The foolish warriors have fought against each other, in the army of the evil rulers, for the benefit of the evil rulers, and in preservation of the evil rulers and governance systems that have mutually assured their enslavement.
As the Buhari presidency has enabled the very worst of the Fulani Islamist agenda, and heated up the country in furtherance of these treasonous agenda, the rhetoric has become extremely violent everywhere in the country.
Only a few men have dared to speak to the unity of Nigeria, when the head of the state himself has proven to be a shameless ethnic irredentist.
In the face of the manifest failure of the Nigeria State and its security forces to protect the lives and properties of the victims of Fulani militias, and in the face of the objective realities that would suggest that the president condones the actions of these violent criminals by his inactions, considering the bewildering directive of the Defense Minister to grieving victims, to defend themselves, it is becoming increasingly difficult, to speak to the unity of a country that is being killed by its RUINING CRASS.
The venal brutality of the Fulani militias operating across the length of the country, from Otuoke in the Bayelsa swamp, to Epe in Lagos, its evil excesses, and arrogant flippancy, have kindled a flame of ethnic nationalism, the like of which Nigeria has never seen before. The lines were clear during the Civil War. The borders were defined. The tribe being hunted was known. This is different, and this is dangerous. There would be no explosions; only implosions. The battlefront would not be there, it would be right here. On the victims’ doorsteps… in their homes.
The Nigeria ‘ruining crass’ does not live in the country that they have ruined. They cream the land for their living alright, but they do not live in Nigeria. Their homes are in the Gulf Arab states, on the Potomac in Washington DC; they live in Dubai, London, Monaco; some live in Niamey, Niger. The northern aristocracy has long-favoured homes in the Sudan, and a few have kept residences in Cairo. The Nigeria ‘ruining crass’ hates living in Nigeria.
Their children, rarely ever born in Nigeria, do not go to schools in Nigeria, and where they do, it would mostly be the elementary schools. The Nigeria ‘ruining crass’ does not use the antediluvian healthcare facilities. A country that once had an internationally renowned healthcare system, once good enough for Saudi royalty, has had its President travel abroad to fix his unhearing ears. I am sure that you get the point: the Nigeria ‘ruinous crass’, does not live in Nigeria.
Fela famously dubbed the Nigeria ‘ruining crass’, Alhajis. He lamented that we were being ruled by strangers who are untouched by the pains of our afflictions. He had no idea just how right he was, and just how bad it is. The case of Dizzy Baby, Deziani, has brought some attention to a notorious fact that should engage the attention of the warring victims. Almost the entire ‘ruining crass’, political and economic, is possessed of second passports; not subject to the same travel restrictions, that affect we, the foolish warriors.
In the cauldron of the afflictions unleashed on the victims by Buhari, secessionist agitations have boiled over. Self-defence against the rampaging Fulani militias have become a fair ground upon which other ethnic warriors are being raised across the length of the country. The extremes of the Fulani herdsmen in the Oke-Ogun part of Oyo State, raised the person of Sunday Igboho as the “Yoruba freedom fighter” (apologia Punch newspaper).
The prevailing circumstances have led to a situation where the voices of reason have been ignored, drowned out and disparaged by the government, and reasonable men and women have been rendered impotent in the face of the rampant insecurities, and the government’s failure to protect the lives and properties of the hapless victims. The violence of Igboho’s response, was received with respect by the perpetrators of violence, and by the Nigeria State itself, in further validation of the extremist view, that the voices of reason, are being useless in an unreasonable place, and validation for those that have believed, that violence works with the State, and is respected by the Fulani militias that have carried on like an army of occupation.
Variant of warriors
THE foolish warriors may be broadly divided into two categories. The chief protagonists are rarely ever resident in Nigeria. They are the ones that have escaped. They could see that the Nigeria State was failing early enough, they escaped the insanities pretty early in most cases. They have built good lives away from the Nigerian madness. They are citizens of the countries of their refuge, a privilege that is denied to them in the country of their birth and origin. But unlike the Nigeria ‘ruining crass’ that can hardly wait to be rid of Nigeria, these escapees have never managed to leave Nigeria behind. Take the monkey outta the jungle, but the jungle is inside the damn monkey, you might say.
The Nigeria Diaspora is the most homesick you’d find anywhere in sizable numbers. I have never come across a single Nigerian in my travels who wouldn’t rather be in Nigeria; if the country was “working”, they’d say. The Nigeria diaspora is the most patriotic layer of the Nigerian peoples, and I say this without ignoring the fact that the Nigerian is not a citizen in truth. They are the ones that consume the most news about the Nigeria State, they are extremely tuned in to the politics, and are constantly bellyaching about the country that they have been forced to flee, but which they have never desired to be separated from. These ones are the first category of foolish warriors.
