Femi Fani-Kayode: Benue and Fulani ‘conquest’ – The dangerous delusion of Prof Labdo
February 12th, 2018
“Nobody should try to remove Buhari in 2019. All Fulanis in Nigeria today our eyes are open. All of us are behind Buhari.We having seen that they want to destroy the Fulani because of Buhari. We would be ready to follow him and fight it”- Alhaji Bello Abdullahi Bodeji, President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), The Sun Newspaper, 3rd February 2018.
I was tempted to respond to the unveiled threats and the bellicose and boastful words of this provincial cattle-rearer and itinerant Fulani herdsman called Bello Abdullahi Bodeji in this contribution but when I picked up the saturday newspapers I realised that I needed to deal with a far more insidious and dangerous individual whose views are as abhorrent, frightful and unacceptable as Nazi Germany’s Adolph Hitler’s ever were.
This is a long essay but please stay with me till the end because the message and information that it seeks to convey is vital. Permit me to begin.
In a fascinating and provocative interview, the Punch Newspaper (3rd February 2018) asked one of the greatest advocates, most consistent proponents, most powerful voices and most compelling rising stars of Fulani supremacy, hegemony, irrendentism and power, Professor Umar Mohammed Ladbo of the Humanities Department of Maitama Sule University, Kano, the following question.
“You say Benue belongs to Fulani by right of conquest. Is such a right greater than that of the original owners or people who the Fulani met there?”.
Ladbo’s response betrayed the mindset of the quintessential conqueror and ethnic supremacist.
Though long, I shall qoute him extensively and fully in order for readers to get a clear picture and vivid glimpse into what can only be described as a diseased mind. He said,
“Don’t talk about original owners, now that the right of conquest is recognised worldwide. And many of the people, who live presently in different countries, they are there and are living there by the right of conquest.
And this right of conquest is recognised, even by our Supreme Court. One of my followers on Facebook, who is a lawyer, said he could mention 10 cases in which our Supreme Court recognised conquest as one of the basis of getting titles for land.
So, don’t talk about that. Who are the original owners? Original! When did they come? We submit that the first father of the Tiv was Mohammed Alla, who migrated from Katsina, that is why today, you have Katsina Alla! Let them explain, what is the meaning of Katsina Alla?
So, this Fulani man, when he got to that area and fathered Tiv, there were other Fulani people there. That was why he came to join his own brothers.
So, if you are talking about any original owners of the Tiv land, it is actually the Fulani. And the Fulani are the fathers of the Tiv and the Jukun are their mothers.
Many of the people living in the area they live today migrated to that area. And I also mentioned in my Facebook post that Fulani are very kind and benevolent conquerors because when the Europeans settled in North America, that is, today’s USA and Canada, they massacred all the people.
That is why there is no one to call them settlers today. They killed them all and destroyed their means of livelihood. When the Europeans settled in Australia, they killed the Aborigines.
That is why there is no one to call them settlers now. But Fulani, we did not kill anybody. We ruled over the people and some people are asking if it is true that Benue belongs to Fulani?
Why are they not Muslims? Now, the answer is Fulani did not force anyone to embrace Islam. Even today in Kano here, you have people who are not Muslims and they are originally from here.
We call them Maguzawa. That is why the missionaries had the opportunity to come here and convert them to Christianity. You have them in Bauchi and even in Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and Katsina”. (CONCLUDED).
Why am I not suprised by these frightful and startling submissions and assertions and this false narrative.
For Professor Ladbo to essentially claim that “the fact that we Fulani did not kill all those we subjugated and all the indigenous people we defeated in battle, conquered and enslaved is something that Nigerians should be grateful for” is cruel, demeaning, dishonorable, insulting, disingenious and shameful.
Worst of all it is not true. It is false and it is historically incorrect. The fact of the matter is that the Fulani conquerors slaughtered more people in their series of jihads in northern Nigeria than ANY other invasion force in the history of Africa.
