education in Yorubaland. I studied Yoruba as my first Degree at University and became accustomed to African traditional religion, particularly Ifa, and its divination. I have traveled globally across five continents, spanning more than 60 countries, territories, and islands. I have interacted with lumpen proletariats, prominent members of the bourgeoisie, as well as top officials at the highest echelons of government. In all, I have maintained my sanity, humility and modesty. I am able to tell my friends the truth, whether they are in power or not. This is a rarity in our country, where leaders of all hues and colorations are treated as demi-gods. They also consider themselves as such, and where the lives and livelihoods of most people depend on government patronage. Let me now go to the main meat of my epistle today.
My letter today is meant for my Fulani friends. I know and have many of them as buddies. They are naturally handsome and beautiful, depending on the sex. This is not a stereotype. The educated ones are mostly so sweet-natured and mild-mannered. The unlettered ones are mostly the exact opposite. I apologize if I over-generalize; that is my opinion, which is shared by a lot of other compatriots, including the Fulani themselves. I have undertaken some research about the origin and character of the Fulani people lately as a result of the unfortunate hoopla they have generated in many West African countries, Nigeria in particular. According to my investigations, the Fulani are largely itinerant in nature. They have the power and the stamina to trek long distances with or without their cows. They pride themselves as warriors and the advent of Major General Muhammadu Buhari – a man seen as epitomizing all the virtues and vices ascribed to the Fulani and who they see as an Icon and a Messiah – as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has really emboldened the Fulani. The result is that more than ever before, because of the manner of governance of Mr. President, the Fulani now arrogantly consider themselves as being superior to other tribes that make up Nigeria, including their other Northern brethren.
I used to argue that Nigeria is indivisible, and we must protect its unity with everything we have but not any longer. While I may not yet have crossed the Rubicon, I’m sufficiently convinced and reasonably assured that Nigeria is truly on the fringe of another civil war if we do not push back. I know that those in government are not likely to see or feel the heat like most of us watching from the sidelines. President Buhari has obviously driven Nigeria closer to war than any of our leaders since 1967. What is worse is his nonchalant and reckless demeanor and outlook. He just does not seem to care about whatever happens to the country he campaigned vigorously and beguilingly to lead and on which basis the unsuspecting majority of Nigerians entrusted their future to him! This is a man who appeared to wear his patriotism on his sleeve when he cried bitterly after being adjudged as having lost the 2011 presidential elections. He cut a sorry, pathetic figure then. It now appears that this was all part of a charade aimed at wooing and ingratiating himself into the heart of Nigerians who naturally sympathized with him.
While it is very convenient for our Fulani compatriots to play the victim and blame everyone else for the woes they have brought upon all of us for no justifiable reason, they need to be told the gospel truth. Many of us do not hate the Fulani, but they obviously hate us non-Fulani people, especially those of us who are south of the Niger. They hate many facts about us. They hate our liberal nature and our psychedelic and glamorous lifestyles, but we do not concern ourselves with how they live their own lives. It is their choice that they decide to live a spartan, almost ascetic existence out of suppression and subjugation. We are very tolerant and do not even mind that this tends to draw us back. Many of the Fulani who are not astute enough view us as arrogant, but this is not true. What they call arrogance is a product of our Western education and robust knowledge of the world, which is in stark contrast to the Arabic education that most of them possess and embrace. We do not begrudge them their education which is steeped in religious mores, because we recognize that we live in a secular nation. We appreciate that Arabic education is itself of a high standard and encompasses almost all facets of human life and endeavor. In contrast, Western Education may sometimes be narrow and limited in certain aspects. What is not in doubt is that Western education breeds in us a degree of confidence that our fellow Fulani citizens see as a threat.
The Fulani have been over-pampered in Nigeria. We have ascribed to them humongous mythical powers which they do not possess. Because of our conciliatory nature and disposition, we have been complicit in elevating their status and position in the country. For this reason, it has been easy for them to manipulate us into the position where we find ourselves today. Based on this false premise of invincibility, we have allowed the Fulani to hold power for periods much longer than all other ethnic groups in our country. They have almost erroneously come to consider it their birthright to lead Nigeria to the detriment of other sections of the country. Yet, despite all these extended leadership periods, their people remain almost irredeemably pauperized. The reason is simple, lack of proper education (Western or Arabic) and, more importantly, vocational training has rendered many of the Fulani youths unemployed and unemployable. The Northern politicians who chose to use the Almajiris as their slaves and thugs, particularly during elections, have shot themselves in the foot. They have murdered sleep. Restless and restive youths will eventually turn on their handlers. It has always been a disaster waiting to happen. Feudalism could never work for too long and certainly, the opening of eyes occasioned by various forms of social media has meant that these youths can see how they have been repressed and oppressed. Many of the Fulani oligarchs and nouveau riche can no longer visit their villages and sleep with their two eyes closed. Their leaders refused to take a cue from Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whose main legacy was the investment in free education.
