By Femi Fani-Kayode
Professor Ango Abdullahi is the spokesman and de facto leader of the Northern Elders Forum.
His notorious mendacity and constant submissions and assertions remind me of Shakespeares’s profound words in his classic play titled ‘Macbeth’ where he spoke of “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.
A few days ago the Professor claimed that, “the north sustained the entire Nigerian state from 1914 up to 1974”.
This is a lie from the pit of hell. The truth is that the opposite is the case: it is the south that sustains the north and it has been doing so from 1914 up until today.
Lord Lugard was the first Governor-General of colonial Nigeria and the architect of the 1914 amalgamation between what were formerly known as the “northern” and “southern” protectorates of Nigeria.
In 1914 he described the north as “the poor husband” and the south as “the rich wife”. Can someone please tell me how a “poor husband” can sustain a “rich wife”?
It is rather the “rich wife” that sustains the “poor husband” and this has been the case in Nigeria despite that he has been pillaging, raping, beating, abusing, sodomising and cheating on her for the last 103 years.
If not for the south with its kind and gentle disposition, its liberal and cosmopolitan tendencies, its intellectual virility, its generous and accommodating population, its massive mineral and human resources and its never-ending and charitable quest and desire to be its brother’s keeper, the core north would be the poorest and most barren place on earth today. Professor Abdullahi knows this and so do all those that think like him.
Without the south the core north would have been a poverty-striken, land-locked, waste-land and barren desert with little hope and few prospects.
Despite all their pretensions they owe everything to the south. That is the bitter truth.
With his disdainful and disrespectful comments Professor Abdullahi has distorted the truth, attempted to revise history, insulted the south and has been uncharitable and unfair to his benefactors.
This is a monumental error and a grave miscalculation on his part because gone are the days when southerners can be intimidated into silence.
I say this because a new crop of southern and Middle Belt leaders are silently on the rise. They are proud of their identity, history, culture and ethnic heritage, they have wholly espoused the nationalist cause, they refuse to be cowered, subjugated, intimidated or enslaved and they reject the notion of being being labelled as second class citizens or “drawers of the water and hewers of wood”.
The problem with people like Abdullahi is that falsehood is in their genes. Their submissions are manifestly dishonest and their words are rooted in deceit, mendacity, doublespeak and, worst of all, misplaced and baseless arrogance.
I believe that 103 years of a forced marriage, an unhappy union and an abusive cohabitation is long enough. There can be no fellowship with the core north because there is no common ground and many northerners view southerners as nothing more than serfs.
We have tried for many years to plead with them to see reason and to let us live together peacefully but they have refused.
Instead they have taken us for granted and they have taken our charity, generosity, kindness and meekness for cowardice, stupidity and weakness.
They insist that in all matters they must always have their way and they must always dominate. They claim that they were “born to rule” and that we were “born to serve”.
They assert that the rest of us are subhuman slaves and serfs. They insist that we live and flourish at their pleasure and that they have the power of life and death over us.
They are the poorest and most backward zone and they have little or nothing to offer yet they insist that they must always wield the power and that they must always lead and rule.
Yet all they bring to the table is rancour, division, strife and conflict, whether it be the quest for perpetual domination or covert support for Boko Haram and the Fulani militias and herdsmen.
I say enough is enough! The only way forward is to restructure Nigeria or break her.
Whether anyone likes it or not I have spoken the bitter truth. I have reflected the minds and hearts of millions of people from the south and the Middle Belt.
Abdullahi and those that think like him must understand that their insults, their arrogance, their lies, their dangerous nonsense and their reckless and provocative historical revisionism must stop.
The south has come of age and more than ever before southern unity and a common resolve has become a reality.
He would do well to learn from the timely interventions of his core northern brothers like Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State and Emir Muhammad Sanusi 11 of Kano.
Last week, in a direct response to his welcome assertion that “the north is now ready to divide Nigeria”, the two of them said that the core north would not only be the “poorest place on earth” if Nigeria were to break up but that the zone would also be “worse than Afghanistan”.
They are absolutely right.
Instead of insulting our sensibilities with false tales of a glory that never was, Abdullahi should get on his knees and beg the people of the Middle Belt and south for forgiveness for 103 years of core northern and Hausa-Fulani cheating, lying, violence, aggression, insults, domination, subjugation, mass murder and ingratitude that we have had to put up with. They should be begging and pleading with us not to go.
It is in the interest of his people to do so and anything less than that would be spitting in the wind.
Permit me to take this opportunity to respond to Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, who is often referred to as an elder statesman.
However, when he described those that wish to restructure our country as “misguided” and those that wish to exercise their God-given and lawful right of self-determination and peacefully leave Nigeria as “shortsighted irritants” he did not speak or behave like one.
A few months ago he also said that the Yoruba were to blame for everything under the sun and that it was the people of the south west that are “misleading the Igbo” into wanting to secede.
He appealed to the Igbo “not to trust the Yoruba” because they would “lead them astray and later betray them”.
My response to him is as follows: the days of trying to divide the south with absurd and nonsensical tales that are spun and woven by desperate core northern bigots who secretly tremble at the thought of a united southern front are long over.
Again the days of divide and rule and internal colonialism are dead. Whether the likes of Alhaji Tanko Yakasai and Professor Ango Abdullahi like it or not, It is only a matter of time before the people of the south and the Middle Belt liberate themselves from the evil subjugation and bondage of the Hausa-Fulani core north.
If it is the Nigeria that the Legal Advisor of Miyetti Allah (the umbrella group for the Fulani militants and herdsmen), one Mohammed Bello Tukur, has just been appointed as the Secretary of the Federal Character Commission by President Muhammadu Buhari, I assure you that its days are numbered.
If it is the Nigeria where 808 Christians were slaughtered by those same Fulani herdsmen in Southern Kaduna on Christmas day, 1000 others were butchered in Agatu, Benue State sometime last year and yet another 13 were massacred in Southern Kaduna on Easter Sunday, I assure you that the die is cast.
If it is the Nigeria where Igbo youths that belong to IPOB and MASSOB are slaughtered at will, where Shiite Muslims are massacred in their homes and where the sons and daughters of Ile-Ife are killed like flies on their own land just for being accommodating, kind and generous to the Hausa-Fulani settlers, I assure you that the bell is tolling.
Finally if it is the Nigeria in which more Christians have been butchered and martyred than ANYWHERE else in the world in the last 67 years I assure you that the countdown has begun.
The latest round of mass murder in Southern Kaduna just last Sunday brings bad memories of this Easter.
Yet today permit me to plant a seed of hope for a brighter day. Our oppressors may have today but tomorrow belongs to us. As long as Jesus sits on the throne ultimately the victory shall be ours.
The price for our new nation has already been paid in blood and nobody can stop it from coming to pass.
For centuries these Amalekites, Chaldeans and Janjaweed butchers have been raiding our cities and villages, setting them ablaze and kidnapping our people to sell as slaves.
We have to fight for our children now or there will be no place left for them to call home.
The fact that some misguided individuals actually believe that this can never happen and that Nigeria can never break serves to prove the level of confusion, ignorance, darkness and delusion that flourishes in their sordid little minds.
Whether they wish to acknowledge it or not, the truth is that If the core north does not retrace its steps, not only will Nigeria break into two or more pieces but people like Professor Ango Abdullahi, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai and all those that come from that zone will suffer immeasurably as a consequence of it.
It is at that point that they will rue the day that they once shed so much innocent blood, that they once subjugated and enslaved the people of the Middle Belt and that they once poured scorn and contempt on the people of the south.