In what can be described as an attack on the nation’s sensibilities, a group, the Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM) has appraised the Benue killings that left over 70 people dead and thousands displaced, and suggests the Nigerian government has failed to protect their interests.
In the press release signed by the National President, Badu Salisu Ahmadu, the group said it is prepared for a Holy War (Jihad), as that is the only language the government understands.
The Press release:
The Fulani Nationality Movement, (FUNAM) after extensive deliberations on the state of the nation in the context of the recent killings and national uproar, met today in Kano, the capital of Kano State. Among other things, the FUNAM deliberated on attacks on cattles by rustlers, kidnap of Fulani men and women in some parts of Nigeria, displacement of Fulani traditional settlements in Northern Nigeria and some parts of Southern Nigeria, stealing of properties belonging to Fulani cattler owners amongst other issues. The group also deliberated on the political situation in Nigeria occasioned by the irresponsible calls for restructuring of Nigeria, the historic and vicious attacks on Fulani people by Southern nationalities and their cohorts in the middle belt, the plot to ensure Fulani are pushed to the backbench in the power equation in Nigeria and above all, the vicious campaign against the God ordained place of Fulani as the leading star guide in Nigeria, and after extensive deliberations, we hereby make the following declarations:
a) That the killings in Benue of Tiv is well deserved. It was a revenge attack on the series of onslaught on the Fulani which was most horrendous on November 17 2017 when 30 Fulani men and women were killed in Nasarawa State. We notice the recalcitrant culture of the Tiv people as demonstrated even during the 1804 Jihad when they obstructed our ordained conquest of Nigeria.
b) We condemn the media propaganda being waged against the Fulani and supported by Yoruba, Igbo and their bigotry allies in the Middle Belt.
c) That we are aware of plots by the minority ethnic groups in the Middle Belt to attack Fulani settlements.
d) That we have asked all Fulani across West Africa to raise money and arms to prosecute the oncoming war. We call on all Fulanis to prepare for this Holy War. There is no going back. All over the world, Nigeria is the only country given to Fulani by God.
e) We oppose the anti-grazing laws which obstruct the ability of Fulani to move freely and stay anywhere in Nigeria. The Fulani, if not for the British would have actually conquered the entire Nigeria which God has ordained as our dominion.
f) That the Cattle Colony is the only solution to the crisis. Whether the Federal Government or State Governments accept or not, we have asked all Fulani herdmen all over West Africa to move to Nigeria and penetrate every corner for the upcoming Jihad. We have asked them to be armed since it seems it is the only language Nigeria understands. The Nigerian Government has failed to protect us.
g) We warn those who oppose the Fulani cattle trade to be cautious of the consequences. We are ready for the worse. We are prepared for war. There is hope for peace if and only if attacks on Fulani herdsmen stop and the Fulani is allowed to settle anywhere that the Fulani chose to settle in Nigeria. We are Nigerians and are free to settle anywhere we desire with our culture, our families, our commerce and our values to the glory of Almighty Allah. Any attempt(s) to reverse these demands will be met with Holy Uprising never before seen in the History of Nigeria and in the scale compared only with the 1804 Jihad. A word is enough for the wise. The Fulani is capable of defending itself.
What this means: The power of Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies have been so diluted by insecurity and abuses of power that pressure groups and potential terrorist organizations believe they can issue direct threats to the Nigerian people without any risk of direct retaliation.
No group, understanding that arrest and immediate prosecution is the consequence of such ‘announcement’, should go ahead to release a statement saying they are readying to breach the ‘relative peace’ of a nation and justifying it with a jihad that happened 200 years ago.
At YNaija newsroom we have written about how our refusal to engage the colonial history of Northern Nigeria results in our continued use of symbols from that era. We hope that this new chain of events encourage us to revisit the less savoury parts of our history.