Few days ago, a Fulani Federal Representative from Gombe – Hon. Aishatu Dukku – said that “god created” Fulani militants to “value the lives of cows more” than human lives. This could be shocking to many but I am not surprised by the statement made by the Fulani Federal representative in a video recorded by OakTV at the National Assembly, Abuja.
Aishatu Dukku, who appears to have an odd sense of humour with issues on human lives, made the statement, obviously in defence of the series of killings that are nothing short of ethnic cleansing campaigns carried out by Fulani militants across Nigeria, at a planery session of the Nigerian House of Representatives this week. It was not really a Freudian slip. She was clear and never recanted her statement after another lawmaker criticised her because of it.
Even though she seemed to have contradicted herself when she initially disagreed with her “colleague” and later affirmed that “Yes, the herdsman values even the live of the cow more than his own life!” Understandably, what she was talking about is the order of importance of the lives of cows, the herdsman and his victims. She meant that the life of a cow comes first, before the life of the herdsman; and since it is obvious that a killer prefers his life to those of his victims, the lives of the victims come last. The most scary part is that she then attributed that inhumane order to “god”. That showed the kind of twisted religious minds there are in the Nigerian legislature. The kind of “divinely” “burn to rule” and now “burn to murder” mentality of some people we share a country with.
By Dukku’s statement and since Fulanis are traditionally pastoralist, it means all Fulanis (including President Muhammadu Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto and the Emirs) do not have regards for human lives. By the way, Nigerians have been getting the notion that the Fulanis love cows more than humans but this is the first time a Fulani elite, a lawmaker for that matter, confessed in public that truly they value cows’ lives over human lives.
What we see recently is that the Fulani elite are becoming cockier and huffy in acknowledging the true nature of Fulani militia. Was it not last week that the Sultan of Sokoto admitted he is a “grand patron” of Miyetti Allah, and that is after two years of denying any connection with the killer herdsmen.
Let us take a critical look at what Fulani militia is and who Fulani herdsmen are.
Fulani militia (or Fulani militants), commonly referred to as Fulani herdsmen, are the ethnic militants of the semi-nomadic pastoralist Fulani ethnic group. The militants are primarily foot soldiers and double as “herdsmen” which the ethnic group use as a front to cover up its expansionist tradition. Any land they capture, they occupy it and set up an emirate. In modern Nigeria, they intend to call such a land a “cattle colony”.
Global Terrorism Index Record:
Fulani militia was rated the 4th most deadly terror group in the world, and the 2nd dealiest terror group in Africa by 2014–2015 Global Terrorism Index (GTI).
Fulani militia was the single cause of 11.1% of the total number of deaths in Nigeria in 2015, says the GTI, while its sister terror group Boko Haram was responsible for 5.6%.
Fulani militia and Boko Haram put Nigeria at the number 3 in the list of most terrorised countries in the world in 2015, according to GTI ranking by number of deaths from terrorism.
Fulani militia’s cooperate nomenclature in Nigeria is Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN). It is by formal description a social, political and economic organisation of “all Fulani people in Nigeria”. This is the organisation that the Sultan of Sokoto, the Emir of Kano and other emirs and Lamidos of remnants of old Fulani empire are grand patrons. MACBAN is responsible for all terror attacks by the so-called herdsmen in Nigeria. The scope of the terrorist operations of MACBAN is even wider than that of Boko Haram. While Boko Haram is focused on North East of Nigeria, MACBAN’s activities is spread across Nigeria to every community the “herdsmen” landed with their cattle. Even though Fulani terrorist attacks predates the inception of his administration, the campaigns of terror intensified by the coming of Muhammadu Buhari as the President who is a Fulani man and a “grand patron” of the Fulani militia.
Often times, Fulani militia claims responsibility for attacks and some times issues a fore warning before it lunches an attack. The militia have always been shielded by the Nigerian Federal government since the inception of Buhari’s administration in 2015. On occasions where the federal police chief could not deny that Fulani militants were responsible, he would downplay them as “communal clashes”; but despite his claims the Fulani militia has attacked non-civilian targets. Fulani militants have, on several occasions, engaged the police in gun fights: for instance, in November 2017, they attacked a Police unit in Numan in Adamawa State and shot dead six policemen. In January 2018, Fulani militants ambushed another police unit on surveillance in Awashuwa village in Benue State and slit the throats of two Police officers.
It is worthy of note that Fulani “herdsmen” do not “stray” into farms and communal streams. The so-called herdsmen and their cattle are agent provocateur whereby the Fulani militants deliberately take cattle into farms to graze on crops or into communal streams to pollute the waters. They do these in order to instigate defensive reactions from the agrarians of which the militants take up as an excuse to lunch a full-scale onslaught to wipe out the farming communities. In cases where the communities resort to self defence, the Nigerian Army is immediately called in to disarm the vigilantes.
