By Tola Adeniyi
We have lived with this myth for far too long. We have tolerated and accepted this political deception for as long as anyone can remember. But the myth has to be exposed for what it really is. The lie must be consigned to the dust bin. The mask has been removed. For too long people speak of Hausa-Fulani.
The truth of course is that the so-called Hausa Fulani as a person or human being does not exist. You cannot be Ijaw-Igbo, or Hausa-Gwari. You are either an Ijaw or an Igbo! As closely related the Isokos and Uhrobos are you cannot have an Isoko-Uhrobo as a person. Egbas and Ijebus are within the same linguistic bracket, but you do not have an Ijebu-Egba. You are either Ijebu or Egba. You cannot be both!
The second myth is with the phrase Northern cabal. There is no Northern Cabal. The only all-conquering and scheming cabal in the Nigerian political equation is the #FulaniCabal.
The Hausa had been conquered and controlled since about 200 years ago! And in any case, there is nothing special about cabals.
Cabals exist everywhere in human communities. We have cabals in my home town Ago-Iwoye. We have cabals in Ijebu. There is Egba cabal. There is the Tiv cabal. What we have had all along and had sheepishly submitted to is what I call the derivative of the politics of language.
The Republican Party in the United States is the world’s master in the coinage and deployment of politics of language to deceive, bamboozle and terrify opposition. The politics of language is used to make an unsuspecting opponent lose faith in his or her own self-worth.
I have written copiously on the subject of The Politics of Language and have also given scholarly lectures on the subject at academic forums. I should give an example; everybody knows that all currencies of the world are made of paper. But in the deployment of politics of language the US brands its own currency the Hard Currency making other currencies of other nations to look like tissue paper.
Politics of language refers to some people as ‘people of colour’ as if there is any human being on earth whose skin is colourless! I have argued even at a lecture I gave to a huge international gathering in Edmonton Canada 2002 that there is no Blackman there is no Whiteman. There is no human being whose skin colour is that of charcoal or for that matter the colour of white chalk or cotton wool. The African is chocolate brown while the Caucasian is pink, like colour of a leper!
This brings us to the myth of the so-called Fulani cabal. Like I said we cannot even talk of the North Cabal because the North of the great Sir Ahmadu Bello does not exist anymore. And the Fulani cabal as possessing any extra-ordinary powers like a Magician does not exist, just as the US branded Hard currency does not exist.
Simply put, what we have had and does exist is a group of cunning schemers who have ridden on the legacy of heroic Sir Ahmadu Bello who at a time in history believed that the rest of the contraption called Nigeria must forever be subjugated to the whims and caprices of the Fulani, who at that point in history were the sole power block in the old Northern region.
It is a historical fact that the Fulani Jihadists overran the whole of the expanse of land carved out by Lugard and named Northern Protectorate. The Jihadists also stole parts of the Southern Protectorate until they met their Waterloo at Osogbo. It should also be pointed out that the Jihadists could not penetrate or conquer the Kanuris of Borno Empire who at that point in history had superior civilization and superior knowledge of the Quran and Islam.
Sir Ahmadu Bello was a great tactician, great strategist and great visionary politician who was also lucky to have the backing of the dubious colonial masters. Sir Ahmadu realized very early in his political career and with knowledge of the teachings of immortal Chairman Mao Tzekung of China coupled with the said backing of the insidious British that power flows from the barrel of the gun.
The so-called North when there was something like that up till 1967 was armed to the teeth. It was however not the Fulani that were armed, it was their ‘slaves’, the other ethnic nationalities in the North; the people of Lantang, the Gwaris, the Jukumns, the Tivs, the Southern Zaria Christians in the Kataf region, the Godogodos, and several other minorities who were to be the monkeys for the baboons’ meals.
These were the men, the foot soldiers in the Military Wing of the ruling political parties of the then North. They were the coup makers any time the Fulani masters felt the need to prolong their stronghold on their territory called Nigeria. That monopoly has been weakened since 1999.
But the scale has fallen off the eyes of these slaves of yesteryears. Following the Dimka and Orka led coups, and following the execution of Mamman Jiya Vatsa the minorities that were hitherto used as tools for coup making have had a rethink.
Anybody who thinks the Military in present day Fulani colony of Nigeria is the same Military of pre-1967 is living in fools’ paradise. We do not need to look far; we have seen the level of morale in the wrong-headed prosecution of the Boko Haram insurgency.
There is so much mistrust and distrust in the land. There is so much greed in the land. There is no single grain of patriotism or nationalism anywhere in the land. And the Military are not immune from the malady that had consumed Nigeria since 1999. The translation of this code is that there is no more the Army of the North. The Northern military euphemistically called the Nigerian Military does not exist anymore in reality.
But the real death knell of the so-called North came about by the unwarranted prosecution and unabashed persecution of Christians in the Northern region. I wish the so-called Northern leaders who appear to be condoning the slaughtering and butchering of Christians in the North have their ears put to the ground to know the degree of angst the persecuted groups nurse against the power blocks in the North.
To that extent therefore the North of the visionary leader Sir Ahmadu Bello is dead. Ahmadu Bello was not self-seeking, he did not amass wealth and whatever politics he played, whatever policies he enunciated, and whatever strategies he deployed were for the greater benefit of the whole of the North. Eternal credit remains interred in his bones for uniting the North of his day with the adoption of Hausa language as lingua franca of the whole North.
It is this universality of the Hausa language in the North that deceives the south to believe erroneously that every speaker of Hausa language is Hausa or Fulani. Foul!!
The greatest blow to the unity of the so-called North is the brutal and brutish barbarism of the Fulani herdsmen whose madness does not have rhyme or rhythm. All they know is to spread grief, anguish and dreadful pain wherever they choose to display their unbridled cruelty and impunity.
They have wreaked havoc in Adamawa, they have raped and killed in Taraba, they have massacred thousands of innocent Agatus in Benue, they have wreaked havoc in Niger, they have continually butchered thousands in Southern Kaduna, Kogi State is under their hammer and Plateau is under their occupation, the list is endless. And these lands and people being ravaged are NORTHERNERS!!!!
And all these people being ruthlessly assaulted have relations and families in the Military, the Police, the SSS, the Immigration and Customs as well as in other armed Security outfits in the land. Yet, someone somewhere will seat his whimsical ass on the sofa in an air-conditioned office gazing at the millions of Naira hidden in his mind and say there is a North. Which North?
Let no one try it; the cohesive Military that committed pogrom against the Igbos in 1967-70 does not exist anymore! The world of 1967 is not the world of 2017!
If any part of the internally colonised contraption called Nigeria wishes to opt out of the yoked marriage, it should be allowed to go in peace. The inevitable breakup if we do not go confederate, should be allowed without undue and mindless bloodshed which invariably will result in the same breakup.
*Chief Tola Adeniyi, former Managing Director of Daily Times of Nigeria, is Executive Chairman, The Knowledge Plaza and Founder Global Intelligentsia for Buhari.
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