You are currently viewing What do the Fulani want? By Bola Bolawole
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You must have watched the video trending on social media titled “Who handed over Nigeria to the Fulani?” Some answered by saying the departing British colonial masters handed over Nigeria to the Fulani. There is some truth in that assertion. But others, including this writer, have countered that the Southern political leaders who preferred to accept worthless positions from Northern/Fulani leaders instead of allowing for the collaboration of the East and West of the country were the ones that actually handed over Nigeria to the Fulani. If the retreating British colonial powers handed over Nigeria to the Fulani, the southern political leaders of the immediate post-colonial Nigeria had many golden opportunities to seize that power but foolishly threw it away on the altar of petty political rivalry and jealousies, personal animosities and needless grinding of axes.

Elections are around the corner again, with it we must expect a lot of kite flying and testing of the waters. Scenarios upon scenarios will be painted. Our duty as purveyors of news is not to discountenance any but to allow for a dispassionate analysis of all contending and contentious views by the discerning public. Chinua Achebe said in his seminal work, Things Fall Apart, “Let the kite perch and let the eagle perch too – If one says no to the other, let his wing break” Scripture says “in the multitude of counsel, there is safety” (Proverbs 15:22). China’s revolutionary leader, Chairman Mao Zedong (Tse-tung), said: “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend” We present one of such views here today, with slight editing, with the author pleading anonymity:

“It is difficult to predict what the Fulani want but it is certain they want to retain power at ALL COSTS directly or through proxy. I think they (that is, the Fulani that currently dominate Aso Rock) may prefer Atiku. But there is a section of the Fulani that think such a move will burn their hands. The two are the same but their strategy of retaining power and the route to take differ. Some want Atiku while some want Tinubu as a better plot of concession in order to come back to power at least after Tinubu’s tenure.

“We need to critically examine the emerging scenario using hard facts driven by multifaceted intelligence gathering mechanisms. We must also understand the power play between the Kanuri and the Fulani and how it may affect Nigeria. I think Tinubu deliberately picked Kanuri against the wish of a strong section of the Fulani North. He is conscious of history.

“The North has never been one. There is the old rivalry between the Fulani and Kanuri, each scrambling for the control of Nigeria from the era of the bitter wars between the Eĺ -Kanemi and Uthman Dan Fodio empires. Today, Boko Haram Sura (Central working Committee) is mainly Kanuri while the armed herdsmen are essentially Fulani. The upsurge of Boko Haram actually prompted the armed Fulani terrorists to prevent Boko Haram from a complete take-over of the Jihad. It is believed that the Kanuri are more open-minded and can keep to their words far more than a ruthless and vengeance full Fulani. This may have explained the Awolowo networking with the Bornu Youth Movement which he supported and the alliance of UPN with Shugaba that the NPN wanted to deport.


“This also may have explained MKO Abiola’s picking of Babagana Kingibe, a Kanuri and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s picking of Shetima, a Kanuri. Though Kingibe betrayed Abiola, in deference to pressure from Sani Abacha, also a Kanuri who grew up in Kano, it is believed that if Kingibe were to be Fulani, the betrayal would have been more vicious. A Fulani VP is expected to want to quickly (push aside) his principal as Obasanjo attested to in his relationship with Atiku throughout his troubled eight years as president.

“Since Buhari came to power, the Kanuri and Fulani have battled, albeit silently, to outdo each other in the scramble for Nigeria. It is evident in the power struggle in Aso Rock. It came more into sharper focus during Buhari’s reign because of Buhari’s father being Fulani and his mother being Kanuri from Yobe State and his attempt to balance the antagonistic forces in the context of power and politics in Nigeria. The Kanuri dominate Bornu and Yobe States. Buhari tries to accommodate the two interests but not without difficulties.


“The National Security Adviser, Babagana Mungono, is Kanuri while Babagana Kingibe, a Kanuri and Daura, a Fulani, are the two unofficial rival power brokers in Aso Rock. Between the Kanuri and Fulani: One has an iron hand; the other has an iron hand in silk clothing!

