The Oasis Reporters
May 28, 2019
As it became obvious to the leading elements ( Advance guard ) of the Fulani jihadists forces heading Southwards with the mission of ” dipping the Quran in the waters of the Atlantic ocean ” that they might be advancing to new realities, little did they know that warfare had already moved to the ”Next Level” in Europe and gunpowder had already reached the shores of what in due time would be known as Nigeria.
They came face to face with this reality in the southern precincts of the village of Agbede south of Auchi in present Edo State. The senior military officer now retired who told the story of this epic confrontation did so with such frankness as if everything played out before his very eyes. Since the jihad originated in the savannah vegetation of the semi arid north, the vehicle for mobility and logistics was the Horse. The jihadists had 2 basic opponents to confront, the expected defenders and tsetse fly the enemy of the horse. When the battle was joined, the defenders taking advantage of the thick vegetation armed with a few guns that were not so accurate but they started picking out the horses which galloped throwing off the cavalry. It was not essentially about the accuracy of the guns but the thunderous sound of the new reality of warfare that made all the difference. The jihadists could not take more and the advance got stunted thereby saving the rest of the Southern part on that axis of advance.
The jihadist began the retreat northwards from whence they came. At that time, a large area of the North of what was to become Northern Nigeria was already under a feudal carpet. There were enclaves of the old Kwararafa empire of which Southern Kaduna, the Plateau which were bypassed for other reasons but principally because of their uniqueness as a people and the difficult terrain dominated by hills and high grounds which could have been used to advantage by the defenders. The jihadists had no business going to the North East because Islam came to Nigeria via that flank.
The jihad as observed by most writers would suggest that the whole campaign was all about purifying Islam, No, it had as its principal motive, the usurpation of political power from the early Hausa Habe/Maguzawa rulers of that time as well as occupying their land and stealing the language. The principal victims of the Fulani jihad were first the Hausa Habe/Maguzawa who were paradoxically reduced in due course to subjects on their ancestral lands. Since then, there has been no challenge of the injustice inflicted on the Hausa Habe/Maguzawa population and the other smaller ethnic nationalities of the North. The colonizing British retained the feudal system they met in the North and for a fact strengthened it in many a way as means and ways in the pursuit of their mercantile interest.
At independence the British technically sold the other ethnic nationalities in the North wholesale to the feudalist. Subsequent regimes Civil or Military have always acted to protect and to advance the interests of the feudalists. Even through the military regimes, it did appear as if the actual coupists were turban-wearing monarchs sitting in their various palaces in the feudal North. The Major Gideon Orkar coup essentially was a way of protesting the stranglehold which the feudal regime behind the curtains had applied on all governments civil or military. The Gideon Orkar team had planned to excise the mainly feudal enclave in the northern fringes from the rest of the nation. The overwhelming reception the coup received in the early hours pointed to the fact that feudalist were about to face a major challenge. Had that coup succeeded, this country would not be in the total mess it is now from the views of many people.. The military component of the jihadists strategy may have been stunted but other aspects of the jihad have been well and have made progress through the manipulation of government policies and or programmes.
A few days, back former President Olusegun Obasanjo belatedly during an occasion at the Anglican Synod at Oleh, Delta State, drew the attention of sleeping Nigerians to the Fulanization/Islamization of Nigeria as being at an advanced stage.
Had Obasanjo delivered this epistle when he was president for 2 terms perhaps some repair work could have been undertaken but he did not as he swam with the feudal sharks, barracudas, sting-rays and other ravenous sea creatures because it was politically expedient. Had any of the hot polloi in the society made such a prescription when Baba Obasanjo was president, he would almost certainly have been picked up and tried for treason.
Remember Baba’s response to Edriss’s music ” Nigeria Jagajaga’?. Baba came up with a very crude reply ‘Na your Baba and mama jagajaga”. Now Baba Olusegun Obasanjo has seen the light and has therefore become a pontiff.
The former President has done well to awaken many of us from an almost terminal stupor.
The Fulanization/Islamization from the views of many is almost complete but as it happened with Dan Fodio’s jihad this dubious agenda can be halted and territory recovered in a counter operation. Like Napoleon Bonaparte and his campaign in Northern Russia, the Fulanization/Islamization agenda has over extended their supply lines and our people are becoming much more aware. Against this ominous background our nation requires an urgent rethink in strategy to remodel this beleaguered nation. Those who have benefited handsomely from this unjust and atrocious system will choose to live in denial but it does not distract from the truth. The project as some call it has been responsible for the dysfunctional state of the nation. To the extent that some parts of this nation feel alienated, you can expect that people will show their discontentment with the situation. The milieu is getting charged there is the urgent need to placate or pacify the aggrieved sections. Whether we like it or not, Fulanization is synonymous with weaponizing the society. It is so tragic that when the security infractions started occurring, because they were targeting Christians communities as in the case of Boko Haram those responsible for keeping every Nigerian safe were not concerned and so the menace spread like a wild fire in the harmattan. Patriotic leadership can yet dredge the nation up from the bottom it appears to be heading to.. We still have time to repair the damage.
Written by Col. Gora Dauda (rtd) .
He writes from Kaduna, North West Nigeria.