North in the context of this piece is the Geographical North of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Certain states in the area would be excluded from the definition because some nationalities, mostly minorities and Christians are bearing the brunt of the Fulani Triumphalism, which is the focus of this article. Basically, the north, in this wise is Hausa/Fulani ethnic group as represented by President Muhammadu Buhari and his presidency. Triumphalism according to the Collins Dictionary is the “behaviour which celebrates a great victory or success, especially, when the behaviour is intended to upset the people that have been defeated.” Nigeria is not engaged in civil war at the moment, although, there is the menace of insurgency, kidnapping, herdsmen attacks and the likes. Nigeria experienced civil war between 1967 and 1970. The war was between the secessionists Igbo and the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Igbo lost the war and Nigeria has been in relative peace since then. If we say that the nation is at war today, one would be pardoned because the herdsmen onslaught on farmers throughout the nation is nothing but war, ditto for Boko Haram insurgency since almost a decade ago. This has exacerbated insecurity in Nigeria. The irony is that the Fulani hegemonists and their kith and kin from West Africa who are on a mission to found a homeland in Nigeria have the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari and his presidency. The support from the president to his ethnic group has emboldened the herdsmen.
In their war with the rest of Nigeria, the Fulani herdsmen to a large extent have won the war against the nation because of the immunity the backing of the presidency offered them against the atrocities committed against prosecution. Exhibition of this victory is what I termed Triumphalism. In the past, the domination of the nation and its resources for the betterment of the north as against that of the various regions was the aim of the Hausa/ Fulani hegemonists. However, today, the aim is outright conquest of the nation or what former President Olusegun Obasanjo called Fulanization agenda. The agenda was not an outright success in the First and Second Republics because of the presence of men and women of means in the south especially, who were up to the task and could give the feudalists the run for their money. Unfortunately, today, save few freedom fighters and some intellectuals in the south who were vocal but without political means, political gladiators in the vulnerable regions who could checkmate the Fulanization agenda of Buhari presidency are rapacious, greedy and timid. There is no doubt that there are men of vision in the south who could read the mind of President Muhammadu Buhari ever before he mounted the saddle and actually warned the people of the dire menace the man posed to the fragile unity of Nigeria if he becomes the president. The warning was ignored based on the fact that the then President Goodluck Jonathan was seen as been incapable of solving the myriads of problems facing the nation, especially, as regards Boko Haram insurgency and corruption prevalent in his time. Buhari on the other hand had the experience having occupied vital governmental positions in the past including being a head of state of the federal republic. Today, many who vouched for Buhari’s eligibility are ruing their fate for inflicting injury on the hapless nation and her citizens by foisting Buhari on Nigeria. Structural imbalance of Nigeria aided by the British colonialists and sustained by the military wing of the Fulani north have put the core north at an advantageous position to ride roughshod on the nation.
The slogan, “One North” was the mantra of the Fulani hegemonists since the First Republic to swindle the unsuspecting Hausa and the middle belters. But when it comes to political power, the core north, Fulani stock specifically always calls the shot. Hausa and the middle belters are canon folder in the Fulani steeple chase for the soul of Nigeria. They are hewers of wood and drawers of water in socio-economic and political equation in the north. Structural imbalance, disputed census figures which gave the north bogus population, lopsided creation of states and local governments by the military and the military-imposed 1999 constitution gave the north an edge over the south especially in the National Assembly. The large numbers of the north in the National Assembly has given them upper hand when it comes to passing of bills to entrench northern interests and corner the resources for the development of the north as against the south which lays the golden eggs. North Triumphalism is feasible today and it has never been flaunted or dangle in the faces of other sections as we have it under President Muhammadu Buhari presidency. Imposition of Fulani stocks in all key positions of government – in judiciary, executive, legislature, armed forces, police and most lucrative government agencies and parastatals to the consternation of the south is a clear evidence of Fulani Triumphalism. This is termed by the former permanent secretary, Ahmed Goda, a