“Were we not worried that Owo was bombed a day before the APC primary? While Tinubu, Fayemi, and Akeredolu were in Owo on condolences, the Buhari group announced Lawan as their presidential candidate. The three (Tinubu, Fayemi and Akeredolu) had to scamper back to Abuja! In the midst of the APC primary, an emergency security summit was called to stop the primary but some opposed it and Tinubu emerged. The people who conducted the primary did not want Tinubu (and may) still be working to stop him. We should expect more violence ahead of the election either to justify postponement or to scuttle it.


“In all of these (the other Nigerian ethnic nationalities) should strengthen their intelligence gathering prowess; there lies our future! Knowledge of the opponent and its antics is far more crucial than any other thing. If they are planning a coup, we should know. If they are planning to scuttle the election, we should know. Our responses must be guided by deep knowledge needed for us to define our tactics and strategies in the imminent and inevitable bitter struggle that (lies ahead)”.

Loaded, I dare say! In view of our recent history and for the good health of this country, what should have happened was for this year’s election to have copied what happened in 1999 when the field was practically vacated for the Yoruba to assuage their anger over the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election won by their son, Bashorun MKO Abiola. The two major contestants who stood a chance of winning that election, Olusegun Obasanjo and Olu Falae, were Yoruba. After eight ruinous years of Fulani/Northern presidency as epitomised by Muhammadu Buhari, two things that should have happened were, one, for the presidency to automatically return to the South. No Northerner of note should have entered into the fray. Two, the Fulani should have excused themselves completely from this year’s election, either as presidential candidate or as running mate, and allow breeze blow over the putrid stench of their compatriot, Buhari’s tenure. How can another Fulani hope to take over power from Buhari or stand a chance of doing so (as VP) without heating up the polity with cries of Fulani domination and oppression by the other ethnic nationalities making up the country?

So, the PDP ticket made up of Atiku Abubakar (Fulani) and Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta) should be off the radar. PDP should have allowed Rivers state Gov. Nyesom Wike to fly its presidential flag. The Labour Party ticket made up of Peter Obi (Igbo) and Datti Baba-Ahmed (whose father was Arab cattle-trader from Mauritania) is also off because it carries the risk and portends the danger of not just another Northerner and Fulani but also the son of a foreigner immediately becoming the president if anything untoward happens to Obi. The New Nigeria People’s Party ticket of Rabiu Kwankwaso (Fulani) and Bishop Isaac Idahosa (South-south) is out on both accounts of Kwankwaso coming from the North as well as his being Fulani. Power must rotate to the South after eight years of Buhari. Were the situation reversed the North would not stomach the South wanting to hang on to power after the mandatory two terms of four years each. Obasanjo’s third term ambition was frustrated; ditto Goodluck Jonathan’s efforts to stay on after about six years in office. What they will not take is what they are insisting on shoving down the throat of others. Mark my word: even if they succeed, it will have untoward consequences! The only ticket left standing is APC’s Tinubu (Yoruba/South) and Kashim Shettima (Kanuri).



RE: Nigerian men killing their Nurse wives in the US

Tormented by their wives, some men cannot tolerate it but killing one’s wife should never be a way out – Femi Habeeb.


The women in question killed themselves! In fact, they caused all that happened to them! They ignored, neglected and rubbished their source of success. May this never happen to our daughters! I pray we women can live a godly life in fear of the Lord and respect for our husband! – Kumbi Agbabiaje.

Really sad! – Bunmi Awonaya.

Lennox Mall

Some people can push a person to do the unthinkable! Those guys who killed their wife were pushed to the wall. Unfortunately, justice demands they get punished. They lost everything. Generally, men abroad are now reluctant to come home (to Nigeria) to marry and take abroad their “iyawo”. Many women only use men to escape poverty and quickly dispose of the man like a used menstrual pad! – Triumphant Oghre.

  • Former Editor of PUNCH newspapers, Chairman of its Editorial Board and Deputy Editor-in-chief, BOLAWOLE was also the Managing Director/ Editor-in-chief of THE WESTERNER newsmagazine. He writes the ON THE LORD’S DAY column in the Sunday Tribune and TREASURES column in New Telegraph newspaper on Wednesdays. He is also a public affairs analyst on radio and television.

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