Tasks govs, lawmakers on proactive steps Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has alleged that Fulani supremacists were planning attacks on the two geopolitical regions. Therefore, he called on alerted South East and South-South states governors and their lawmakers to collaborate with IPOB to keeping their communities safe.
In a letter entitled ‘Security of South East and South-South’ and made available to The Guardian yesterday, the IPOB leader stated that “our communities are under siege from alien invaders and killer mercenaries from the Sahel.”
He urged the legislators to collaborate with their governors as a matter of extreme urgency to pass legislations that would engender coordinated security outfits to tackle these menaces.
IPOB, according to him, is committed to assisting in this regard, if called upon to do so. Kanu alleged that even Buhari himself confirmed this when he pointed to foreign Fulani elements as the core culprits in this murderous campaign.
Stressing that their intervention is much more urgent because of the potent political and economic threats to their people’s collective existence, Kanu said: “Though not generally known, the Constitution of Nigeria, by implication, allows us (and any cohesive group of aggrieved Nigerians) to seek self-determination and autonomy as a people.”
According to him, this is specifically provided for under Articles 1 and 20 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, ratified and dome sticated by Nigeria in 1983 at CAP A9, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
He consequently queried the governors for not taking the expected and appropriate legislative measures to enforce such clear statutory provisions, and the lawmakers for not having the appetite to see what the law says and the people for suffering as a consequence of this inaction.
“For as long as the interest of our people remains paramount in all your official reckoning, IPOB shall remain amenable to consulting with you on the way forward. You must know that Biafran youths will remain unhappy with you unless and until you de-proscribe IPOB,” he added.
Commenting on Kanu’s letter, IPOB’s Special Counsel, Chief Aloy Ejimakor, told The Guardian that the letter was sent to the governors on May 15, 2020, but they never replied.
“This was partly why IPOB went lone-wolf in forming the Eastern Security Network (ESN), only for the same South East governors to be saying that they intend to form a counterpart regional security,” he added.
Instead of subsiding, the dispute sparked by the planned establishment of Ruga (cattle settlements) for herders in some states keeps growing.
To the Presidency, it is all a storm in a teacup as the project will eventually stop the herders-farmers clashes that have caused so much tension
But the proposal continued to draw flaks from many quarters, even as Bauchi, Niger and Plateau states differed on Monday.
In Jalingo, some youths protested the proposal. They said the proper thing was for herders to build ranches for their flocks.
Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, who was in Orin-Ekiti to sympathise with the family of a hunter, who was allegedly killed on Saturday by yet to be identified gunmen, insisted that no land would be ceded to “outsiders”.
Fayemi, who doubles as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), said the killing of Emmanuel Ilori, whom he described as one of the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the town, saddened his heart.
Ilori was murdered while hunting with his colleagues.
The governor, who spoke in Yoruba, said that the attack was being investigated. He promised to do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to book.
Fayemi said that traditional hunters and security agencies would henceforth work together to ensure adequate security in the state.
According to him, more soldiers, armed policemen and other security personel would be deployed in the state.
He faulted the local chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for giving political colouration to the incident by alleging that he was planning to give Ekiti land to “outsiders” in exchange for a future political ambition.
He said the allegation lacked validity, insisting: “Nobody is coming to take our land in Ekiti. The governor of Ekiti State has power over the land of Ekiti and it is the person that the governor gives land in Ekiti that can use the land of Ekiti.
“If there are negative comments being peddled around, that some people are coming to take over Ekiti land, take over Orin land, take over Ido land, it’s a mere hearsay.
“It cannot happen in Ekiti, except I am no longer the governor of Ekiti State and there is nobody that can be governor in Ekiti that will cede Ekiti land to outsiders because our land is not even enough for us.
Fayemi: security matters most
“Adequate security of our people is what concerns me most in Ekiti and Nigeria, and I want our people to ignore lies and falsehood some individuals are spreading around.
“There is nobody that will be governor in Ekiti that will allow outsiders to take over our communities from the people here or say that people coming from elsewhere should come and take over Ekiti (land).
“Those saying these are only playing politics with the matter. This is not politics; security is an issue that concerns all of us.”
Fayemi went on: “Some individuals have been spreading baseless rumours to cause disaffection because they are no longer in power and it is their wish that Ekiti should be consumed by anarchy. I want to assure you that our government has not stopped work on security. One of the steps is that our local hunters will work with our security agencies.
“Not up to three weeks now, our Kabiyesis (traditional rulers) and community leaders held a meeting and we deliberated on measures and ways to tackle security challenges.
“No single individual or group can do the work of security; the local hunters know their areas and terrains very well than the men of our security agencies and it will serve the people well if they work together.
“I am in Orin today (yesterday) to sympathise with you and tell you of the steps being taken by the government. There is no way we can be happy in Ekiti hearing that one of our people was killed, more so when the victim was one of our party leaders in Orin.
“Since the incident happened on Saturday, you have seen more soldiers and policemen here in Orin and they are on the trail of perpetrators and we will not relent in our efforts until they are found.
“Government will do everything possible to prevent a reoccurrence of what happened and from now, you will see more security people not only in Orin but in other parts of Ekiti. They are not here to fight you but to protect you.
“Those responsible for this shall be made to face the full wrath of the law. Other steps that will be taken will be revealed in due course.”
Speaking, the Eletin of Orin Ekiti, Chief Francis Falua, appreciated the governor’s visit and identifying with the people in their moment of grief.
Falua urged the government to ensure that the perpetrators of the dastardly act are arrested and brought to justice.
Ruga row uncalled for, says Lalong
To Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, the controversy over the establishment of Ruga settlements is uncalled for.
According to him, it was the same as ranching.
He told State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja, that his state has nothing like “Ruga”, but Livestock business.
Lalong said that there was nothing different between the Ruga project and the ranching under the chairmanship of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
He said: “I think, the Ruga thing should not be anything that should bring controversy with the level of sensitisation we have already made.
“I am a member of the food security committee. I am a member of the herdsmen/farmers committee. We have gone a long way on this issue and we have said that the only solution that can address some of these insecurity issues between herdsmen and farmers is the ranching policy.
“You remember that one time we have gone far when some people called it colony and called it this and that, and it created controversy.
“Again, we have gone far under the leadership of Mr. Vice President, and then we are hearing other terms, what they are talking about it’s the same thing that we are talking about.
“But I think when they mentioned Ruga, it may be particular to a particular tribe, but what we are doing is all-encompassing, it’s for the benefit of Nigeria. I have said particularly in my state that animal husbandry, live stocks rearing is not a prerogative of one tribe.
“Everybody must get involved in it and that is what we have done in our state when we registered for it. We said we are going to put these structures to enable us to encourage youth, train youth.
“Right now, we are training permanent secretaries, retired civil servants who would also get involved in it so that we can address some of the insecurity that we have in the nation.
“So, when somebody mentioned another word, people would not wait to question and find out who and who are bringing those words, that is just the simple fact.
“But if you go to what we have done because they have mentioned some states, which are included; yes, those states applied, those states said we have land for it. It’s not Federal Government that is imposing it on any state.
“To the benefit of Mr. President, the President has not imposed that on any states; it was voluntary. And they said any state that is prepared to do that to address insecurity in his state should come and apply.
“So, some of the states applied and we are at the level of the pilot scheme and some mischief makers would start bringing terms to cause confusion in the country. It’s very unfortunate.”
Asked if the Ruga project controversy was politically motivated, Lalong said: “I don’t know whether it is political. Of course I am a member of the committee. By the time we addressed that issue, some people said yes we would prefer to do open grazing in our state, some said we would prefer to do ranching in our state and some said in our state we would call it Ruga model.
“So, the different states, with their different approaches, but Ruga term is not general to everybody. In my, state we call it livestock something; it’s not Ruga and we have explained it to people.”
