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Gongola Peoples Forum: The Hausa-Fulani are not the enemy

On June 29, 2024 the beautiful and serene city of Yola, the capital of Adamawa State hosts the most diabolical, petty, fetish and bigoted event…

On June 29, 2024 the beautiful and serene city of Yola, the capital of Adamawa State hosts the most diabolical, petty, fetish and bigoted event in the recent history of the state, nay the region.

Some politically displaced persons (IDPs) who are sinking deep into political, social and economic oblivion have resorted to the disingenuous tricks of exploiting ethnic and religious sentiments as the means of returning to or remaining on the top of the Nigerian socio-political ladder.

Having come to terms with the futility of their previous schemes under the guise of the Middle Belt Forum, they have now rebranded into “Gongola Peoples Forum” to underscore a common “imagined enemy”, which they hope would serve as a rallying point for gullible members of diverse ethnic groups that have for long being used as their tool for political survival.

It is well-known that failed politicians easily turn into populists and demagogs, who create an imaginary enemy to amplify peoples’ fears and insecurities by invoking inherent sentiments such as ethnicity and religion to manipulate and control a society to gain or retain power at all costs.

The pettiness in this dim-witted scheme, its absurdity and lack of merit, as well as the long-term futility of the entire endeavour are too obvious and mundane to warrant a serious engagement – certainly not by the pain of a pen.

However, as a stakeholder in the Nigerian project, I deem it necessary to educate the public on the falsity of the arguments advanced by these so-called ethnic champions to save our already volatile society from an imminent collapse.

The narrative espoused by the conspirators of this agenda is the vilification of the Hausa-Fulani community in northern Nigeria, hinging their revisionism on the precolonial power and religious interface across the region that culminated into the creation and advancement of the Sokoto caliphate – arguably the largest and most prosperous modern precolonial state in the sub-region. They seek to inflame the already volatile ethnic tensions to achieve their selfish interests.

But, in reality, are Fulani the enemy? A quick glimpse into the history of the elites of the “ethnic minorities” among whom are the champions of this agenda would yield a sufficient answer. For instance, the “messiah general” pushed forward as the face of this hate mongering was singlehandedly educated, employed, promoted and uplifted by Sardauna – a Fulani prince – and later became a family member of Fulani generals, such as Murtala, Yarádua, Abacha, among others. The same can be said for other prominent names in this scheme, such as Comd. Dan Sulaiman, Mr. Bala Takaya, Pascal Bafyo all of whom were educated, made and fashioned by the generosity of the Hausa-Fulani.

Similarly, the Professor from Niger state was educated and uplifted in ABU Zaria, certainly not a minority enclave, and politically mentored and raised to prominence by the Fulani. In the wake of the counter coup in 1966, the Hausa-Fulani elites willingly handed over the leadership of this country to an ethnic minority from Jos, without prejudices, and years later the Jerries, Ussenis and Ishayas of this world were made de factor leaders of this nation under the generous hands of the Hausa-Fulani.

In Adamawa and Taraba states, the envisaged bastion of the renewed call for disintegration, the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar stuck his neck out to ensure the ascendency of a Michika as the Governor of Adamawa and a Mumuye as that of Taraba, both within the greater Adamawa Emirate.

In recent years, and against the competent and qualified candidature of numerous Hausa-Fulani, H.E. Atiku Abubakar, Alh. Babanga Tukur and Prof. Jibril Aminu, among other Fulani elites funded a Margi man to become the two-term governor of Adamawa State. The same goes for the later dispensations in Taraba State.

Some of the faces conspicuous at that event of disunity are merely the newest creations of the generous hand of the Fulani. The two former secretaries of the government of the federation would have been Nigerians, but certainly not of that calibre save for the generous hand of President Buhari, a thoroughbred Fulani. For many years, one of them lurked and grew his feathers under the Atiku political empire, while the other fed fat in the Buhari brand.

When Atiku Abubakar prodded the then governor Boni Haruna to elevate the second-class domains into the first-class chiefdoms in Adamawa State, it was out of the Fulani sense of compassion and justice, which was meant to increase integration, fair play and communal harmony. This is despite the fact that Atiku is a Fulani prince and traditional ruler, but then, the generous hand of the Fulani cannot be limited by ethnic sentiments. They were that honest and fair.

Oh yeah, the unsuspecting peoples of these nationalities who genuinely love our country, your enemies are not the Fulani. They are those people who ate your quota and now call you to war and disintegration just so that they will perpetuate themselves over you and your commonwealth.

Therefore, if you are looking for sociopolitical emancipation, the Fulani are certainly not in control of that. That the Fulani did not impose their kins on political power, and that they collectively support men and women from among you who they believed would be fair to you and to all of us is enough testament for a discerning mind.

So, if you are looking for your cultural heritage and social development, my brethren, look no further than the chiefs in charge of your own domains, who have been exalted by Fulanis with the hope that they’ll lead ethnic harmony, peace and stability.

When you are looking for economic development, look nor other way than your own political class, who through the wisdom of the Fulani leaders a la Murtala Muhammed and Shehu Yar’adua have ensured that your collective future is being managed by your local leaders via the local government system.

If you feel marginalised at the centre, ask for your fair share of the national cake from those among you who have been selected to represent you at the national level. They are the governors, the secretaries of governments, the ministers, the senators, the NASS members, none of whom are Fulani. They are the Margis, Michikas, Chambas, Batiyes, and so on and so forth.

Know that the hand of the Fulani is clean in your affairs. The enemy is from within.

Therefore, when they come calling for the head of the Fulani over a two-hundred-year history, tell them to bring back your money, schools and hospitals first and talk later.

 

Dr. Shehu is an Associate Professor at Kaduna State University [email protected]

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