By Remi Oyeyemi
“Kaka ki Kiniun se akapo Ekun, kaluku a ya se ode ti e l’ototo ni.”
(The Lion would rather hunt separately rather than be the bag bearer for the Tiger)
– Chief Obafemi Awolowo at a campaign rally in Mapo Hall, Ibadan. 1983.
“We planned for one transition but ended up with two and one is not acceptable. The transition we planned is Military to Civilian and not North to South.”
—- Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida in comments to the staffers of the Center for Democratic Studies (CDS) at Aso Rock sometime in June 1993 shortly after annulling the June 12, 1993 Elections
“Around 1050, they (the Fulani) were chased away by the Tuaregs because they (the Fulani) insisted they wanted to be masters in a land not theirs.”
Vanguard Newspaper, February 7, 2002
“The Yorubas are the problem of Nigeria……… When an AD governor, Bola Tinubu, swears to a false affidavit that he attended an Ivy League University which he did not attend, we hear excuses.”
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Fulani Emir of Kano in a Paper presented at the
“National Conference On The 1999 Constitution” jointly organised By The Network For Justice And The
Vision Trust Foundation, At The Arewa House, Kaduna From 11th –12th September, 1999
I have no means of counting the multitude. But I could see this was a very big crowd. It was a thronging one. All the roads leading to Mapo Hill, on which the Great Mapo Hall in the largest City in black Africa, Ibadan, was built has been blocked by the milling crowd. It milled forth and back. The excitement was more than palpable. The sun was burning like fire. But you could not tell if those in the crowd felt the heat. The atmosphere was celebratory as it was serious. The moment was sober despite the ecstasy that permeated the atmosphere. People were excited, enthusiastic and expectant. They were eager to listen to the man of the people. They wanted to hear what their messiah has got to say.
Then he appeared on the dais, with his usual “V” sign that denoted “Victory.” And the shouts of “Awooooooooooo” rented the air. It was a surreal moment. It was hypnotizing. It was really exciting. The shouts went on for several minutes and it took some time to get the crowd muted. It was Obafemi Awolowo. He had brought his message of hope to his people. He had underscored the natural pride of the Yoruba people. Their self-dependent characteristic was harped upon. He pointed out that no ethnic nationality within Nigeria ought to be second class citizens much less the children of Oodua. He pointed out that Ibadan City as the modern capital of Yoruba land is an incubator of a series of firsts during his Premiership.
He reminded the crowd that “Aji se bi Oyo l’aari, Oyo kii se bi enikan” meaning that the children of Oodua are pacesetters and not copycats. The shouts of “Awooooooo” rented the air. As that subsided, Awo maintained that every Nigerian must be treated the same and have the same rights. He insisted that the Yoruba people would not be second fiddle to any nationality within the Nigerian set up and they should have that at the back of their minds and instill this in the minds of their children. Then he uttered the immortal words quoted above, “Kaka ki Kiniun se akapo Ekun, kaluku a ya se ode ti e l’ototo ni”, literally meaning “The Lion would rather hunt separately rather than be the bag bearer for the Tiger”. Once again, shouts of Awoooooooooo rented the air for several minutes.
Awolowo told the crowd that the Yoruba people would not and should not carry the water for any political party in which those who call the shots looked down on others and felt that the country belonged to them alone. At this point in the days and months leading to the 1983 general elections, Chief M.K.O Abiola has been told by Mallam Umaru Dikko who was President Shehu Shagari’s Transport Minister that “the Presidency is not for sale.” Chief Abiola who until that point had been a financier of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and had established the Concord Group of Newspapers to fight the Unity Party of Nigeria led by Chief Awolowo was effectively shut out of the race as candidate for the party’s presidential ticket.
The Hausa Fulani oligarchy has controlled the levers of political power in Nigeria until 1999. In my own account, if you add Musa Yar’Adua’s 2 years, that is 41 years out of the unfortunate 54 years of Nigeria’s existence. When Dr. Nnamidi Azikwe was the President, Tafawa Balewa was calling the shots. When the perfidious Ernest Shonekan was there, detestable Sani Abacha was “protecting” him according to Ibrahim Babangida. When Olusegun Obasanjo was military Head of State, it was Generals Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and T. Yakubu Danjuma who were calling the shots. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua was unfairly promoted from the rank of Lt. Colonel far and above his many seniors to General because he was Hausa Fulani and a coup plotter.
They used Obasanjo as a tool in 1979 and imposed another Hausa Fulani in Shehu Shagari as civilian president on Nigerians. Even General Yakubu Gowon another tool of the North admitted that during his tenure as Head of State, Shagari was the “most incompetent Federal Commissioner” in his cabinet while jokingly referring to Shagari as being too fascinated with cigarette smoking. The Hausa Fulani has been using its satellites in the South and in the Middlebelt to carry out its agenda. They are at it again.
“This New Nation called Nigeria, should be an estate of our great grand father, Uthman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the North as willing tools, and the South, as conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us, and never allow them to have control over their future”
— Sir Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of Northern Region) in the Kaduna-based “The Parrot” of October 12, 1960
The Hausa Fulani oligarchy is currently using the All Progressive Congress (APC). Its intention is to foist another Fulani son on the rest of us as the President of Nigeria. The APC is the modern Northern People’s Congress (NPC). Right now, they are trying to convince us that Mohammadu Buhari, a certified fundamentalist, pretentious and cunning man of dubious integrity who once insisted that Sani Abacha was a “saint” who never stole a dime of Nigerian money; Atiku Abubakar, an American wanted fraudster; Rabiu Kwankwanso, a confused political scallywag and Aminu Tambuwal, a clueless, dour but efficient manipulator, all of them of the Fulani stock, are the only options the rest of Nigeria should consider as our president in 2015. This APC agenda is the same as that of Ahmau Bello’s in the first republic. Or so it seems.
“I’m set and fully armed, to conquer the Action Group, AG, in the same ruthless manner as my grandfather conquered Alkalawa, a town in Sokoto province, during the last century”
— Sir Ahmadu Bello (Premier , Northern Region and grandson of Uthman Dan Fodio) The Daily Times, May 3, 1961
The Yoruba Nation, the children of Oodua have been at the receiving end of relentless acts of subjugation from the Hausa Fulani oligarchy since 1960. The Hausa Fulani through its political organs – Northern People’s Congress (NPC) in the first republic, National Party of Nigeria (NPN) in the second republic and now renegade PDP turned APC in this third republic – has been hounding our heroes, destroying our institutions, decapitating the future of our children. What the Hausa Fulani could not achieve through party politics, they have used the Sultanate Army euphemized as the Nigerian Army to shove down our throats. Any political party that wants to use the Yoruba Nation as a vehicle to install another Hausa Fulani as the President of Nigeria is a traitor to the children of Oodua.
Such a political party would be a collaborator in the enslavement of the Yoruba Nation. Its leaders would be treacherous conspirators in the subjugations of the Children of Oodua. They would be complicit in the selling of the Yoruba people into another round of slavery when we are about to free ourselves from the stranglehold of the Fulani oligarchy. If Nigeria remains ONE beyond 2015 or 2019 as the case may be, the Hausa Fulani may still dream of ruling Nigeria. But right now, they should take a step back. They should give others a chance to manage or mismanage Nigeria as the case may be. This country belongs to over 350 ethnic nationalities.
“The conquest to the sea is now in sight. When our god-sent Ahmadu Bello said some years ago that our conquest will reach the sea shores of Nigeria, some idiots in the South were doubting its possibilities. Today have we not reached the sea? Lagos is reached. It remains Port-Harcourt. It must be conquered and taken.” – Mallam Bala Garuba. West African Pilot Newspapers, December 30, 1964
As I write this, the tears of Biafrans are still brimming. The Yoruba have been yanked off the trail of their dream. The Biroms’ blood is still bleeding. The Tivs are still tormented. The Niger Deltans are still dehumanised and denigrated. The Ogonis are still agonising. The Mumuyes are still mourning. The Nupes are still being noxiously nagged. The Igalas are still gnashing their teeth. The Katafs’ tears, still cascading. All other minorities in the North referred to as “willing tools” by Ahmadu Bello are still in quandry, wondering how they lost the fundamental rights to self determine their destinies.
