by Femi Fani-Kayode
“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves”- Harriet Tubman
How can anyone describe Nigeria as a free nation when Sheik Othman Dan Fodio, the hero of the core Muslim north, the father of the Fulani Caliphate and the first Mahdi of Nigeria once said,
“Allah has bestowed on me and my people the historic duty to spread the holy faith of the Prophet throughout the Caliphate and convert these pagans. If they refuse to accept Allah and his Prophet we will wash the earth, the forests, the mountains, the rivers and the streams with their pagan blood. Ours is a holy and righteous calling. We are doing the work of Allah”.
How can anyone describe Nigeria as a free nation when Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, the Premier of the Northern Region and the second Mahdi of Nigeria once said,
“The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather Othman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the North as willing tools and the South as conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future”.
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when General Muhammadu Buhari, the indisputable King of the North, the avenging sword of the Caliphate, the almighty President of the Federal Republic, the unquestionable leader of the African Mujahadeen and the third and last Mahdi of Nigeria once said,
“It is my intention to spread Sharia to every part of Nigeria” and that “why should Christians bother when Muslims chop off the hands of Muslims in the name of Sharia” and that “Muslims should only vote for Muslims” and finally that “an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the North”.
What portion do those of us who are Southerners and Middle Belters have in this so-called “free country” and why have we been consistently denied the right to decide whether we wish to remain in it by having a referendum?
Were we born to be slaves whilst others were born to rule? God forbid it. My Christian faith teaches me that I am the head and not the tail.
It teaches me that it is a sore sight and a great evil under the sun to see the sons of slaves riding on horseback whilst the sons of the King walk around on bare feet.
It teaches me that we are the head and not the tail and that light is meant to overcome darkness and not that darkness overcomes the light.
The truth is that whichever way you look at it Nigeria is not free and Nigeria is not one nation.
We are in bondage and servitude to the sons and daughters of Futa Jalon and we are badly divided. That is the subject of this essay.
Permit me to share some bitter truths here.
I repeat, Nigeria is not a nation. As a matter of fact, she was NEVER a nation. She is and has always been a monumental fraud and a manifestation of colonial Britain’s doublespeak and deceit.
In 1947 she was rightly described as a “mere geographical expression” by Chief Obafemi Awolowo but since then she has degenerated even further.
Today she is no longer a “mere geographical expression” but instead a fully-fledged and dysfunctional vassal state and a colony of timid slaves that is owned lock, stock and barrel by the all-powerful, all-seeing and all-knowing Fulani hegemonists.
Yet in their pitiful delusion and blissful ignorance, some still claim that we are a free modern nation-state where all are equal.
My questions for those that actually believe this nonsensical assertion and that espouse this erroneous notion are as follows:
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when Christian Religious Knowledge (CRK) is removed from the curriculum and Islamic Arabic Studies (IAS) is made compulsory?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when Christians are banned BY LAW from buying land to build churches in most parts of the core north?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when every single security and intelligence agency in the nation except for the Navy is headed by a northern Muslim?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when there are NO Christian commanders (i.e. those that have operational control over troop deployments) in charge of STRATEGIC commands in the Nigerian Army today?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when ALL the STRATEGIC commands in the Nigerian Army are in the hands of Muslims?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when ALL the units under the Education Ministry are headed by Northern Muslims and the Minister of Education himself is a Muslim.
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the words Christ, Church, Christianity or Christian are not mentioned ONCE in the Constitution but the word Sharia is mentioned 73 times, Grand Khadi 54 times, Islam 29 times and Muslims 10 times?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when, since Buhari came to power, any mention of Jesus or God is censored out of Nigerian films by the Nigerian Censors Board whilst the word Allah is mentioned freely?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when there is an obvious and relentless attempt to Islamise the country.
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when there was an attempt by President Buhari to quietly pass a law that will give large tracts of land to Fulani herdsmen in every state of the Federation so that they can infiltrate, settle down in, breed with and eventually overwhelm and take over all the communities in which they were given that land.
