Pushing Back Against Vassalization
To Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo is attributed a few political and administrative shortcomings. For many people however, his most egregious failing was his barely disguised aspiration for an unconstitutional third term. Despite all his protestations to the contrary, President Obasanjo did try, using all the presidential wiles and might, to engineer an alteration of Nigeria’s constitution and ‘democratically’ afford himself a third term.
Obasanjo came very close to realizing his ambitions. At the end he was thwarted by a confederacy of disparate forces, to which this writer in published write-ups in a specialist medium contributed, albeit very modestly.
If the third term fiasco was President Obasanjo’s lowest point in public life, sounding the alarm to a nation living in denial about a grave threat of involuntary ‘vassalization,’ should surely count as his crowning political achievement. Nigerians may not yet have realized it, but they just dodged the Fulani expansionists’ vassalizing bullet. One shudders to imagine what Nigeria would look like right now, had President Obasanjo not sounded the alarm of an imminent ‘Fulanization’ and ‘Islamization’ agenda by incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.
Beyond a shadow of doubt, Obasanjo’s intervention was divinely ordained by God. The public opprobrium Obasanjo received from his Fulani friends and foes alike only serve to confirm one undeniable fact. Fulani expansionists, cutting across the broad political spectrum have but a single agenda for their fellow Nigerians.
That agenda is to incrementally and permanently turn other Nigerian ethnicities into vassals and treaty subjects of the Fulani. That is why Fulanis with an expansionist mindset, are willing to tolerate the present administration, despite mounting evidence that they are enriching a very tiny few and pauperizing everyone else. In deed the Fulani acknowledge privately that this current Administration is a fiasco.
How else can a reasonable person assess a sitting President who was declared ‘re-elected,’ on 26th February 2019, sworn into office on 29th May 2019, but could only announce his cabinet comprising “people he personally knows,” on 23rd July 2019? Is that the hallmark of a serious administration? Recall that in his first tenure in 2015, it took the President almost six months to constitute his cabinet.
God forbid if President Buhari is allowed by the ongoing Presidential Election petitions tribunal to complete his second term tenure of four years. The 8-year period from May 29, 2015 to May 29, 2023 should then count as the ‘lost years’ developmentally for Nigerians, never to be regained.
Fortuitously, the two leading candidates in the last Nigerian presidential polls were Fulani. One of them President Muhammadu Buhari is a dyed in the wool Fulani expansionist. The other Vice President Atiku Abubakar has been forced by political considerations to be a fence-sitter. Atiku cannot secure Fulani political support if he opposes Fulani expansionism. He cannot obtain the political support of non-Fulani Nigerians who he aspires to govern someday, if he is perceived as having an expansionist mindset.
Having realized that his nomadic brethren cannot perpetually be roaming around from Cape to Cairo, Buhari sees as his sole mission in government, the perpetual resettlement of his fellow Fulani tribesmen, currently masquerading as herdsmen, on other ethnicities’ ancestral lands.
The declared purpose of the permanent embedment of the violent, AK-47 totting, Fulani herdsmen, whose ranks have been infiltrated and riddled by non-Nigerian Fulani bandits, kidnappers and terrorists is access to grazing lands. The true goal of their fixated, selfish and covetous agitation for other peoples’ ancestral lands however is to transform themselves into ‘indigenes’ of their host communities, with an ‘emir’ and exclusive local government to boot.
Then to progressively vassalize their ‘foolish’ hosts via their favorite instruments of murderous riots, gory spectacles of beheadings for blasphemous conduct, as well as premeditated and instigated acts of violent insubordination.
It is well known and the Fulani themselves tout the fact when it suits them, that the far northern geopolitical regions to which they traditionally belong, have the greatest landmass in Nigeria. These vast areas are very sparsely populated as northern indigenes tend to cluster in metropolitan areas or suburbs thereof.
The governors of most far Northern states with a less expansionist mindset have all expressed their readiness to carve out grazing lands for Fulani herdsmen. So, land for grazing cattle cannot be the true objective of Fulani expansionism, even if it is conceded as a right, which it is not by any stretch of the imagination.
It is only a lame yet convenient excuse for subversive and covetous conduct with the ultimate objective of vassalizing indigenous populations. If water resources were the problem, there are more earth dams in either of the two far northern geo-political regions of Nigeria than the entire southern Nigeria put together.
