We have seen many lines put across on the simmering dispute in the All Progressives Congress, (APC). Very few of the analysis have been put in true historic context, thereby rubbing many observers the substance. We must understand why the current crisis in APC is inevitable and why the heat will not fizzle out.
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was responsible, in part, for the victory of President Mohammadu Buhari, at the 2015 poll. Today, there is deepening political recession in the APC, compared to the economic meltdown that jolts the country. The APC is now factionalised along vicious power blocs, the El Rufai group; the Atiku Abubakar group and the Tinubu faction, both in perpetual conflict with one another.
Behind each faction are puns and robots, sometimes blind, sometimes conscious, often oblivious of the core issues, or at times egoistic, anxious to settle personal political grudges with perceived rivals. Why? This should be expected for anyone with a deep sense of history.
During the 2015 Presidential election, the APC became a rainbow of conflicting groups with different motivating factors but united on the minimum programme of kicking out the Goodluck Jonathan regime which had dragged the country down a dark, chilling tunnel.
The APC uprising against Jonathan was not driven by any ideological movement, but by the same vested interests whose disagreement is based on what methods should be used to keep the masses under their stranglehold. In form, they were different, in content they were the same.
For one thing, Jonathan was a product of the same historic game of intrigues that has continued to undermine the interest of the people. He became the “candidate of the South” and “Ijaw leader”, the accolades he fueled as a strategy for survival. But in reality, he was not put forward by the Ijaw or the South, based on conviction, as their beloved, trusted son but rather imposed by the same Northern caliphate through their crony, former President Olusegun Obasanjo. It was the same enemy of the people that brought him, to delude the people and attempt to stabilize the system, in the wake of the Niger-Delta uprising led by the Ijaw people.
Jonathan promised to restructure the country, the most profound intellectual meal ticket any Nigerian leader ever offered Nigeria, but there were proven doubts about his will and capacity to pull through this promise. He was held captive by many factors, the chief being the control of the National Assembly by the same primordial forces the idea the National Conference was to challenge.
In the first place, the National Assembly in terms of numerical strength was orchestrated by past military regimes to ensure the victory of the Fulani hegemony at all times. All the states and Local Governments in Nigeria were created by the military, usually the Fulani agents. The delineation of wards and constituencies were created by the same group to give the North an eternal advantage. The population figures, the voters registration all have been maneuvered to give the impression that the North only needs one section from the South to win the Presidential election. This is fueled by the illusion that the Yoruba and the Igbo or South-South can never work together.
So, ab initio, it was trite and lacking in critical thinking to have assumed that the reports of the National Conference would be approved by the undemocratic National Assembly. The only thing that can bring the National Conference is mass action and defiance by the aggrieved.
Unfortunately, the APC that produced Buhari did not go to the election with any promise to restructure Nigeria. It was basically an alliance between the Yoruba and the Hausa Fulani to capture political power.
Either we like it or not, the Tinubu group represents a trend in the APC, but the most profound of that strength is the fact that it was seen as the most potent political group representing the Yoruba, being one of the biggest ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. It was the first time the Yoruba would forge any alliance with the Fulani North. Unfortunately, the Tinubu group went into the alliance without any Memorandum of Understanding, MOU. It was propelled by the euphoria to oust Jonathan without any concrete projection about the contradictions that would follow.
The major source of the perpetual conflict in Nigeria, which is the National Question was not put on the table, not negotiations with the Fulani North on the positions that should be reserved for the Yoruba. The Tinubu group obviously was not painstaking enough.
There were elements of crass naiveté. One of Tinubu’s greatest errors is not to cultivate a support base driven by ideology and political education. His political powers are often derived from cash, and unlike Awolowo, not nurtured by ideas and mind-conscientisation through knowledge. His group runs no political education classes and yet hopes to sustain a great tradition among his people. This is an illusion.
What has kept the Tinubu group strong is nothing but the absence of an ideologically driven movement in Yorubaland. The Tinubu group also lacks a conscious Think Thank but rather relies on mercenaries who often are not loyal and usually untrustworthy which is responsible for the high rate of defection in his camp. However, as it is, his group will definitely not last long, if it does not change its tactics, but nevertheless, it remains the most formidable among the power-seeking political groupings in Yoruba of today.
We must admit that why the Tinubu group had some iota of determination to uplift the country from stupor and usher in some elements of rebirth, this philosophy of rebirth is secondary to the Fulani oligarchy. What the group wanted was not just the return of power not to the North, but to the hands of the Fulani supremacist.
It must be noted that the choice of Buhari by the Fulani North was deliberate. He was seen as the best candidate that could muster the needed paradigm shift of power from the South to the North. Though initially the Northern oligarchy did not want him, but soon after the primary, he was adopted as the strategic peg needed. He met the figure that could arouse public support in the entire North. Why the Tinubu group in APC were hungry for the exit of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), the Fulani North was desperate for political power, through any of the existing political parties, realizing that whoever got the political power would get every other thing.
