There has been an improvement in the occurrence of insurgency and banditry in the country in the last 10 days or so. Indeed, there was no incident until this week Sunday and Monday when there were reports of the killing of 19 people in Benue State and the abduction of some in one or two other states in the federation. I was not surprised at the improved situation because of the information I received two weeks ago from a Nigerian who studied and lived in the United States for 15 years and who has connection with some high – ups in current administration in America.
The man told me that President Joe Biden’s government about three weeks ago got in touch with President Muhammadu Buhari that he must act fast to bring down the worsening insecurity in the country. The Americans believe that he could do it because the way he has been handling things is why the situation has been deteriorating week after week.
My source said that Buhari was told that the U.S may take steps if he did not act in time because the situation in Nigeria can lead to complete breakdown of law and order or civil war. A situation the Americans said would cause problems not only in Nigeria but in the West African and Central African sub – regions. Among the effects are worsening economic and social situations in the two sub – regions and the flooding of thousands, if not millions, of Nigerians into poorer neighbouring countries and Western Europe and the United States.
My source believes that after receiving the warning from the U.S. President Buhari started to reach out to the insurgents and bandits hence the improved situation because he knows that if he did not act in time the U.S. would take steps that would cause problems for his government. For example, the country and its Western Allies could take economic steps, stop selling to Nigeria planes and military weapons as well as gadgets to monitor the insurgents and bandits and make it possible to locate where they are. Of course, such measures would worsen the situation in the country and lead to uprisings that could bring down Buhari’s government.
I believe it was because former President Olusegun Obasanjo was aware of the U.S. warning to President Buhari that led to the comments he made last Wednesday when he addressed those at the 108th Annual Convention of the Nigerian Baptist in Ibadan. He was reported to have told the congregation that “the scrotum of our government is only dangling, it cannot fall off. The situation in Nigeria is threatening but we won’t be consumed by it.”
I also believe that the U.S. warning was why two days ago, on Monday, that President Buhari did away with the National Security Group and established in its place the center to combat illicit trade in small arms and light weapons with offices in the six geo – political zones in the country. I believe it was also why he summoned yesterday the meeting of the National Security Council. The president can be expected to come up with other measures.
It is possible that Buhari may now agree to take steps to get the National Assembly and the Houses of Assembly in the 36 states to act on the restructuring of the country. If he does not act within two weeks I believe industrial actions in the southern states would make him act on the matter. This is having strikes thrice a week in which vehicles will not be allowed on the roads, markets and shops will not open and civil servants and workers in the private sector will not operate.
It is unfortunate that President Buhari since he assumed office six years ago had been pursuing an agenda to make his Fulani tribe take – over the country. This, no doubt, was the reason why for two to three years he took no step to stop herdsmen who are mostly Fulani from using their cows to eat up crops and destroy farms across the country.
Instead, his government was promoting that state governments should establish Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA) for the herdsmen and their cattle. How could state funds be used by state governments in the South to establish RUGA settlements for private businessmen? This suggests it was a tribal effort because there was no talk of paying compensation to the farmers whose farms were destroyed and most of who are not Fulani.
It is even believed by some people that the Buhari government came up with the establishment of RUGA settlements to enable his Fulani tribesmen and women to have a presence in all states of the federation. Of course, in the hope that one day there would be hundreds and thousands of Fulani in the RUGA settlements and in a position to start attacking the people of their host communities when the need arises. This is why no southern government should ever allow the establishment of RUGA settlements.
It goes without saying that if the Fulani succeeded in taking over the country that they would turn Nigeria into an Islamic nation where the Sharia would reign and thereby fulfilling the 19th century dream of Uthman Dan Fodio.
It is incredible that President Buhari and the Fulani that think like him believe that they would start attacking the people of other ethnic groups and they would not react. How can they think they can defeat the Yoruba when Uthman Dan Fodio’s army could not conquer their ancestors and was unable to take over Yoruba land?
From the facts on the ground President Buhari and the Fulani who think like him should have known that they cannot conquer southerners and become their overlords. I begin with the issue of population. Nigeria is said to have a population of 200 million. Of this number the Hausa are 42 million (21%), Yoruba 40 million (20%), Igbo 34 million (17%), Ijaw 20 million (10%), Fulani 16 million (8%), Kanuri 8 million (4%), Ibibio 7 million (3.5%), Tiv 4.1 million (2.5%) and the other ethnic groups 28.9 million (14%).
All the Fulani in the 15 countries in West Africa as well as in Cameroon, Central African Republic and the Sudan are put at less than 40 million. When the 16 million in Nigeria are removed they are left with 24 million. How can 16 million Fulani overpower 42 million Hausa, 40 million Yoruba, 34 million Igbo or 20 million Ijaw?
•To be continued next Wednesday
Aboriginal & non-indigenous Lagosians (2)
One gets to know that the ancestors of immigrant Lagosians who had been claiming to be aboriginal Lagosians and are so regarded by people were not indigenes of Lagos Island when somebody dies in their families. The truth comes out in the order of funeral service programme in a church or mosque printed about the deceased.
I am providing proofs of this with the programme for the funeral service of Honourable Justice Leslie Gordon Alaba Marsh whose family lived at 153, Bamgbose Street on Lagos Island in my boyhood years. I met him in 1965 through late Lt. Colonel Okunola Olufemi Okuromade (Saturday, May 1, 1943 – Friday, May 6, 2005).
I now present the first two sentences in the biography of Justice Marsh, a Methodist, whose birth and baptismal names were taken from those of his godfather Archbishop Leslie Gordon Vining of the Lagos Diocese of the Anglican Church in the 1940s – 50s who was a friend of his father. It begins with “Hon. Justice Leslie Gordon Alaba Marsh was born on the 29th of March, 1944 in Popo Aguda/Campos Area of Central Lagos.
“Alaba was the son of Pa Joseph Hezekiah Olusoji Marsh, whose ancestors migrated from Itoko, Abeokuta in Ogun State and settled at Obadina by Mercy Hospital, Central Lagos. Justice Marsh’s mother, Folasade Eta – Oko Rosa hailed from Ikija, Abeokuta, Ogun State and resided at 36, Berkeley Street, Araromi Road, Moloney, Lagos Island.”
How can someone whose ancestors came from Abeokuta to settle in Lagos be regarded as an aboriginal Lagosian?