Nnamdi Ebo argues that the Hausa/Fulani are masters in the game of politics
“The Military–Industrial Complex” (MIC) gained traction after its use in a farewell address delivered in a television broadcast on January 17, 1961 by the 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower alluded to the term as a sinister alliance between the US military and the defence industry that supplies it, with the US Congress included later, and seen together as a vested interest which influences public policy.
Nigeria does not have a defence industry but essentially, this is a relationship termed an iron triangle and there is a relative context of MIC in Nigeria. A hydra-headed political machine has emerged in the political landscape – unnoticed! An iron triangle finally berthed in post-colonial Nigeria with expansionist motive and this political machine debuted from 1998–2018 as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and subsequently completed its concomitance from 2013–2018 as the All Progressives Congress (APC) – the siamese twins.
The Fulani Northern–Political Complex is the new MIC in Nigeria. In the firestorm of controversy ignited by the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the PDP presidential candidate, it looked like politics as usual and a happenstance but something just didn’t add up. A political analysis reveals that President Muhammadu Buhari has four presidential runs in the years 2003, 2007, 2011, 2019 and Atiku has four presidential runs in the years 1992, 2007, 2011, 2019 and if Atiku wins in 2019 he will equal Buhari.
Further analysis shows that Buhari and Atiku are the only real contenders for Aso Rock and the siamese twins are now fathered by the Fulani. Let us go back in time. Sometime in colonial Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe said to Sir Ahmadu Bello: “Let us forget our differences…” and Ahmadu Bello replied: “No, let us understand our differences. I am a Muslim and a Northerner. You are a Christian, an Easterner. By understanding our differences, we can build unity in our country.” Chief Obafemi Awolowo wrote that: “…Nigeria is not a nation. It is a mere geographical expression. There are no ‘Nigerians’ in the same sense as there are ‘English’, ‘Welsh’ or ‘French’….”
A cacophony of deafening alarm bells rang as many Nigerians interpreted the statements of the three founding fathers along ethnic leanings. Devoid of any ethnic leaning, I dare say the Fulani man was more realistic and proffered a workable solution while the Igbo man and Yoruba man were ambivalent. In the US, there are identifications of ethnicity like White American, European American, Middle Eastern American, African American, Japanese American, Hispanic and Latino Americans, etc.
The US Census Bureau also classifies Americans in ethnic groupings distinct from others. In 1987, the US Supreme Court unanimously held that “race” is not limited to census designations on the “race question” but extends to all ethnicities, and thus can include Jewish and Arab as well as Polish or Italian or Irish Americans. The US has a racially and ethnically diverse population but it took a White American experiment for Barack Obama, an African American, to become a US President.
The facts reveal that even in the richest, most stable and most powerful democracy in the world, they do not forget their differences. Americansunderstand and know their differences. Any Nigerian who says he is a Nigerian without first being a Fulani, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Efik, Ijaw, Tiv,Bachama, Igala, etc., is engaged in tomfoolery. Nigeria has a tribal and ethnically diverse population like America. The only ethnic group which understands this reality is the Fulani or the Hausa/Fulani as presently constituted, and they have mastered the use of ethnic technicalities by default in geopolitics to dominate Nigeria.
The emergence of two Fulani men as the presidential candidates each of the two major political parties, APC and PDP, is no coincidence or happenstance. The convention of zoning for elections and political offices is not at play here but a carefully engineered mechanics in real-politick by the Fulani. The quest to “rule Nigeria forever” by the Fulani which predates post-colonial Nigeria has finally metamorphosed and Nigeria is heading up to a “united Nigeria” underFulani hegemony from 2019.
It befuddles the mind to read and hear Igbos gloat over the choice of Atiku against Buhari as if they have any other choice. Igbo as the beautiful bride of Nigerian politics was divorced by the Hausa/Fulani after the demise of Zik. Fulani is now living with a concubine (Yoruba). Yorubas will always align with the Fulani and both Peter Obi (Igbo) and Yemi Osinbajo/Bola Tinubu (Yoruba) are waiting for a future Fulani experiment to ascend Aso Rock.
The middle belt call themselves northerners and Kwara which is Yoruba joined the north, so the south is left with the southeast and south south. It took a Hausa/Fulani experiment for Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to ascend Aso Rock. The experiment did not threaten the Fulani power base, in the same way it did not threaten the White American power base in America. White Americans and Fulani will always take back their political power after every experimental hypothesis.
The simple logic here is that no ethnic/tribal group can hope to rule Nigeria without a Fulani experiment. Those who agonise over the “born to rule” dominance of the Hausa-Fulani should see the predominance of northern military officers without one single Igbo officer within the intelligence/military/security infrastructure. Whoever controls the military controls political power.
I do not agree with those who say the Hausa/Fulani are the problem. On the contrary, the Igbos and Yorubas are the problem for not being adept at political gamesmanship which the Fulani have mastered, albeit from the British. This iron triangle is: one, Fulani; two, Northern (interest); three, political (power) – a three-pronged alliance that will influence public policy beyond 2019. The Fulani have cleverly, intelligently and smartly cultivated their decades-old planned hegemony culminating in The Fulani Northern–Political Complex.
Vote any way for president in 2019 and a Fulani man will be the President of Nigeria. The masters of the game have won, yet again!
––Ebo is a political scientist and lawyer.