By David Adenekan
The Fulani settled in the Northern part of Nigeria and later extended to some parts of Yoruba land in the old Oyo empire. This was achieved by Jihadist military occupation of the indigenous ancestral lands under the pretence of propagating Islamic faith as the only accepted religion by Allah.
Historically, the Fulani, a people of obscure origin, expanded eastward, from Futa Toro in Lower Senegal in the 14th century. By the 16th century, they had established and evolved a Jihadist army and migrated to the Hausa land in today’s Nigeria and forcefully took over the reigns of leadership of the indigenous people under the pretense of propagating Islamic doctrines and systematically established a fiefdom. This is known as Emirate kingdom in the present day Nigeria.
Moreover, to further establish the obscurity of the Fulani people, the fact remains that they are semi nomadic that engage in cattle rearing as means of livelihood.
It is important to note that, by the nature of their occupation as cattle rearers, they wander in the desert and sometimes through the forest, searching for grazing and water needs of their cattle. In other words, the Fulani were not settlers until the mid 16th century when they realized the overwhelming importance of right to land as a settlement.
Furthermore, in many countries in the Sub Saharan Africa, the Fulani are in the minority as a tribe and their population is so insignificant to sway political power in their favor. The only exception to this is Nigeria, where the population of Fulani as a tribe is less significant compared with other major tribes like: Igbo, Hausa, Ijaw, Tiv, Yoruba and the Bini. However, in Nigeria, they wield so much political power than any of the major tribes mentioned. This is because in the 16th century, in the guise of propagation of Islamic principles, through Jihad, they used it to conquer the original owners of the land to establish a virile political establishment.
The emergence of Fulani leadership in many part of the northern protectorate, paved way for official recognition over the indigenous leaders by the British government during the colonial era.
In light of this, the British government further established the hegemony of the Feudal Lords when they handed over political power to them (Fulani) at independence in 1960. This emboldened the clandestine and violent expansionist theory that permeate the whole country in the present day Nigeria; and invariably threatened people’s right to their ancestral lands.
The expansionist theory of the Fulani had been designed long before the administration of President Mohammed Buhari but could not be perfected and actualized because the extremist elements have not had grip of political power for many years.
However many Nigerians are still in doubt that Preasident Buhari and his cohort are at war with the rest of the country in a bid to Fulanized the entire regions of Nigeria, They want to forcefully take over people’s lands as a right for settlement because the semi nomadic ways of life in the 21st century is becoming obsolete. Another reason for the expansionist project is that the tribe is heading towards extinction, and something drastic has to be done to urgently addressed the issue of land acquisition for the economic survival of their people. This is a warning to other tribes that the war is already at your door step.
Unfortunately, the likes of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu knew about this expansionist agenda of the Fulani being manipulated under President Mohammed Buhari’s government and his kitchen cabinet but kept mum because of his personal political ambitions. He erroneously believed that by tacitly supporting the Fulani agenda, he would be rewarded but little did he know he’s living in a fantasy world. Possibly later it will dawn on him that the Fulani agenda is bigger than his political ambition or any other tribe from the middle belt or southern part of Nigeria.
From my personal experience with the Arabs while working in the middle East; as an expert with United States Army, it is evidently clear that just like the Arabs could not be trusted, the Fulani also cannot be trusted with political power.
In addition, whatever accord Bola Ahmed Tinubu must have struck with President Muhammadu Buhari, I personally consider it null and void. This is simply because there is no social conttract between Bola Ahmed Tinubu and President Mohammed Buhari that is bigger than the Fulani’s agenda in Sub Sahara Africa.
In other words, while Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu is fighting to become the President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari at the other end is fighting for the survival of his ethnic stock that are spread all over Sub Sahara Africa. This is evident in the mass movement of Fulanis from Niger, Mali, Chad and Cameroon to Nigeria.
This is the golden opportunity of President Muhammadu Buhari and his ethnic stock to achieve the purpose of entrenching and perpetuating themselves in the political leadership of Nigeria. Governor El Rufai of Kaduna state, a strong member of the Fulani stock, also doubles as a mouthpiece of the PMB kitchen cabinet has been vocal and becoming a political obstacle to Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s political ambition.
However, with the evolution of many armed warlords strategically positioned in all regions of the country, it has contributed to proliferation of dangerous and small arms all over the country. If this sinister Fulani’s agenda is not properly managed, it may signal the violent dismantling of the sovereign state called Nigeria.
Time will tell.
David Adenekan wrote from Chicago, Illinois.