The Police Command in Lagos State on Tuesday said that it arrested 14 suspected cult members for allegedly terrorising Mushin residence.
I said that unless the Nigerian national question was addressed, the Shehu Shagari government should not go ahead to conduct the election for second term. And that if it did, the government would not last for three months. I noted that the country was sitting on a keg of gun powder, and the political structure was skewed in favour of the North as it was then because there is no more North now. I was arrested and detained, and of course they went ahead to have the election.
But the government collapsed in three months by December For many years, even when I was regional editor of the Daily Times, I have always felt that Lord Lugard was a devil; that bastard born in India had mischievous agenda for India, Nigeria and Sudan, those three countries where he featured as a soldier, as a mercenary, an administrator and as a trader.
It was the Royal Niger Company that really brought him to Nigeria. What they wanted to do, which France did to a large extent, was to make their colonies caricatures of Britain or France, so you will neither be African nor English. With that devilish plan, Lugard and most Britons of his era believed that pink pigmentation of the skin was superior to dark pigmentation. That was why they gave government in the Sudan to the Arab North and suppressed the South of Sudan which forced them into war for several years.
In India, they encouraged the caste system for a long time and preferred the lighter skinned Pakistanis and Bangladesh to the darker skinned middle and Southern Indians. And they also found the Southerners to be more progressive, more aggressive and better exposed than the then colony of the Fulani. Before then, even before Lugard was born, the Fulani led by Uthman Danfodio…one of the lies sold to most of us in Nigeria was that Uthman Danfodio came from Fouta Djallon, hat is not true.
He was born in Sokoto and buried in Sokoto, I visited his grave. So Lugard allowed them to continue, he used what is now called indirect rule. But for the North at that time to survive economically, it needed the South which was already exporting timber, coal, cocoa and so many other things, and had an existing port; the South was very wealthy, and given that kind of background, they wanted to make sure, especially when they established the West African Constabulary — the Frontier force — they ensured that the bulk of the recruits were from the North because he also foresaw as Ahmadu Bello later did, the dictum of Chairman Mao that power flows from the barrel of the gun.
They recognised at that point in time that they must get soldiers from the North, equip them such that if they failed politically, they will use their military wing to impose whatever they wanted on the rest of the country. Lugard violated the natural boundaries of North and South, the River Niger was there; the River Benue was there, so the boundary ought to have stopped before Niger and Benue which was what it was before the amalgamation. But by amalgamation and the unfortunate incident of Afonja betraying the Alaafin during the Awole reign, Alimi betrayed Afonja and had conquered Ilorin.
In fact, they wanted to push the boundary to Oshogbo, but for the Ijesha army that drove them back. At the time they were driven back in or thereabout, the British were already in Nigeria; Lugard was already here. So they prevented the South, the Yoruba from pushing the Fulani further back.
The British eventually ended up giving them such a large expanse of land, and false population figures; the political arrangement was so designed that whether it was parliamentary or presidential system, the so called North must have majority in government.
Then they went ahead in to give them terrible false figures in census to ensure also that if they base everything on population, they will say the so called North had more population. I was a commissioner in National Population Commission in to 89, and I know that apart from Bida and Kano, there is hardly any town in the whole of the so called North that can boast of large population.
So, they had the military, they had false population figures, they had false landmass; everything was tailor-made to ensure that the so called North will continue to rule Nigeria. So you had only Awolowo standing against all the devilish designs of the British.
But some people may ask why we tolerated this for over years. It has been very difficult to free ourselves through civil means, and this had prompted the riots in Benue, it prompted Adaka Boro and all the militants that have tried at one time or the other.
And Emeka Ojukwu tried, he really tried with his secessionist bid to free the Igbo and the rest of the country from this very manipulative and very power hungry Fulani. Remember that earlier on I said my own word is not restructuring, you can only restructure a structure, but to me there was never a structure. So, what we should be doing is actually to go back to pre Leaders of this place called Nigeria, must come together and discuss the terms of coming together as a country.
We Nigerian people… if there is anybody that can be so called because there are no Nigerian people. We the people living in this expanse of land were not involved in what they did with the expanse of land. There is no structure given to that land, it is a landmass with several nationalities, what we should do is to go to pre as Solomon Asemota, one of the greatest thinkers on these issues said. Also, to ensure that the landmass itself has to be redefined in a way that natural boundaries are agreed upon.
You cannot be taking about Western region, and leave the Jembe and so on in Kogi or you have emirs in Yoruba land or emirs in Zango Kataf or in Kafanchan, which are Christian lands. If there is a correct census in this country, I can say that Western Nigeria has more Muslims than any other part of this country.
We had Muslims before Uthman Danfodio was born, but they Fulani have done so much that not only have they conquered the most vociferous and most enlightened part of Nigeria politically and militarily, they have also enslaved us religiously by calling somebody head of supreme council of Islamic affairs. What is supreme council of Islamic affairs? Somebody that had never been voted for! He has only been a Sultan, then using a puppet like late Dr Lateef Adegbite, and now using another puppet called Ishaq Akintola who is now the secretary of the so called Islamic affairs; there is nothing like Islamic affairs.