Therefore, my first suggestion to our Fulani friends is that they should abolish their wasteful investments in unproductive ventures like foreign exchange trading and ill-thought projects like building a railway to the Niger Republic or the rehabilitation of moribund refineries with whopping billions of US Dollars. Let them embark urgently on compulsory Western education mixed with Arabic norms and teachings. In this way, they will produce stellar citizens who will develop their cattle rearing methods, if indeed they must continue to breed cattle. I am certain though that they will realize that the world does not begin and end with cows!
Next is the overbearing Fulani attitude of cornering every important position in the government. This will always be a significant source of friction. It is not feasible or sustainable in the long term and the Fulani being in the minority, will eventually be the losers. They should realize that their champion, Buhari, has over-acted and overreached himself with his apparent Fulanisation agenda. Neither he nor them can or will last. The more the Southerners protest against clear acts of division, oppression and suppression, the more Buhari provokes them recklessly with more insulting appointments for Northerners. It will all lead to tears for them in the end because when you push people to the wall and there is nowhere else to go, they will come out fighting with all guns blazing.
The Northern Hausa-Fulani irredentists should also understand that Southern Nigeria is too cosmopolitan and globally influential to be conquered by any invading Fulani bandits and terrorists. This is what is playing out now. The Government may be turning a blind eye to their atrocities, but those being pillaged, raped and murdered will not do so. Their home is their castle, and they will stoutly and robustly defend it. This may ultimately be what causes the downfall of Nigeria.
What Buhari has succeeded in doing is uniting the Southerners in the face of common tribulations. I have never seen the level of anger I see today in our country. Only God, through our youths, can possibly avert the monumental collapse of a once beautiful and powerful country brought to its knees by the myopic vision of a bigot. The truth is Nigeria is greater than all this and I believe that as the Fulani youths achieve their emancipation through qualitative education, they will join their Southern brethren in creating a Nigeria based on equality, fairness and justice. This is not a pipe dream. Our country’s youths may well save us.
Before now, I had thought that PMB’S enthronement had a mixed effect, but now, I have grown up to understand the Divine hands in hoisting him as our president.
It’s for all Nigerians to think about the true character posture of a leader rather than focusing on our tribal and religious differences or sentiments.
Before now, I have read about Uthman Dan Fodio as a historical reference, but today, it has dawned on me why Ilorin now has Emir instead of an Oba.
Before, I heard that the Fulani were very good herdsmen with resilient attitudes to migrations. Still, today, they are not only herders but a people with conquering power wherever they lay claim to possess.
PMB’S ENTHRONEMENT has opened my eyes, and I am now beginning to wonder if the fairytale of the Hausas being conquered by the Fulani is no more a fluke.
The aborted coup of RUGA was all that I read to understand that, sooner than later, my children will be hearing that once upon a time, there was a King called the OBI of ONITSHA. Then, the children will be hearing of EMIR OF ONITSHA.
Today, in our 1999 Constitution, nothing of Christianity is mentioned. Still, Islamic religion dotted many clauses, and yet, like morons, we tend to dream of a country under the tenet of secularism.
Today, Nigeria is more vocal in the OIC conglomerate, and as people under a spell, we are still alive to the illusion of secularism.
PMB is truly a blessing to me because I have seen practical nepotistic democracy being exhibited with impunity.
PMB is a blessing because I can now understand that it’s better to destroy your country’s healthcare and educational systems so as to travel abroad for estacodes and leadership egoism.
PMB has helped many of us to appreciate a leadership principle that hinges on old school friends, tribal acquaintances and religious sentiments.
Does it matter anymore when most of our leadership architectures have become a clear case of the Fulani versus the rest of Nigerians?
We are entrapped in a eulogy of confusion; hence the very best of our core leadership portfolios are the exclusive reserves for the Fulani.
