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The Fulani’s Salubata

By Festus Adebayo

If four ills gained notorious mentions in the four years or so that President Muhammadu Buhari has been in power, the Fulani menace should be atop the ills. Fulani menace has other irritable offshoots embedded into it, like kidnapping, banditry and killings of farmers and allied evils. Other ills would be an apparent deficit of ideas to reflate the economy, effeminate handling of the Boko Haram insurgency, corruption and a government so near, yet so distant from the desires of the people. However, none of them has the irrepressible notoriety of the Fulani herdsmen menace which mutates in various forms, colours and shades everyday.

Beginning with the killing of farmers in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba States, Buhari’s responses to it varied from outright silence, benumbing and illogical replies, defence of the blood-shedding herders, denial of their complicity, profferment of excuses for their rampage and now, seeking spatial relevance for the expansion of the menace. On each of the mutations of the menace, Nigerians, on their own, propound explanations for why Buhari is this obsessed with defence of his kinsmen. While some claim that it is in pursuit of the Uthman Dan Fodio’s famous oath to deep the Quran inside the sea, an epigrammatic reference to ensuring that Fulani occupy every hamlet of the Nigerian federation, some claim that Buhari sees himself as a reincarnation of Fodio and is in a do-or-die contest to actualize Dan Fodio’s total conquest of Nigeria.

This can only be the explanation of Buhari’s obsession with the Fulani question. At a point, he claimed that those shedding the blood of Nigerians were not Nigerians but migrated from neighbouring countries, a glaring indictment of his government’s immigration competence. Now, his most recent narrative of the Fulani question is to establish what is called Ruga settlements across the country. Already, a pilot phase was said to have been commenced in eleven states. Ultimately, the 36 states of the federation are to willy-nilly cede their lands to these killer nomads so that Uthman Dan Fodio’s narrow mind can rest in his grave.

While the outcries against this plan were ongoing, the wind began to blow, exposing the rump of the Judas Iscariot in our midst masquerading in the robe of compatriots. On Friday, General Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Baba Ngelzarma, on a Channels Television programme, alleged that Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s office  was providing intellectual and rudimentary support for Fulani herdsmen to site Ruga settlements across the country. This selfsame Osinbajo was in the United States last week to tell the world that claims of kidnap in Nigeria were over-bloated. His feeble attempt to defend himself on the two scores were so shallow and laden with laughable holes that he ended up worsening earlier claims that he attempted to deny. While this was ongoing, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu spruced up an army of Yoruba renegades and tethered them by the feet of Buhari, claiming that the quest for federalism drove them to the feet of a man whose four years in power have been to defecate on the grave of federalism. While Osinbajo is helping to actualize Dan Fodio’s wonky prophecy on one flank, his godfather is conquering grounds for Fodio from another flank, all in the urge to gain supremacy in the heart of a Dan Fodio’s offspring.

But, why is Osinbajo manifesting traits of acute desperation to please the Buhari presidency and thus squaring up against the wishes of the people of Nigeria? Many have put it to his quest for the 2023 presidency, citing that imperishable quote of maggots and rottenness that always creep out of the heart of anyone who puts his heart on an ambition. For a man who, like Janus, wears a helmet of pastoral visor that covers his real face to now get enmeshed in unbiblical rat race for power is the real reason why anyone disgusted by the appearance of maggots will puke on hearing these sordid tales.

Overall, when I said in an earlier piece that Buhari might jolly well be the last president of Nigeria, many recoiled at this doomsday prophesy. It is getting obvious by the day that Buhari’s rank obsession with subjecting over 300 tribes in Nigeria underneath the salubata (sandals) of his tiny Fulani tribe may yet herald the death of Nigeria.g




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