Farouk Martins Aresa
Hausa culture and religion is second to none of their invaders but like all Africans, they share tolerance for these same “visitors”. We know the history of Hausa States before and after the invaders. It is a shame that this rich culture and religion was suppressed just as those in the South had been by the Muslim and Christian values that created Jihad and Crusade mass killings. The mother of all fetishes we all suffer from today.
No country has survived, progressed or excel by imitation without offering unique and home grown qualities. Nigeria will not and Africa will not. When you ridicule and void your religions based on fetishes, the void will be filled by religions of mass destructions. In Nigeria Fulani or Jewish claims while loyalty is to Saudi Arabia or Israel is treacherous. Ask blacks in those countries you based your lofty pride on how they were/are treated.
For solution, it boils down to serious planning to deter violence at its source. The South must encourage specifically the Hausa to regain their cultural self-determination instead of being used as proxy for Fulani remnant warriors from the old ages. Until Hausa stand up by educating youths of their lost glory, and repel most of the violence used to keep them down as inherited from foreign religious wars, nobody will sleep in Nigeria.
Most of the African religions pride themselves on voluntary converts coming to explore, absorb and convert on their own. African Empires might have had economic-political wars to unite their people for taxes and to raise formidable armies but hardly converted others into their religions by force or tulasi. People from far and wide heard and were attracted by awe, miracles, wisdom and yes gold, ivory and terracotta.
We must give Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank some credit for claiming Southerners think all Northerners are the same. However, it is not that other Nigerians do not know the difference between Northerners especially after the inauguration of NYSC or before, they just don’t care. So the Yoruba made careless statement that – Gambari pa Fulani ko lejo nu. Ignorance and carelessness are close but not the same.
This notion that Southerners are ignorant of the differences between Northerners has been exaggerated to a fault. Sanusi, in self-aggrandizement said not all Northern leaders came from a higher culture meaning Gowon, Babangida, Abacha and Abubakar are not Fulani. It is a shame that this African that looks at himself in a mirror saw a Fulani like a study of black kids in the 60s that wished the images of themselves as white features.
Hausa are already at the mercy of the Fulani; so Hausa that wants any relevance in the scheme of power in the North had to relate to the religious belief of the caliphate at the expense of his own religion. They were subjugated to Fulani complex. In the same way, military leaders started seeking ways to belong as if under one spell or religion.
The Southern brothers and sisters also have the same religious log in their eyes as some claimed they are from Egypt and Israel. This foreign influence while in moderation have been globally tolerated, it has grown wild in African countries and Nigeria in particular. Unless we retrace our steps, individual sovereign power is at stake as neocolonialism.
Indifferent, most Southerners ignore the killing of the Hausa in the North by a group of so called Fulani in cooperation with other Hausa. So each time Fulani go after Hausa villages, we dismissed their conflicts. Before the southerners were killed in the North, their close neighbors were killed in the North-central by Fulani cow grazers. It is coming home to roast and closer to southern heartland from Kwara, Oyo, Ogun to Owerri.
As far back as the days of Amino Kano (our known Saint), Ahmadu Bello, Zik and Awo, cooperation and alliance between parties cutting across the Country were in order. Amino Kano, Tarka and Alhaji Waziri (politics without bitterness) in Borno area formed alliance with Zik and Awo. The idea of one North or one South has always been a mirage until the military came and Gowon announced himself as Northerner for their solace.
While these alliances have been formed across North and South, it has never been formed between the East and the West; except locally on western soil. The closest was UPGA which disintegrated as the East and the North went into traditional alliance at the Federal. So the East has been successful in the past as the beautiful bride bringing the North into its bosom while the West stayed as opposition and progressed on its own.
If S. L Akintola is to be vindicated, the West must also learn as the East has always done, to find a way to accommodate the Hausa. The political realities right now is that the East and the West get along socially and economically but political marriage at the Federal level always elude them. Indeed, the South-south also had political alliance with the North. This is why there is a change of mind in the West that if there is something in there for the East and South-south as Akintola had opined; the West must also go for it.
In spite of the competitive scramble for political offices between East and West, we may have to find a unity of mind in government between all geopolitical areas of Nigeria so that no area is shut out as in the past when the West was left out cold at the Federal level. The East can also claim they were left out cold after the war at the Federal level.
So far the characters in the present political scene in the West trying to form alliance with the North are of shady characters. Bluntly put, if Buhari justifies his critics that he is so desperate for power that he would ally with Tinubu, a man known for his exploit and avarice in Lagos State, he has himself to blame. Buhari has shown weakness in the past for Fulani dynasties that flagrantly defied his draconian order. Hausa dynasty is next.
Maitatsine or Boko Haram is the product of these religious fanatics that have engulfed Northern Nigeria and will continue to hunt us until we rescue our Hausa brothers and sisters from their grip. Abacha as Defense Minister under IBB crushed it and even overthrew Dansuki as Sultan of Sokoto without blinking. The closest to that was the retirement of all the military politicians by Obasanjo. Most were so call Fulani elite.
Indoctrination starts from childhood. Our children are packed in Koranic and Biblical schools where they are indoctrinated to pledge allegiance to foreign gods and values. There is hardly an area in Nigeria where children are taught in local languages. Parents take pride when their children recant Latin and Koranic verses word for word without any understanding except as translated by elders versed in none African languages. Then we wonder how we got here. They ate the hearts of our children.
As long as Hausa in Northern Nigeria are suppressed by those that take pride in calling themselves strangers (Alhaji) or Pilgrim at home and abroad, the rest of Nigeria will continue to suffer the consequences in terms of violence that are imbedded in those religions and cultures. Religious violence must stop and the subjugated Hausa must be empowered for peace to prevail at their doorstep.