Also asked if he was not worried over the allegation that the Federal Government was funding the project, he said: “No, I was here one time when people asked why is the Federal Government was subsidizing agriculture, subsidising ranching? And I also asked why is the Federal Government subsidizing agriculture?
“This is a policy that we felt that it is not only for economic sense, but it would also address the issue of security. So, if it is going to address insecurity in a period the country is confronted with serious security challenges, then Federal Government would come and assist those who want to do it.
“They are not imposing it on any state. I am a member of this committee under the chairmanship of the vice president; the Federal Government has not imposed that on any state.
“They said if you have land for pilot scheme, they can assist, and donor agencies are coming from all over; it is not a Federal Government project. The World Bank is involved; the African Development Bank (AfDB) is involved.
“So, if you have a scheme like this that can tackle poverty, bring revenue and also address insecurity, you will need to go into it but with due consultation from your state.
“In my state, it took me three months to do sensitisation and we all agreed that we should bring this concept to empower people. It is not meant to empower one tribe it is for everybody and that would address the issue of insecurity because we don’t want people moving from one place to another, looking for grass.
“The fact that the Federal Government is to bring the subsidy was a request from the committee chaired by Mr Vice President. Goodluck Jonathan did it and he budgetted about N10 billion but we didn’t see the money. If he has done that at that time, we would not be fighting insecurity among herders and farmers today.”
Niger offers land for Ruga
In Minna, the Niger State government offered the Bobi Grazing Reserve in Mariga Local Government Area as pilot for Ruga settlement in the country.
Expressing readiness to spearhead the project, the state called on other governments in the North to accept the establishment of Ruga settlements to stop the continuous farmers/herders crisis.
The Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG), Alhaji Ahmed Matane, who unfolded the government position on the controversial issue, said the state has 43,000 hectares of grazing reserve which can be developed for pastoralists.
Matane said that the North has the largest landmass and that if developed into grazing reserves, would create a buffer to reduce the crisis that have been occurring in several parts of the country.
He said: “If the northern states can develop their grazing reserves and build the infrastructures, the pastoralists will not need to go south wards because they will have enough pasture and Water they can use and need.
“The north is the only area of Nigeria that has large lands that can be overlooked into pasture and which would create a buffer to reduce the crisis. Unless we deliberately develop these grazing reserves, we will continue to have this crisis.”
The SSG said that Nigerians would be the major beneficiary of the settlements as cattle rearing is a multi-billion naira business which can be a source of foreign exchange.
Benue insists no land for grazing
In Benue, Governor Samuel Ortom tackled the Federal Government over its claim that it has gazetted land in the state.
He said the claim was far from the truth and also challenged the Federal Government to show proof of gazetted land in the state by showing the titles.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ortom, Tervwr Akase, reminded the Federal Government of the existence of an Anti-Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 in Benue State.
The statement reads: “We read the statement issued yesterday by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity Garba Shehu in which the Presidency stated that it has gazetted lands in the 36 states of the federation to establish Ruga settlements for herdsmen.
“It is true that government at the centre has gazetted lands in all states of the federation.
“We wish to make it clear that no land in Benue State has been gazetted for grazing routes, grazing reserves, cattle colonies and Ruga settlements, contrary to the Presidency’s claim.
“We expect the Federal Government to publicly tender documents of the claimed gazetted lands in Benue State to put the matter to rest.
“The Federal Government should show titles to the lands it claims to have in Benue State, the evidence of compensation it paid to owners of such lands, as well as the purpose for which the lands were acquired.
“The Benue State government has already made known its stand on the Ruga settlements matter that the state will not be part of the project. This was why the government and people of the state rejected the attempt to impose the Ruga settlements projects on them without the consent and approval of the Governor who controls and administers all lands in the state in trust for the people.
“We wish to restate that there is a law in Benue State which encourages ranching and prohibits open grazing of livestock.
“The law is a win-win for herders and farmers, as it protects all. Anyone who intends to establish a livestock ranch in Benue State is encouraged to follow the procedure stipulated by the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017.”
Bauchi backs project
Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, who also visited the State House in Abuja yesterday, said his people were entirely in support of the Ruga settlement project.
The former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister noted that the Ruga project will help address the issues of insecurity.
According to him, Bauchi State needed the Ruga project because the population of the state is 60 to 70 per cent Fulani.
The state, he said, will always key into any Federal Government’s projects.
He said: “Sixty or 70 per cent of the population in Bauchi are Fulani and, therefore, we must leverage on all these.”
He said he was at the Villa to confer with the President on some of the insecurity challenges facing the state.
Mohammed said: “We have illiteracy, insurgency and so many things that are bombarding us in terms of social challenges and security challenges. Definitely we will do that.
“The President is there for all of us; he is not a partisan President. I am the leader of the people many consider more APC than PDP.
“There are issues that are within us and there are issues that are beyond our capacity. Therefore, we must establish partnership. I have come to discuss very serious issues concerning Bauchi because people in Bauchi have given me that leadership.
“I must establish relationship with the Federal Government because of the serious challenges that we have, challenges in development, social issues and security issues.”
In Taraba, some youths protested the proposed Ruga settlement.
They called on the state government to fully implement the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law passed by the Taraba State House of Assembly.
Taraba youths: Ruga is threat to peace
The protest took place at the Jolly Nyame Stadium, under the leadership of Taraba State Chairman of the Nigerian Youths Council, Udi Adamu
The youths, in one voice, described the Ruga settlement as a coined idea and misplacement of priority over rising poverty, insecurity, armed robbery, banditry and increasing unemployment in the land.
Some of the local government areas involved in protests included Lau, Zing, Ibi and Sarduana.
Udi described the Ruga settlement scheme as a threat to tribes in the state and Nigeria at large, adding that herdsmen troubling the state are alien tied with the ulterior motives to grab the land from original owners.
He expressed doubt over explanation Ruga settlement will mitigate kidnapping and killings by herdsmen.
The protesters said they remain unshackling and unwaveringly with the Taraba State government on the Ranching Law, which they described as the best way to settle herders/farmers clashed in the state.
The youths urged Governor Darius Ishaku, to enforce the Open Grazing and Ranching Establishment Law 2017 for the sake for peace and harmonious living.
Udi appealed to the youths to remain law-abiding and support the government genuine programmes and policies, geared towards emancipating the people out of bondage of poverty and oppression.
Obaseki assures Edo people
In Edo the PDP accused Governor Godwin Obaseki of secretly conceding land to the Federal Government for the controversial settlement.
It said the governor’s silence on the issue at a time other state governments are rejecting the establishment of RUGA settlement in their respective states was worrisome.
The PDP, through its chairman, Dan Orbih, vowed to use all possible means including legal actions to defend the interest of Edo people in respect of the RUGA settlement.
But the governor defended his policy, saying his plan for agricultural development involved all value chain both crop production and animal husbandry.
According to Obaseki, his plans were developed long before the Ruga settlement idea came up.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Crusoe Osagie, the governor said the safety, security and prosperity of Edo people were top priority and non-negotiable in all his agricultural programmes.
Obaseki assured Edo people that he would not cede their rights and land to anybody, as his programmes as a sovereign state do not run on the back of any external entity.
He said, “Edo people should disregard any contrary information circulated by the Edo State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) or any other group or individual.
“As for the Benin Central Hospital, it is up and running and is providing tertiary healthcare services which it was set up to provide.
“It’s phased opening is in line with the vision of the state government and in the coming weeks and months, other phases will be unveiled to complement the primary and secondary health centres across the state.
“Governor Obaseki will continue to put the interest of Edo people first in all his policies and programmes, as he has demonstrated in the past two years and seven months.”
The Ekiti Parapo denounced kidnapping and other vices
Members of the Lagos chapter of the socio-cultural group, urged their kinsmen to join forces with the government to finding a lasting solution to the security challenges.
