I am writing this article, because it is clear to me most Nigerians do not know about clearly enough the primordial forces and subsisting forces that exist within Nigeria, such as tribe, religion and culture. This is not an article inciting division, because i am pro-Nigeria survival, however, for Nigeria to survive, a deep enough understanding of Nigeria is required by the intelligentsia and elite, or if you will the “talented tenth” to wrestle with the hard issue and subsisting forces that rage beneath the Nigerian belly.
The presently marauding herdsmen crisis, is a clear example of these subsisting forces rearing its head and the powers that be seem to be checkmated.
I decided to do some research while i had some free time to. To research again why there is this term called Hausa-Fulani, Hegemony, and the south easterners incendiary allegation of the northerners having this “Born to rule” mentality. Mind you the Fula people originate from Sudan, and all of northern Nigeria, even into south such as Ilorin and Auchi, part of Edo state, is systematically controlled by the Fula people first through Jihad conquest and/or then subtly though religion. Now this calls for the history of Sudan?
This is what i found, published by erudite Nigerian scholars, but first my summary of this comes in this short paragraph:
In a democracy, power is derived from the occupation of command positions within government bureaucracy. These positions are constitutional. It is the authority domiciled in the office of the president, for example, that gives the American presidency its power. In the Nigerian case, the power of the Hausa-Fulani elite does not obtain from the constitution or for that matter from the authority encapsulated in executive positions of government. The power of these elite derives chiefly from their possession of religious and cultural capital. Through the spiritual headship of the Sultan, the Hausa-Fulani aristocracy is able to exercise near absolute control over northern populations and this control extends into the military, the top echelon of which is made up principally of Muslim officers from the north. The religious authority and power of the Sultan and members of the Sokoto Caliphate can be juxtaposed to the powerlessness of the northern mass. The fact that politics in Nigeria is not functionally differentiated from the sociocultural considerations that govern everyday life enables the Hausa-Fulani elite to systematically manipulate the Muslim Ummah through a generalized system of patrimonialism.
So it seems in the Final analysis- the “talented tenth” mentioned will have to amicably wrestle with these issues, to agree nationally and then influence President Buhari who is a Fulani, and commander in Chief of Nigeria who is evidently stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. He is a devout muslim, a Herdsman himself, who’s nomadic culture he inherited, conquered his native Daura people, well before his time, and is still subsisting in the culture. but he is already leading the Nigerian people. Clearly from the data below you will discern: That the British rigged the Census data in favour of the North will come to the fore again, because the southerners despite their differences, when faced with an existential threat, will unite against the threat. Then the numbers will be laid bare and the error of where power is CONSTITUTIONALLY domiciled will either be corrected by the leader, or the Nigeria union will become untenable.
The Hausa-Fulani Aristocratic Elite
Although Nigeria is typically broken down into six regions, it is more useful to think about Nigeria in terms of a north versus south division. The dominant ethno-linguistic group in the north is the Hausa-Fulani in the north east and north west surrounded by smaller ethno-linguistic groups like the Kanuris, Tivs, Igalas, Junkuns, Nupes, Zango-Katafs, and Biroms in the north central. The Yoruba in the south west, the Igbo in the south East, and the Ijaw in the south south are the dominant ethno-linguistic groups in the south (Crowder, 1978; Onwubiko, 1972; Sagay, 2008). This north/south division also has religious implications especially since Nigeria’s religious population is split between Islam (50%), Christianity (40%), and indigenous beliefs (10%). Islam is dominant in the north while Christianity is dominant in the south (CIA World Factbook, 2010). This ethno-religious configuration, as I shall demonstrate, is crucial to any analysis of the structure of power in Nigeria.
The seeds of the present day Hausa-Fulani political hegemony were sown by the Fulani Islamic jihad that began in the Central Sudan in the 19th century (Onwubiko, 1972). The Fulani are a nomadic, cattle-herding people who due to their nomadic nature were the first among the Hausa states to come into contact with Islam. Led by Uthman Dan Fodio, the Fulani sought to Islamize the region through Jihad (holy war). The main political consequence of this Jihad was the Fulani conquest of most of what later became northern Nigeria. The Fulani conquest of Hausa land started with Uthman’s victory over the army of Mohammed Yunfa, King of Gobir, in 1804. Consequently, independent Hausa states such as Kebbi, Zaria, Katsina, Gobir, and Kano were conquered between 1805 and 1809. By 1809, the conquest of the entire Hausa land was almost complete. Following the success of the Fulani Jihadist in Hausa land, the Jihad was extended to non-Muslim areas outside Hausa land that had considerable concentrations of Fulanis. Thus, Adamawa (1806), Nupe (1810), Ilorin (1835), all fell to the Fulani Jihadists (Onwubiko, 1972, 1982). After their victory, the Fulani established theocratic control over the entire northern region under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto who came to wield theocratic authority through a close-knit ethno-religious class, the Sokoto Caliphate. The Caliphate established emirates in all northern cities and imposed strict Islamic legal codes that demanded the complete acquiescence of the citizenry.
Following the 1914 amalgamation of northern and southern Nigeria, the British systematically began to centralize control under the Hausa-Fulani aristocracy. The centralized administrative structure of the north encouraged the British to establish the system of indirect rule wherein the Sultan was made subservient to British authority (Apter, 1999), but continued to exercise ethno-religious control over northern populations. Moreover, the British were extremely resentful of the leadership of southern Nigeria because the British considered them to be very belligerent and aggressive in their clamor for independence. Sir James Robertson (the last colonial Governor-General of Nigeria) justified the British preference for northern leaders by referring to “differences in ordinary custom and behavior between the dignified, polite and rather aloof northerner and the uninhibited, vociferous southerner who noisily showed his disagreement in council and parliament without good manner and restraint” (see Deng, 1996, p. 62).
