By FEMI FANI-KAYODE
In 418 B.C. Herodotus, the Greek philosopher who is known as the “father of history”, said “a man who does not know anything about the events that took place before he or she was born will remain forever a child.” Not only was he right but one must go a step further by saying that those who refuse to learn from their history are condemned to repeating its mistakes.
In 1957, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Saurdana of Sokoto and the Premier of the North, said the following: “We the people of the North will continue our stated intention to conquer the South and to dip the Koran in the Atlantic ocean after the British leave our shores.”
Three years later, on October 12, 1960, he went a step further by saying the following words to the Parrot Newspaper:
“The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather Uthman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We must use the minorities in the North as willing tools and the South as a conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future”.
That same year he said: “I will allow Sir Tafawa Balewa to go and become Prime Minister and lead the unbelievers of the South whilst I will stay in the North and lead the faithful”.
One year later, in a television interview with the BBC (which can still be viewed on YouTube) he was asked whether his “Northernisation Policy” would be a temporary or permanent feature. His response was as follows. “In actual fact the policy is a northerner first. If you cannot get a northerner then you get an expatriate like yourself on contract. If we cannot get that then we will employ another Nigerian from the south on contract too. This is going to be a permanent policy as far as I forsee”.
Not to be outdone, in January 1947 on the floor of the Northern House of Assembly, Sir Tafawa Balewa, a man who was to become the first Prime Minister of Nigeria 13 years later, said the following words:
“We do not want our Southern neighbours to interfere in our development. We have never associated ourselves with the activities of these people. We do not know them, we do not recognise them, and we share no responsibility in their actions. We shall demand our rights when the time is ripe. If the British quit Nigeria now at this stage, the Northern people would continue their uninterrupted conquest to the sea”.
The passion for the total domination of the Nigerian state by the North has not in any way diminished over the years. As a matter of fact it appears to have become even more pronounced and, for some, it has become an obsession. Consider the following.
On October 2, 2014, one Aliyu Gwarzo said the following to Pointblanknews:“When I say that the Presidency must come to the north next year I am referring to the Hausa-Fulani core north and not any northern christian or minority tribe. The Christians in the north are nothing and the minorities know that when we are talking about leadership in the north and in Nigeria, Allah has given it to us, the Hausa-Fulani. They owe us everything. This is because we gave them Islam through the great Jihad waged by Sheik Usman Dan Fodio. We liberated all these places and all these people by imposing islam on them by force. It was either the Koran or the sword and most of them chose the Koran. In return for the good works of our forefathers Allah, through the British, gave us Nigeria to rule and to do with as we please. Since 1960 we have been doing that and we intend to continue. No Goodluck or anyone else will stop us from taking back our power next year. We will kill, maim, destroy and turn this country into Africa’s biggest war zone and refugee camp if they try it. Many say we are behind Boko Haram. My answer is what do you expect? We do not have economic power or intellectual power. All we have is political power and they want to take even that from us. If they don’t want an ISIS in Nigeria then they must give us back the Presidency and our political power. Their soldiers are killing our warriors and our people every day but mark this: even if it takes one hundred years we will have our revenge. Every Fulani man that they kill is a debt that will be repaid even if it takes 100 years. The Fulani have very long memories”.