After their meeting in Lagos, they resolved to communicate its position to Governor Fayemi on how to nip in the bud cases of kidnapping, armed robbery and other social vices in Ekiti.
Their President, Dare Ojo, said the issue of kidnapping had become rampant in Ekiti and a source of worry to everybody, including those at home and the Diaspora.
On Ruga, he restated the group’s opposition to the establishment of cattle colonies in the state, noting that cattle herding and settlement should be treated as a private business.
“The issue of Ruga or cattle colonies is alien to the Ekiti tradition. By implication, we have always bought cows for our events, we have always reared cattle in our environment and we have always lived with them mutually.”
The Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE) kicked against the project, which it said was dead on arrival.
It said an inch of Yoruba land would not be ceded for such.
According to a statement, Council President Dansaaki Ade Agbede, wondered how a group of people that are being seen as threat to peace and security of others would now be made to own settlements in places outside their own domain, saying “to now think that the Federal Government that should be concerned and worried about the untoward activities of such people is the sponsor of Ruga is worrisome.
The people of Agbada Nenwe in Aninri Local Government Area of Enugu State, members of the Hausa/Fulani community and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the Southeast have dissociated themselves from a video trending on social media over the purported expulsion of some herders and their cattle from the community”.
The police had denied that no such incident happened, explaining that after preliminary investigations, it was revealed that what transpired was “only the movement of cattle and herders from Cross River State, through Uburu in Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, and a neighbouring town for grazing”.
The police added that “such transit had nothing to do with escorting herders and their cattle out of Agbada Nenwe community”.
When Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi led the Commissioner of Police, Director of Department of State Services (DSS), Garrison Commander, 82 Division of the Army, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Commandant of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and other stakeholders on a fact-finding visit to Agbada Nenwe yesterday, the traditional ruler, Dr. Francis Imo, said the video is untrue, stressing that “nobody drove the Fulani community out of Agbada Nenwe”.
The monarch added that they enjoy cordial relationship with the Fulani community, noting that “no cow has ever been killed in this kingdom; no Fulani man has ever been hurt”.
The leaders of the Northern community and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Southeast zone, who thanked Ugwuanyi for his commitment to peaceful co-existence of all Nigerians resident in the state, said they have not come across any herder or Fulani man who has complained of molestation or being chased out from the community.
The Sarkin Hausawa, Alhaji Abukakar Yusuf Sambo, said: “We have been enjoying peaceful co-existence in Enugu State, and we are here to say that mischief makers will not succeed.”
Chairman of MACBAN Alhaji Gidado Siddiki cautioned the people against “the harm our individual or group’s unruly act can cause the wider society beyond our immediate environment”.
Activist-lawyer Femi Falana said development in land in any part of Nigeria must be approved by the state governments.
He said: “Some Nigerians have said that since the federal government had already acquired land in some states it can go ahead and use the land for RUGA. Buy in Attorney-General, Lagos v Attorney-General of the Federation (2003) the supreme court held that the development of such land cannot be carried out without a plan approved by the affected state governments. (The Nation)
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Prof. Clement Adebooye, who is the immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Osun State University and Secretary-General, Governing Board of African-German Network of Science, tells FEMI MAKINDE that the present government lacks the political will to tackle insecurity
Killer herdsmen are on the rampage in many parts of the country and there is Boko Haram in the North-East while banditry is ravaging the North-West. What do you think are the implications of these crises?
Definitely, these problems will lead to food crisis. The attacks on farmers and destruction of their farms as well as attacks on their households are dangerous. If you sack farmers from their production zones and they are not able to produce, then there will be nobody to contribute the little proportion they contribute to food production capacity of the country. As things are now, many farmers in the North are at the mercy of donors. They are living at the Internally Displaced Persons camps. Producers have been reduced to beggars and when producers are reduced to beggars, then shortage is looming. So, it is implied that there will be food crisis soon if things do not change.
How do you think the herdsmen crisis can be tackled since it will have a negative effect on food security?
Nomadic life is not new in this country and cattle rustling is not a new phenomenon within Nigeria. The question is why have these two suddenly become big issues? Why do the herdsmen now need to carry sophisticated weapons around instead of rods they used to goad their animals? We should ask questions from those that are older and learn from history. We grew up to know herdsmen and the kind of crisis we are witnessing now was not there then. Are we saying the number of the cattle has increased so much that herders now have to carry AK-47 to protect their animals? The answer to these questions is no. The issue is that Nigeria is facing a serious and fundamental problem now. This problem is caused by people who have political motives.
What kind of political motives do the herdsmen have?
The political motives are two-pronged. The first is this Boko Haram issue which, in a way, is saying that western education is useless and that people should shun it. It is a political objective and there are some people behind it. The other one may be extreme politics about who governs the nation and who rules where. It appears as if there is a scheme to annihilate the whole of Nigeria and convert it to a particular dynasty that I don’t want to mention. What is happening now is not new to Nigeria. Anybody that has read history will remember that there was a war similar to this before. Between 1840 and 1860, there was a similar war which was launched from the northern Nigeria and the war raged down the South until they were defeated around Osogbo. They were fighting down the South all in the name of Jihad. So, what is going on now can be something like that. The current attacks are not targeted at farmers only; they are killing students, teachers, doctors, chiefs, kings, their subjects and anybody they see. This is not a war against farmers only; it is a war against the generality of Nigerians. Those who launch such wars like the ones we are seeing always have a date that they will launch the major one. They may launch the final war soon. What they are doing now is just to do a trial run and see the level of resistance.
Are you saying they are planning to unleash terror on the nation and overrun it?
They are just ‘test-running’ now to see the level of resistance of the people but unfortunately, there is no resistance anywhere.
But why has it been difficult to arrest those behind this?
The reason is because there is no political will to tackle the problem. We all know that when armed robbers strike in a place and the police want to work, they get those robbers arrested within two weeks. But how many of these herdsmen have been arrested and prosecuted since they have been killing? They have been killing for about four years now; unfortunately, none of them has been caught. This points to the fact they are enjoying a kind of socio-political backing and it is sending a signal that what we are witnessing is a kind of trial run with the hope that in no distant future, they will launch the bigger attack and it will be total.
Is it possible for outsiders to perpetrate these criminal acts without the support of the locals?
It seems to me that the killer herdsmen are not acting and working alone. They have collaborators within the other ethnic groups in Nigeria. For example, I’m still wondering how brave the herdsmen could be to operate around Asejire along Ife-Ibadan Expressway without the support of the locals. This is the worrisome part of the whole saga. It means that the nation has been held hostage. Everybody is just looking for a way to make money at the expense of the masses. That is why some of those at the lowest rung of the ladder are engaged in criminal activities.
Those in the political as well as ruling class have also held the nation hostage by creating disharmony among the people through politics, religion and ethnicity. We have been disorganised to such an extent that all social structures have been destroyed. Pressure groups are no longer there and we are all praying on the mountain in order to solve social problems that could be solved by one day protest. The psyche of our people is damaged by the political class and that is why our youths have lost the necessary societal values and therefore, cannot think correctly.
As an agriculturist, what will you suggest as the solution to the problem of open grazing?
This problem is political and that is why ranching may never solve it. Ranching and cattle colonies as they are proposing are a way of handling the land of some people over to other people. That is the reason it will not solve the problem. It is a tactical way of grabbing land and giving the same to some people. Israel is in the desert and they practise agriculture on a large scale including raising livestock but there is no problem with herdsmen there. About 75 per cent of the land in Australia is desert and Australia has much more cattle than human beings; yet this problem does not exist there. Israel is in the desert and the number of cattle there is much more than the cattle we have here in this country. Despite that the landmass is very small compared to Nigeria’s. Have you heard of herdsmen destroying farms there? They are raising cattle in many countries much more than we have here and they don’t have the kind of crisis that we have.
