1914 Amalgamation Was Designed to Make the Rich Resources of the South to Serve Interests of the North – says Otunba Deji Osibogun
Otunba Deji Osibogun of Yoruba ‘KOYA spoke at a gathering of Yoruba leaders in Lagos to deliberate over the fate of that ethnic nationality in the face of escalating violence and insecurity in many parts of the country. As rational people do, a review of the past was used by the presenter to spotlight the complexity and enormity of the problem at hand. Britain coupled its colonial territory, Nigeria, by arbitrarily amalgamating the Southern and Northern Protectorates by Frederick Lugard. The 1914 Amalgamation was designed to make the rich resources of the South to serve the interests of the North which has been under the firm control of the Sokoto Islamic Caliphate long before the arrival of British colonization. After the unification, British administrator still found it expedient to make a separate deal which allowed the minders of the Sokoto Caliphate to continue to rule over the vast territory of Northern Nigeria on behalf of the colonial masters in a bizarre arrangement called “Indirect Rule”.
For 46 years of colonial rule, British colonialism was foisted on hundreds of ethnic nationalities of the North through the antiquated feudal administrative system of the Sokoto Caliphate. The Fulani aristocracy, which has controlled and dominated the Caliphate since its inception, see themselves as partners with Britain in all matters dealing with the governance of Northern Nigeria. At Independence of 1960, Ahmaadu Bello (the Sardauna of Sokoto) made the now infamous proclamation which declared a self-ruled Nigeria as the estate of his great grandfather, Uthman Dan Fodio, a Fulani Muslim cleric who instigated and led the Islamist jihad of 1804-08 to conquer Hausa lands in Northwest Nigeria. From the perspective of the Caliphate prince, the newly independent Nigeria was handed over to the Fulani by the British to do as they wish in the post-Independence era. Otunba Osibogun specifically alleged that specific constitutional and administrative steps were taken by the British, before their final departure, to confer an undeserved advantage to the Fulani over the other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, including Southerners who have never been ruled by the Northern feudal overlords.
The Fulani-controlled Northern Region has regularly attempted to position the geopolitical North as the ordained rulers of the Nigerian geopolitical space. Constitutional imposition which followed decades of arbitrary military rule may have been seen as insufficient in enabling a total Fulanization and Islamization of “the estate of Uthman Dan Fodio” in fulfillment of Ahmadu Bellow’s October 12, 1960 injunction. A novel approach of using violence, both judicially and extrajudicially, was decided by the Fulani irridentist cabal to ensure that all inhabitants of the Middle Belt should act like “willing tools” and stakeholders of the South to understand and accept the fact that they live as slaves in their own ancestral lands regarded as a “conquered territory”. The violence being unleashed since the Buhari ascendancy at the Aso Rock Villa is what the Yoruba caucus has assembled to deliberate upon in Lagos.
Arewa North has never hidden its resolve to depend on the immense resources of the South to foster its constituents’ welfare, if needs be, at the expense of the true heirs of the territories of Southern Nigeria. Gross incompetence, lack of technical knowhow and aversion for modernity by the minders of the Sokoto Caliphate have combined to bring economic woes to all Nigerians, both in the North and South. Centralized governmental powers are exclusively relied upon in handling the subtleties of a modern financial system that today’s Nigeria has become. To say that the country’s economy in total disarray is an understatement. Parochial considerations trump sound economic logic in the siting of a “digitized” refinery at Kaduna. In contrast, the long-established analog petroleum refineries in Port Harcourt and Warri have been abandoned in a state of absolute disrepair.
To assure that the control of all the forces of coercion resides with the Arewa North, all the country’s military installations and training facilities are located outside the South. The Caliphate minders have their minds fixed on the reliance on conquest and subjugation as their vision for retaining the presumed suzerain right to rule over the totality of Nigeria. The deliberations in Lagos and elsewhere in the Southwest, have yielded fruit by the formation of the Amotekun to become a counterpoise against the Arewa hardliners who believe that the unleashing of well-armed Fulani herdsmen terrorist militia on the Middle Belt and South shall soon yield the dividends which may never come if they relied solely on negotiations and routine politics.