The Tinubu group also relied on the so called ‘honest intention’ of Buhari, without realizing that being honest does not remove the fact that a honest leader can at the same time be brutal, egocentric, paranoid and inherently tribalistic.
Buhari is all of the above.It is self defeatist to imagine that Buhari would transform the economy. He had not written any major intellectual book in his 40 year public life career. He had not written any essay, not even half a newspaper page on any topic of interest for the past 40 years. His only asset is Pula, the Fulani philosophy for self-discipline and endurance. There is no great nation that can emerge without ideas.
No great leader has ever emerged without personal intellectual power engineered by knowledge and prowess in the art of written words and demonstrated political skills. The performance of Buhari in the past one year is an indication that his 18 month glory as former Head of State could be attributed to the skill of his late lieutenant, Tunde Idiagbon. Buhari's appointment of Ministers without consultation with the leaders of geo-political zones, except with his own Fulani cronies was deliberate. He wanted the Ministers to be loyal to him and his Fulani leaders. He wanted the largely naive Ministers not to be at liberty to build fresh political alliances that could neutralise his interests.
As it, Buhari is about to fulfill the mission with which he has been designed. He is going to spend only one term. The plan is to replace him with another Fulani oligarch. By spending only one term, the North will have one advantage: it will be able to rule Nigeria for the next 12 years, instead of 8 years if Buhari re-contests in 2019. It is in this line that Atiku Abubakar spoke in favourof restructuring. But that remains a personal statement and not the collective will of the Fulani North.
The Fulani sees Nigeria as her inheritance. When people talk about Fulani supporting development and growth, they are mistaking. Development and growth means education and a deeper sense of the past. But to the average Fulani, that remain an outstanding threat to survival and the Fulani ability to manipulate Nigeria and shape the country in her own image.
The Fulani came to Nigeria less than 250 years ago. The population is just 7million. The tribe imposed her will on most part of the North through the 1804 Jihad. Since then, it has survived through the mastery of intrigues and subterfuge.
Fulani is ruled by fear of its extinction, having been famished in most African countries where the nationality once held sway, leaving Nigeria as the only country where the Fulani maintains her brutal stronghold on power. Her most potent weapon is “divide and rule.” It is in the interest of the Fulani to keep on postponing the doomsday in Nigeria. This is because the disintegration of Nigeria will expose the emptiness of the Fulani and possibly fuel Hausa uprising. The Hausa are perhaps the most traumatised ethnic group in the world.
The Hausa land having been seized and taken over in an irreversible Fulani revolution, the Fulani Emirs today control the entire Hausa indigenous land and territories. It is to her convenience to be referred to as Hausa Fulani, but deep down, the Fulani is supremacist in nature, distrusts and hates the average Hausa person.
As the battle rages, between Tinubu and the Fulani North, there will be deceit and deception. Tinubu will be deceived into thinking the problem is Buhari. He will forge a new alliance with another Fulani group only for him to be disappointed again and again. The only alliance the Fulani understands is the one that sees the partner as a slave and the Fulani as the master.
At the centre of all is the nationality question, the battle by ethnic lords to control Nigerian resources with Tinubu and Buhari being mere figures in the contest that did not start today. As 2019 draws nearer, the Fulani North is likely to realign with only one Fulani political figure, while the heat will be focused on Tinubu and his group. In this battle, every Yoruba person, unless those ready to play the second fiddle, will be seen as the enemy.
The Fulani, with the state structure now firmly in her hands, will be more brutal and vicious in the campaign to decimate the South West, seek deceptive alliances with other regions, in other to isolate and humble her traditional foe, the Yoruba South West.
It is in this context that agents of the Fulani are being recruited, across the South West to prosecute this primordial and well know war.
Interestingly, if history serves as reference, this well known persecution and treachery of the Fulani, will only make Tinubu more popular among the Yoruba people. In the years, ahead, even Tinubu’s traditional enemies in Yorubaland will rally around him and rise up in his vigorous defence.
Awo did not become a god until he was jailed by the Fulani oligarchy.
MKO Abiola did not become a Yoruba icon until he was humiliated by the same Fulani North.
The Yoruba people have a deep sense of history. Eliminating Tinubu will only make matter worse for a country that has not known peace since her forceful 1914 amalgamation.
What will further save Tinubu is for him to go back to his people, the Yoruba, seek alliance with genuine forces working for the restructuring of Nigeria, and stop relying on building castles in the air, with the hope that a section of the Hausa-Fulani will one day align and work with him to rebuild Nigeria based on utilitarian values.
At the end, the Fulani is not calculating enough and now at wits end. It would have been to the eternal glory of this race If the Fulani allow the culture of debate and democracy to nurture instead of being paranoid and ready to destroy everything in order to remain as the most precious political group.
THE IROHINOODUA EDITORIAL