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the Federal Government refuses to arrest the elderly Professor Ango Abdullahi and the rebellious, recalcitrant, blood-baying and bloodthirsty Arewa youths and lock them ALL up for their implicit threat to commit genocide against the Igbo if they don’t leave the north by 1st October?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the Arewa Youths can send an open letter to the Acting President describing the entire Igbo race as ingrates who have “not learnt their lessons from the past” and who “ought to be thrown out of the north” and “out of Nigeria?”
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) can tell the Federal Government that “Nigeria will boil”, that there will be “a crisis that will spiral beyond control if the Arewa youths are arrested” and that “the Presidency will not be allowed to go to the south under any circumstances in 2019?”
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when well-armed Fulani militants and herdsmen commit genocide against whole communities and yet not one of them has been arrested?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when cows (yes cows!) drive children out of their classrooms in Edo state and drive worshippers out of their churches in Benue state.
How can Nigeria be described as being free when Miyetti Allah appear to be above the law?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when we are about to enter a season of carnage, chaos and anomaly and when the Federal Government have shown no desire or inclination to deliver our people from those who believe that they own Nigeria and who wish to drink our blood and eat our flesh?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when those in power today together with the entire Hausa-Fulani ruling class have consistently said no to restructuring?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the cabal that know that Buhari’s health will not allow him to come back to rule wish to use the slaughter of the Igbo as a reason and a scapegoat to cause CRISIS in the country and truncate our democracy rather than allow a Southern Christian President to continue in power?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the leaders of the ruling APC are considered as being above the law and continuously commit all manner of crimes and acts of corruption with impunity whilst dissenters, opposition figures and the perceived enemies of the government are subjected to horrendous persecution, media trials and the brazen violation of their human rights and civil liberties?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the welfare of cows and the interest of cattle-rearers are more important than that of hard-working and productive patriots and innocent young school children?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when, since Buhari came to power, it is very difficult for a northern Christian to get admission into Ahmadu Bello University, the leading institution of higher learning in northern Nigeria?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when there is a strange Arabic insignia and unintelligible Arabic words apparently depicting Othman Dan Fodio’s battle cry inscribed on the coat of arms of the Nigerian Army.
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when English is replaced with Hausa in Nigerian army parades?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when President Muhammadu Buhari openly expresses his disdain for the Igbo and encourages the hate-speech and threats that they are being subjected to today?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will allege that there is corruption in the Church but dare not allege that there is corruption in the mosques?
How can anyone describe Nigeria as being free when the Acting President condemns what he describes as “hate speech” yet he refuses to arrest and detain those who not only kill Christians, southerners and Middle Belters but who also incite their murderous footsoldiers against them every day?
I could go on and on.
What those that continuously threaten others with violence and carnage fail to appreciate is as follows:
For every mujahadeen, there is a crusader. For every tyrant, there is a deliverer. For every oppressor, there is a freedom fighter. For every globalist, there is a nationalist.
For every integrationist, there is a separatist. For every lily-livered and chicken-hearted coward there is a courageous and valiant hero and for every Goliath, there is a David.
Yet despite our collective and pitiful servitude, there is a silver lining on this very dark cloud.
The demand for restructuring or, failing that, self-determination and full-blown independence is now very strong amongst the progressive forces and the long-oppressed ethnic nationalities in the land.
This, coupled with the demand by the leaders of the three southern zones that the Arewa youths must withdraw their threat to the Igbo, is commendable and historic.
They have also issued a timely warning that an attack on the Igbo would be deemed as an attack on the entire south. This gives us hope.
This indicates to us that the tree of liberty will soon be watered by the blood of the patriots and tyrants as it once was in the history of each and every one of the great western democracies.
This proves that we are finally ready to pay the terrible price for our collective freedom and to make the necessary sacrifices.
Simply put, the yoke and affliction of slavery and bondage shall soon be broken and Nigeria shall soon be free.
The first Nigerian civil war was about keeping Nigeria one. The second will be about winning our freedom.
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
(Chief Femi Fani-Kayode is the former Minister of Culture and Tourism, and former Minister of Aviation)