In one in every of his smallest books Professor Chinua Achebe of the blessed reminiscences made very startling claims that Nigeria has an “Igbo” downside.
Within the “THE TROUBLE WITH NIGERIA”, launched in 1983 and reprinted in 1985, the globally revered scholar behind the favored novel referred to as “Issues disintegrate”, had written thus: “ A distinguished political scientist from a “minority” space of the south pronounced some years in the past that Nigeria has an Igbo downside. Each ethnic group is after all one thing of an issue for Nigeria’s straightforward achievement of cohesive nation- hood.”
“However the realized professor little question noticed the Igbo as a selected irritant, a particular thorn within the flesh of the Nigerian body-politic.”
“Nigerians of all ethnic teams will most likely obtain consensus on no different matter than their frequent resentment of the Igbo. They’d all describe them as aggressive, boastful and clannish. Most would add greedy and grasping (though the efficiency of the Yoruba for the reason that finish of the Civil conflict has tended to place the prize for greed in some doubt”.
“Fashionable Nigerian historical past has been marked by sporadic eruptions of anti-Igbo feeling of roughly critical import; but it surely was not till 1966-7 when it swept by means of Northern Nigeria like “a flood of a lethal hate” that the Igbo first questioned the idea of Nigeria which that they had embraced with a lot better fervour than the Yoruba or the Hausa/Fulani.”
“ The Civil Battle gave Nigeria an ideal and bonafide excuse to solid the Igbo within the function of treasonable felon, a wrecker of the nation. However thank Gowon’s moderating affect overt vengeance was not visited on them when their secessionist State of Biafra was defeated in January 1970. However there have been hard-liners in Gowon’s cupboard who needed their pound of flesh, essentially the most highly effective amongst them being Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Federal Commissioner for Finance. Below his steerage a banking coverage was advanced which nullified any checking account which has been operated in the course of the civil conflict. This has quick results of pauperizing the Igbo center class and incomes a revenue of 4 million for the Federal Authorities Treasury”.
Professor Achebe wrote additional thus: “The Indigenization Decree which adopted quickly afterwards accomplished the routing of the Igbo from the commanding heights of the Nigerian economic system, to everybody’s obvious satisfaction.”
“The origin of the nationwide resentment of the Igbo is as outdated as Nigeria and fairly as difficult. However it may be summarized thus: the Igbo tradition being receptive to alter, individualistic and extremely aggressive, gave the Igbo man an unquestioned benefit over his compatriots in securing credentials for development in Nigerian colonial society.”
“In contrast to the Hausa/Fulani he was unhindered by conventional hierarchies. This type of creature, fearing no man, was custom- made to know the alternatives, akin to they have been, of the white man’s dispensation. And the Igbo did so with each fingers. Though the Yoruba had an enormous historic and geographical head-start the Igbo worn out their handicap in a single unbelievable burst of vitality within the twenty years between 1930 and 1950.”
“Had the Igbo been a minor ethnic group of some hundred thousand, their menace may need been simply and quietly contained. However they ran of their thousands and thousands! Like J.P. Clark’s positive picture of “ants submitting out of the wooden” the Igbo moved out of their forest dwelling, scattered and nearly seized the ground.”
That was the classic Professor Chinua Achebe whose huge physique of literature has moulded thousands and thousands of youthful students.
I feel one factor that was lacking in that small however mighty guide THE TROUBLE WITH NIGERIA written by Professor Chinua Achebe is the absence of any type of reconstruction and rehabilitation of the infrastructures of the outdated Japanese area destroyed by the 30 Months civil conflict by the then Federal forces that Gowon and his successors fill date didn’t rebuild not like what obtained after the World Wars when the battered infrastructures and economic system of Germany and far of Europe was reconstructed and rebuilt by means of The Marshall plan (formally the European Restoration Programme, ERP) which was an American initiative handed in 1948 for overseas assist to Western Europe. The USA transferred over $12 billion (equal of billion in 2019) in financial restoration programme to Western European economies after the tip of the World Battle 11. So the Igbo downside continues to be unresolved. Nonetheless, there’s a Fulani downside in Nigeria of at the moment and the sooner we settle for this existential actuality and attend to it the higher.
Steven Kefas a social media activist consider that there’s a Fulani downside in Nigeria.