But because of it, the Sultan will dictate to South West when to fast and when not to fast; when to kill ram and all what not. They made it such that the Southern Muslims have submitted themselves to the superiority of Fulani Muslims. And they have accepted to be second class even in their religion. So that when the Sultan is dictating to the Fulani people, the Awujale or the Alaafin of Oyo will dictate to us here. The Sultan should never be arrogated as supreme head of anybody outside his sphere of influence.
You have spoken extensively about how the entire South has been subjugated by the Fulani, but why is it that the South cannot come together to stop it? Again, at a point, there was betrayal, or rather the Fulani played a hand. The Fulani like I said, are still the most sophisticated politicians in Nigeria, there is no doubt about that. Up till today, the South does not believe they need the British or the Americans to advise them on politics. But the Fulani have always submitted themselves to British influence and directives.
Once they dangle some political office in their face, they fall for it. That has been the bane, but we have all passed that stage.
Maybe some governors are too chicken hearted to talk, maybe some ministers cannot talk, but they are only negligible minority. We now have a hurricane in the South, nobody who knows history can stop it. I have argued in some of my articles that it was the military wing of the Fulani that brought us into this mess. It was them that followed the part and pattern decided for them by the British.
When Alani Akinrinade, Black Scorpion Benjamin Adekunle and Alabi Isiama, who were the war heroes that I know, but for them and the Christians in the Military who were mostly Yoruba, there was no way the so called federal military could have defeated the Igbo.
We fought; allowed ourselves to be used by the Fulani to kill the Igbo, but the first thing they did for us was to create 12 states and weaken the federating units. They gave the Yoruba just one state, and gave the so called North about six at that time, and gave the East three because they wanted the minorities separate from the Igbo. Thus, the Yoruba became the first casualty.
Then the worst came when someone of very doubtful paternity called Olusegun Obasanjo, who for reasons best known to him has remained the greatest anti south southerner in this country. It was Obasanjo who imposed presidential system on Nigerians, it was him who took over all the achievements of the South: So you have all these questions hanging around his name and around his paternity..
He has done the greatest harm to restructuring Nigeria; to making Nigeria a truly federal state than any other person in Nigerian history. Of course, since they knew who he was, even after MKO Abiola was denied the presidency, the Fulani, using some proxies… because among those who brought Obasanjo back to power, it was only Aliyu Mohammed Gusau who is Fulani. Babangida is not Fulani, he is Gwari; Danjuma is Jukun, but the Fulani used them to choose somebody they know will always dance to their tune to make him president, they have tested him before.
But before then, the military government of Abacha, which was itself a creation of the Fulani had gone ahead to divide Nigeria into 36 states and created local governments that had no rhythm nor rhyme. I know a particular place called Chalawa in a Local government in Kano; there are not up to twelve houses there. And the only house there that is plastered, not painted, is a 2-bedroom bungalow. You call that a local government headquarters, to compare with Alimosho Local Government, to compare with Ibadan, to compare with Obafemi Owode.
You have local governments dotted all over the North that cannot boast of ten thousand or even five thousand people in population. So for peace and stability to return to this landmass, we have to go confederate, anything short of it is just window dressing; anything short of that is still going to collapse.
Nigeria must be based on a confederation. Let us have six republics: And those six republics would then come together and have the confederal republic of Nigeria on agreed terms.
Every republic will have its own constitution, police and military but to be coordinated by the federal military for national defence against external enemy. Why should the federal government have the ministry of education, why should it have ministry of agriculture or ministry of lands and housing?
The land belongs to state and local governments. So, once we have that, let every region develop at its own pace. There is no point in talking about whether or the North wants that to happen. We cannot be talking about the North when there is no North.
I spoke to some professors in Niger State, they told me that they are more bitter about this so called Nigeria than we Yoruba are; that they have been the perpetual slaves of the Fulani that they cannot even talk. They slaughter Benue people almost on daily basis. The Zango Kataf people in Southern Kaduna are being killed on daily basis, and you are calling them Northerners? You only have the caliphate that has overrun the rest of the so called North, but they never succeeded in overrunning Kanuri, the Borno people.
But of course, for selfish reasons, and for what their stomach will eat, there are some leaders of Borno, some leaders of Jukun, Benue, like Paul Unongo, Plateau who they decorate with an empty title of the chairman of Northern whatever.
They deceived Sunday Awoniyi and made him chairman. They deceived Unongo and say he is the head of Arewa, how can Unongo be chairman of Arewa when they are killing his people every day? We have been so timid because we have been brainwashed to believe that there is a superior force somewhere. The kind of military that went to massacre the Igbo does not exist anymore. I doubt if there were any Igbo or any Yoruba there.