The “Divine” Purpose of Fulani Terrorism:
To grasp what Fulani militia hopes to achieve with terrorism, one needs to appreciate the role of the Fulani militia in the history of the Fulani empire.
In 1804, a Fulani extremist named Uthman ibn Fudi declared jihad on all Hausa kingdoms then. Like other Fulani jihads before it in places like Futa Jallon and Futa Toro in 1735 and 1776 respectively, Fulani militants were the mujahideen that conquered the old Hausa kingdoms and the Fulani Empire of Uthman (also known as the Sokoto Caliphate) was founded. Afterwards, in 1817, the Fulani militia marched south into the Oyo Empire of the Yorubas; conquered Ilorin and annexed it to the Sokoto Caliphate. British colonisation “halted” (in the word of Ahmadu Bello the 1950’s Sardauna of Sokoto) the march of the Fulani militia further south and the expansion of the Sokoto Caliphate in 1903. Ahmedu Bello and Tafawa Belewa (Nigeria’s first Prime Minister) promised the caliphate that, immediately British colonisation ends, the Fulani militants will “continue their uninterrupted conquest to the sea (i.e. further south till they reach the Atlantic Ocean)”. The plan met some glitches from the 1966 military coup and got complicated by the genocidal Biafran war and the series of coups and counter coups that followed. Military rule ended and the Fulani Islamic state has not relented in its objective to “dip the Quran in the Atlantic Ocean” (in the words of Ahmadu Bello). Boko Haram insurgency was a rather rash attempt to reestablish the Fulani Islamic state in modern Nigeria, Chad and the Cameroun; and President Muhammadu Buhari called Boko Haram terrorists “our misguided brothers” in his 2015 Ramadan message to the country. Before becoming the president of Nigeria in 2015, Rtrd. General Muhammadu Buhari, more like vowed to lead the expansion of the Fulani Islamic state and that they “will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country”. So, he was ultimately heralded as the Mahdi of the rebirth of the Fulani Islamic state. A Mahdi is a war time redeemer of Islam: a warlord and champion of jihad.
So, how does Mahdi Muhammadu Buhari intend to achieve this? By the use of the Fulani ethnic militia aided by the Fulani-dominated security and Military Forces of Nigeria, of course.
The New Strategy:
Instead of outrightly declaring jihad on the rest of the country like the “misguided” Boko Haram leader did, Buhari is using a combination of his executive powers, Fulani legislators, and Fulani militants to grab strategic territories across Nigeria, install Fulani emirs there and declare the country an Islamic state.
While the militants are armed with AK-47s and dispatched to pick on defenceless farmers all over Nigeria, the Fulani legislators are drafted a bill for the establishment of “grazing reserves for herdsmen” in all the 36 states of Nigeria to pass at the National Assembly for Buhari to then sign into law. Despite the pressure and the mortal intimidation mounted by the Fulani militia, the bill failed twice.
The plan B is to rename the “grazing reserves” to “cattle colonies”; and while the Fulani militia intensifies its attacks on agrarian communities, go directly to each of the State governors and use the Ministry of Agriculture to make the governors establish the “cattle colonies” in their various states. This second plan appears to be failing as many states, especially those in the South, are unwilling to give up their ancestral lands to the invading Fulanis.
The next plan which seem to be unfolding is to take the lands by force and reestablish the Fulani Empire by fire and blood. Right now, the Mahdi is gathering all the clubs and stones he needs to crush any resistance. If one wants to invade a country the size of and as populous as Nigeria and require ready reinforcements from their ethnic group outside the country, what will they do? They will build efficient transport networks to locations outside the country. This is what Buhari intends to do by constructing a rail line into Niger Republic, and more of such cross-border rail lines are coming (that is even as most of Nigeria’s Railways is in shambles). Mind you, Buhari has already consolidated Fulani hegemony in the security and military agencies. He is also procuring weapons for the inevitable Jihad. Make no mistake, Muhammadu Buhari is not fighting Boko Haram. He has been releasing the terrorists more than they are captured, most of who were captured by the previous “infidel” administration, by using excuses ranging from “repentant Boko Haram fighters” to “rehabilitation and reintegration” since 2015. These freed “repentant” terrorists would then join the militia in the coming great jihad.
From the Fulani perspective, Nigeria is destined (more like doomed) by “god” to be acquired and dominated by the Fulanis; and the Fulani militia captained by the Mahdi Muhammadu Buhari will deliver this country, that is rightfully theirs, into their hands.