Take a routine task of reflecting on the military or security, Judiciary, NASS, NNPC, NCS, NPA, FIRS heads and still tell me that PMB’S tenure has not been a blessing in disguise.
It’s very unfortunate that the South and Middle Belters are still confused, and we need not blame them.
The lopsided state creations have messed up their bargaining powers.
Before 1963, we had four regions that were operating as near self-governments. Suddenly, the military took over and not only unified the regions but, without any constitutional authority, created many states.
Most of these states that were created were the HANDIWORK of the Northern Heads of States. Cleverly, the four regions were divided into 37 states (including FCT). Out of the 37, 20 states came out of one single region – North, whereas the other three regions were pathetically given 17 states.
To date, no one has challenged that absurdity of state creations.
It was even more insulting for anyone to tell me that landmass should be a variable in state creation. That means that Texas and California states would have been divided into probably 20 states because of their landmass.
To date, all the Southern leaders are bemoaning their pains internally.
By the present structure of Nigeria, the North will always dictate everything about the well-being of Nigeria and Nigerians. Invariably, we are all a conquered territory under implied Caliphate manipulations.
Have you wondered why most Southern leaders who want to be recognized in the politics of Nigeria will never speak against the obnoxious laws of PMB? The truth is that they are stooges, awaiting the Northern elite endorsements.
These Southern leaders will prefer to trade the lives of their people than confront PMB.
You had seen how everyone remained quiet when PMB single-handedly appointed Usman as an Acting IGP without the police commission meeting or recommendation.
Indeed, PMB is a blessing to most Nigerians who can sell our principles to the detriment of the masses.
In an ideal environment, PMB would have been reminded of certain issues by NASS, but unfortunately, NASS has equally been annexed by the presidency.
Today, BokoHaramists, Bandits and slaughters are rampaging, and of course, we were told to be lenient with them.
In fact, we were told to hand them over to the police whenever we caught any of them.
What an irony!
A man who has been asked to surrender his weapon is fighting a man who is priding himself with Ak 47.
Who’s supposed to catch the other?
Today, we have seen where terrorists are treated like VIPS and their victims neglected.
Today, there were killings in Anambra, Enugu, Asaba, Ibadan, Ondo, Benue, Plateau, and other places, but that was the best time for PMB to travel for medical checkups.
The heinous crime happened in Imo State recently, where police headquarters were attacked, and prison inmates were released.
From abroad, PMB knew that the attack was the handiwork of terrorists and collaborated by former IGP Adamu, who categorically pointed an accusing finger at IPOB even when IPOB denied any involvement. Meanwhile, the massive massacre in Ebonyi State by alleged herdsmen incursions was never a terrorist attack.
“We have seen the best of our leaders’ stewardships and of course, we are beneficiaries of what we have planted.” DSM.
Let me conclude with a reflexive explanation of my submission in a simple INCOME and EXPENDITURE outlook of PMB’S Stewardship appointments and effects.
Income (Major Revenue Earning Establishments)
1) NNPC – Fulani
2) FIRS – Fulani
3) NCS – Fulani
4) NPA – Fulani
Expenditure (Major Revenue outflows/Expenses Sectors)
1) Defense – Fulani
2) Finance – Fulani
3) Education – Fulani
4) Justice – Fulani
5) FCT – Fulani
6) Agriculture – Fulani
7) Police Affairs – Fulani
- Aviation – Fulani
9) Communication – Fulani
10) Power – Fulani
11) Water Resources – Fulani
12) Humanitarian Affairs – Fulani
13) FERMA – Fulani
14) NYSC – Fulani
15) PTDF – Fulani
16) NTA – Fulani
17) FAAN – Fulani
18) INEC – Fulani
19) Loads of others
20) EFCC – Fulani
21) ICPC – Fulani
22) NFIU – Fulani
If there’s nothing you can take out from my piece, just remember that PMB’s tenure has exposed many Nigerians to ask questions about the future of Nigeria. It has equally exposed us to the enormous power of a president who is, more or less, a supreme being that must not be questioned.
Of course, we have come to the uttermost understanding that tribal and religious sentiments are part of our governance policies.
Last but not the least, Nigerians are clamoring for the restructuring of Nigeria.
The call has never been at this alarming rate, and they’re pointing their accusing fingers at a deformed document that we refer to as our Constitution.
Thank you, PMB, for being our president, and now most of us have come to understand that Nigeria has been mismanaged under a faulty foundation and unpatriotic governments.
First Published April 10, 2021