Dear Fulani, modernise or perish

Fulani nationalists are fighting a lost battle. All hegemonies are organic. They decay with time. Time, the master of everything except God, is powerful. The philosophy of domination has cost the Fulani a great deal of time and progress. The world does not stay in a position. If you stay in a position for too long as an organism, you will start decaying. While southern ethnic groups adapted to international trade, the North kept putting pressure on the national economy and relying on privileges. Privileges as we know it is not permanent. You must work to create wealth. Creativity is the key to the future. I give you an example, how many non-southerners are in the top ranks of ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron and so on? Few.

I do not know any. Only Yoruba, Igbo and other southern ethnic groups dominate those spaces. What about the tech industry? Nollywood? The Nigerian diaspora. Despite the preponderance of Northerners in national government since the ouster and murder of Aguiyi-Ironsi in 1966, the North has been retarded in terms of growth and progress. The North is the poverty capital of the world at 80% (per cent) according to the World Bank and has the highest number of out-of-school children. In addition are maternal mortality, banditry and conflicts. The only 2 times there were major shifts in the North since 1966 were when Murtala Mohammed started building Abuja and when a southern president is there to initiate major projects in the region.

Even Abuja businesses are almost completely dominated by businessmen and women of southern origin. Also out of egotism, there have been relentless plans to emasculate the projects Jonathan initiated. Almajiri boys are back on the streets. The forestation projects too are dead. Please bear in mind that the North does not hate itself. That is not how to imagine it. But then the North is ruled by a dangerous cataclysmic mentality. The leaders (except a few) imagine fake realities and are self-deceiving. Goodluck Jonathan initiated a plan on checking desertification in Northern Nigeria. The Great Green Wall (GGW). Millions of trees were to be planted on the northern fringes of Nigeria. The trees would check the expansion of the Sahara desert.

100 billion (in naira) was spent on the project. It was launched in Bachata, Arewa Local Government Area of Kebbi State in mid-2014. The last I heard about the project is that a satellite photograph taken from space to see the impact showed nothing. The money had been syphoned by those who would have benefited more from it. The implication is an existential threat to the Fulani. One would think that forestation would be the centre of the policy of the Nigerien and Nigerian governments presently ruled by Fulani men. Again no. Quick fact: An equivalent of over 110,000 football fields of grassland disappears every year in the Niger Republic. Every year. This causes displacement of herders many of whom abandon their countries in search of grasslands in droves.

Some abandon herding altogether. You may think the Fulani elites would through solutions. No. They prefer building a railway from Katsina to Maradi. The nationalist groups then turned their eyes on the Middle Belt and the South thinking a conquest is possible. In the modern age, pastoral culture has no place. Domination philosophy is obsolete. Resistance to herdsmen’s attacks is going to be successful in the South and Middle Belt. The appointing of only Fulani to juicy positions is another recipe for disaster. It stifles creativity. It blinds the youth whose only focus in life is government appointment instead of creativity. Postscript: Reality will always humble proud people. The age of humility has come. The founding fathers of the North did not plan well enough. A time comes when you modernise or perish. That time is now. I come in peace.

Ojo, Aderemi Ibadan, Nigeria. @realojoaderemi ojderemi@gmail.com


Ojo, Aderemi is a Historian, teacher, public speaker, writer, politician, and community organiser. He was trained at the University of Ibadan and was President of the Students Union.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *