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Mandela and the parable of the fulani

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Mandela and the parable of the Fulani : By Hassan Gimba

 In his autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom, first published in 1994, the revered Nelson Mandela wrote: “When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw”. Even though not an absolute truism, this saying of the Madiba just about sums up the life of the renegade Fulani herdsmen and that of Southern Nigerian demagogues. But many times, a man has to be dissuaded from the life he believes in and is deliberately directed to the life he should live. This is what keeps the world improving, developing. And it is also the bedrock of education, hence civilisation.

 Come to think of it, where would you be if your grandfather or father was not persuaded to embrace western education? Since no man is an island unto himself, and he must live in a society, certain things he believes in must be sacrificed for those that are universal. After all, the freedom to swing one’s arms while walking is guaranteed but those arms must stop right where the nose of the next person begins. Co-habitation is a community entails give-and-take, accepting all into the brotherhood of humanity.

Any group of people that refuses to learn to cooperate with other groups and live peacefully is primitive in outlook. One can comfortably say it is a group that has allowed the animal in them to take precedence over their humanity. For men are created the same. Parents, environment and societal influence are the factors that give us either our nobleness or negative inhibitions.

I was on my occasional morning walks when I met three kids, probably from the same house, out on an errand. The oldest, a girl, was probably seven or eight. She greeted me, “Good morning, sir” and instinctively I answered back, “Morning, my daughter”. Her younger siblings followed suit. They are Igbo kids but from their physiognomy, I could deduce they viewed me as their father’s mate who could be their father. And I started thinking. Probably if their parents told them they are relocating back to Nnewi, Enugu, Nsukka, or wherever they see as their origin, these kids may be saddened by the news.

You see, to them where they are – probably they were born there – is home. The girl may be named Nkechi but her friends are Fatima, Amina, Maryam or Bosede and Toyin. Her classmates are Musa, Abayomi or Nandev. These innocent minds see themselves as one, with little or no difference. But that is the nature of all kids until external forces start brainwashing them against one another.

 Get newborn babies of different tribes and religions and nurture them in an enclosure away from external contacts and influence. Perhaps they may evolve their language and religion by the time they reach adulthood. But what is certain is that they will all have one tongue and the same value system. It is societal forces that separate us into tribes, tongues and creed.

Had my friend Amaechi been born by my parents, perhaps he would be Musa and a practising Muslim. Same with many Muslim Hausa who could be named Uche or Olu were their parents from the South. Then why fight and kill over which part of the divide God decided to place you. Did God consult you first before putting you there? And even insist it is your life and you cannot change?

The cries over Fulani and their atrocities are getting louder by the day and it will be dangerous for us as a nation not to take it seriously. One of the reasons is that, down South, every, well, almost every northerner is Hausa/Fulani, whatever that means. That notion could be deliberately but covertly instigated by ambitious politicians. Hate the Fulani, seen, albeit erroneously, as the symbol of the North, and the North will lose. Everywhere in the South, there is a deliberate plan to demonise the Fulani.

While there are the renegades among the tribe that rejoice in brutality, that do not hesitate to shed blood, the majority are law-abiding. But the way it is being portrayed in the South – and some parts of the middle belt – now is as if there never have been criminals among their tribes until the advent of the Fulani. They behave as if they have always been saintly people with no violence of whatever shade, and now the Fulani have come to destroy their Eldorado.

And this is the reason behind the setting up of Amotekun and the Eastern Security Network: hatred for, and to specifically deal with, the Fulani. As time goes on, atrocities by these pseudo security outfits against northerners will just increase. The game plan is to tempt the North into retaliating and the dream for secession would be realised. And this is why the security networks are peopled by criminals and hate mongers who can only survive through that means. All the more reason why a thug like Sunday Igboho can turn into a regional hero – even daring the government by claiming that arresting him would break the country. It is a sad narrative that charlatans like Igboho, Nnamdi Kanu, Gani Adams and people like Femi Fani Kayode are setting the agenda for Nigeria of the great Zik, Awo and Ahmadu Bello.

But I have always maintained that even if Nigeria would balkanise, now is the wrong time, for all our sakes. The best time could have been 1966 and, perhaps by now, we would all have been independent nationalities, each with its peculiar problems and prospects. But now, none of the six geopolitical zones can survive outside Nigeria. We would all be overwhelmed by bandits, insurgents, militants and all. Even the Igbo nation cannot stand on its own if left alone to the arrogance and demagoguery of its anointed secessionist leader.