He wrote as follows: “Final yr out of curiosity I visited each Katsina and Zamfara states in my quest for information in regards to the incessant killings happening there. After interacting with locals and a few victims I discovered that the aggressors within the two states are armed Fulani militias whereas the victims are largely Muslims of Hausa extraction. This invariably signifies that the killings happening within the two neighbouring states will not be spiritual however racial and all in regards to the Fulani hegemony over their Hausa hosts.The native Hausa folks of Northern Nigeria are additionally victims of those mass killings happening there, sarcastically they hardly converse out for causes finest identified to them.I’m glad that at the moment some Hausas have seen cause to talk out in opposition to the atrocities of the Fulanis in Northern Nigeria and by extension the complete nation.
Salient questions begging for solutions are;
Who’s arming the Fulani militias and to what acquire?
Why are Northern Governors giving them cash and typically logistics within the guise of compensation? Compensation for what precisely?
Can any group take up arms and maintain the nation to ransom with out being crushed by the navy? Why are the Fulani militias being pampered as a substitute of being crushed by our navy would possibly? Are the militias higher outfitted and educated then our navy?
It’s time for Nigerians irrespective of faith or tribe to unite and converse with one voice in opposition to the atrocities of those Janjaweeds and their sponsors.
It’s time for the Hausas of Northern Nigeria who’ve suffered tremendously within the fingers of those bloodsucking criminals get up and take their destinies of their fingers simply because the Yorubas and others are doing in the intervening time.
Might God Almighty ship us and produce an finish to the calamitous actions of those Janjaweeds.Amen.”
As identified by the activist Steven Kefas, the North is contending with the standard Fulani downside and to be Candid, no person is stereotyping the Fulani ethnicity. The Fulani downside stems from the truth that there are two existential attributes related to the Fulani ethnicity in Nigeria. The existential attributes are that there are two sorts of Fulani in Nigeria which as I got here to realize it as a toddler in Northern Nigeria of the early 80’s are the realities of the 2 sub- teams of Fulani generally recognized in Hausa language as Fulani Daji (Fulani who’re nomadic and are identified to maneuver about within the bush and there may be the opposite sub-set often known as Fulani Gida or Fulani that reside contained in the townships like each different Nigerian. FOR occasion, Atiku Abubakar Nigeria’s former Vice President is Fulani gida. President Muhammadu Buhari is city Fulani. All these cupboard ministers-: that of FCT, Schooling, Finance and lots of others holding prime rated nationwide workplaces below the federal government of President Muhammadu Buhari are FULANI GIDA.
From each indication, a lot of the circumstances of kidnapping, cattle rustling and the alleged invasion of farms and forest reserves are carried out by the sub-set of Fulani who reside within the bush and who’ve but to embrace modernity akin to ranching of their cows and settling down with their beautiful households in homes within the rural and concrete areas of Nigeria. The opposite downside is that these herders who’re nomadic are stated to be caring for livestock and cattle belonging to the Fulani elites who’re amongst the Urbanised Fulani.
One of many factions of the umbrella group of Fulani herdsmen often known as Miyetti Allah clearly demonstrated the truth that we as a contemporary Federation must deal with the Fulani downside that steers us all within the face. As I stated once more, it isn’t about stereotyping any ethnicity however about adopting pragmatic strategy to resolve an identifiable downside. I don’t agree with Sultan of Sokoto or Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto Diocese of the Roman Catholic church who assume any try to speak in regards to the prevalent involvement of Fulani herdsmen in violent crime quantities to stereotyping the Fulani Ethnicity. Removed from it. We have to establish an issue in order to resolve it. A lot of the victims of kidnappings freed usually instructed the media that their abductors spoke Fulfude which is the native dialect of Fulani. Because of this there may be the necessity to clear up this rising downside with out essentially criminalizing Fulani Ethnicity.
I’ll very shortly return to the interview granted by the factional chief of Miyetti Allah wherein a few of his phrases depicts these vanity that I feel constituted the Fulani downside that we have to clear up going ahead.
However first, let me quote a press release ‘from a Fulani elite who clearly painted the image of a disaster of id amongst the Fulani ethnicity that we ought to resolve.
Adamu Garba, a former presidential aspirant has reacted to the continuing rift between Sunday Igboho, his supporters and the Fulani residing in Igbangan, Oyo State.
A revered on-line media in Nigeria, DAILY POST had reported that the Yoruba activist, Sunday Igboho, made actual his risk to expel the Fulani from Igangan in Oyo State.
Igboho disclosed that he acted on the request of conventional rulers.
Reacting, Garba in a tweet by way of his Twitter account on Monday, stated despite the fact that he’s a Fulani man, he was completely in opposition to the concept of permitting cows to roam the streets in 2021.