How are they handling it?
What the government here should do is to create an enabling environment in the areas where people raise cattle. They should set up irrigated pasture in the North. If they establish that, those who carry AK-47 will have no excuse for killing, raping and destroying people’s property all over the country in the name of looking for greener pasture for their animals. Irrigated pasture is a practice in agriculture and it will solve this problem coupled with a strong political will. I am sure you are aware that they grow tomatoes in Kano State, Borno and other states and they grow onions and other things as well. They raise these crops during the dry season with the help of irrigation. Why can’t government use similar irrigation method for pasture instead of coming to seize land from the South-West, South-East and South-South in the name of ranches? Israel produces enormous citrus and many other crops through irrigation. Why is our government running away from doing that?
Are you saying the government should assist pastoralists by setting up irrigated pasture in areas where cattle raising is their major business?
Yes, this should be done in the North where cattle raising is their business. It makes sense. Why are the people of the South-West not asking government to give them land in the North to grow kola nuts, cocoa and palm trees? Why is the government not providing the enabling environment for the people in the South to go and plant these crops in the North? Why is the government not allowing farmers to go to Kano and other states in the core North to raise pigs? Why can’t government set aside 50 hectares of land to raise pigs in Kano or Sokoto State? Government should create the enabling environment in the North for those raising cattle, not seizing the land of some people under the guise of cattle colonies or ranches.
Insurgency can’t thrive except it is supported by government. Look at what happened in Kano State during the Maitasine riot in 1983. It was put at bay by the troops of the nation. The government troops drove those militants outside the country. What is the difference between the war by the killer herders and the Maitasine rioters? It is the will of the government that is lacking to address the problem. This government in Nigeria has no political will to stop the carnage going on around the country. There is no where people are kidnapped in Nigeria and such is not traced to killer Fulani herdsmen. Most kidnappings in the country are done by these herdsmen. Chief Olu Falae was kidnapped by the herdsmen; the Obafemi Awolowo University professor recently abducted was kidnapped by the Fulani people. Some Methodist priests were kidnapped in Osun State as well as in Ekiti State. This shows that the government has tacitly legalised all these criminal activities and that is why they thrive. Those behind this crime are not arrested or prosecuted; and this has emboldened them to do more. You can’t see this happening in any sane society.
Let us put things in perspective. How many armed robbers have been arrested in the last four years? They are many. How many robbers have the police attacked and killed in the last four years? I am sure many of them have been arrested and some killed. So, why have the security agencies not been able to arrest any of the herdsmen killing people all over the country? Why is it very difficult to arrest these people? The situation is becoming worse in the South-West.
Are you also saying the South-West is under the siege of herdsmen as alleged by the Yoruba Council of Elders?
The South-West is under the siege of these people. I said something earlier that these people are engaged in trial run of their weapons and strategies and that the day of final onslaught is coming.
How do you think this can be prevented?
It is the government that has the security forces that can do that. The ordinary people are incapacitated. The people that have the instrument of authority should act now before it is too late. I doubt if anybody in the South-West or the South-East is ready to go to war now. These attackers will just overrun us if they strike because the government is not interested in protecting the people.
What do you think is the motive behind the alleged plan to overrun the people?
Do you know that these people have a veiled mission? We have heard that the ISIS has joined the fight and you can never tell their strategy. It appears like they are trying to convert the whole of West Africa to come under a political dynasty that will have one identity. Some people are trying to convert our region to a political entity known to them. It is a conversion process that is going on. From what we have read, people who do this kind of things, all over the world, first carry out trial runs just like the ones we are witnessing now. And after that, they will strike. They will first test the strength of their opponents and the quality of their resistance after which they will strike. Let me make it clear that this has nothing to do with Islam. I say this because we have Muslims in the South-West but have you heard that they slaughter people of other religions because of Islam? Also, In Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other countries where Islam is the dominant religion, such killings do not happen. Why are those ones killing here? You will know that it is part of their culture.
If the executive is not willing to act to prevent the looming disaster, why are the lawmakers at the National Assembly not putting pressure on the executive?
Cheap money impairs thinking. There are no people that will collect the amount of money they collect and will be able to think about the people. They are only representing themselves and not the people. People who get such huge amount of money with little or no work won’t put the people first. Also, the political parties we have do not have ideologies and that is one of the reasons those elected on their platforms do not consider the people in what they do. Nigeria was programmed by God to succeed but some Nigerians have held the country hostage and there can’t be development until the nation is liberated.
You have won many grants for your universities from Germany and Canada. What will you say is making it difficult for many Nigerian scholars to achieve this feat?
The number one thing before you can win grants from these foreign countries is the quality of your research work. Your work must be of good quality before they will agree to fund it. Also, you must have built good reputation for yourself. Those who have given you money before must be able to vouch for your reputation. You must have previous records of ground-breaking research work. Your reputation as a researcher builds the reputation of your university. Those people won’t give you their money because your university has a big name but if somebody from a small university has done a quality research and such has good reputation, it will be easier for others from the same university to receive grants provided they also have good research work they want to do.
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• Ohanaeze, Fulani elders, others fault Miyetti Allah’s position
Magnus Eze,Enugu, Ndubuisi Orji,Abuja
National president of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Alhaji Bello Bodejo, has come under attacks over comment that the north will retain the presidency beyond 2023.
Bodejo who spoke at the weekendcategorically told southerners, particularly the South East and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, believed to be jostling to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari to forget it.
However, the Concerned Fulani Leaders Forum disowned Bodejo who they claimed lacked the mandate and moral standing to speak for the Fulani.
In a statement, yesterday, signed by Muhammad Musa Bawa (Manman) in Sabin Garin Nabordo, Bauchi State, the Forum slammed Bodejo for attempting to arrogate to himself the power of Nigerians to determine who leads them.
“Bello Bodejo’s statement is unfortunate and repulsive in all ramifications. For one, he lacks the mandate and credibility to speak on behalf of the Fulani.
“On the issue of 2019 he raised, no one can arrogate to himself the power to decide who should lead or aspire to lead the country. The generality of the Nigerian people will take that crucial decision. Only a charlatan like Bello Bodejo, masquerading as a leader would make such sweeping statements credited to him. The way and manner he spoke suggest he is out to play God, which speak to the creeping-in of early signs of schizophrenia expressed in infantile behaviours.”
Similarly, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo said Bodejo neither spoke for the north nor for the millions of progressive people scattered in the middle-belt.
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chief Chuks Ibegbu warned those who believe Nigeria belonged to them to desist from self-delusion, emphasising that the Nigeria of today was not the Nigeria of old.
Even though the Ohanaeze believes that restructuring was the solution to the nation’s problems, Ibegbu stated that it is the turn of the Igbo to produce Nigeria’s next president.
“He’s speaking for himself and not for the north; he’s not God that’ll decide the future; 2023 is still far off, so, why’s he talking about 2023 when we’re in 2019. Besides, those of them that are under the illusion that this country belongs to them are making a very great mistake. The country belongs to everybody and everybody has the right to aspire for any post. Now, the north has had their fair share of the political power; the Southwest and South-south have had their own share. It’s only the Southeast, the Igbo, that haven’t produced executive president, but that’s not the issue.
“Ordinarily, competence, merit should prevail over where somebody comes from. We’ve been having turn-by-turn presidency since the second republic. So, it’s not when it’s our turn that somebody will begin to talk rubbish, inconsequential things. Even though we want peace and unity of this country, peace and unity is predicated on justice and fair play, political, economic, social justice. Nobody should arrogate to himself that authority or power to say how the nation’s political permutation should go. Now, all other zones have had their first share except the Southeast. So, it’s very germane that the Southeast should have the next president.”
Also, a professor of Political Science and former Director General of National Orientation Agency (NOA), Elochukwu Amaucheazi described the comment as diversionary.