But there is also something fundamentally wrong with the North. It lacks a leader. It lacks focus. It lacks vision. Most of the Fulani terrorising Nigeria now could have long been engineers, medical doctors, professors, etc. The regime of General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida started what it christened nomadic education. Under it, there were many things involved that could change the way the Fulani live. But because most of our leaders are short-sighted and prioritise lining their pockets, they never took that programme seriously. Now, with all the money they have sliced for themselves, those who should have been professionals today will not allow them to enjoy it.

For God’s sake, what will it take to create ranches or whatever to settle the Fulani herders and provide every facility that would add value to their lives and livelihood? This is being just to them because the way they want to live their lives is no longer tenable in a world where the majority are struggling to survive. How can someone move cattle from Mali to Osogbo or Obudu and, worse of all, leave cries of woes behind him? Apart from being fair to them as human beings, the cattle will have more quality when bred in one place than subjecting them to the stress of trekking hundreds of kilometres and feeding on just anything. And there is the assurance of minimising crime.

More importantly, what will it take to separate the genuine herder from the criminal Fulani, especially when the president himself has said they are foreigners coming to make trouble for us?

Again, the North is just reactive. The typical northerner not only continues his life the way he has been living it but casts an eye on others as if he is their guardian angel. When they say Fulani must pack out, he comes out bristling with fury and gives southerners an ultimatum to leave his land also. When they form Amotekun he becomes agitated, red-eyed and prances about akin to a cow on heat and forms Shege Ka Fasa. When some riff-raff from the South says we will ban eating of cow meat, the northern rabble-rouser, like someone on a short fuse shrieks that “we will not take cows to the South”. And he uses all these gimmicks to line his pockets because after a few days you hear nothing from him again until the next move from the South. But the plight of the Fulani, North or Nigeria does not concern him.

Such persons fail to realise that being proactive is the only way to help the Fulani. Through proper management of cattle colonies, a cow can bring three to four times its value than when transported live to the South. A well-managed ranch can produce and process hide and skin, milk, butter, gum, fertiliser, animal feed, etc. And this will give them greater bargaining power and more money.

But beyond all these, the federal government needs to up its game. Many of our problems are as a result of bad government policies. A lot of Nigerians feel either neglected or short-changed by their government. There is a belief in many quarters that they have been neglected while a certain breed of citizens is being favoured. Such perceptions by people have to be changed. And it is only the government that can do that through deliberate policies meant to restore the people’s confidence in it.

Perhaps we will witness a turn with the change of service chiefs, slashing of import duty on some commodities and withdrawal of VAT on others. These are good and positive responses that would go a long way in ameliorating hardship. The value of the naira in the pocket will also increase.

Probably what caused a lot of problems for the President Muhammadu Buhari government were the lack of patriotic minders and the stability of his party that should be the driving force behind his policies. Because of the peace and stability that has enveloped his party for the past few months, people are now beginning to see a more humane and responsive government. The hope is that such new vista will continue for the betterment of the country.

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Opinion

APC National Convention: it is irresponsible To Call For Sack Gov. Buni Led CECPC

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APC National Convention: It is irresponsible to call for sack Gov Buni led CECPC

Yusuf Ali

It is irresponsible to call for sack of the well constituted and highly celebrated action-packed Governor Buni led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, All Progressives Congress over the planned national convention of the party. Uptil now, the CECPC has not told anybody that it is not going to conduct the party’s national convention after it has successfully conducted Ward, Local and State Congresses as it said that it is only embarking on nationwide consultations with Party leaders and stakeholders to prepare the ground for a rancour-free National Convention.

It is very wrong for anybody to say that Governor Buni is holding on to the seat to score political goals. For the avoidance of doubt, Buni is a sitting governor that has his second term fully secured in 2023 if he decides to run. The people of Yobe state who overwhelmingly voted for him in 2019 are extremely happy and ready to return him to consolidate on the solid transformation of Yobe state as truly the pride of the Sahel.

Let me say that this call for the sack of the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee amounts to playing dirty politics, and it is cheap and irresponsible. In fact, Nothing can be more irresponsible and reckless, as such a statement. Nobody in his right senses will call for the sack of the focused and result-oriented Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee.

The Governor Buni led CECPC was legally constituted by the 8th resumed of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress APC which constituted the Caretaker Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee in place of the dissolved National Working Committee (NWC) of the party. It has performed tremendously well in rebuilding and repisitioning the party for greatness. No amount of hysterical calls for resignation will prevent it from carrying out its constitutional mandate. As a progressive governing party guided by its rules, the CECPC will continue to take the right steps and follow due process in carrying out its activities, in this case the planned national convention is sacrosanct. The APC as a party for all will continue to act on its words.

Let it be known that the Governor Buni led CECPC is not in anyway against the conduct of the all-important exercise as planned it only wanted a rancour-free national convention. If some of the pending issues related to fallout of the Congresses in some states are not amicably resolved it will further polarise the party during and even after the convention. The focus remains that achieving and sustaining the APC Caretaker Committee’s peace and reconciliation core mandate wrapping up with credible national convention is all the more gratifying.

Before the CECPC, the governing party is on the verge of collapse and disintegration. As the Chairman of the CECPC, Governor Buni has been a steady hand in troubled times, and that explains why leading the governing All Progressives Congress at a most turbulent period, he has managed the crisis to bring peace to the party and safe it from disintegration, and even set it on a trajectory of success for the coming national convention and ahead of the 2023 general elections.

For a large and governing party with so many crisis points and conflicting interests like the APC, Governor Mai Mala Buni has always toed the line of compromise, temperance and internal democracy as well as tackled internal squabbles when they have occured as a family affair. He is a stabilising factor and voice that is generally accepted and has successfully forged a common ground among all the interests in the governing party.

Governor Buni is well positioned to stabilize the party and ensure synergy between the party, members and the government. He has shown a capacity to steer the party to stability and remains a strategic political asset to the APC and government.

Buni is not a dictator. As the Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, because of his background, he has listened, engaged, accommodated and gave a sense of belonging to every member of our great party.

As a principled leader, Buni has always exercised persuasive powers and negotiating skills in the execution of his responsibilities. It is this power of persuation, tact and diplomacy that endeared him to his colleagues (Governors), and all the leaders of the party across the country.

He has brought his natural abilities as a gentleman, peacemaker and a stabilizing voice to resolve many disagreement and Internal conflict in the party.

Hon. Mai Mala Buni has ensured that meeting of party organs under the CECPC are held regularly. It is only when the party’s leadership meet constantly that it will agree and disagree on issues and resolve matters in the interest of the party.

Buni has used his position to ensure a strong and progressive party institution that will continue to make Nigeria great and will continue to bring the party together becsuse he is focused and knows the issues.

Hon Mai Mala Buni has written his name in gold as he takes on the bold steps in rebuilding and repositioning APC ahead of the national convention and the 2023 general elections.

He has designed a medium, and long term development of our strategies and internal organization to support our public standing as well as our chances of electoral successes in all future elections.

Yusuf Ali Media Officer APC Headquaters Abuja

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Gov. Buni Leading APC To Victory

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Gov. Buni leading APC to victory

Yusuf Ali

  1. Hon Mai Mala Buni is not a dictator. As the Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, because of his background, he has listened, engaged, accommodated and gave a sense of belonging to every member of our great party.
  2. Hon Mai Mala Buni has always exercised persuasive powers and negotiating skills in the execution of his responsibilities. It is this power of persuation, tact and diplomacy that endeared him to his colleagues (Governors) and all the leaders of the party across the country.
  3. Hon Mai Mala Buni has brought his natural abilities as a gentleman, peacemaker and a stabilizing voice to resolve many disagreement and Internal conflict in the party.
  4. Hon Mai Mala Buni has prominent people from the North, South, East and West. It means he is a rallying point at the center.
  5. Hon Mai Mala Buni, the support he has flows from knowledge of the understanding of his person because he has been fortunate to work with his colleagues (Governors) and all the stakeholders, members and teeming supporters of the APC.
  6. Hon Mai Mala Buni has ensured that meeting of party organs under the CECPC are held regularly. It is only when the party’s leadership meet constantly that it will agree and disagree on issues and resolve matters in the interest of the party.
  7. Hon Mai Mala Buni has used his position to ensure a strong and progressive party institution that will continue to make Nigeria great.
  8. Hon Mai Mala Buni will continue to bring the party together because he is focused and he knows the issues.
  9. Hon Mai Mala Buni has written his name in gold as he take on the bold steps in rebuilding and repositioning APC ahead of the national convention and the 2023 general elections.
  10. Hon Mai Mala Buni has designed a medium, and long term development of our strategies and internal organization to support our public standing as well as our chances of electoral successes in all future elections.