He additional revealed that by regulation, land can solely be used by means of lease or buy, including that authorities ought to step ahead and resolve the dispute.
“I’m a Fulani man, but it surely really doesn’t make sense for cows to be roaming the streets in 2021. Cows ought to be ranched on a land acquired or rented by the ranchers. Additionally, by regulation land can solely be used by means of lease or buy.
“I consider, to reconcile the raging herders disaster is to open correct communication the place every is aware of the legal guidelines of the land. All lands in Nigeria, together with forests belongs to some entity, FG, SGs, LGs, Firm’s or people. Thus no land can be utilized with out correct authorization.
“The issue of the Fulani herders is a betrayal from town Fulanis, who determined, after transferring to cities, buying wealth & energy, however failed to hold the village brothers alongside, leaving them in a determined scenario.
“I’d advise that the wealthy Fulanis ought to come collectively and purchase ranching lands whereas authorities step ahead and dissolve this dispute.
“No state energy can provide land to anybody the place the land is been recognized with house owners for generations, with out buying or renting.
“Lastly, lack of correct communication to the herders in understanding the regulation of land use, by bringing the encircling communities onboard isn’t adequate.
“It could as effectively be a breeding floor for conflicts and a really ripe scenario for civil conflict. This should nevertheless be prevented AT ALL COST,” he stated.
This assertion confirms the existence of a Fulani downside in Nigeria. Then the MIYETTI ALLAH official Bello Bodejo bragged that Fulani herdsmen don’t want the permission of land house owners earlier than grazing their cows. Simply earlier than the President Muhammadu Buhari reportedly waded into the disaster between MIYETTI and Ondo state governor, the MIYETTI ALLAH official depicted these sentiments that go to point out the crucial of accepting that there’s a Fulani downside after which Nigeria finds a method out so all Ethnic teams can have a way of belonging and concord.
To buttress the aforementioned factors, in 2016 the newspapers reported that the Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai had stated his authorities has traced some violent, aggrieved Fulani to their nations and paid them to cease the killings of Southern Kaduna natives and the destruction of their communities saying that the renewed violence is carried out by bandits.
El-Rufai made this identified whereas fielding questions from some choose Journalists in his workplace in Kaduna.
He stated: “For southern Kaduna, we didn’t perceive what was happening and we determined to arrange a committee below Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (rtd) to search out out what was happening there. What was established was that the basis of the issue has a historical past ranging from the 2011 submit election violence. “Fulani herdsmen from throughout Africa convey their cattle down in the direction of Center Belt and Southern Nigeria. The second the rains begins round March, April, they begin transferring them up to return to their numerous communities and nations. “Sadly, it was once they have been transferring up with their cattle throughout Southern Kaduna that the elections of 2011 befell and the disaster trapped a few of them. “A few of them have been from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal. Fulanis are in 14 African nations they usually traverse this nation with the cattle.
“So many of those folks have been killed, cattle misplaced they usually organised themselves and got here again to revenge. “So numerous what was occurring in Southern Kaduna was really from exterior Nigeria. We bought a touch that the late Governor Patrick Yakowa bought this info and he despatched somebody to go spherical a few of these Fulani communities, however after all after he died, the entire thing stopped. That’s what we inherited. However the Agwai committee established that.
“We took sure steps. We bought a gaggle of folks that have been going spherical making an attempt to hint a few of these folks in Cameroon, Niger republic and so forth to inform them that there’s a new governor who’s Fulani like them and has no downside paying compensations for lives misplaced and he’s begging them to cease killing. “In a lot of the communities, as soon as that attraction was made to them, they stated they’ve forgiven. There are one or two that requested for financial compensation. They stated they’ve forgiven the demise of human beings, however need compensation for cattle. We stated no downside, and we paid some.”
Conclusively, within the Vanguard report of December third 2016, Elrufai stated: “As just lately as two weeks in the past, the group went to Niger republic to attend one Fulani gathering that they maintain yearly with a message from me.”
About the identical interval, the Senator representing Southern Kaduna Senator Danjuma Tella Laah accused the Kaduna State Governor of sponsoring Fulani herdsmen to assault and kill Southern Kaduna Christians.
The crises in Ondo State concerning unlawful occupation of the forest reserves by Fulani herdsmen which culminated in a gathering of South West governors additionally present that a lot of the criminals perpetrating crimes of kidnappings and killings within the area are FULANI herdsmen.
