By our Correspondent.
It is a fact that, the Southwest and the Middle-Belt fought the Civil War caused largely by the then ruling class Hausa/Fulani clique to Keep Nigeria One. It is also regrettable, however, that the Middle-Belt as a people never knew the reason(s) for that war, except the propaganda they were fed with. Also, it is more regrettable that the Hausa/Fulani, who caused the war and did not fight in the war, reaped most of the benefits of its outcome; but we must give credit to those, who deserve it.
Having learned from the Civil War, the Middle-Belters will now learn and acquire the necessary attributes, which will make it impossible for any group in the country to again use them against themselves or any other ethnic group.
In 2011, one of the architects of sectarian politics in Nigeria called on Moslems to vote only Muslims. Such people have succeeded in clothing religion with ethnic bigotry and chauvinism. The statement, which came on the heels of 2,000 Sharia wars, was as insensitive as it was inciting and provocative.
Our Vision News Magazine, Vol.4: No.2 of 2003 quoted Mantu, who spoke with journalists in Jos, saying, “The country was a secular state, as such eligible voters should not allow any religious fanatic to become Nigeria’s President. I don’t know how Buhari is going to attract the votes that would make him president any time Christians cannot vote for Buhari, because, if you hate me, why should I love you?,” Mantu asserted.
Mantu, the then Deputy Senate President, who is equally a Muslim, added: “You say you don’t want me but you still like my votes. I should want Buhari to reject Christians’ votes also, because they are a bunch of infidels. So, he should not mix his clean votes with those of infidels.” Nigerians have been saying that the country is so savaged as to be incapable of ruling itself and, as such, the Hausa/Fulani became rulers from God-knows-where. This may be measured against empirical facts and contemporary politics in Nigeria, especially in what used to be known as Northern Nigeria.
Ilorin is a Yoruba Town whose first ruler was Atonja until he ill-advisedly aligned with Alimi, a Fulani itinerary preacher, against the Ala’afin of Oyo. Today, the Fulanis area the ruling house in Ilorin. The then Atta of Ebira and/or his nominee ruled Lokoja up till the 1930s. Today, there is a so-called ‘Maigari of Lokoja’ stool occupied by a Hausa/Fulani from Kano.
Jos, the home town of Birom and Jarawa, some Hausa/Fulani from Bauchi are ignorantly laying claim to it. Some Beriberi traders found themselves in Lafia and settled to buy and sell became Hausanized and rulers of the town. Wase Town with the towns of Movo, Bashir and Kagarko, a nomadic Fulani man is made a First-class Chief in Wase instead of the Jukun of Movo Town. In Bida, the capital of Nupe nationalities of Nigeria, Etsu Nupe has a Hausa/Fulani as the Emir.
Suleja (formerly called “Abu-Ja”), is a Gbagyi Town, but a Zaria Hausa/Fulani is on the throne instead of a Gbagyi man. In Southern Kaduna, we have the Emir of Jama’a, a settler, who is from the Hausa/Fulani extraction, was dubiously appointed as the Emir, instead of an Atyap or Ikulu man. Other core southern Local Government Areas in Kaduna such as Kajuru, Kaura, Kagarko, Lere and towns like Jere and Saminaka with small pockets of Hausa/Fulani settlements have been given Moslem chiefs to govern the areas, disregarding the overwhelming indigenous ethnic groups and Christian majority.
In Adamawa State, there are many native ethnic tribes, who own the land, but the Fulani, who are settlers, are made the Lamido of Adamawa. Jalingo Town and its environs belong to Mumuye ethnic nationalities, who suppose to be chief, but the Hausa/Fulani minority is made an Emirate, over and above the aboriginal Mumuye ethnic nationality.
There is growing awareness in Nigeria that, as it is presently constituted, it has little or no respect for indigenous ethnic nationalities of the country. Many ethnic nationalities have become “endangered species” by reason of discrimination by the present administration. Any infringement of political onslaught against any one group gives room for the rest of the groups running the risk of being trampled upon, just as it is happening now.
The ethnic-cleansing of Middle-Belters going on in all its areas is a long time plan – the repetition of ethno-religious riots as recorded in Plateau, Nasarawa, Southern Bauchi, Kaduna, Taraba – is traceable to the imbalance in State creation and boundary adjustment of the last 25 years. The Middle-Belters have suffered so much discrimination in the region into which they were dumped, having paid such a great price for the unity of Nigeria, and have made huge sacrifices for the peace of the nation.
It is now time to ask – how much of sacrifice, of price and pain do they have to make? Those, who want to keep Nigeria together by force and without equity, will do well to look backward and see far ahead. It is true to say that no force of arms has been able to keep any country together. Middle-Belt people are not willing at this 21st Century to fight for or against any ethnic nationality in this Nigeria as it were in the past.
The Cabal the President keeps in the Villa will do well to advice him (the President) that it is the power of reciprocal, respect and equity that have succeeded in keeping countries together. Communist Soviet Union (USSR) collapsed more than ten years ago. Denmark was one country but broken into three, i.e., Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Yugoslavia is broken into several independent countries. Ethiopia is broken into Eritrea and Ethiopia. Somali cannot be said to be one country. Add the Republic of Somaliland and see how many warring factions are there.
Anywhere democratic change is resisted, what they get is revolutionary change. In the life of any nation, there will always be a time for change in political matters, structures and systems; only fools will be contented. The brutal fact is that, it is for the refusal to change that keeps Nigeria in the state of instability. The graveyard is very stable because there are no living beings to disturb its ‘stability.’
Until internal colonization and imperialistic greed and tendencies are curbed, there can be no genuine peace. It is sad to note that, the Hausa ethnic nationality have lost their identity because they have, unfortunately, remained complacent. They continue to consign their children, the poor and herders to archaic lifestyle of following animals through the bush. The leaders are the problems, because they keep majority of their citizens impoverished and uneducated, deliberately for a purpose, while the rich are busy stealing the wealth of the people and sending their children to schools abroad.
The Hausa people are more in number than the Fulanis. It is a general belief that population figures as arrived at by the various Census Exercises conducted in the country, between 1950 and 1991, were mere allocation of numbers and have no bearing on demographic principles or practice. To make it worst, the colonial authorities perverted the figures in favour of their chosen heirs and to the disadvantage of other ethnic nationalities in the country.
We have since rejected such census figures as the basis of formula for sharing the commonwealth of the country. The Middle-Belters stand for the full implementation of the Recommendations of the Report of the National Conference of 2014.