Nigeria: The Contradictions (Part 21)

By Ikenga Chronicles December 14, 2017

Nigeria: The Contradictions (Part 21)

— Baron Roy

Southerners erroneously refer to the Fulani as unintelligent and thus, ought not be ruling over the bulk of Southerners with “superior wisdom”. But these “seemingly unintelligent people” immigrated to Nigeria some 250yrs ago from the Futa Djalon Highlands and have completely dominated all aspects of our national life. They control everything. They are not indigenous but they have completely subjugated the indigenous population. They are barely 12million strong and they rule over 170million others they met on ground! That, to me, doesn’t seem like the traits of the unintelligent! In fact, that the South underates them is their greatest undoing. And we are still mired in that mistake! My dear people, those dudes are highly intelligent!

A forensic analysis of the mode of the Caliphate government reveals that they have a government behind the official government that is far more responsive to their aspirations. From behind the scenes, they pull all the strings from the Sahara to the Atlantic. They control both Niger Republic and Nigeria! Two sovereign countries, and we call them unintelligent? I don’t think so!

But have they been able to bring their intelligence to bear for the common good? No!

They’re sectarian, domineering and very tribalistic! They believe in the use of power to enhance the aspirations of the Caliphate alone and the rest of the populace be damned. Herein lay my angst.

If the Caliphate employs its intelligence and power for the general good, share power, be nationalistic, encourage freedom and industry, rally the disparate peoples of the South and Middle Belt to have one great country where everyone could hope and aspire to the zenith, and generally provide welfare, succour and equity/justice to every citizen, do you think there would be agitations? No!

Alsace and Lorraine in France are no longer crying marginalization; the French have employed their dominance for the greater good. Hong Kong (Cantonese) is having a ball in the People’s Republic of China (Mandarin) today because the Mandarin have employed their dominance for the greater good. In Nigeria, the rest of us are seething because the Caliphate has employed its dominance for its tiny population and has frustrated the bulk of the people they rule over.

We should also recall that the Caliphate was progressing happily with the Jihad and their march to the Atlantic Coast was on course, then along came the British. The British defeated the Mahdi Army (Jihadists) in 1903, implemented Indirect Rule and the march to the Atlantic was suspended. The Caliphate, ever wily, never thought themselves as defeated, they negotiated with the British for power and understudied them. They ensured their agreements with the British prior to independence put them in a prime position. They were seething that their progress was suspended but the Jihad never died. On attaining independence, it was quietly activated.

For those who believe that the Jihad was a thing of the past, this is for you; if you expect some Mahdi to be invading the South on horseback with spears, swords, bows and arrows, you shall never see it.The Caliphate moved with the times and modernised their approach. They control the country anyway so why revert to the medieval methods of frontal attack? They simply modified the old tactics, and represented them to suit the times. They are in charge!

To overwhelm a target area, they send a few Islamic scholars and petty traders to the area. Those are well-behaved with kindly souls. They get involved in community work, help people, introduce people to Islam, help here and there. You cannot fault them. These are the scouts. They could be entrenched for upwards of 7yrs. Their surveillance reports are analysed and a decision taken by the Caliphate to send in the cattle. So they send in cattle with the herdsmen. The entrenched Fulani populace help the newcomers to settle. They secure rent agreements with the locals and set up huge mosques and markets. They locate the nearest military barracks and police outposts and have an open line with them.

Lest we be confused, the herdsmen with the cattle are hardly the real owners of the cattle. Those cattle are owned by the high and mighty. Those are often members of the Caliphate and attached to the federal government to varying degrees (I know this; I had a Cattle Ranch and did business with them. I had them in my employ). These big men owners provide them with their security gadgets, and protect them.

These herdsmen, alongside the earlier settlers have formed a power base with the host. Their population has tripled, their influence grown. They are often more powerful than the hosts. They appoint a Seriki who oversees their affairs. They wield soft power in the locality. Quietly, Fulani spreads Islam, the Caliphate extends its influence.

After a time usually around the quarter of a century, they start asserting themselves in the locality; they accuse the leadership of their host (if any) with corruption and insensitivity. Meanwhile, they are intimidating people all over. They call on the military and police in the area to come to their aid. Those further help to subjugate the host. In time, the power base of the area shifts completely to the Fulani and thus the Caliphate. The last act of the Caliphate to establish their authority is to post an Emir to the locality and completely take over. Finito!

Not bad, right? You doubt me? Yea, an Emir was posted from Zaria to oversee Southern Kaduna years ago; the fight is still on. In Gombe, they posted an Emir to Biliri; the people revolted. In Adamawa, the Fulani population is 3%. They have an Emir called the Lamido that rules the whole of the state and beyond. In Taraba, the “softening” of the Northern part is almost done. In Benue, you know exactly what it is.

For some “unintelligent” people, this is fantastic. That a smart dude pretends to be docile for years only to be made king shows that he’s ingenious!

The Caliphate has mostly succeeded because there is an absolute lack of organic leadership in Middle Belt and in the South–the British completely wiped that out! We had been tenderized for dinner since before 1914. Watch out! An Emir might just be posted to your place!

We have still refused to organize and borrow some wisdom in the South. We are more emotional than strategic. We came late into the game and we are learning fast. But for one small enclave or fiefdom in the South to believe it could contend with what I described above, and come tops without a near genocide is insane! The South must unite and commence Organic Restructuring NOW!

(To be continued)

  •  This piece is culled from the book Taming The Jungle by Baron Roy.