In Delta State, armed Fulani herdsmen killed a First-class conventional ruler. In Enugu, a number of communities have been attacked by armed Fulani herdsmen. In Abia and Imo state’s, armed Fulani herdsmen have attacked many communities. In Benue State armed Fulani herdsmen have attacked many communities and killed many. In Plateau state, in addition to Taraba and Adamawa there have been circumstances of assaults by armed Fulani simply as Fulani settlements got here below assaults.
Actually, Nigeria has a Fulani downside which has been made worst by the dangerous insurance policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration that thus far continued to defend Fulani herdsmen and haven’t prosecuted any of the suspected armed Fulani herdsmen. Don’t quote me mistaken, there are thousands and thousands of fine Fulani who will not be criminals. Nonetheless, from accessible empirical proof, too most of the armed Fulani herdsmen are into one type of crime or the opposite together with stealing cows from different Fulani herdsmen.
It’s uncertain if the present administration that performs out favouritism in the direction of the Fulani Trigger will muster sufficient political will to successfully resolve the Fulani downside in Nigeria. Can we discover out why regardless of the releases of billions of Naira to run the Academic company for mass literacy of Fulani nomads, not a lot good points have come from utilizing public fund to specifically empower the nomadic Fulani? If the efforts of the Academic empowerment of the FULANI DAJI by means of the Federal ministry of Schooling have been effectively mobilized and transparently applied, I feel by now, over 50 p.c of the nomadic Fulani would have embraced fashionable method of ranching their cattle so there shall be no challenge on the invasion of farms or illegally occupying forests and farm lands. In Southern Kaduna, there are allegations that armed Fulani herdsmen have occupied Christian communities and have chased away the actual house owners who at the moment are in IDPS.
This was how Ondo and Fulani herdsmen resolved the Fulani conundrum-: “Following the Govt Order of the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Aketi SAN, to the Fulani Herdsmen illegally occupying the State Forest Reserves to vacate inside seven days With impact from Monday 18″ January, 2021, the Nigeria Governors’ Discussion board led by its Chairman, Dr. Kayode Fayemi met with the management of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Affiliation of Nigeria (MACBAN), safety businesses and different stakeholders on twenty fifth January, 2021 on the Worldwide Centre for Tradition and Occasions (DOME), Alagbaka, Akure, Ondo State to search out lasting options to the incessant killings, kidnapping and crises between herdsmen and farmers within the Southwest geo-political zone of the nation.
Assembly mentioned vigorously and resolved that:
The safety and welfare of the folks of Nigeria is the first objective of Authorities as enshrined within the 1999 structure of Nigeria as amended.
The stakeholders are dedicated to the unity and indivisibility of Nigeria.
Insecurity is a nationwide problem and never peculiar to any tribe or area however should be addressed by the cooperation of all.
The order of the Ondo State Governor was misconstrued and misrepresented by a bit of the media. He solely ordered these occupying the Forest Reserves in Ondo State illegally to give up.
Criminals ought to be apprehended and punished, regardless of their origin, class or standing.
Safety businesses have been making an attempt to stem the tide of criminality within the nation however should step up their efforts within the combat.
There may be the necessity to construct partnership for peace and safety with MACBAN and collectively wage conflict in opposition to criminality.
Nobody had despatched anybody away from any state or area however all fingers should be on deck to combat criminality.
MACBAN is a peace loving, regulation abiding group which doesn’t harbour or condone criminals and agreed that:
(i) Evening grazing ought to be banned henceforth
(ii) Below age herding is Inimical to safety and therefore be banned
(iii) Occupation of State Forest Reserves illegally is condemned.
MACBAN additionally suffers insecurity and kidnapping and thus need peaceable coexistence.
MACBAN is prepared for any peaceable transfer by the states to engender safety.
Pretend information is one other challenge that makes our safety worse than fixing it.
There should be an everlasting framework with MACBAN in a method that may assist tackle safety points.
That free vary grazing should be stopped to keep away from conflicts between the farmers and the herders
Strengthening an alternate safety preparations and make them complementary to the mainstream safety businesses in Nigeria.
MACBAN ought to embrace and be dedicated to fashionable breeding course of by creating grazing reserves and observe ranching to stop cattle roaming about.
Standing Committee comprising of farmers, MACBAN and the Authorities ought to be arrange in every state (the place they don’t exist) to make sure synergy and end result.
We should create financial alternatives for our folks and cut back alternatives for criminalities in our nation”.
Actually, Nigeria should be operated below the legal guidelines of fairness, equality of rights and no person should be handled as both second class residents or sacred cows.
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO; NATIONAL COORDINATOR
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) and blogs @www.huriwanigeria.com, www.thenigerianinsidernews.com, [email protected]