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Mandela and the parable of the fulani



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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UN-POLAC Appoints Dr. Adamu Dodo As Editor-in-Chief



UN-POLAC Appoints Dr. Adamu Dodo As Editor-In-Chief

Nura Mohammed

The Senate of the United Nations-POLAC has approved the appointment of Dr. Adamu Muhammad Dodo as Editor-In-Chief of her new magazine; POLAC World.

The appointment letter dated February 24, 2021, signed by the UN-POLAC Director General/Advisor, Prof. (Obong) Halo B. Eton revealed that the appointment was sequel to the resolution to float both online media and mainstream magazine.

“In view of the above and based on your expertise in newspaper and online publications, you are hereby appointed the Editor-In-Chief.

“You are to work out the modalities for the rake off of the magazine,” the letter reads.

Dodo the head of information and media relations FMC Yola, ADAMAWA state, northeast Nigeria, the lead publisher of the Periscope Global, publishers of both online and Mainstream newspaper and the interim chairman, North East Online Network NEON, was appointed Peace Ambassador with the United Nations-POLAC on Saturday, December 12, 2015.

Dodo’s contributions in actualising POLAC’s peace mission and vision associated with restoration, promotion and strengthening of cultural heritage, earned him the position of state coordinator in charge of Adamawa state and national programme manager in the year 2016.

Dodo has won the best POLAC state coordinator awards for two consecutive years; 2017 and 2018.

Owing to his pieces and projects on peace and conflict resolution, Dodo has in 2018 bagged another honorary doctorate degree in Sociology of Peace by the UN-POLAC Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution. The same year he was upgraded to the position of North East Coordinator and Country Deputy President (Northern Nigeria). The position he holds to this day.

Dodo the communication tsar and public relations consultant is a governing council member of the Institute of Business Diplomacy and Financial Management IBDFM among so many professional bodies he belongs to as Fellow member.

POLAC stands for Positive Livelihood Award Centre established as an international autonomous institution in 2001 with the UN and UNESCO following General Assembly resolution, declaring 2001-2010 as a decade of peace and non violence.

It has the mandate to enhance the effectiveness of the UN millennium development goals, now sustainable development goals and UNESCO Culture of Peace Programme particularly the maintenance of peace and security and the restoration of human dignity.

It has the following goals:

  • To defend human rights and restore dignity to all persons

*To contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among groups and individuals through culture and education.

*To enhance the position of family heads through recognition as Peace Advocates for proper family upbringing.

*To recognise people (both late & alive( as legends to encourage the incoming generations for peace and sustainable development.

  • To stimulate reactions in all spheres of life.
  • the advancement of the international understanding, Goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons United in the ideal of service for peace

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The closure of miringa market by the military and the agitation so far!




By Musa Salihu Kachallah, arpa

On behalf of the good people and law abiding citizens of Mirnga District, I write to appeal to the government of Borno State under the leadership of a selfless leader our amiable Governor Professor Babagana Umara Zulum the Executive Governor of Borno State to call the attention of the present Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru to in the name of almighty Allah as a matter of urgency to reopen Mirnga Market that was shutdown by the Military for close to 3 years under the guise that some suspected elements of Boko Haram terrorist do visit the market to shop for their daily need to resume for business activities.

Though we are not in anyway disputing the intelligence gathered by the Military authority in this regards, but I can categorically said without missing words that since the beginning of this Boko Haram crisis in North East Nigeria no single Boko Haram fighter was ever seen or arrested in Mirnga town or in the market the records are there for everybody to see but our market remained close for this unjustified reasons.

Your excellency sir, as you know Mirnga District is a peaceful Community full of people with integrity and positive thoughts as well as willing businessmen and women who are ever ready to struggle to earn money legitemately but this singular action of the military authority has plunged many families into poverty and lacking as our Fathers, Mothers, Brothers and Sisters who carryout petty trades are gradually loosing their means of survival and it is going to be irrational if the market further remains closed.

