Nothing is as disgusting as a man successfully fighting a war, only to be pushed aside for a woman to take the centre stage of narratives of the said war.
Students of history know the real Nigerian Nationalists who staked their lives to make sure that Nigeria attained political independence from British Colonial Government.
It is quite saddening that people who struggle for a cause, in most cases, are not the ones that benefit from the gains of their enterprise. It is common in Nigerian politics!
An honest attempt to recall the history of pre-independence nationalism in Nigeria, would give a clear picture that no Fulani political leader was at the forefront for the actualization of independence for the country.
A roll call of Nigeria’s political Actors who worked tirelessly for Nigeria’s independence would situate prominently some Nigerians, including but not limited to the following; Engr/Surveyor Olayinka Herbert Macaulay from Lagos, Western Nigeria, Sessi Ernest Ikoli, from Brass, Eastern Nigeria, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, from Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, from Ikenne, Western Nigeria, Chief Samuel Akintola, from Ijebu, Western Nigeria, Mazi Mbonu Ojike, from Arondizuogu, Eastern Nigeria, Dr M I Okpara, from Umuahia, Eastern Nigeria, Dr Alvan Ikoku, from Arochukwu, Eastern Nigeria, Chief Anthony Enahoro, from Uromi, Western Nigeria, Chief Victor Babaremilekun Adetukunboh Fani-Kayode, from Ife, Western Nigeria, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, from Biageri in Bauchi, Northern Nigeria and Mallam Aminu Kano, an Hausa man from Kano, Northern Nigeria.
If there was any role, at all, played by the Fulani, it was opposition to the motion for self rule for Nigeria moved by Chief Anthony Enahoro in 1953. That motion was, to the disappointment of all southerners, opposed to by Alhaji Ahmadu Bello as leader of Northern Peoples Congress. He also initiated the infamous walk out of Northern Delegates in Lagos in 1953.
Nigeria, no matter the falsity and deception of 1999 Constitution, forcefully imposed on her citizens by the Nigerian Military, remains a Federation. Its standard expectations and thrust can only spring from its 1963 Republican Constitution, which expressly guaranteed true federalism, including fiscal federalism.
The country, ab initio, is a multi ethnic and cultural geographical contraption. It is and should, for all intents and purposes, remain a Secular Country.
Nigeria should have been one of the most peaceful and economically developed countries of the world if not the constant but futile proclivity of the Fulani hegemony to impose Islam on her citizens. The civil war; Nigeria/Biafra, was in resistance to Fulanization and Islamization.
As a multi ethnic secular country, each ethnic group has certain features or trademarks for which her indigenes are known. For instance, the Igbo are known for Palm Produce, the Yoruba are known for Cocoa, the Hausa are known for Groundnut and the Fulani are known for cattle.
The Buhari APC government has been recalcitrant in its unholy pursuit of forceful seizure of ancestral land of indigenous peoples of Nigeria for purposes of handing same over to his Fulani kinsmen. This misadventure has caused a lot of panick and tension in the land. Many thousands of indigenes of Middle-Belt have been slaughtered by terrorist Fulani herdsmen, with the tacit support of the President.
Since Gen Buhari came to power in 2015, there has not been any positive development in the country. Rather, unemployment has continued to soar high. Retrenchment has been a characteristic feature of his government. It was reported that Eco Bank alone sacked about nine hundred staff last week. That, of course, was President Buhari’s ‘next level’.
Instead of devising an economic blueprint that could help Nigeria come out of her mounting precariousness and ravaging hardship, the President has only been devoting all his energy towards forcing his Fulani kinsmen, majority of who continuously migrate into Nigeria from Senegal, Mali and Libya, on Nigeria’s indigenes.
Not long ago, the President came up with what he called Ruga Settlement Programme. The agenda was just to take peoples’ land in the thirty-six States of the federation and unlawfully use tax payers’ money to establish Fulani settlements all over Nigeria. The Buhari government has continuously refused to admit that cattle business is merely a private engagement that should be driven privately.
The APC government of President Buhari is grossly insensitive to the aspirations and feelings of Nigerians. If not, why should the President, knowing that the entire people of Southern Nigeria and Middle-Belt are uncomfortable with his cattle programme, move ahead to use cattle and herdsmen as watermarks on the new Nigerian International Passport?
Mr President is unconstitutionally stirring up the hornet’s nest. He is unnecessarily daring the collective will of the indigenous peoples of Nigeria who had lived many centuries before his Fulani tribesmen migrated to Nigeria.
That the Fulani conquered the Hausa kingdoms and Afonja’s Ilorin and have, since the early eighteenth century CE, reduced them to inconsequential slaves because of their own mistakes, should not give them any leverage to conclude that all other Nigerians are a conquered people. After all, the Fulani were roundly defeated by Warriors of Oyo Empire. They were also brutally humiliated in their attempt to invade and conquer Tiv land and their people. Infact, it is believed that Usman dan Fodio sustained an arrow injury that ended up killing him in his war against the Tiv. The Fulani are not invincible. They are only good at using people to plot the downfall of the same people.
The etching of cattle and herdsmen on Nigeria’s International Passport is an unwarranted affront on the sensibilities of Christians and Southerners in Nigeria, by the Buhari government. By using cattle and herdsmen on our International Passport, what Buhari thinks he has succeeded in doing is to erroneously believe he has achieved implementation of the boast by Sir Ahmadu Bello, that he would deep the Koran into the Atlantic Ocean.
Fulani terrorist herdsmen have globally been declared the forth most dreaded terrorist gang.
If the APC government of Buhari ever thinks, it would have known that any Nigerian whose Passport has the print of cattle and herdsmen, would automatically be branded a terrorist.
Nothing will compel me to go for that Passport. I am not a terrorist and, therefore, will not allow myself to be so suspected.
Evil will only thrive when Good Men keep quiet while it is perpetrated. I will not keep quiet over this insensibility.
I, therefore, call on all Christians and Southerners in Nigeria to rise with one voice and reject this insult. Members of National Assembly from the South and Middle-Belt should not wait to be told that this is the worst humiliation they will ever allow their people suffer. Civil Society Organizations, the Press, Market Unions, even the Organized Labour, should adopt every legitimate means to make sure this reckless presidential embarrassment is not allowed to fester.
Sir Don Ubani is a former Commissioner for Information & Strategy, Abia State.