The Igbo And The Fulani Vigilante By Femi Kusa - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Igbo And The Fulani Vigilante By Femi Kusa


We live in a time of delicate social relationships in which one man covets what belongs to  another, and that man at the receiving end, quite naturally, fights back to protect what belongs to him. It is as if man has forgotten all or most of the lessons he learned from history about the wars and the traumas which greeted covetuousness. Some people remember from history, through, the THE SONS OF THE INCAS (check them on line) who would not fight to protect themselves and their property. Not only their land and their property did they lose to other people who coveted them, they forfeited their existence on the face of this earth as well. 
      As a yoruba man, I was not happy with another yoruba man who on radio this morning 22/06/19, was analysing newspaper headlines of the day. On this matter, he did not come to me straight as a hard core yoruba man whose progenitors went through hundreds of years of wars to maintain the present boundaries of the various sub national groups in yoruba land. He was asked to comment on the offer of FULANI cattle herders to establish a vigilante  surveilance army in the south-east, that is IGBO land, to protect igbo people against the killings, maiming, rape and farmland destruction which the cattle fulani have visited upon some other regions of Nigeria including the south east and against which the federal government of Nigeria would appear powerless. Not suprisingly, the igbos have rejected this offer for not only may it be a greek gift such as caused yoruba empire of old to lose ILORIN to the jihadist Alimi till this day, it even bothers on insult by suggesting the igbos are not man enough to protect themselves if the government cannot protect them.
       This yoruba commentator danced left and right on the battle line and even backed  his spineless position with the yoruba addage...Ti okurin ba ri ejo, ti obinrin ba paa, ohun ti o se dandan ni wipe ki ejo ti ku(if a man sees a snake ...and flees ...and a woman kills the snake, the important thing is for the snake to die). Have the igbos told this man that they are half, cowardly men and cannot kill the snake? Are the fulani vigilante the amazon women who alone can rescue them from their fulani tormentors? In yorubaland, have the men pushed the women forward to kill this same snake?
      What I expected him to say was that the fulani threat and the response of all nationalities it confronts has reminded us of the TEN COMMANDMENTS. Christians believe the ten commandments come from the Almighty creator. Moslems believe ALLAH sent down only FOUR BOOKS....The songs of David (the psalms)/the ten commandments/the revealation /and the KORAN. If the ten commandments instruct us not to covet and if the fulani are orthodox moslems, why do they covet other people's farmlands and land and rape other people's women on these farms? I expect this commentator to also remind us that if the igbo realise the need to defend their land, they should appreciate why it is offensive to the yorubas for igbos to see Lagos as NO MAN'S LAND which they have conquered or can conquer economically and politically. They should also understand from their current displeasure with the fulani vigilante while the yorubas consider it offensive for igbos to install and crown igwes in yorubaland.Such re education will then lead us all to new and more sublime recognitions of what human relationships ought to be. I obtained such picture from the recognitions I became exposed to in the course of my search for the meaning of existence , especially on earth. Some of these recognitions are
1)we are all creatures of the Almighty creator
2)each one of us is sent to the earth to experience life among people of the most like nature with us...ie families, clans , villages, towns, tribes etc.
3) these congregations form unicultural and unilinguistic nations.
4)each group is not superior to the other or meant to stand one on top of the other, or one before and another behind, but all side by side as we journey through earthly existence together, one helping the other, all helping one that is down up and one helping all to move on.
The co operation of the various organs in our body reminds us of this always.
        The stomach cannot obtain oxygen by itself from the outside world. The lungs do it for the stomach and other organs as well. The rest of the body cannot remove their waste products by themselves. The excretory organs (the lungs, the kidneys, the intestine, the skin perform this duty. The bones carry all the organs everywhere. 
        Like children in a boarding house who are provided pocket money and other provisions by their parents who sent them here, the Almighty creator who sent us all here for a purpose has provided us all resources for our sustenance. None of us has everything he needs for his sustenance. So, we must exchange. But the exchange must not be through battery or covetousness. It must be mutually agreed. Did we not object to the gun boat diplomacy of those days and demand independence? Isn't the need for respect the foundation of the ongoing sino American trade war? When the Nigerian state forcibly took the crude oil of some states for some states and even equalised the pump price nationwide to the disadvantage of the owners, was this done in mutual self respect? When the south west meticulously developed urban sociology and the central government robbed it off value added tax to feed lazy states, what was the mutual self respect in this? When the Lagos cake is coveted by those who did not help to bake it, but were merely invited to the banquet, there is no mutual self respect in this. The Nigerian Fulani are saying they have been maligned and emotionally tormented by all of us as killers, maimers, thieves and rapists? I feel sorry for all of them who stand out of the rot but are caught in the web of generalisations and the stereotyping. They should remember though, that they are members of the FULANIS WORLD WIDE. Their kith and kindred as defined by nature are in other countries. They were balkanised in the scramble for Africa and by the peace congress of Vienna in 1884 or thereabout. By the law of nature, split parts seek reunion because of their homogeneity. Didn't east and west Germany reunite? Didn't Pakistan separate from India and erithea from Ethiopia? What about Senegal and Gambia after Senegambia failed?
     FULANI WORLD WIDE may be seeking reunion and Nigerian Fulani may be pretending to not know about this. This attention of Lagos authorities has been invited to the number of motorcycles entering Lagos through Berger axis everyday with many foreigners. Elsewhere, I said we must salute the  cattle and forest fulani. They are a hardy nut. They have mapped all the forests in Nigeria better than our soldiers. The town army, which may carry AK 47 some day on motorcycles, have mastered all the southern city and town routes. The south has woken up late. In 1966, the military government of major-general J.T.U Aguiyi-Ironsi destroyed the true federation which Obafemi Awolowo  and his friends risked their lives for. Obasanjo, Yar'a dua, Jonathan and Buhari rejected state police, encouraged by some southern states. History was removed from the school curriculum to make our children's generation blind about the environment in which they live. Thankfully, Buhari has just brought it back. So, let us tell that yoruba commentator to shut up. The igbos are only trying to prevent Ilorin from happening to them. The igbos have  the right to determine how their land will be defended if the federal government cannot protect them. They are not known in history to be men who flee from snakes, beseeching women to kill them. They  only need to be more careful this time about the way they will confront the dragon. In this, they should take a cue from the yorubas. For their right and duty to themselves is our right and duty to ourselves as well.

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