Sir, I want you to see reasons for ordering the reopening of the market bcoz millions of your subjects are continually loosing their means of livelihood for this act as you can see many people today cannot afford to care for their families anymore especially our energetic grain bag loader known as (Yan’Dako), Wheelbarrow pushers, Water Vendors and many more who feeds from my hands to mouths bcos until they go out for this activities before they earn some money but theirs means of survival has been thwart.

Furthermore, it may interest you to note that Mirnga Market is the central market that connects people from far and near like businessmen from Adamawa, Gombe and Yobe States respectively as well as our neighborhood like Biu, Damboa, Sabon-Gari, Mandaragirau, Gunda, Bumsa, Madlau, Buratai to mention but a few but this primitive decisions by the Army is not taken with a second thought or weigh the multiplying effect before closing the market for flimsy reasons that can be controlled bcoz we all know closing of Mirnga Market will not in anyway hinder Boko Haram logistics as they have many ways of getting stuffs, so why suffering our people unnecessarily.

In conclusion sir, we are begging you to please in the name of almighty Allah to investigate the rational/motive behind closing our Market and order for reopening as soon as possible. I write this appeal with dismay bcoz as we speak now all the markets that was closed along with Mirnga market that time from Biu Main Market down to Yadi-Buni Market all have resumed operation in full activities but for Mirnga Market reversed is the case and despite the attacks on Buni-Yadi, Buratai and others by Boko Haram terrorists in the past yet their market was open for commercial activities but Mirnga that had never has any and is relatively peaceful our market remained closed why? .

Finally, sir we are praying to Almighty Allah to grant you good health, guide and protect you and to give you more wisdom to discharge your duties with just to all sundry as you always justify in your governance.

Long Live Khadimul Unman!
Long Live Borno State
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria

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Nigeria and presidential democracy: any better alternative? (2), By Hassan Gimba