They will selectively call on their Fulani and some stupid Hausa who have still not seen themselves as slaves to join them. What about the political conferences like that of People have suggested that we take this document and implement what we can. At that point in time, it probably satisfied some concerns, but now we have grown beyond that. You cannot be talking about conference that recommended that you should create one more state in the South East, and create more local governments.
We have gone beyond that, state creation is not the business of the federal government, local government creation is not the business of any federal government.
Let the republics create them. If you want to create one million states in Yoruba republic, it is your business. These are the things they use to confuse us; the use of language for political effect.
You have only the Fulani, about five million of them. You have this arrangement where the Fulani who like you said are in control of the military still opposed to restructuring. How do we go about getting the country you want?
Yes, they control the army, the intelligence service, the SSS, immigration the police and so on, but it is possible through two approaches; only two. First is brain, second is brawn.. The Fulani brought us to where we are today using brawn, and a bit of trickery and deceit.
But it was largely through the military. The creation of states, killing Biafrans, killing Southerners in the North, local government creation, presidential system… all those were made possible by the military. In fact, like I said earlier, it was the military even though they did well in providing infrastructure that was used by the Fulani to destroy Nigeria politically. And I have argued that as unpalatable as it might sound, it is still the military that can take us out of this mess.
It is either organised military or armed militia that will come from various parts of the country, this status quo cannot continue. The 36 states cannot pay salaries, the federal government cannot pay police salaries. They are owing the military pensioners three months salary areas. But what we are saying is, please come now, let us restructure Nigeria.
The caliphate has more to benefit than any other part of this country. The caliphate, the North East and Middle Belt are so rich in agriculture that if you have Middle Belt republic and Caliphate republic, and Elkanemi republic, they can be exporting agricultural products: They will make more money from exporting agriculture produce, but they abandoned all that because they are stealing the resources of the South.
Lagos alone contributes more than 67 percent of VAT than the rest of the country put together. So, to answer your question, we will get out of it using our brains which is what we are doing now, trying to persuade everybody. If that fails, it would be brawn. But either of the two must yield to us the country we want. And it is in the interest of everyone to allow brain to decide for us. If Nigeria breaks into militia as you have in Somalia, it will not be palatable for anybody. So, let us go the Czech-Slovakia model.
The people in Southern Kaduna will not wait indefinitely; people in Benue will not wait indefinitely. They have been able to conquer Plateau, but some elements of Plateau are going to wake up and say no, you cannot put army of occupation in our land. I told some people that you can say whatever you like about Nnamdi Kanu but I believe that there is no Nigerian today who commands the kind of followership he commands, so such a person cannot be dismissed. The forces they have gathered, you can drive them underground, but when they unleash terror on this country it will not be funny.
Seventy-four prominent Yoruba elders have vowed to pull the Yoruba nation out of Nigeria if the country is not restructured before the general elections. Acting under the aegis of Voice of Reason VOR , a socio-cultural group, the elders made this known in an advertorial on page 25 of The Punchnewspaper of Monday, January Some of the elders that signed the advertorial include: VOR is a body of Yoruba sons and daughters, comprising successful entrepreneurs and eminent professionals across the spectrum of the society.
As a body, VOR is not partisan, but we are passionate about the progress and welfare of the nation. With the events going on in Nigeria at present, we believe, as elders in Yoruba land, it is time we made our voices heard, loud and clear.
No one needs to be told of the suffering of the people under the harsh economy and insecurity brought about by a federation hobbled by corruption, insincerity and ineptitude of politicians. VOR has noted that the aspirations of most Nigerians are not being met resulting in very apparent despondency which, if unchecked, will lead to chaos in the land. VOR further notes that the dissatisfaction of citizens largely stems from a lack of opportunities for self-development and employment even for those who have taken step to educate themselves and their children, many of our qualified citizens are abroad unable to come back and cope with the existing conditions.
Before the whole country becomes convulsed by election fever, we have resolved to bring the following to the attention of the public as a whole. The Yoruba people are irrevocably committed to a fundamental restructuring of this current union within the shortest possible time, preferable, before the elections, falling which, we Yoruba may have to exercise our option not to continue to be part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as presently constituted.
In the inalienable right to self-determination guaranteed by the United Nations Charter, we are prepared to use ALL means and resources available to us to extricate our people from this failed, unfair and unworkable union.
The restructuring exercise envisaged and demanded by the Yorubas cannot and should not be carried out through the National Assembly as presently constituted using the current Nigerian Constitution. Furthermore, we believe that the threshold for amending the present constitution to reflect and effect our legitimate demands is insurmountable for the Southern zones, based on the in-built flawed assumptions in the constitution.
All Yoruba States are encouraged to carry out genuine census of how many we truly are in Yoruba land, using Lagos State example which uses 23 million people for planning as against 9 million used by the Federal Government in the sharing of revenue and resources.
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