The Gideon Orkars of this world gave their lives to free the rest of us from enslavement by the Hausa Fulani oligarchy. The Gani Fawehinmis of this world were jailed several times in their fights to free the rest of us. The Ken Saro-Wiwas of this world were murdered for standing up to be counted. The Fela Anikulapos of this world suffered several deprivations in the fight to liberate us from the domination and enslavement by the Hausa Fulani oligarchy. The Beko Ransome Kutis of this world died while fighting for our liberation. The Wole Soyinkas of this world gave up their youth and adulthood so that we can be free at morrow that is yet to come. Nigeria has been this sorry case largely because of the Hausa Fulani machinations. This is not the time for the Yoruba to collaborate with anyone person or group of persons to be sold into slavery. There should not be any vacancy in Aso Rock for any Hausa Fulani in 2015 or 2019. Give us a Tiv man or Igala man or still anybody from the Niger Delta to compete with Goodluck Jonathan.
It is a matter of befuddling tragedy that a man, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi who said the words quoted above about Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 1999 is the one the latter helped installed as the Emir of Kano. It is a sign of an unthinking leadership to help empower politicians of an oligarchy that sees you and your people as the “problems of Nigeria.” It is a sign of confused leadership in utter disarray for the APC, midwife by a Yoruba son in Tinubu, to insist that it is either Hausa Fulani presidency or nothing! What is the use of lessons of History? What did the NPN do to Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu on his return from exile? Was he not baited, tricked and dumped? What did they do to Alhaji Abdulrahman Shugaba Darman, the house majority leader of the Great Nigeria People’s Part (GNPP) in Borno? Was he not fraudulently deported from Nigeria by Umaru Shinkafi, the Fulani boss of Nigerian Security Organisation, (NSO), because he (Shugaba Darman) frustrated the entrenchment of Fulani hegemony in his state?
How was Domkat Bali, another Northern minority tool treated? Was he not used and dumped? What was the fate of Colonel Yohanna Madaki, a Kataf from Kaduna? Was he not used, frustrated and dumped? Was Jonah Jang not chased out of the Nigerian Airforce before he was ready to quit? What did Chief M.K.O. Abiola not do for the Hausa Fulani power elites? With what was he paid pack? What makes Tinubu believe that he would not end up as any of these unfortunate Nigerians and many others unnamed, used and dumped by the Hausa Fulani power elite? Does he think he is more special or smarter than them? Well, regardless, the Yoruba will not follow Tinubu to his Golgotha if that is what Tinubu and his APC choose to do. There is NO VACANCY for any Hausa Fulani in Aso Rock in 2015 and 2019.
Boko Haram is on a killing spree. The group wants Sharia as the law of Nigeria just as Mohammadu Buhari had insisted for the rest of Nigeria as reported by several media across the world including the Guardian of London. Buhari and Atiku are among those who promised to make Nigeria ungovernable for President Jonathan. They have made good their threats and fulfilled their promise. Nigerians of other extractions other than Hausa Fulani needs a breathing space. They need to affirm their belief that Nigeria belongs to all. The North as we knew it may no longer exist, but it is not the Hausa Fulani alone that makes up the North or Nigeria. The APC could still get us a candidate from the North of Nigeria but such COULD NOT and MUST NOT be an Hausa Fulani. The APC membership has been swelled by the Northerners who see it as a vehicle to realize their presidential ambition. If the APC insists on foisting another Hausa Fulani on us, it would confirm that the APC is now the new Northern People’s Congress that is determined to dip the Koran in the sea and “conquer” the rest of Nigeria for Uthman Dan Fodio as Ahmadu Bello had wanted. It would mean that the APC is an old wine in a new bottle.
The Yoruba lions are not ready to be the bag bearers for the Hausa Fulani Tigers. Rather, they (Yoruba) are willing and ready to do their own hunting separately as is the case with the other lions of other ethnic nationalities of Nigeria.
“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility. I welcome it. – John F. Kennedy
Article written by Yemi Oyeyemi
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