Bauchi State Assembly and the Balkanisation of the Nigerian State

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Few years back, an influential research outfit in the United States of American made known her findings on the future of the Nigerian State which she revealed that in no distant future, the country will be dismembered or will resemble Karl Maier's description of “This House has Fallen”. Many Nigerians felt that the research findings were merely wishful thinking of the authors and that Almighty God will forbid this declaration from coming to fruition. Many were also seating on the fence and pass no judgement in view of the cyclical political, economic and social crises that characterised the Nigerian nation. Will this declaration come to pass with the contemporary developments in the Nigerian nation occasioned by the quick succession of planned destabilisation of the Plateau and Jos in particular? Or will the rolling out of resolutions by the Bauchi State House of Assembly on the planned eviction of the Plateau “indigenes” from Bauchi State a trigger?

The first resolution that was passed by that State Assembly was its call for the imposition of the State of Emergency on the Plateau. This was her immediate response to the crises in Jos and environs. When this resolution failed flatly, because of the national outcry by well-meaning Nigerians on the selective treatment of minorities and conflict zones for punishment by the Hausa-fulani dominated Federal Government, they turned to an alternative resolution.

The second resolution which was passed on Wednesday 27th January was made known to the world by a member of the Bauchi State House of Assembly representing Tafawa Constituency, Hon Aminu Tukur, who disclosed that the lawmaker deliberated on the Jos crisis and how it has affected the state and country at large. He said they “recommended that natives of Plateau State should be made to return to their state” because according to him “they (Plateau indigenes) are not willing to live in peace with other Nigerians. They don't even recognise the Constitution of Nigeria, which in Sections 41 and 43 says that Nigerians have the right to live in any part of the country and can own property anywhere they choose to live.” They disclosed that there are close to fifty thousand natives of Plateau State in Bauchi.

If the call was made by ordinary politicians, it would have been considered as one of those political statements meant to score cheap political goals, but since law makers have affirmed this action, then the call shouldn't be taken lightly.

The balkanisation of the Nigerian Nation

What is the implication of the resolution of the Bauchi House of Assembly and the statement of some other political heavy weights in Northern Nigeria to national integration? Their resolution is a clear call for all Nigerians to return to their ancestral homes, a first step to the dismemberment of the nation. They are the first culprits to call for the violation of the 1999 Constitution which affirms the indissolubility of the nation.

The Bauchi State House of Assembly through their spoke person contended that Plateau People are evicting the so-call settlers from the state and therefore do not observe the freedom of movement and residence in any part of the country as contained in the Constitution.

We want to state categorically clear that at no point in time has an official declaration been made to REQUEST THE HAUSA AND FULANI TO LEAVE JOS. This is a fabrication which they have spread to the world through propaganda, and a considerable portion of the world has believed this. Our international friends who have resided and are still resident in the State pretty well know that the Plateau people are peaceful and therefore accommodating. If Plateau people did not believe in and abide by Section 41 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the following wouldn't have happened:1. the Hausa Fulani and other non-Nigerians from Niger, Chad, Mauritania, Sudan, Mali wouldn't have been allowed to own land, built and live in Jos and environs for years.2. they wouldn't have had access to land for all-season farming for years3. they wouldn't have won elections into the local councils and state assembly for years and even win elections to represent Plateau people in the national parliament at various periods in the history of the State.4. they wouldn't have had avenues to make a living from businesses established in all nooks and crannies of the state for years5. they wouldn't have been able to marry our daughters

Plateau people are willing to live in peace with the Hausa and Fulani on the following conditions: (a) that they are not visited with violence on a daily basis (in all the conflicts in Jos since 2001, the Hausa Fulani have always, in very organised fashion, started the violent killing and destruction of places of abode of non-Muslims and their place of worship)(b) that they are not forcefully evicted from their ancestral homes in Jishe (Agwan Rogo), Angwan Dalyop, (near Ali Kazaure), Chwelnyap (Kongo Russia), Dutse Uku and Nassarawa etc. The statement by the Bauchi State House of Assembly shows that an eviction of the Plataeu minorities has been planned when he said that: "historically, Plateau State was part of Bauchi emirate with Chiroman Bauchi as the District Head of Jos. Wase, in Jos, was founded by an indigene of Bauchi, Madaki Hassan, about 200 years ago. "So we wonder why the people of this state now feel they own the place". This is a barren political and intellectually argument. Colonial annexation and administration does not confer on the North the right of ownership of a people as if they are slaves or even their ancestral homes.(c) that their culture and religion are respected(d) a level playing ground is created for transparent political competition. Massive recruitment of mercenary voters during elections from major Hausa-Fulani states in the North must stop(e) Plateau people will no longer take political orders from Northern Nigeria: we are of age and can politically design and decide our political future.