The main issue at the moment, he said, is the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, challenging President Buhari’s victory.
“All these things, whether 2023 or Atiku’s nationality, are to divert attention.”
Also reacting, Publicity Secretary of the Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, lamented that the country has deteriorated to the lowest ebb that cattle breeders now determine her political future.
He told Daily Sun that the comment was a confirmation that the country is sinking and gradually dying a natural death.
“We have seen what we have brought to ourselves; and it is only God that can take us out of this low situation. The implication is that Nigeria is sinking and dying. You know that when a country is dying, it does not die like a human being. It dies gradually. Those ominous signs to indicate that Nigeria is dying gradually are things like this. Only God can safe this country from sinking deeper into the pit. It is really a shame,” he said.
Asked if Nigerians should treat it with levity, he replied: “If you think that cattle rearers should just talk on such sensitive issue without backing, you must be deceiving yourself. The Yoruba says that when you see a butterfly dancing on top of water, there must be a drummer under the river.”
Former minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Dubem Onyia said the only way to safeguard the country is to allow the presidency to return to the south in 2023.
“If they want this country to disintegrate,then let them make good their statement. The unity of this country is pivoted on rotation ofpower. The federation is not by force. You can conveniently get seven countries out of Nigeria. If they want Oduduwa Republic to go; Biafra to go;Niger Delta to go; Middle Belt to go; let them make good their statement. Nobody is going to be forced to stay under anybody’s rulership. Power must rotate.In2023, if they think the country will remain under bondage, let’s see how it goes,” Onyia, who is also a leader of the PDP, said. (Th Sun)
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***When I read a press release on the reply to Atiku petition against Buhari that…Atiku Is Not A Nigerian, Unqualified To Contest For Election- APC
***I immediately dig into archives to X-ray the indigenous natives of ancient Daura. Hence, the question arises now, where is Buhari’s grandfather’s house in Daura?
DAURA, town and traditional emirate, Katsina state, northern Nigeria. The town lies in a savanna zone at the intersection of roads from Katsina town, Kano, Zango, and Zinder (Niger). An ancient settlement, the name of which means “blacksmith” in the Tuareg language, it was founded by a queen and was ruled by women in the 9th and 10th centuries.
It is the spiritual home of the Hausa people: a well-known legend of western Africa relates that Bayajida (Abuyazidu), a son of the king of Baghdad, killed Sarki, the fetish snake at the town’s well, and married the reigning Daura queen. Their descendants became the seven rulers of the Hausa Bakwai (The Seven True Hausa States). Daura thus became a Hausa state that stretched across the borders of present-day Nigeria and Niger.
Daura town became a caravan centre for salt and potash from the Sahara Desert and for cloth, slaves, leather, and agricultural produce from the south; but it never gained the political or military prominence of Katsina (49 miles [79 km] west) or of Kano (73 miles [117 km] south).
FULANI JIHADIST INVADERS OF THE YEAR 1805:
Little else is known of Daura state until the Fulani jihad (holy war) in 1805, when Malam Ishaku, a Fulani warrior, after a successful siege established an emirate headquarters in Daura.
While Fulani emirs reigned in Daura, rival Hausa kingdoms were established nearby at Daure-Zango (Zango) and at Daure-Baure (Baure). Zango (founded in 1825) was the more prominent Hausa-Daura kingdom, and in 1903–04, after the British and French had divided the three Daura polities, the British installed Zango’s king, Malam Musa, as the new emir of Daura.
Part of former North-Central state after 1967, the traditional emirate was incorporated into Kaduna state in 1976. It became part of the newly created Katsina state in the late 1980s.
Local trade in Daura town is primarily in sorghum, millet, onions, peanuts (groundnuts), cotton, and hides and skins; cattle, goats, sheep, horses, and donkeys are kept by its Hausa and Fulani inhabitants. Cotton weaving and peanut collecting (for export) are significant economic activities. The town is served by a government health office and a dispensary. It is also the headquarters of a local government council.
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The English meaning of the word “colonialism” expressed a direct revelation of mischief makers or the mischievousness of certain group of individuals or group of cunning ambitious society with missions as…..”the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country or community, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically”.
One do not need further explanation on the missions of the above mentioned groups known as…either..CATTLE REARERS or ISLAMIC SCHOLARS/TEACHERS…. galvanizing around since late 18th Century till date within our contemporary country, now called Nigeria.
The historical accounts of GOBIRAWA NATIVES otherwise known as aboriginal Hausa people were of a Kingdom that spread round what we know presently as the core Northern Nigeria. The kingdom started between 9th/10th century ago, almost the same century the 2nd generational coming of king Oduduwa Dynasty of Oodua race started down the area known as South west of Nigeria (Detail Historical account of GOBIRAWA and Yoruba Nation to come soon……)
By late 1700s a powerful imperial king Nefata of Gobir/Hausa Kingdom, with ancient Alkalawa town as the capital of the Kingdom. King Nefata, however, loved his crown Prince Yumfa and the imperial king wanted the Prince to have additional spiritual power added to the existing native spiritual power.
Therefore, King Nefata decided to source for an Islamic scholar/teacher from the far away ancient Songhai empire. The Islamic teacher, which was later identified as Usman Dan Fodio
Mallam Dan Fodio was brought down to the ancient Alkalawa town, the ancestral capital of Gobirawa natives, now known as aboriginal Hausa race; to be teaching the crown Prince Yumfa Islamic lectures.
Dan Fodio was allowed access into the palace to integrate with people in both palace and within the community as the crown Prince’s Islamic teacher. Dan Fodio was also granted privileges around within the royal palaces within Gobirawa kingdom.
No too long, the imperial King Nefata died and crown Prince Yumfa was young and once student of Malam Dan Fodio, who pretended to be around the young king to offer advises and bring the young king to orders.
Tricking the system, Mallam Dan Fodio was smart to convinced the generality of Hausa communities to join him to end royalties and taxes to the palace and to the young king for their freedom. However, Dan Fodio stage manage a community war , which broke out in 1804 and Mallam Dan Fodio was supported by the majority of Hausa communities; whereas, the Young imperial king Yumfa was killed with other Hausa kings under the kingdom.
Thereafter, Mallam Dan Fodio and his Fulani warlords reneged on what they promised the Hausa communities and decided to killed anyone who dare them or asked questions.
Complementarily, Mallam Dan Fodio established caliphate instead of kingdom. Sultan to head all, Emirs to manage communities and towns; Serikis to run villages and small settlements; and by 1809 all the Emirs and Serikis were of Fulani blood and it has remained so till date.
Mallam Dan Fodio, as Sultan, mandated and swore that the Gobirawa natives or Hausa race must never again rule over their land.
Systematically, part of the colonized styles employed was…….as a Fulani descendants, they agreed never to allowed or teach strangers, especially Hausa people their Fulani language (FUFULDI) but to dropped their Fufuldi language within themselves and adopted to learn the Hausa language.
This language crossing and language secrecy within minority Fulani was employed to control the Hausa majority. Surprisingly, no full-blooded Hausa descendants could speak or understand Fulani’s Fufuldi language but all Fulanis speak Hausa fluently as their accepted second language.
Also, Fulanis do marry Hausa women but Fulani forbidden marriages between their women and Hausa men, except otherwise on a very coordinated and espionage missions on any Hausa man.
TO BE CONTINUED…
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Suspected Fulani herdsmen have beheaded the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Bare ward in the Numan Local Government Area, Adamawa State, Charles Chrisanthus,
The politician was reportedly killed in the presence of his wife, Dorcas, in his farm on August 29, 2018.
The widow of the slain PDP chieftain is, however, accusing the police of shielding the killers of her husband.
Speaking in an interview with our correspondent at the State Criminal Investigation Department where she had gone to lodge her complaint on Tuesday, Dorcas told Northern City News that only justice for her slain husband would bring her peace.
