This Fulani narrative and the apartheid of our times
By Prince Charles Dickson, PhD
Police van used to convey the arrested #OccupyLekkiTollGate protesters on Saturday, February 13, broke down. The van had to be pushed by the officials of the LCC and the protesters eventually transferred into another vehicle…
The Sultan of Sokoto, HRH Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, last month stated that seven to eight out of every ten kidnappers arrested in Nigeria are Fulani. Abubakar disclosed this at a meeting of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders’ Association (MACBAN).
However, the monarch said that it was wrong to label all Fulani criminals or use ‘Fulanis herdsmen criminal’ to explain developments because of the misdeeds of some of them.
He said, “I am a Fulani, and I am not a bad man. I am also not a criminal. Those engaged in one forms of crime or another are across the country. It is not proper to refer to any tribe to describe individuals’ crime.
So, who do you support, Ortom or Bala or the exceptional agabada wearing Ganduje, Sunday or Makinde, Kukah, or the zoophobic Nnamdi Kanu, politics or reality…are you Fulani, are you native, are you a farmer? Is farming and herding not exactly in the same fold as agricultural practices, should we still be herding? Do Fulani herdsmen kill?
Who are the foreign Fulani herdsmen, are they different from Killer herdsmen, kidnappers, marksmen, gunmen and bandits? Who owns the Nigerian forests, and are forests made to just be hideouts for cows, how about that thing with cows and Tse-tse flies and how the bush is not exactly the best place for them?
How about Fulanis who are not herdsmen, like Fulani Christians, or Fulani pagans, are all farmers Christians, are some Muslims not farmers and simply herbalists or voodoo practitioners?
Okay, let’s shake the table, are Ibos largely 419 kingpins, just like a section of Edo state women are Italian queenpins? Are Ibos ritualists, or how about that brother Evans, but wait o, I know of many Hausa Alhajis and Mallams engaged in money rituals,(does this money enter CBN vault eventually)? Have you ever been threatened by an Ijebu man on juju or jazz matters?
Don’t get tired of me, my questions, my naivety and these perceptions, are the Yorubas the bastion of juju, or Edo the home of otumokpo, have you taken Kayan mata prepared in Maidugiri by the Shuwa Arabs, but I hear the Yorubas are cowards, how about Nupe juju or the Igala brand? The kingship of credit card fraud, drug lordship and yahoo-yahoo remain contestable but very few Hausa lads engage in such?
One tribe sells the drugs, another takes them, but we forget that another ethnic group heads agencies that are enabling the crimes, one brings crime, another tribe facilitates so which ethnic goons are responsible for the baby factories,(I hear they even harvest breastmilk these days, and pay with bitcoin). The Egbas and Ijebus do not agree, or Umuleri, and Aguleri, how about the Ibos and spare parts, the Yoruba women and plastics, or the Hausa man driving long haulage vehicles?
With all the marginalisation, there are more Universities in Ogun state, than Kano, more money in Kano, plenty illeterates and poverty there, ooops there are more Christian Universities than Muslim ones, on a ration 9:1 yet the entire nation suffers from educational jihad, I wish I was wrong…but really am I?
Why is that the elites marry themselves, infant despite all the war of tribes Sir Yoruba Bankole, went to Kebbi to marry ‘Fulani gal’, Chai poor man don suffer, Rich marry rich, and no religion, or ethnicity, poor fights poor and remain poor, I think I am right?
Do you know that Plateau and Nassarawa battled for assets the way, Imo state sacked workers that are Indigenous to Abia state, and we still converse about the ‘Iboness’ of GEJ, Rotimi Ameachi, or even Wike, did you hear a northern elder say they would accept any Ibo for president as long as he is not from the southeast?
Okay, I believe there is islamisation, but then what is salvation, and whatever happened to our African Traditional Religion and practices, how about creating a juju agenda, all our prayers and voodoo has not given us security of good governance?
A muslim President, and a Christian Vice, and vice versa, who e epp? Wetin roll-on no go see for armpit, some of us are of mixed heritage, half-caste, quarter-caste, religious-caste and all kinds of caste, yet rather than call crime by its name we look for the ethnicity and religion of crime. We celebrate when the list of criminals are released because it is an Emeka, and you are a Bayo, and seem to be happy that Ali cannot speak English, did you see that video where kidnappers were caught and couldn’t speak fulfulde or Hausa yet the captors insisted they must be Northerners by fire by force.
There is a tripod of natives, the Fulanis and politics…so the respected Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Mahmoud Gumi, takes a Paul-like a missionary journey voyage to the Fulanis with meeting with some warlords in military gear and wielding assorted firearms that make our army look like roasts, we all start narratives and it is difficult to see any peace in the horizon, not when the cleric calls for amnesty, or tell us that these dudes are looking to buy warheads. We just like trouble, but this one certainly would do no one any good.
Southwest, east and south where natives have issued eviction orders from their communities to the Fulani, and even sadly followed their threat with action. All these are a reflection of the fact that people are not made to face the full or any length of the law. The narratives bear a collective to the fact that it is our crime, our thieves, our money, like the NNDC drama has come and would go, or the Kilishi producing DG of that agency on research, or that cosmetic woman that is at the Commodities market and knows not the price of commodities.
Beyond being plagued by federal character, suffering catchment area pandemic, there are thieves and robbers masquerading as Christians and Muslims, MURIC and CAN. I hold no one political correctness, I say the truth, and we all die once, and one should die for honour, although relative in this clime.
The Fulanis need to stand and be counted with honour, the current nonsense must stop, should stop, whoever is responsible for the worsening security situation is in collaboration with our security personnel, the lack of intel, the type of manpower deployed, the environment, the apathy amongst forces, makes some of the narratives look like something from a fairytale, yet this is no fairytale.
Everybody cannot be wrong, but not everybody is right, the raison de etre adduced by the presidency (one which increasingly Nigerians do not understand) that the President cannot speak on every matter is as lame as stupid can be. The situation on the ground is tilting towards dangerous dimensions, to say the least.
Is the President no longer Fulani? His silence is not wooden, talkmore of golden, and it puts the majority and nomadic pastoral Fulani (who should start thinking this nomadic thing again) in danger and an entire nation in dire fear, you need no soothsayer to say that there is an increasing hatred for a particular ethnic group.
Unguarded utterances everywhere because those who should make guarded statements and enforce the same are slumbering. The stereotyping needs to be addressed, innocent lives are lost everyday, the figures are alarming and some conversations are a collective insult to our sensibilities. If there’s a Mr. Buhari, redemption slips away, there is a lack of leadership politically and morally, the killers are not Nigerians, Fulanis are blamed, the government headed by one should be bothered, if he is not, we are.
We need to look at the picture of protesters and bandits, if a police van used to convey the arrested #OccupyLekkiTollGate protesters broke down, and van had to be pushed by the officials of the LCC.., we need to ask the right questions, and be ready to answer them, the cow enter farm story is a BIG FAT LIE! Small arms and light weapons litter everywhere, the Fulani killer herdsmen are all smokescreens of a larger problem. It was a matter of time, apartheid too ended but then came xenophobia—Only time will tell