northern leader as “suffocation of institutions of state by lopsided appointments.” The above is to aid Fulanization Agenda in all ramifications. Rejection of the bill calling for the transmission of election results electronically, passing of the PIB to aid the exploration of the non-existent oil in the north, Muhammadu Buhari’s policies like Water Resources Bill, RUGA, cattle colony, cattle routes etc are tailored at Fulanization of Nigeria. The armed forces leadership in the firm grip of Fulani elements has facilitated the witch-hunting and persecution of the agitators and non-conformists in the south as exemplified by the trial of Nnamdi Kanu in the east and Sunday Adeyemo in the west. The military clampdown on the east and the invasion of Igboho’s residence on a Gestapo manner by the DSS which led to massacre of some innocent Nigerians are evidences of North Triumphalism. Under Buhari presidency, the north has the highest allocation from oil revenue, the highest earnings from bunkering and from illegal mining of gold and other resources. It has the largest oil blocs. In addition, North Triumphalism has given the Fulani herdsmen audacity to ride roughshod on farmers, rape their female victims, and massacre the deviants with AK-47 assault rifles. It has given the bandits the license to make brisk business through abduction and hostage taken of innocent children and women. Under Buhari presidency, the north has triumphantly cornered all these vital and strategic institutions of learning and development. Air Force University is located in Bauchi, Defence Academy in Kaduna ditto for Army Staff College, War College in Abuja, Navy University in Kano, Army University in Borno and Transport University in Daura.
The question that readily comes to mind in view of North Triumphalism is that of what benefit is the domination to the north or Fulani especially? I have no doubt that the domination of power by the north/Fulani and effective use of it as a tool for primitive accumulation, ethnic hegemony and which may go beyond 2023 has conferred on the north and Fulani especially the lord of Nigeria but what is the nature of the north and Fulani clan today?
Regrettably, the core north is ravaged by poverty, underdevelopment, bourgeoning population of unemployed and underemployed including millions of vulnerable children in the name of almajiri. Not only that, relentless killings is ongoing in virtually all the northern states courtesy of Boko Haram insurgents, Fulani herdsmen menace, bandits, and the likes. Education is in shambles going by registration of the students for national examinations like JAMB, NECO, WASSCE and so on and the results obtained. Where is groundnut pyramid in Kano, textile industry in Kaduna, leather works in various parts of the north? Investors flee the north in droves due to insecurity. Farmers have abandoned the farms and re-desertification returns as farmlands are abandoned. Unless, reasons prevail among the hegemonists, there is no evidence that power would rotate to the south come 2023. Clampdown on the south east especially is to deny the region presidency in 2023, the south south having had its slot until 2015 through President Goodluck Jonathan. The potential gladiator in the southwest is a target for destruction. However, this is not Nigeria of the dream of our founding fathers. Though, in a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria, there is tendency for ethnic rivalry to dominate one another which actually happened in the past, but there was no time in Nigeria’s history when the domination is total as we have it today. The silence by the stakeholders in the north as exemplified by Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Elders Council and respected traditional rulers like the Sultan of Sokoto to the glaring discontentment among various regions due to the Fulanization agenda of Buhari presidency means that the agenda goes down well with them. There is no doubt that restructuring promised by Buhari during his campaign was to cajole us and may not see the light of the day. This is one of the reasons for the clamouring for secession in the southwest especially as exhibited by the activities of Professor Banji Akintoye-led separatist movement and that of Sunday Adeyemo a.k.a Igboho. The east has always been bent on having her country in Biafra. As shown above, the domination has not brought deserved Eldorado to the north. This should be a consolation for the oppressed people of Nigeria. Nothing lasts forever and as Yoruba adages says when the festival ends, the child of the head of masquerade cult would drink pap with beans cake rather than goat meat he ate to excess during the festival. My take is, when the tide changes as history has proved to us, would the north accept or take kindly the injury she is inflicting on the south? This is not likely in view of candidate Buhari’s vows in the build up to the 2011 presidential election that if election was rigged (which if he loses the election), baboon and monkey would soak in their own blood threat which eventually materialised. Time will definitely tell.
Adegbite can be reached via email@example.com.