She said she was holding her four-month old son and watched helplessly as the assailants hacked her husband to death.
“His attackers led by our Fulani neighbours repeatedly stabbed him on the back and on his stomach before beheading my husband in our farm and made away with his head,” she said.
Claiming to have made some arrests, the police had invited the widow of the slain ward chairman and three other female witnesses to the state Criminal Investigation Department for their statements.
It was at the CID that the families of the deceased were alerted to the whereabouts of the suspected killers.
The bereaved families, it was learnt, discovered that some of the suspects arrested in connection with the killing were receiving medical attention at an undisclosed hospital.
Dorcas said she could identify her husband’s killers, insisting that the police were shielding them from answering for their crime.
“The police under the guise of allowing the suspects to seek medical attention are shielding those that killed my husband. The only thing I want is justice,” she stated.
A PDP youth leader in Bare ward, Tekas Adiel, explained that the police earlier claimed that the Fulanis who perpetrated the killings had fled the community, insisting that the same assailants carried out another attack on Tuesday.
But the Police Public Relations officer in the state, Musa Habibu, insisted that some of the alleged perpetrators of the crime were in custody, adding that investigation into the incident was ongoing.
Asked about the suspects allegedly receiving medical attention in a hospital, the spokesman simply retorted, “A suspect has a right to medical attention if he is sick.”
He added, “Some arrests have been made and those arrested are in police custody. I have had consultations with the assistant commissioner of police handling the issue who said arrest had been made.”
“But if they said one of those arrested is receiving medical attention, a suspect has a right to medication if he’s truly sick, it could be but I don’t have that information,” Habibu said. (Punch)
•Igbo, Middle Belt, Yoruba groups reject FG’s plan
The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has rejected the Federal Government’s N70 billion plan to establish pilot cattle ranches in 10 states.
The group, which comprises Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Middle Belt Forum, said in a statement jointly signed by Senator Bassey Henshaw, Yinka Odumakin, Prof Chigozie Ogbu and Dr. Isuwa Dogo, that SMBLF objects to government’s decision to spend public funds to build ranches.
On Tuesday, the federal government, announced plans to establish pilot ranches in Adamawa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara states and said it would shop for N70 billion to commence the project which it said would permanently solve farmers-herders crises.
But, the SMBLF has rejected the plans and advised the government to adopt recommendations of the 2014 National Conference.
Although the group commended the government for embracing ranching, it, nevertheless, said cattle rearing is the private business where individuals make money.
“We commend the coming to terms with modernisation by the Federal Government, in embracing ranching for cattle rearers, against the erstwhile insistence on archaic open grazing and old century cattle routes.
“The 2014 National Conference had reasoned out this matter and recommended ranching as it is done in all civilized societies.
“The decision to ignore this sensible recommendation has led to a situation where untold terror has been unleashed on farming communities with needless loss of hundreds of lives in the last three years with not a soul under prosecution and top functionaries of the administration making excuses for the killers.
“We, however, object to the federal government’s decision to spend N179 billion of public funds to build these ranches over 10 years starting with N70 billion under this administration.
“Cattle-rearing is private business in which individuals make billions of naira with no record of what they pay as taxes and, it is unfortunate that the federal government is making this vexatious declaration while receiving the Chief Executive Officer of Friesland Campina of Netherlands without bothering to find out that that it was put together by cooperatives, with roots going back to 1879 and is one of the world’s top five dairy companies with annual revenue of 11 billion Euro.
“It is only reasonable that those who want to engage in the business should approach the states where they want to build ranches and acquire land to build such with firm commitment to abide by the rules of host communities. Rewarding the herders with public funds to build ranches would only mean that they have killed enough to beat the country into pacification mode and this can only encourage other people to arm themselves and cause sufficient killings to get the undue concession.
“What would our society become if fishermen, farmers and people in other trades begin to cause bloodbath so the federal government could give them special consideration?
“We call on the federal government to shelve the idea of committing public funds on ranches and allow the owners of the business to attend to their business needs in the spirit of “I belong to everybody” mantra of the president.
“To go ahead with the plan is to say that cattle owners own this government and that would make other segments of society to say “we have no inheritance in this arrangement.”’ (The Sun)
A former President-General of the Ohaneze Ndigbo, Dr Dozie Ikedife, spoke with OKEGWO KENECHUKWU on the sundry issue. Excerpts:
What should be the expectation of Ndigbo as President Muhammadu Buhari prepares to run for a second tenure?
This raises a question whether the Igbo should support Buhari to win so that in 2023, Ndigbo will have an indisputable right to field a candidate for the Presidency or they should allow him to be defeated by perhaps another Northerner, who will be there for another eight years and that will cancel the chances of a candidate from the South East in 2023.
Another important question is what do those in Biafra land want. Is it Nigerian presidency or self-determination or the actualisation of Biafra. That is an issue that has to be resolved. These are the questions to be answered with as much rationalisation and logic as possible.
Who among the Igbo would answer these questions?
It is a difficult one. You will notice that if any group comes up to talk, another group will stand up and discredit it. It makes the thing look cacophonic. There is a disharmonious communication. One person will say one thing, another person will counter it and say a different thing.
A case in point to illustrate what I’m saying is what happened recently. The President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, got a report that the youth wing of Ohaneze had sacked him. What did he do? What is their locus for saying that? Is it the tail wagging the dog or the dog wagging the tail? All these kinds of situations are proofs of what I’m saying. The Igbo have to get their house in order. The people of Biafra land should get their house in order.
We have Alaigbo Development Foundation, South East Elders Forum and Even the Supreme Council of Indigenous People of Biafra, apart from Ohaneze Ndigbo. Which among these groups is qualified to address the issues?
Of course, they are all qualified. They are all legitimate Igbo organisation working for the interest of the Igbo people.
What is your own perception of the declaration of President Buhari to contest in 2019?
These are issues that have to be balanced. Buhari has every right to contest if he so wished. It is for the Nigerian electorate to decide whether he deserves a second tenure or not. There is a school of thought in assessing him, I think judging from the way he ran the first four years; the suffering of people of the South East and the cry of marginalisation, another four years will make it appear like 40 years of neglect and marginalisation of the whole of South East.
The reference point is the reaction to the so-called Fulani herdsmen’s sacking of villages, communities and towns, planting themselves and carrying dangerous weapons without licences.
Why do you think the Fulani herdsmen attacks have continued unabated?
Now, it is understood that certain things happened during the Nigeria-Biafra Civil War. Biafra declared its independence on May 30, 1967, and the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon who was the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, said he was declaring a war against Biafra and expected that it would last for few weeks. He then underrated the resistance and resolve of the Biafrans.
When the thing did not end in three weeks as he expected, he engaged mercenaries who came and fought, took their money and left. But Biafrans did not surrender. Then he was told that the Nigerian troops could take Port Harcourt, that so long as PortHarcourt was in Biafra land, Biafra will not cave in. To reach Port Harcourt, he apparently signed an agreement with the people of Cameroon that they should allow him access through Bakassi area to Port Harcourt and at the end of the war, Cameroon should take Bakassi. That was done.
He signed that agreement as Nigeria signing away part of Biafran land while at that time Biafra was a sovereign state of its own recognised by some countries and Nigeria should have no legal right to sign away any part of its land. Notwithstanding, Biafra did not fall.
Gowon was said to have obliged to enlist help from Muslim soldiers from other West African countries where a good number of them came to help fight and decimated Biafra to bring it back to Nigeria. The condition for that service was that they would be allowed grazing rights all the way down Eastern Region, that was agreed.
And it appeared that looking back after the war, Cameroon claimed Bakassi and sacked natives of Bakassi who said they were Nigerians. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo as at that time took the case to the International Court of Justice (ICC) which ruled against Nigeria.