Has this so-called “professor” never heard about the barbarity and genocide committed by Usman Dan Fodio when he offered either “the sword or the Koran” to those he conquered in the north?
Has he never heard of the massacres and mass murders that accompanied the Fulani jihads, the destruction of the Habe empire and the establishment of the Caliphate?
Ignorance is a terrible thing but deceit and historical revisionism is even worse.
To say that the Fulani were gentle and kind in their conquests of parts of northern Nigeria and in their quest to establish their caliphate and forcefully spread
Islam is a lie from the pit of hell.
It is like saying that Lucifer loved God and never rebelled against him or that Hitler’s Nazis showed kindness to the Jews or that the white slave-owners of the pre-civil war “confederate” southern states of the United States of America loved their black slaves.
The truth is that the history of the caliphate is paved, painted and tainted with ethnic cleansing, mass murder, genocide and blood and their cruelty to those that they attacked, conquered and enslaved was legendry.
They utterly humiliated, broke down and destroyed their subjects and took everything away from them including their dignity, liberty, land, identity, religion and culture.
Worse of all they effected a relentless “scortch the earth” policy, burnt everything in sight, raped ALL the women, enslaved ALL the children, took millions of lives and even slaughtered the animals.
That is the history of the caliphate and Fulani conquest and not the rosy picture that Professor Ladbo and other historical revisionists seek to paint.
This is not hate, it is history.
Sadly Ladbo’s hubristic delusions was not limited to the above.
He went a step further down the abyss of hate and delusion by telling the same Punch Newspaper that
“the Fulanis are destined to continue leading Nigeria”.
He said the Fulanis brought literacy to the country and that the Fulani tribe had transcripts dating back to 500 years ago “when no other tribe knew how to write”.
Permit me to share his exact words:
“Those who rule are those that are more civilised and educated. Now, Fulani happened to be more educated than all other tribes in Nigeria before the Europeans came.
We are the ones who brought literacy here as we have manuscripts, hundreds of them, which were written between 300 and 500 years ago, when no other tribe knew how to write.
And that is why the lot fell on our people to lead in this country and we are still leading the people. We are destined to continue leading people; but I know, if people read this, they will say he is a supremacist or something like that, no!
It is not like that. This is a burden and we pay for it. Sardauna was killed because he was a ruler. If he had not been a ruler, why would he have been killed? Murtala Mohammed (former Military Head of State) was also killed. Why? It was because he was a ruler.
It is not something we are proud of: it is a burden but we have to shoulder the burden because we are the ones who are qualified for it.
In 1840 the Yoruba defeated us in Osogbo and sent us packing but you are talking of only one defeat when we conquered the whole of the North including Kano and even Benue. We are the owners of Benue by conquest.
Our man was already ruling Borno by then, there was no need to attack them. We don’t even eat cow meat. It is you Yoruba and Igbo that are ready to die for cow meat. Look we are destined to lead Nigeria for long” (CONCLUDED).
For these asinine and absurd assertions coming from a depraved and desperate simpleton who can be better described as a village idiot than a Professor of Humanities, I have no words other than to say that his views have no basis in rationality, logic or history.
It is also trite history that the Fulani came from Futa Jalon in modern-day Guinea (from a place called Vulture Mountain) and that their progenitor, Usman Dan Fodio, did not set foot in what was to later become modern-day northern Nigeria until 1797 or begin his jihad until 1804.
So when this Kano “Professor” compares the Fulani to “other tribes” in Nigeria “300 to 500 years ago” he is making a grave error because the fact is that at that time the Fulani were not even here!
If any tribe or ethnic nationality can be described as modern-day immigrants and aliens in Nigeria it is the Fulani. Every other tribe in our nation has been here for centuries, thousands of years and indeed from time-immemorial but the Fulani are relative newcomers to our geographical space.
As a matter of fact they have far more in common genetically and in terms of bloodlines with the Tutsis of Central and East Africa (who also originally came from Futa Jalon and who are also migrants) than they do with ANY tribe or ethnic nationality in Nigeria.