Grass for grazing cattle cannot be the problem, because the far northern Nigeria is purportedly the food basket of the entire nation. If farmers in the far north can grow food to feed the nation, Fulani herdsmen should be able to grow grass to feed their cattle or in the alternative purchase same from those farmers. In deed cattle have been successfully fattened almost exclusively on grain feed elsewhere. Grains feed is abundant in northern Nigeria.
There is nowhere in the world that herdsmen become a law unto themselves as they have become in Nigeria, strutting around indiscriminately with a ‘come and touch me if you can‘ attitude. Everyone agrees that private ranching is the way forward, apart from President Buhari who wallows in the obstinate ambition of vassalizing other Nigerians as treaty subjects of the Fulani. All the instruments of state including the military, the police and increasingly the judiciary have been administratively subverted and placed at the disposal of the Fulani expansionists in their desperate bid to overrun the nation.
It is now glaring to all and sundry that the only agenda Buhari has is an expansionist, vassalizing agenda. His anti-corruption agenda has been pitifully exposed to be a scam by his recent ministerial picks of people “he knows.” His cabinet list includes erstwhile anti-corruption crusaders as well as alleged lynchpins of corruption all lumped together.
Buhari’s instigative ability is confirmed by his provocatively lawless and long incarceration of the Shiite spiritual leader Muhammad El Zakzaky despite bail granted him by the law courts. Only for him to turn around and brand El Zakzaky’s needlessly provoked, albeit increasingly restless demonstrating followers and their organization as terrorists.
Buhari’s cunning calculation is that he would win the sympathy and support of US President Donald Trump if he is seen to be fighting Iranian sponsored ‘Shiite’ terrorism in Nigeria. But we are not deceived. We know the true terrorists in Nigeria to be Boko Haram who are restricted in their activities to their Kanuri homeland and non-Nigerian Fulani bandits who operate everywhere else in the Nigerian countryside.
Buhari’s support for violence against innocent citizens provided his own Fulani ethnicity are not on the receiving end has been confirmed by his inability and unwillingness to crack down on Fulani bandits masquerading as herdsmen and terrorizing the entire nation. So much so that these non-Nigerian Fulani elements have the temerity to organize themselves as ‘vigilantes’ mounting ‘security checkpoints’ in other ethnicities domains.
Recall that President Buhari acknowledged to President Trump at the White House a year or two ago that these perpetrators of violence in Nigeria are non-Nigerians armed by late Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi. How convenient it seems to blame Gaddafi, since he is no more around to defend himself.
Before we hang Gaddafi even in death however, the Committee charged with oversight of the Ministry of Defense at the National Assembly, would do well to order a comprehensive audit of the armories of the Nigerian Armed Forces and Security Agencies.
Be that as it may however, President Buhari is yet to declare these Foreign nationals terrorizing Nigerians as terrorists. Is it because they are his own kinsmen ostensibly executing a vital aspect of the expansionist Fulanis’ vassalization agenda? Recall that not too long ago, the Nigerian Police wanted to forcibly disarm all Nigerians bearing arms regardless of whether they have bona fide weapons licenses. It is left to Nigerians to connect the dots by themselves and attempt to domicile the source of their insecurity at its origin.
Let the truth be told, the main reason why Nigerians are agitating for a National Conference and latterly a National Security Conference is to break themselves free from the yoke of expansionist Fulanis’ misrule as well as misuse of the powers of the Federal Government for selfish benefit.
Citizen stratification by any government into de facto first tier citizens operating beyond the reach of the Law yet living side by side with second and third tier citizens both subject to the oppressive application of the law, is symptomatic of a nation tottering on the brink of collapse.
All patriotic Nigerians, non-expansionist Fulani inclusive, should vigorously resist any attempt by the Federal Government whether via an act of the National Assembly or by decree, or by deception or by intimidation, to augment the powers and control of the Federal Government over their inalienable sovereign rights. Be it their sovereignty over their ancestral lands, their ancestral waterways, their manifest destiny, their choice of religion or their free speech.
We resisted General Sani Abacha’s dictatorship and won by the special Grace of God. We resisted President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Third Term Agenda and emerged triumphant by the special Grace of God. Today we must all resist President Muhammadu Buhari’s vassalizing agenda via the instrumentality of Fulani expansionism. And win we shall by your special Grace O God, the Almighty.
For those who place their trust in you cannot ultimately be defeated. Come to our aid once again, we pray thee, O God.
Anthony Chuka Konwea, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE, MNSE, FNIStructE, MNICE.