Similarly, Fulani herdsmen from neighbouring countries are of the assertion that based on the agreement with the Nigerian government during the civil war, they will graze their cattle at any place they want. And they now have the temerity to sack villages, communities and towns. And when they do, they just set up their homes and it appears that Buhari’s hands are tied because of that agreement allegedly signed by Gowon.
Is there no way the agreement could be reversed?
The legal questions are: Did Gowon have the right to sign away Biafran land if he did that when Biafra was standing as a sovereign state? Did he consult the people of Biafra then? Did any of them join in signing? Did he get their consent before signing it? If he did not consult the people of Biafra, is that agreement legitimate, is it binding? These are questions that deserve resolution by a court of
law. (New Telegraph)
Femi Fani-Kayode, a former aviation minister and a leading opposition figure in Nigeria, granted an explosive interview to a national daily. Below is the full transcript of the interview which took place against the backdrop of the killings by Fulani herdsmen militia.
The People’s Democratic Party chieftain blamed the Muhammadu Buhari-led government for its complacency and indifference in the face of the genocide and warned the Middle Belt and the Southern States of accepting the “cattle colony” policy of the Buhari regime. He called it a cover for colonisation of Nigeria by the Fulani and says that they are deliberate about “enslaving” the rest of Nigeria.
How is your health now?
We give thanks to God. It was tough and I was out of circulation for about three weeks but I am much better now and I am getting stronger by the day.
I praise God for healing me, for preserving me and for protecting my life. The counsel of the ungodly shall not stand.
How would you rate the handling of suspected Fulani herdsmen attacks in the country by the government and security agencies?
Shameful and unacceptable. I believe that the fact that the security agencies have not been able to apprehend and bring to justice even one terrorist herdsman means that they are complicit in it. Buhari has no interest in protecting the Nigerian people from the Fulani herdsmen.
Thousands of innocent people have been butchered and slaughtered under his watch and under his very nose genocide and ethnic cleansing is waxing strong.
I don’t know how he can possibly sleep well at night. History and God will judge him harshly for his indifference to and complicity in this great evil.
Q: The Defence Minister, Mansur Dan-Ali, recently blamed the killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen on anti-open grazing laws and the blockage of grazing routes. Do you agree? What do you think about his comments?
He is a Fulani man himself and he has spoken up and stated a case for his Fulani herdsmen brothers. His comments simply confirm the view that many have that the Buhari administration are supporting the terrorists and they don’t care.
I think that his comments are reprehensible.
Trying to justify genocide and ethnic cleansing and blame it on the victims rather than the perpetrators is unacceptable. The Minister of Defence should bow his head in shame, apologise to the people of Benue state and ask God for forgiveness.
Do you the killings going on in places like Benue and Taraba are resulting from clashes as the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, once said?
No, I do not agree with him. What is going on there are not clashes but carefully orchestrated mass murder, ethnic cleansing and genocide of the indigenous Christian population by well-armed and well-supplied Muslim Fulani militias which are being supported and funded by very powerful people.
A number of states have passed anti-open grazing laws and some others are in the process of passing such a law. Do you think that will solve the problem of attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen or not?
It is a good step in the right direction and it will certainly go a long way in returning sanity to the situation. However, given the determination of the terrorists, the herdsmen and those behind them far more needs to be done.
For example, Miyetti Allah should be proscribed and declared a terrorist organisation and its leaders ought to be arrested and charged for murder.
The Federal Government, through the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, talked about the need to have cattle colonies in states. Some states have said they are not interested and some have shown interest. Do you think the states that are opposed to it have good reasons to do so?
Yes, they have a very good reason to oppose it and I am glad they have done so. The whole idea of cattle colonies is unacceptable and there is far more to it than meets the eye.
It is a subterranean and covert attempt to establish not just cattle colonies but Fulani colonies all over the south and the Middle Belt.
10 years from now any state in the south or Middle Belt that accepts cattle colonies will wish they had never done so.
Find out what the root cause of the problem in Jos and Plateau State is between the indigenous Berom people and the Fulani settlers.
They will not just come with their cows but also with all their people. They will multiply like rabbits and after some time they will not only outnumber you but they will also claim the land as theirs.
Next, they will insist on having an Emir then they will impose their faith, their ways and their culture on you and try to dominate and control your everyday life.
They will arm themselves very well and after some time they will insist on political control of your entire community, act as if they are no longer guests and settlers but rather the original owners of the land and everyone else will be treated like second-class citizens and filth. And if you attempt to resist them they will threaten you and kill you.
That is where this cattle colony thing will all end and that is what it is designed to achieve. It is simply a handy and subtle vehicle for Fulani expansion, assimilation and conquest and it is being promoted and encouraged by Buhari’s Fulani Government.
I say shame on this government and particularly on Audu Ogbeh for trying to introduce such a repugnant idea even when those that asked him to do so are slaughtering his own people in Benue state.
The proposed introduction of cattle colonies is a rubbish suggestion, of a rubbish idea, from a rubbish Minister, who serves a rubbish Government.
Audu Ogbeh was a federal minister in 1983. He is clearly too old for the job now, he has lost touch with reality and he no longer knows what he is doing. He needs to resign.
Saturday PUNCH recently had an interview with Professor Umar Labdo of Maitama Sule University, Kano in which he described the Fulani people as being destined to rule Nigeria. What are your views on that? Do you think the Fulani were destined to lead?
May God guide and lead me by His Spirit and may He cause me to courageously speak nothing but the truth no matter how hard, painful or bitter that truth may be.
Not only is what Professor Labdo said false but it also an insulting view and a deeply offensive assertion. I say this because what he is in essence suggesting is that the rest of us are nothing but slaves that must bow at the feet of the Fulani and serve them in perpetuity. Such views are unacceptable. They have no place in a civilised society and they must be condemned by all men of goodwill.
If, as Labdo has suggested, the Fulani are “destined to lead” or are “born to rule” the logical deduction and clear implication is that every other ethnic nationality in the geographical space called Nigeria including the Yoruba, the Ijaw, the Igbo, the Tiv, the Hausa, the Kanuri, the Berom, the Idoma, the Urobo, the Isetkiri, the Isoko, the Efik, the Ibibio, the Kalabari, the Nupe, the Gwari, the Bachama and everyone else were “destined to slavery” and “born to serve” and that they were “born to BE ruled” by others.
I reject that notion and I find it deeply repugnant, obnoxious and offensive. I do not believe that that is God’s plan or purpose for any Nigerian or any of out numerous nationalities and such views are the closest things to the Nazi philosophy and way of thinking that I have ever heard.
The Nazis believed that God gave the white ‘Aryans’ of Germany the earth and all of humanity to dominate and rule over in perpetuity and Adolf Hitler enunciated those dangerous views very well in his famous book titled ‘Mein Kampf’ (meaning ‘My Struggle’).
In a similar way, Labdo believes that God gave the Fulani the nation and the people of Nigeria to lead, rule and dominate in perpetuity and he has enunciated those views in his famous interview with the Saturday Punch Newspaper.
Both Hitler and Labdo and indeed all those that think like them are deluded and dangerous and they must be confronted and exposed for what they are: self-serving racists and ethnic supremacists of the highest order.
The white Afrikaans-speaking Boer settlers and farmers of apartheid South Africa, who were originally from Holland, also had those views and a few of them still do.
They believed that God had given them South Africa to rule over and dominate in perpetuity and that the black Africans that they met there when they arrived in the Cape in 1604 were, in Van Riebeek’s famous words, nothing but “stinking black dogs” who were destined to be treated as the biblical “carriers of water and hewers of the wood”.
In other words, they were nothing but slaves and even close to being sub-human. That is how people like Labdo see the rest of us that are not Fulani in Nigeria.
No matter how well-educated or prosperous we are and no matter what we may have achieved in life they see us as underlings, serfs and slaves that were ordained by God to live, serve and die for them.
