By Yinka Odumakin
Our parents out of ignorance over the demographic contradictions in the North were fond of saying “Gambari pa Fulani o lejo, Hausa lo pa Hausa”, meaning there shouldn’t be any fuss when a Gambari man kills a Fulani, as it is intra- Hausa feud. The lie was spread that the Fulanis who were the last set of people to arrive Nigeria from Futa Jalon were of the same status with the Hausas whom they deceived after the 1804 Jihad to accept “pure Islam”.
The Hausa were gullible for their deception and killed their kings so Fulani can rule over them. Then Fulani moved on to the Kanuris who told them they already had pure Islam before the Fulanis. The Fulani, out of subtlety, dropped Fulfude language to culturally assimilate the Hausa by speaking their language. The Fulani among themselves can code switch to Fulfude and the Hausa would not understand a word.
It was after they finished the conquest of the Hausa that they moved to conquer the Kanuri who resisted them and said hey were Muslims before them. This is the reason why all Hausa land today are under Fulani Emirs but the Kanuris are under Shehus.
It has been strongly suggested that the Boko Haram insurgency partly has its origin in the Kanuri-Fulani feud. I recall how one Hausa young man was making progressive contributions at the 2014 National Conference. It was during lunch time that I saw a second Republic rep, who passed on recently, scolding him in the corridor, saying “it seems we are beginning to give too much education to some of you.”
That is the depth of contempt the Fulani have for Hausa. The “next level” Fulani suzerainty has brought out the worst in their people in the two leading parties who now talk to the rest of us like Boko Haram and Miyetti Allah. Only those who are not versed in the Fulani way would not understand the indifference of the presidency to the recent Zamfara schoolgirls abduction. As much as Governor Bello Matawale tried to manage the situation, he was forced to make declaration at some point.
He first told the country what we all knew all along that we would be shocked at the identities of those behind kidnappings of school pupils and that there were people paying so that abducted school girls are not released. These are weighty allegations that a proper government in a country that has not totally failed should be interested in and investigate.
The shameful option of the Fulani backers was to declare war on Zamfara by declaring a “no fly” zone on the state. The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, told reporters in Abuja that President Buhari has ordered a no-fly zone to be placed on Zamfara as part of measures to crush bandits operating in the state. The NSA said the security agencies have been mandated “to go after all non-state actors, whose activities are inimical.
The marines are all ears but we know the object of the measure is to block the engagement of the state in productive mining activity and it flows from the clash of civilisations. Food blockage and wake -up call to the West The recent strike by the association of food sellers was a rude and crude attempt by some janjaweeds to brass the Yoruba and other nationalities of the South, but it is an opportunity for us to address ourselves on the Nigerian affliction.
I recall being with Dr Amos Akingba about two years ago and a nephew phoned him from Ode Irele that he was hungry. He told him he should wait for his driver to come and bring yam for him from his backyard in Lagos. The question of food security has always been on the agenda of the mini national conference I regularly have with Mr Femi Falana (SAN) who says it is embarrassing that our young people now engage only in okada business.
He wonders what our governors are doing concerning food security, when compared with Awo who established farm settlements all over the zone even though they have all become relics. The governors must get back to that season and massively engage our young people in agriculture.
-Yinka Odumakin is the Publicity Secretary, Afenifere