Since 2001, the Hausa Fulani elites and the growing religious fundamentalist imposed a framework for responding to their perceive or imagine marginalisation and this framework prescribes the unleashing of violence and terror on non-Muslims population in general - Yoruba, Igbos and other groups on the Plateau. So the conflicts which started in 2001, can adequately be captured in the common Nigerian saying that “when yanga de sleep, trouble go wake am” or when you decide to use a match stick in the forest, you can never know the extend of destruction it will cause. It may consume you or even your home. This approximates to saying that Muslim politicians and religious fundamentalist have always initiated the violence on lives and property of non-Muslims. This is meant to evict the non-Muslims from Jos North so that they could establish their Islamic political, economic and religious structures.

In self-defence, the non-Muslims cannot seat back and watch their children, husbands and property destroyed and worse still evicted from their ancestral homes. The Hausa and Fulani are blatantly violating the rights of the people of the Plateau as indigenous people which are protected by the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People as well as their rights as national minorities.

The Hausa people have a very terrible historic mentality of wanting to always occupy and dominate positions of leadership anywhere they find themselves: whether in the public or private domains and this has remained a single historic factor that has frequently increased the rank of regional and national opposition and resistance against them. This opposition has been made possible by the increase, over time, in the political consciousness of other minority groups. When the Hausa and Fulani are unable to continue to enjoy their parasitic leadership positions, they do every illegal and unconstitutional thing to destroy individuals, groups, a program, a regime and even a country. They can hold the nation to ransom, not minding the consequences this could have on its economy and development.

Did God create the people of the middle-belt and other national minorities to be ruled by the Hausa Fulani? The colonialists created the Northern region and foisted the Hausa and Fulani on the minorities, but they have come of age and will no longer take orders from the Sultanate. Although they will continue to democratically compete for political offices in the region with other Nigerians irrespective of their place of origin or his length of stay, we expect all peoples to respect us and respect our large hearts. It is the Hausa and Fulani who have very myopic minds and do not want other Nigerians to live and participate in politics and governance in their own states. The introduction of the political Sharia was meant to evict non-Muslims from Muslims populated states.

In any case, who is afraid of the dissolution of the Nigerian Federation? Who will be worse off from any impending breakup? Let the apostles of the balkanisation of the nation ponder on the rationality of their designs. We are fed up with this talk of National integration when a few Hausa Fulani primitive accumulators are amassing the wealth of this nation from the Niger Delta and from the Middle Belt and holding this nation to ransom as well as destabilising these minorities. If Nigeria is for all of us, why has the hausa and Fulani continued to establish a hegemony over economic positions (Central Bank of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning). They have continued to use these positions and those of that of the Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government, to continue to recruit and promote without due process their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters and even their cousins from Niger, Chad, Mauritania in the military, police, custom and the top echelons of the Federal bureaucracy. Is Nigeria made of the Hausa Fulani alone?

We are compelled to make reference to the late Orkar's political mapping of Nigeria when it eventually breaks. We are not secessionists, but organisers for the self-determination of minority groups in Nigeria who have suffered historic injustices and violence in the North. Orkar and his comrades were futuristic in their mapping of the future Nigeria to respond to a group of people who feel that they are superior to all other beings and can decide to hold this country to ransom. We can not be terrorised for ever. We can not continue to raise our children under conditions of terror and uncertainty. We cannot allow our economy to be destroyed at all times and the lives of our brothers and sisters who are dependent on the informal economy to be threatened consistently. There is need for a national conference to reflect on the corporate existence of this country. We call on the National Assembly and all nationalities to commence the discussion of this matter alongside the constitutional amendment.

Yusuf Joachim

National Publicity Secretary ( [email protected] )

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