They believe that we live for their leisure and at their pleasure. I believe this is unacceptable and that such thinking has no place in a civilised society. It is wrong, it is false and it is ungodly.
My full response to Professor Labdo was articulated and documented in great detail in my official rejoinder to him which is titled ‘The Dangerous Delusions Of Umar Muhammed Labdo”.
It was published in the Punch Newspaper itself and in numerous other mediums. I would urge all those that are interested in to google it and read it so that when other Fulanis make such bogus claims they know exactly what to say to counter them and shoot down the reckless rhetoric and dangerous propaganda.
We must not allow Labdo’s lies and delusions to go unanswered and we must not make the grave error of assuming that he speaks only for himself or that his view is a minority view.
The truth is that he speaks for many of his people and his views are widely held even if not voiced out publicly by many Fulani leaders. That is the bitter truth and we must accept it.
We must also expose it, confront it, discredit it, overwhelm it, overcome it and finally bury it. We refuse to confront it or shy away from doing so at our own peril and at great risk to our collective future and the future of our children and generations unborn.
Unlike Labdo I believe that all men and women, regardless of their tribe, ethnicity, race, faith, colour, gender or nationality were created equal before God and I believe that anything outside of that is evil.
He said that Fulani people are saddled with the burden of leadership and that they have to shoulder that responsibility because they are more educated and qualified for it than anyone else. He also said that the Fulani were reading books and ancient transcripts 500 years ago before any other nationality in Nigeria could read or write. What do you think about these assertions?
Again this is false. Qualified how? As a matter of fact, some would argue that in terms of history they are the least qualified and the least deserving to lead and rule. If it was simply about qualifications and not a brutal show of power and the force of arms they would be nowhere because there are many nationalities in Nigeria that are far more qualified to take the lead than they were or are.
The Fulani are not amongst the most educated in Nigeria and if the truth be told education came to them very late.
They were so uneducated and unenlightened that they were terrified of Nigeria gaining her independence from the British in 1953 when the first motion for Nigeria’s independence was moved because they knew that they could not compete with ANY of the southern ethnic nationalities in a newly independent Nigeria.
That is why they said 1953 was too early for our nation to have independence. Imagine someone saying it was too early to be free and to break the yoke of bondage and colonialism.
That is what the north, led by the Fulani, said in 1953. They walked out of Parliament when the motion was moved because they knew that they were not qualified or capable of leading and managing the affairs of a newly independent nation and they made it clear that they did not want southern leadership or domination and that they would rather have British rule than a southern rule.
That is why the British loved them so much and favoured them. Because of their fawning and servile attitude towards the British, because of their resentment for and aggression and hostility towards the better educated, more successful and more qualified south and because of their morbid fear of southerners, southern rule and southern domination they held up our independence for 8 years.
And even then the understanding and deal between them and the British were that the system would be rigged, the census figures would be cooked and the Armed Forces would be skewered all in their favour so that an independent Nigeria would be led by them and not by the far more qualified and far better educated south.
What the British did to us by giving them power and leadership and protecting and favouring them for all these years just to keep the south in bondage and to spite us was cruel and unprecedented and we have been paying the price and suffering the consequences of that cruel act ever since.
Labdo talks about education and I wonder what he and his people know about it? If not for Federal Character and the quota system where would he and they be today?
Would he even be a professor? What were his father, his grandfather and his great-grandfather in life? Were they educated or were they qualified in any way to lead?
I doubt it very much and I don’t want to say the sort of things they may well have been doing. Compare that to the southern experience and their southern counterparts.
The Yoruba, for example, had people in the best universities in the world like Oxford and Cambridge as far back as the early 1800’s when Usman Dan Fodia was still learning to ride a horse and planning his jihad.
The Igbo also had many educated and enlightened people then. Do you know how many southern Nigerians were at the great Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone which was part of Durham University in the late 1800’s?
What do people like Labdo and his progenitors and forefathers know about that? Do you know how many people in the south were educated by the great Christian missionaries and the Anglican Church, including my great grandfather Rev. Emmanuel Adebiyi Kayode who was one of those that first brought Christianity to Ile-Ife after finishing at Durham University?
Do you know that his son, my grandfather, Justice Victor Adedapo Kayode was at Cambridge University just as his son, my father, Chief Remilekun Adetokunbo Fani-Kayode was many years later?
Where were their forefathers that were so qualified to lead educated and what was the nature of that education?
Does he know of places like CMS Grammar School in the late 1800’s and the great Kings College when it was really King’s College in 1901?
Does he know of great educated men in our history like Bishop Ajayi Crowther, Herbert Macaulay, Sir Adeyemo Alakija, Justice Coker, Justice Adetokunboh Ademola, Justice Fatayi-Williams, Chief Rotimi Frederick Alade Williams, Chief Bode Thomas, Chief Sobo Sowemimo, Chief Ayo Rosiji, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe and countless others who went to Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, London and many other great universities all over the world?
What about Wole Soyinka, the Ransome-Kuti brothers, Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo, Bola Ige, Abraham Adesanya, Ayo Adebanjo and so many others that came in the later generation of great educated minds and that went to the top Nigerian Universities when they were amongst the best in Africa?
How many of such people do the Fulani have? Not one. They knew nothing about western education till many years later. The first northern lawyer was called to the bar in 1955 which was over 100 years after the first Yoruba lawyer, Sapara Williams, was called to the bar.
And even that northerner was a northerner of Yoruba extraction by the name of Ganiyu Abdul-Rasaq from Ilorin. Where was the Fulani throughout these years in terms of education? Even the Hausas who they conquered, the Kanuri and much of the north were far ahead of them.
The earliest and most educated family in the north were the Atta’s and they were Ibiras from Okene and not Fulani. The earliest and best-educated family in the far core north were the Wali’s of Kano but even they were well behind the Attas and the Abdul Rasaq’s.
Most of the northern tribes, like their southern counterparts, had thousands of years of rich history, empire and kingdoms in their present locations long before the Fulani came and when they were still plying the trade routes with their camels to north Africa from Futa Jalon in Guinea and herding cattle.
The Fulani did not even appear in northern Nigeria until 1797 and the jihad was launched in 1804. They met us all here. They came from elsewhere and they came with the sword.
What they got in northern Nigeria they got by the power of the sword and through violence, bloodshed and conquest and not as a consequence of any qualification or education that they never had.
They conquered parts of the north, toppled old dynasties, destroyed ancient empires and imposed their Emirs by force on their new-found slaves and vassals. It was by force and not by qualification or superior knowledge and education as Labdo would have us believe.
And when they talk about education and you point these facts out they will say “oh we are talking about Islamic education and not western education”. But yet again they are wrong there because even in that they were very far behind most others.
I say this because Islam came to the Yoruba tribes primarily through the Turkish traders 400 years before Usman Dan Fodio put his foot in northern Nigeria and attacked the Hausa Habe Kingdom and fought King Yunfa of Gobir.
The Hausa had already accepted Islam as their faith then just as the Kanuris had done too. However, in the whole of Nigeria, no tribe knew Islam or was better educated in Islamic literature, the Koran and the hadith than the Yoruba Muslims.
So when Labdo talks about the Fulani being better qualified or better educated than anyone else it is simply a manifestation of his ignorance, his delusion and his arrogance of power.
He said that other tribes did not know how to read and write when the Fulani were reading transcripts 500 years before.
The truth is that the opposite is the case. They are the ones that knew nothing whilst others were far ahead of them and well advanced in matters of civilisation and governance.
He is wrong and we must set the record straight so that those in the younger generation are not misled. The Caliphate has only existed for about 220 years and before then the Fulani were barely educated, they were nothing and they knew nothing.
In terms of qualifications and education, they are very far down the line when compared to the numerous ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria. As painful as it may be this is the bitter truth.