They were not originally part of us and neither are they completely negroid. Their blood is mixed with Taurag and Berber blood and they are a product of long-term and thousands of years of cross-breeding between the local black Africans of Futa Jalon and the Arab, Taurag and Berber traders that plied that route.
To suggest that they were indigenous to the land that was later to be known as “Nigeria” or even “northern Nigeria” before the mid-1800 is simply not true and it is historically incorrect.
That is the bitter truth and another is as follows.
The last three years have proved that the Fulani know far more about cow-herding and cattle-rearing than they do about nation-building and governance.
They have also proved that they place far more value on the life of a cow than that of a human being. What on earth could be more backward, primitive, uncivilised uneducated, illiterate, condemnable and reprehensible than that?
Contrary to what Professor Ladbo would have us believe, the Fulani are not more educated than others, they are not more literate than others, they were not educated before others, they are not born to rule, they are not destined to lead, they have no understanding of collective and all-inclusive leadership in a multi-religious, multi-racial, multi-cultural nation and, as long as Jesus is on the throne, they will not lead or rule Nigeria forever.
Permit me to end this contribution with an interesting and insightful extract from Professor Ozodi Thomas Osuji’s well-researched and seminal essay titled ‘The Fulanis Quest To Rule West Africa’. He wrote,
“I have been reading up on the Fulani. I am now a walking encyclopedia on them. I have accepted that they want to rule all of Nigeria.
They conquered the Hausas states (1804-1809) and now they want to conquer all of Nigeria. That six million Fulanis in Nigeria (and 13 million in all West Africa) want to rule 150 million Nigerians is amazing!
When five million white Afrikaners ruled 45 million Africans in South Africa we described their behavior as racist.
But in the Fulani case folks do not seem to grasp the racist angle to the whole bizarre thing where the most uneducated group in Nigeria wants to rule the most educated folks in Nigeria, such as the Edos, Ijaws, Efiks, Igbos and Yorubas.
Fulanis originally lived in Morocco as part of the Maghreb Arabs that conquered the Iberian Peninsula, Spain and Portugal in 711 A.D. and swept into France in 732 A.D. before the Franks (Germans…Arabs still call Germans Franks) under their leader, Charles Martel, the Hammer of God, stopped them at Tours, near Paris, at the famous battle of Poitier.
Many of those Arabs mixed with Africans and are now called Fulanis. They drifted south and eventually settled around Senegal and Guinea. Fulanis drifted into Northern Nigeria in the eighteenth century (1700s).
They used a well-known ruse (which they are now using allover Nigeria) to get Hausas to attack them and used that pretext to attack and conquer Hausa states.
Their leader, Othman Dan Fodio named himself the Sultan of what he called the Sokoto Caliphate and appointed his relatives the Emirs (Chiefs) of major Hausa towns.
Apparently Fulanis want to extend their rule all over Nigeria. We must check the diabolical intention of the Fulanis, a minority Arab group that wants to rule the majority of Africans in Nigeria, just as a minority white group wanted to rule the majority of Africans in South Africa. This must be stopped. Democracy requires that it be stopped”. (CONCLUDED).
Osuji is absolutely right.
And just in case anyone is still in any doubt about how determined the Fulani are to hold on to power in Nigeria they should consider the words of Alhaji Ahmad Usman Bello, the National Chairman of the Fulbe (Fulani) Development Association (FULDAN).
Last week he told the Nigerian people that ”any ethnic group that fights the Fulani will be doing so at their own peril. No-one can defeat the Fulani in Nigeria”.
As we lawyers say, ‘res ipsa loquitor’ (meaning ‘the facts speak for themselves’).
Ahmed Usman Bello, Umar Muhammed Labdo, Bello Abdullahi Bodeji and all those that share their reckless views forget that hubris comes before nemesis and that pride comes before a fall.
May God deliver them from their dangerous and provocative delusions before it is too late.