The Nigeria Middle-Class, or its ‘middling class’ as I have sometimes been forced to label it, is the most foolish and willfully ignorant of the different layers of the Nigerian peoples. It is the class that is most incapable of identifying what is in its own best interests; the most existential of the classes, and the least reflective of all. The Nigeria middle class pays for the excesses of the ‘ruining crass’, but instead of seeking critical engagements with the system to make it better or to change it, the middle class is in a constant race for survival, even as the objective realities should have announced to it that it is fighting a lost battle against the forces of feudalism.
The Nigeria middle class is the fertile ground for the promotion of all of the divisions sowed by the ‘ruining crass’. They are the ones that you would find on the internet fighting the battles of the ‘ruining crass.’ They are the ones that have embraced religiousity as a refuge from the harsh realities of their existential lives, and they are the ones that have failed to make use of their education and learning, to teach, instruct, and guide the lower classes with whom they interact daily. They are the ones with the capacity to recognise the several iniquities of the Nigeria State. They are the ones acquainted with its evil wickedness. These ones have eyes, but are willfully blind. They have failed to discern that the evil befalling them are visited on them by their own, and they have bought the hate: hook, line and sinker.
For these foolish warriors, the solution to the Nigerian problem is simple, and as simpletons they have believed: divide Nigeria, and be done with it already. The dangers of the simple solution have never been better illustrated.
NOTE: I understand the pains and frustrations behind these agitations, and I am not promoting or counseling inaction, but beyond people talking about war, have they factored in the fact that talks inevitably follow wars, before they might be ended? Why is it so cowardly to offer alternatives to wars, whilst everyone is demanding war, when the only way to end that war, would be to speak to each other and then work out the peace deal?
The war fronts would be our doorsteps, and most of the keyboard warriors would be in their own homes outside Nigeria, keeping scores and watching cable networks. But those of us that have either elected to stay in these blighted lands, already living as though we are in a war zone, would find ourselves truly at war, and would have stumbled into the still avoidable calamity because of our collective idiocies, and even more ironically, because of our moral cowardice.
The same Nigerians, who have refused to engage with the system to peacefully demand citizenship, but are happy with indigene-ship, whilst eyeing promotion to the ‘ruining crass’, are the ones promoting and demanding the break-up of the country that they wouldn’t fight to birth. It is lost on them that it is easier to gain everything they have imagined from their tribal homelands, in a restructured and equitable Nigeria State that has citizenship for all of its citizens.
The Nigeria ‘ruining crass’ is not going to miss the Nigeria State. As I have sought to establish, the rulers of Nigeria have committed several crimes against the Nigerian peoples, and they are afraid of the day when they might be asked to explain their crimes. They have concluded that the destruction of the country would assure that they wouldn’t have to account for the evils that they have perpetrated in the land. Our ruiners are pyromaniacs; burning down the State erases the huge crime scene the country is. If Nigeria would be saved from the impending catastrophe, it would be Nigerians of all ethnicities, languages, and biases that would have to collectively save the State from itself. It is the victims of Nigeria’s several afflictions that need Nigeria to survive.
Those named Nigerians have never been allowed to become citizens of Nigeria. The governance systems have been structured from its beginnings to think in terms of the tribe; the delineation of rights have been based on tribal and ethnic foundations. It is not for nothing that the Nigerian Bill of Rights, found in the 1960 Independence Constitution, arose from the agitations of the minority ethnic groups, and was a recommendation of the Willink Commission on the rights of the minorities. Nigeria was founded on indigene-ship, and Nigerians have never been citizens in the true sense of the word.
The foolish warriors have fought against each other, in the army of the evil rulers, for the benefit of the evil rulers, and in preservation of the evil rulers and governance systems that have mutually assured their enslavement. If the foolish warriors shall incline their eyes, if they would behold the evidence of their own eyes, they would see very quickly that whilst the Fulani elites might be responsible for the architecture of their oppression, the beneficiaries are not the Fulani peoples, but a class of people drawn from every nook and cranny of the Nigeria State.
The overarching ambition of the Nigeria ‘ruining crass’ is to steal. The overarching ambition of the Islamist jihadists is to push their vile interpretation of Islam across the country, and the dream of the Fulani peoples across the Sahel, is to find a homeland, a place to call home, and a refuge from the hardships of being a nomadic people, in a region where they are effectively a minority. These ambitions have collided at a critical point in the history of Nigeria, and they have found oxygen in the person of a Nigerian president, whose base instincts and reflexes are nepotistic in the extreme.
Do not Die in their War
THE foolish warriors are those that would fight and die in the wars of their oppressors. The wise warriors are those that would fight for the birth of the Nigeria nation; the ones that would embrace the non-violent path to the birth of the Nigeria nation; that would speak to bridge the divides; that would act to heal the wounds; that would demand for others everything that they have desired for themselves.
History beckons the ones that would dare to desert the ranks of the foolish warriors.
(Being Preface to the book, IMPERATIVES OF THE NIGERIAN REVOLUTION, by Dele Farotimi, which is due to be released on May 1, 2021)
*Farotimi is a lawyer and civil rights activist based in Lagos.