New Telegraph

Random musing across the land

Bola Bolawole

I understand a bill is undergoing processing at the House of Representatives that, if passed into law, will make a university degree or polytechnic HND the minimum academic qualification for anyone wanting to practice as a journalist in Nigeria. To start with, gone were the days when journalism profession was for drop-outs or diploma holders. These days, there is hardly a reporter who is not a degree or HND holder.

Many are even PhD or Master’s degree holders. The journalism profession today is awash with professionals of all hues – lawyers, architects, engineers, doctors, surveyors, bankers, financial experts – name it! So, in that respect, this bill is belated.

Besides, who says paper qualification is what makes a good reporter or journalist? Some of the best hands in this profession – who are regarded for good reasons as fathers of the profession – were not university graduates or HND holders. But physician, heal thyself and let your charity begin from home! Where this law is needed most is the political circles – the National Assembly and the Executive.

What is the academic qualification of many of them in the National Assembly, including the leadership cadre? Have we forgotten the “rofo-rofo” over whether or not the president of the country itself had an ordinary School Certificate? How about the certificate forgeries and scandals entangling many governors – aspirants as well as elected? Those are the sectors that need this law the most. Rather than seek to remove the speck in the eyes of others, our legislators should first remove the log in their own eyes.

Our neighbours, the minnows Benin Republic, are learning from “bigfor- nothing”, “Big Brother” and “Giant of Africa with clay feet” Nigeria. That tiny country has legislated that no Fulani herdsmen enter Benin Republic without official approval from government.

But here, our own government has flung our doors open for all manner of Fulani herdsmen all over the world to pour into Nigeria – the killer-herdsmen wielding AK-47, killing, maiming, raping, and ruining everything in their wake inclusive. It was in Egypt, I think, that the president, retired Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, announced an open door policy for all-comers into the country.

The more audacious and reckless Fulani leaders here, like Kaduna’s Gov. Nasir el-Rufai and the Bauchi’s Gov. Bala Mohammed, have not wavered in their solid support for the agenda of Fulani take-over of Nigeria. This is an agenda that receives the tacit or active support of most Fulani. It is not a jihad since many Fulani are not even Muslims but religion is a weapon of deceit in the hands of Fulani expansionists and territory grabbers. It functions also, like Karl Marx said, as opium to dull the senses as well as subjugate and enslave the masses.

Just as they used religion to deceive the Hausa to grab their land – ditto with Afonja in Ilorin – similarly they are trying now to pull the same over the eyes of South- West Muslims. They will fail! Benin Republic’s version of Miyetti Allah has cried out for help – and to whom? To Buhari, of course!

They seek Buhari’s assistance to help them tackle the President of Benin Republic to allow the Fulani herdsmen the same leeway they have been gifted here in Nigeria! The Benin Republic may be small but I do not think it is a shithole like Nigeria.

If it were, President Donald Trump would have told us so! At no time in history has Nigeria become the sort of laughing stock Buhari has made it on account of his unbridled support for, and mindless promotion of Fulani self-serving interests. Revelations from former allies breaking ranks and singing like canary have revealed that the killer herdsmen were specifically invited into Nigeria – and let loose upon the people – for political and territorial aggrandisement reasons. The first mission was achieved when power was wrestled from the PDP/Goodluck Jonathan.

The second – which is conquering Nigeria and turning it into Uthman dan Fodio’s estate – is what is unfolding before our very eyes. Is this not the agenda that has necessitated their putting the Fulani in all sensitive military positions, including the control of the economic and financial power houses of the country? The new EFCC boss follows the same pattern. Nevertheless, the Fulanization agenda will fail! Four Northern (Fulani) governors visited Oyo State’s Gov. Seyi Makinde in Ibadan in the aftermath of the Sasa crisis.

The meeting was held behind closed doors but we do not know its motive and, possibly, outcome, especially for a Makinde already fidgeting and bending over backwards to please the murderous Fulani herdsmen and their powerful backers in high places? It was four governors against one. Makinde must have been put under immense pressure. He might have been bullied, harassed, intimated, cajoled, threatened, warned, name it! The Fulani do not pretend when it comes to defending their own people or interests.

Only the South, especially the South-West, lacks the spirit of unity and cohesion. Someone said the Fulani behave like a nation but the Yoruba like disparate groups. If individualism does not kill the Yoruba, nothing will! Apart from Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, how many South-West governors have visited Makinde since the Sasa event? Viewed along party lines, how many PDP governors and leaders have identified with their own? How many so-called Yoruba leaders have “solidarized” with Makinde?

They should have been trooping to Ibadan since the crisis broke to strengthen Makinde’s hand. But, not so, Yoruba leaders! Yet, a Yoruba adage says it is “osusu owo” (a bunch of brooms) that is hard to break but taken individually, like the Fulani are cherry-picking the Yoruba leaders, they will be broken effortlessly. Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu cannot talk because his Oga is not talking.

Second term is the name of the game. If Tinubu is mute, then, Sanwo- Olu must read his lips. Dapo Abiodun has his own headache in ex-Gov. Ibikunle Amosun who is said not to allow Abiodun any breather or space at the seat of power in Abuja. All efforts by Abiodun to worm his way into the heart of the Abuja power brokers have been thwarted. Amosun reportedly has a vice-like grip over that territory and still calls the shots concerning everything and anything that concerns Ogun State.

Since Abiodun is seen as Tinubu’s and or Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s man, he is treated with suspicion. The problem with that is, Abiodun wants to break through into the Villa and be in their good books. So, how can you expect that such a man will risk lifting a finger against Fulani herdsmen when he understands the Villa’s body language concerning anything Fulani? While the Ogun governor needs encouragement to break out of his cocoon of Villa-pleasing, we must also hold Amosun’s feet to the fire by asking him why he is punishing Abiodun this way. What Amosun never accepted from his predecessors is what he is serving Abiodun a la carte.

Let Ogun political leaders put their acts together and steal the thunder from this man – Presidency or no Presidency! Ekiti State Gov. Kayode Fayemi is riding high at the moment. He is serving his second term; he is chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (how did he become?), he is the adopted son of the Sardauna of Sokoto (who still wears Awo’s cap all over the place), and his widely rumoured 2023 presidential or vice-presidential ambition is said to have blind-folded him to the atrocities being committed by the Fulani against his own Yoruba – even Ekiti – people.

He cautions himself when he speaks. He measures his statements. He prefers to disappoint his own people (like he did at Akure the other day) than ruffle the feathers of the Fulani. His state has become one of the killing fields of the Fulani herdsmen. When his predecessor, Ayo Fayose, was in office, he roared like a lion and the Fulani shivered. Fayose blazed the trail with the anti-open grazing law and, with that, managed to keep the herders in check – but the moment he left, bedlam! Will the South-West governors ever see the need to imitate their Northern (Fulani) counterparts who mince no words in their support for their own people – even when such support is ludicrous? When the Fulani speak or act, they do not care whose ox is gored. From experience we have seen that when spineless people get into office, they are of no use to their immediate constituencies.

They only feather their own nests. We need bold, brave, courageous, audacious, and consistent defenders of the rights of their own people as leaders and representatives. Perilous times such as these – in the South-West especially – demand men and women who will listen to George Jacques Danton and act: “Audacity, more audacity and always audacity”. The Fulani are audacious – herdsmen, governors, presidential aides, Miyetti Allah, all of them! Only when we, too, are audacious – warts and all – will our land be safe and our people protected!

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