Nigeria and Presidential Democracy: Any Better Alternative? (2), by Hassan Gimba

In Nigeria and Presidential Democracy: Any Better Alternative? (1), we touched on how cries of marginalisation permeate the air. Partisan interests are placed above national interests while divisions along ethnic and religious lines have become the norm just as the struggle for power and its retention have taken a “do or die” dimension, affecting almost everything, including the neutrality of the judiciary, the supposedly last hope of the common man.
We also observed that the communication gap between the average Nigerian and his representative in government has widened so much it seems they live in two separate worlds with nothing in common except, perhaps, religion and tribe or party and town.
And then we asked if we can continue this way, going on to query if the fault is that of the system and to seek a better one, if so. But in doing that, should we look inwards? Will a system in tandem with our inner being be the answer to our multifaceted and ever-growing problems as a nation? Perhaps we have been imposing on ourselves systems that are alien to us, to our culture, to our souls? Of course, some believe the problem with us is not so much the system as it is the people. Well, could be. But can people be true to what is not their nature? Well, yes, if they put on an act. One can act like a saint but can the actor live the life of a saint? People are always at their best when they are true to themselves. Being yourself does not always give room for hypocrisy. And time has proved to us that it has a way of exposing hypocrisy.
Britain, which gave us the parliamentary system in 1960, still practises it. While the parliamentary system is over 750 years old there, ours lasted six years before it was scuttled by the march of the jackboot.
Surely while ours was an imposition, a sort of a deliberate wholesale adoption of a set system, Britain’s parliament was not created from a “conference”. It naturally evolved as out of daily necessities. Therefore, one is not far from the truth if one insists that the parliamentary system, which started in 1265 with the Simon de Montfort Parliament, is in the blood of the Briton; it is part of him. While the representative system began with the de Montfort (Earl of Leicester) Parliament, fifty years earlier, the check on impunity by leaders was rolled out. In June 1215, the Magna Carta was issued to become the first document to put into writing the principle that the king and his government were not above the law.
We can see how the homegrown parliamentary system has served Britons well.  It is because they looked inwards, derived from their nature which was in tandem with their inner being, rather than copy, adapt, borrow and impose on themselves a system that is alien to their culture, to their being. And so it works for them because they are at home with it. It is their roots.
America is another example. The democracy it is practising and proudly imposing it on other nations around the world is homegrown. After freeing itself from Britain, its colonial overlords, the leaders of the revolt set out to build its enviable democratic culture. In an article written for the Smithsonian Magazine of September 20, 2011, Joseph Stromberg said, “The dawn of American democracy didn’t come in 1776, with the declaration of Independence. It didn’t come in 1788 when the constitution was ratified by the states, or in 1789 when George Washington took office.” He continued, “According to Harry Rubeinstein, chair and curator of the Division of Political History at the American History Museum, the symbolic birth of our system of government didn’t come until its noble ideals were actually put to the test…” And that test was Washington’s resignation and handing over to John Adams in 1783.
We need not look far to see that nations tend to develop when their system of governance correlates with their innate way of thinking. Arabs in general, historically and by tradition, live in communities with close ties, respect family lineage and thrive under a strong paternalistic leader. The Arabs of Libya and Iraq that wanted to leave their roots and take up the American system are now rueing their folly. Despite America’s maximum pressure, arm twisting, blackmail and sometimes condescending cajoling, China, Russia and now Iran are holding tight to their roots. And they are stronger for it.
Therefore, one way for a political arrangement to work for a people is for it to originate from them. But humankind is a broadminded, flexible and adaptable species. Because of these and many other plausible positives, man can adapt and get adapted to any political plan for his development but with a proviso. That proviso is that he is sincere and patriotic.
And this is why we have seen thriving countries that borrowed alien systems of governance; their honesty in implementing the system and the love for their country have made it work to their benefit. You can count the Asian Tigers, many European, South American and African countries among them.
As all people evolve, the peoples of Nigeria were all developing at their paces and consolidating the substances that enhanced their lives. Colonialism came and disrupted our slow and steady but sure growth into modernity. It uprooted us, leaving us dangling in the air. We have left our roots but we are yet to grab the ever-elusiveĺ colonialists’ branches.
A ready example can be taken from the textile industry. We had ways of processing cotton and converting it to thread. There was a fabricated machine made from wood for that. From there, we formed yards that were used to sew dresses. Then, even the Whiteman bought them and transported them to his land. We also had methods of colouring clothes. Had our “primitive” textile industry been left alone, it might have evolved into something bigger than what the Whiteman has now.
But because we lack confidence in ourselves, we jettisoned ours that was improving by the day as our knowledge base got expanded, and embraced the Whiteman’s contraption. A contraption we cannot make or repair displaced what we were manufacturing. A contraption we cannot own supplanted ours. Such missteps took place in our iron smelting industry and in all other sectors of the economy. And so, like the bat which is neither a bird nor an animal, we became neither here nor there.
But our neither here nor there-ness does not just stop with our industries. Our dream became to behave like the Whiteman whose morals we see as worthier than ours. Our cultures, traditions and norms we saw as archaic and were ashamed to showcase. Even in our dressing, what is “corporate” to us is Whiteman’s idea.
This hankering for the foreign we knew not, understood not and which was never in sync with our nature also reared its head in our political preferences. Agreed we were conquered and made to live under the conqueror’s will but we have gotten our independence and with that our thoughts, presumably. They did divide us because they never wanted us united, to begin with, but we should know that for our sakes, and forge a united front.
Before the advent of the colonialists, the various peoples that constitute today’s Nigeria were practising various forms of governance. We had our ways of administration; we had our leadership structures and our economic systems. Perhaps, had our march not been truncated by colonialism, we would have continued to improve a system that is natural to us and possibly even export it. Recent actions of some politicians in the United States of America show that their political interests are bigger than national interest; surely, we could have taught them a thing or two. There is little doubt that a homegrown political system would have served us better in our current confusing, seemingly hopeless and daunting circumstances as a nation.

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