By Femi Fani-Kayode
I support the call by Afenifere that all Fulani herdsmen should be banned from the south-west. Actually I believe that they should be banned from the entire south and not just the south west. I also stand by every word that I wrote in my widely published essay titled ”The Herdsmen From Hell”.
This contribution serves as a follow up to that essay.
The bottom line is this: we do not want those that slaughter innocent people, including women and children, in our midst.Those that say that we must remain silent when aliens and vandals invade our land, rape our women and kill our people are, at best, misinformed and misuguided and, at worse, insensitive and wicked.
How can they expect us to remain silent when our elders and leaders are being terrorised and brutalised on a regular basis. Those that harbor such views and that have such misgivings are suffering from a callous and diseased state of mind and they shall be put to shame.
No matter what they say we will continue to expose and resist this barbarity and we shall continue to call it precisely what it is: pure and unadulterated evil. We shall not be intimidated by those that seek to silence us and neither shall we cowered into silence.
I have no regrets for describing those murderous Fulani herdsmen as tsetse flies. Actually they are worse than that because, like Satan, they only come to kill, steal and destroy. It is obvious to any discerning mind that this categorization is limited to those Fulani herdsmen that indulge in barbaric and criminal activities and not the entire Fulani race.
Like any other ethnic group there are good Fulanis and there are bad ones. For someone to suggest that we ought to spare the bad ones simply because we are scared of offending the sensibilities of the good ones makes no sense to me. I have many Fulani friends and the last thing on my mind would be to demonise an entire ethnic group.
For anyone to suggest that a literary attack and a verbal assault on a bunch murderers and killers who happen to be of Fulani extraction is an attack on the entire Fulani race is absurd. Worse still to describe such an attack as ”hate speech against the Fulani tribe” is simply asinine: it is nothing more than the gross manifestation of a subterranean slave mentality and an attempt at sucking up to those that believe that they own Nigeria.
Those that have voiced such puerile nonsense ought to provide an answer to the following question: should we remain silent when we see some wicked and uneducated cattle rearers committing atrocities which may, if not properly checked, result in a full scale ethnic war.
If the herdsmen had been Yoruba or Igbo I would have condemned them in similar terms and labelled them in precisely the same way. I may even have gone further because I would have expected far better from my own people.
I also happen to know that if Yoruba or Igbo traders or farmers went to the core north and singled-out the elders, leaders, traditional rulers and women and children of the Fulani tribe for murder, pillage, torture and rape all hell would have broken loose by now and their reaction would not have been limited to harsh words, strongly-worded essays and uncomplimentary categorizations.
The bottom line is this: the days of us keeping quite and suffering in silence in the name of political correctness are long over. If we don’t want trouble and we don’t want matters to escalate we must speak out against evil very clearly and very quickly and we must condemn and correctly label those that like to shed human blood at the drop of a hat. This is especially so when they prey on the weak, the elderly and the more vulnerable in our society.
It is the gutless cowards that live amongst us that seek to play down the pillage, murder and rape of others that are guilty of hate crimes and collusion with genocidal maniacs and not those of us that have the courage to call a spade a spade.
Those that support the atrocities of the herdsmen are insensitive to the feelings and sufferings of others and that is the biggest crime of all. They hate the victims of these terrible atrocities and they love and make excuses for the perpetrators.
They are completely incapable of any form of empathy with those that have been violated and slaughtered and in their heart of hearts they relish the atrocities and they consider them fair game and fair sport.
A good example of such people is the individual who leads an organisaton which is supposed to protect the rights of the less fortunate in our society. This individual apparently does not deem it appropriate to stand up against the evil that the herdsmen have been indulging in for the last few years and he prefers to pamper them. Why am I not surprised?
Instead of speaking up for the human rights and civil liberties of those that have been maimed, killed and persecuted as he has been charged to do, the man is busy trying to say things that are politically correct.
Whilst he is attempting to please and impress his new paymasters people are being killed by his cattle-rearing friends on a daily basis. I say shame on him and those that think like him and I honestly believe that the blood of those innocent people that have been maimed and slaughtered by the herdsman are partly on his hands because he has encouraged them with his complicit silence and his veiled support.
Given the attitude of men like that, coupled with the apparent indifference of the Federal Government to the whole issue, it is clear that the carnage and tyranny of the Fulani herdsmen may not end any time soon.
I say this because barely ten days after the abduction and matcheting (yes matcheting) of Chief Olu Falae and on October 1st 2015, which is Nigeria’s independence day, the Fulani herdsmen struck again. On that day they abducted a traditional ruler from the Yoruba-speaking area of Kogi state. His name is Oba Adebisi Obademi and they abducted him from his palace in Apa-Bunu in the Kabba-Bunu area of his state. They have asked the family to pay a ransom for his release.
On the same day they released a 70 year old Yoruba cleric by the name of Pastor Japhet Obafemi who is from Ilepa, Ikare Akoko in Ondo state. They had abducted him and kept him in tortuous captivity for 11 grueling days. Sadly a number of others whose homes were invaded by the herdsmen were not so lucky.
Mr. Agbaose Sowetan from Oja-Odan, Ogun state and Mrs. Ayeshi Balogun from Asa village, Ogun state, both of whom were farmers, were not allowed to go home to their families but instead they were murdered in cold blood. According to press reports Mrs. Balogun, who was a mother of three, was gang-raped before being hacked to death.
Can there be any greater evil than this? Who will tame these wicked and hard-hearted herdsmen and who will clip the wings of these bloodthirsty cattle-rearers? Who will deliver us from these sadists and terrorists that have no sense of restraint or remorse and that have no mercy or compassion? Who will stand up to them boldly and say “let my people go”?
Permit me to conclude this intervention by repeating an interesting and relevant contribution from the famous British historian, writer and educationalist Dr. T.R. Batten.
He wrote: “The Fulani were at their most influential in Gobir. Then a dispute broke out between their Imam, Usman Dan Fodiyo and Sarkin Gobir Yunfa.The Fulani rallied behind their leader who encouraged them to defy their Hausa Chief. He began a jihad and fighting broke out.
Thus the Fulani seized the country by force against the will of those who lived there. The enmity had nothing to do with religion for among those who fought (against the Fulani) were many Muslims. It was about the Fulani’s wish to seize power from the Hausas.”
It follows that the herdsman and those that they represent conquer by infiltration, assimilation and guile. Those that doubt this should find out what became of the ancient Hausa kingdoms.
They should also find out about the terrible fate that befell the famous Yoruba general, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of the old Oyo empire, Afonja, at the hands of Abdulsalami, the son of his erstwhile “ally” and friend the Fulani Salih Janta (A.K.A Shehu Alimi).
After Afonja died Abdulsalami killed his son and took over his throne in Ilorin. Since that time a Fulani Emir, with a flag from the Sultan of Sokoto, has ruled Ilorin whilst the Yoruba descendants of Afonja have been denied the throne in a predominantly Yoruba town that was founded and established by Aare Afonja, their illustrious Yoruba forefather. It is better to learn from the mistakes of history rather than to allow them to be repeated.
This best outside opinion was written by Femi Fani-Kayode