By Comrade Ismail Abdulazeez Mantu
The persistent ethnic crises straddling Nigeria’s socio-political and economic façade is fueling in a wedge politics of division and fragmentation on the hitherto fragile unity of the most populous black nation. A distillation of deep-seated anger from the Southwest region against what is perceived as “unlawful grazing” and “gruesome killings of residents” by Fulani ethnic militias, unleashing varying degrees of violence and terror on communities in Yorubaland.
Objectively, it will amount to pure hypocrisy to turn a blind eyes to the rising level of insecurity occasioned by bindits and kidnappers across Southwest. It is equally irrational to assume Southwest Governors and other constituted authorities will fold their hands and watch the grass of banditry grow right under their feet. No sane clime will do nothing when its forest is turning a new harbour for terrorists fleeing the North as herdsmen in disguise.
It is imperative to note that while we cannot disclaim the incessant attacks on communities in Yorubaland, retaliations and counter-attacks on Northerners residing in Southwest will only worsen the situation rather than proffer solutions to it. An eyes for an eyes will only make the whole world blind.
The Fulanis in particular have no specific region to call home. They are scattered not only across Nigeria but across Africa. For instance, there is a good number of Fulanis across yorubaland who have no other place to call home than Southwest. This is not unconnected with the Usman Danfodio 1804 Jihad which gave the Fulanis a license to navigate Southward to areas like Ilorin, Ogbomosho, Oyo, Offa, Iwo and other parts of Yorubaland. The Alimi and Afonja deal have seen to intermarriage of Fulanis and Yoruba. It will be difficult to separate the wheat from the chap. There is no gaing in jeopardizing the unity of the Nigerian nation-state.
Comr Ismail Abdulazeez Mantu