Yusuf Ali Media Officer APC Headquaters Abuja

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Opinion

Re: Buni, Malami Move To Block Convention, Governors Rise Against interim Party Chair

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RE: Buni, Malami Move To Block Convention, Governors Rise Against Interim Party Chair

By Yusuf Ali

These days, so many people are saying so many things; indulging mostly in sponsored attacks, and ficticious lies in the pages of Newspapers on the activities of Governor Buni led CECPC, and as spokepersons, we make the deliberate choice of staying out of the most part because it is not worth replying.

But it is hard to ignore the above publication in the Punch Newspaper of 12 January, 2022 which, according to the reports, a party leader who confided to their correspondents is making the false claims that Governor Buni and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN are delaying the APC National Convention because he (Governor Buni) has a Vice Presidential ambition. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We are concious of the devilish plans being orchestrated by some mischievous elements to cause disaffection between our leaders and to distract the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee from it’s national assignments of putting the APC family house in order ahead of the national convention.

It is important to note that, at the level the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee is working, there should be no need to be doubtful about whether our great party, APC will be having it’s national convention after successfully completed the Ward, Local and State Congresses.

It will be recall that after the end of the year 2021 meeting of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) on Monday, December 20, 2021 and in the APC 2022 New Year Message, both signed by the Secretary, Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, there was confirmation that planning for the National Convention has commenced. Members and the general public have been put on notice that relevant committees will be setup. The only problem hindering the Governor Buni led CECPC to move to the next level is the unresolved issues of reconciliation in some states. Although the Senator Abdullahi Adamu led National Reconciliation Committee is working round the clock to meet it’s dateline, the reality is that it’s not advisable for the governing APC, a party with so many crisis points and conflicting interests to go for national convention with a divided house.

This is the truth of the matter and not the ficticious lies some people are dishing to misled gullible Nigerians.

For the avoidance of doubts, Governor Mai Mala Buni has not told anybody that he has a presidential ambition. These are mere speculations in the Newspapers. Governor Buni has accepted to serve as the APC Chairman Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) because of his love and loyalty to the party that promised brighter days for Nigeria and all Nigerians. He is contributing in this capacity to help develop a strong progressive party institution that can be impactful in the local, state and the national level. He has devoted his life, energy and time to be able to do that. When he is working rebuilding and repositioning the party, first thing comes first. We have to have a structure first. If people start with rebuilding a party today and deciding to become a presidential candidate tomorrow, actually you are trying to destroy the basis of rebuilding the party, because everybody will have ambition.

There are time for everything and Governor Mai Mala Buni has no ambition. As a practicing Muslim and faith in God, he knows that leadership belongs to Almighty God, He gives it whom He wills and takes it from whom He wills none has power to out pass His verdicts. But let it be known that Governor Buni has no ambition. He has not told anyone that he wants to be President or Vice President.

At this juncture, it is important to point out that Governor Mai Mala Buni is not an ambitious politician but a leader with all the qualities of leadership. It is on record that leadership positions and responsibilities was always entrusted on him because of his judgement and respected for his expertise, integrity, etc and hence followed and not because he hold a certain position. He was APC Chairman Yobe State, National Secretary and today by the special grace of God he is serving Governor and Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, positions that he has never aspired but entrusted on him because of his leadership qualities.

At this level and time, what the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee needs is support from across party ranks to achieve maximum reconciliation for the governing party to go for the national convention as one united family ahead of the 2023 general elections.

We must also acknowledged the marvellous achievements of the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee, attracting three serving Governors to APC and reconciling many aggrieved members that added to the strength of the party. APC is growing in leaps and bounds.

As the Governor Buni led CECPC prepares for the national convention, we appeal to every party member and supporter to seek above everything else the unity and peace of this great party. The party must remain a strong political entity before, during and after the convention.

We should not forget the bigger challenge ahead of us in 2023, the presidential election without Buhari on the ballot. We cannot go into it divided nor can we win the trophy in such a state. We should all uphold the ideas of the party and give it unflinching support for it’s affairs as we journey into the national convention.

Yusuf Ali Media Officer All Progressives Congress APC Headquarters Abuja

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