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The fault is in us, not in our stars

This essay is a response to Femi Fani-Kayode on his recent very interesting outing entitled, “The Caliphate, the Emir and Nigeria’s Master Race.” His under reference was in turn a reaction to an arrogant 1998 posting by the arrogant Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. I hasten to correct the wrong impression that Nigeria has a master race. Nigeria has no master race. What has made the Fulani think they are anointed to lord it over the rest of us is that the southerners have refused to close ranks. The Yoruba think their real enemies are The Igbo. Ndiigbo in turn consider the Yoruba untrustworthy. The Ijaw, Efik, Ibibio, Ogoja, Annang, Ekoi, would prefer to be drawers of water and hewers of wood for the Fulani. Even Ikwerre who are Igbo-speaking would prefer the Fulani. If it were possible to claim, ancestry from Sokoto the Ikwerre would have since done so in order to distance themselves from their kit and kin.
We often make the mistake of glossing over the attitude of the Christians and Muslims of the Middle Belt who want to be northerners when politics is the point at issue. When persecuted by the Fulani-led Muslim north, the Christians of the Middle Belt begin to look for help from south. For instance, when General Zamani Lekwot from Zango Kataf was sentenced to death by IBB. Pressure against his execution was loudest from the south. However, politically he was a northerner manipulated by the Fulani. We also gloss over the fact that the Fulani tolerate the Hausa when they have their eyes set on a national price. You can imagine what the former NSO boss said about the Hausa and Kanuri leaders, IBB and Abacha respectively, as quoted in Fani-Kayod’s piece under reference! It speaks volumes.
While I can understand the subservient role of the Christian Middle Belt in matters of political self-interest, the attitude of the two major nationalities in the south to the Fulani is difficult to understand. The Hausa benefit from aligning with the Fulani against the south for several reasons. Even at that, this is intriguing because the Fulani constitute less 5 percent of Nigeria’s population. Why are they able to manipulate the Hausa, who constitute more about 20percent of Nigeria’s population?
The Yoruba under Awo refused to work with the feudal Fulani. He remained resolute in opposition to them. On the other hand, Zik’s experience in the Western House of Assembly left lasting impression on him and his kinsmen, so much so that when Awo offered to work with him as a junior partner Zik turned it down. This is one of the origins of the lingering lack of understanding between Igbo and Yoruba, which continues to sustain Fulani hegemony in Nigeria.
I do not doubt the Yoruba. However, it appears they are going too far recently. Yoruba stand against feudalism and Awo’s unflinching belief in education as the surest way of ridding society of ignorant men and women, might have been compromised all in the name of fighting corruption. The underlying reason however is the desire to regain lost ground in national political space. In spite of producing a President who received massive support from Ndiigbo, the loss of the position of Speaker of the House, which the PDP had zoned to the southwest, was considered marginalisation by the Yoruba. Unfortunately, their anger was ill directed It was an arrogant Fulani man who ganged up with some other members of the House to appropriate what was zoned to the Yoruba. Instead of blaming the Fulani, the Yoruba directed their anger against Ndiigbo because one of their own was elected Deputy Speaker. Besides, Jonathan, against all expectations appointed an Igbo officer Chief of Army Staff. Therefore, even though some Yoruba members of the House voted against Hon. Akande, the Yoruba concluded that Ndiigbo had received more than their fair share in the Jonathan administration.
According to the Yoruba, President Jonathan had marginalised them. He had committed a serious sin by appointing an Igbo man Army Chief of Staff, a position, predominantly occupied by officers from the north since the end of the war.
Because of this, the Yoruba were bound to vote against Jonathan, for which they are now playing the second fiddle to the Fulani feudal overlords that Awo fought against throughout his political career. It does not matter to the Yoruba if the Fulani pocket all the important positions in the government. Their concern was and still is how to make Ndiigbo politically irrelevant. In addition, they found a wonderful partner in President Buhari. The Yoruba did not bother about the fact that the Fulani had cornered all the sensitive security positions in the Nigerian military. However, whatever the position, so long as Ndiigbo had none, the Yoruba are happy and satisfied.
So, Brother Fani-Kayode, if you were in the position of the Fulani would you behave differently? Jonathan’s shortcomings in office were no worse than Obasanjo’s. Yet, Awoists found it convenient to sleep with feudalists. The fault, in us and not in our stars.

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