The centralized theocratic authority of the Sultan and the Caliphate made British imperial administration in the north cheap and less problematic (Crowder, 1978; Okonofua, 2011; Onwubiko, 1972). If that same rulership could be foisted on the rest of Nigeria, the British task of exploiting Nigeria’s natural resources would be less arduous. Thus, under the guise of systematizing administrative control, the British Balkanized southern Nigeria by creating two regions (eastern and western regions) out of the existing southern protectorate but left the northern protectorate intact (Crowder, 1978; Omoruyi, 1999; Sagay, 2008). This redistricting eviscerated the bonds of unity that had existed between nationalities in the south and created a forced sense of ethnic rivalry between the east and west. It also set the stage for the eventual Hausa-Fulani ethno-political hegemony. To make matters worse, the British created contiguous zones within the east and west to accommodate a vast body of small ethnic nationalities such as the Ijaw, Urhobo, Efik, Edo, Esan, Itsekiri, Ibibio, Afemai, and so on, which were stripped of their ties to the east and west. These nationalities were maintained by the British in a manner geared specifically toward upsetting the politics of the south and providing southern allies for the north in the event of political stalemate (Kennedy, 2007; Okonofua, 2011). It is for this reason that Ijomah (1988, p. 56) argues that the British forged together “inconsistent cognitive elements without creating clear behavioral assertions” that would have created lasting bonds of unity among the collaborating units.
After reconstructing the geopolitical map of Nigeria, the British proceeded to conduct a series of censuses, which were deliberately rigged in favor of the north (Omoruyi, 1999; Sagay, 2008). For example, the first ever National census, which was conducted in 1931, was rigged to give the north numerical advantage over the south. Out of a population of 19,930,000, the north was awarded 11,434,000, the west 3,855,000, and the east 4,641,000, with a plurality of 2,938,000 people in favor of the north (Sagay, 2008). Thus, from the very beginning, a permanent majority in population, which was intended to translate into a permanent majority in the future federal legislature and consequently a permanent control of power, was programmed for the Hausa-Fulani political elite. On the basis of this figure, the north during the 1950 National Conference demanded for at least half the seats in the central legislature as a condition for remaining a part of Nigeria. Consequently, according to Sagay (2008), in 1951 the colonial officials distributed seats in the central legislature thus: north, 68 seats; west, 34 seats; and east, 34 seats.
In the 1952 census, the scenario of the 1931 census was repeated. This time, the increase in population in the 21 years between 1931 and 1952 was so carefully and masterfully doctored, that the birth and death rates in the three regions were virtually the same, and the difference in population between north and south remained very identical to the 1931 figure. Thus, out of total population of 31,540,000, the north had 16,540,000, the west 6,369,000, and the east 7,971,000. Again, the north had an advantage of 2,500.000 people (Sagay, 2008). With these results, seats were distributed that made it possible for the north to gain political control. Even if the west and east (collectively known as the south) had polled resources together to challenge the north, they would have failed. For example, according to Sagay (2008), in the last nation-wide elections before independence, Sir James Robertson, the Governor-General, recognizing the strategy they had so carefully worked out, invited Sir Tafawa Balewa of the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) to form the new government even though the counting of votes had only just begun. When the final results were announced, the NPC did not have a simple majority in the House of Representatives. It was clear from the results that the Nnamdi Azikiwe led National Council of Nigerian Citizens (From the east) with 89 seats could have successfully formed a coalition government with the Obafemi Awolowo led Action Group (from the west) with 73 seats and put the NPC with (134 seats) in the opposition. Omoruyi (1999) explains the preemptive action of Sir James Robertson, thus:
Sir James Robertson was a shrewd implementer of the northern rule earlier fashioned by Lords Harcourt and Lugard. Sir James was especially recruited by the British government in 1955 because of his experience in Sudan with an identical situation to Nigeria’s. He is on record as confessing that he did not handle this phase to the satisfaction of Dr Azikiwe and Chief Awolowo. Sir James confessed that he invited Balewa to form the government in 1959 by persuading some of the southern members to support him and after Sir Abubakar had assured him that he will get a southern group to work with him. Sir James did this before the results were announced. He confessed that he did this to appease the Sardauna of Sokoto, the leader of the NPC, to stop him from taking the north out of Nigeria. (p. 25)
The story of the 1963 census (the first after independence) was not different. The north, imitating their British allies, expertly doctored the figures to achieve pre-determined results (Forsyth, 1992; Obi, 2010; Omoruyi, 1999; Sagay, 2008). The eastern region particularly challenged the result with such vehemence that the country dangled dangerously on the precipice of anarchy. The unjust manipulation of the census to facilitate permanent northern political control was part of the grievances of the east in their ill-fated attempt to pull out of Nigeria through the creation of the Republic of Biafra. As a result of their declaration (of cessation), a bloody civil war was fought from 1967 to 1970, which resulted in the death of over 1 million easterners and the total destruction of all infrastructures in eastern Nigeria. At the end of the war in 1970, the east was brought back under direct political control and supervision of the north, and permanently shut out of the Nigerian presidency (see Elaigwu, 2009; Forsyth, 1992; Gray & Stolper, 2003).
The 1991 provisional census was also condensed to maintain the carefully designed colonial program. Out of a total estimated population of 88,504,477, the north was awarded 47,261,962 and the south 41,242,512 thereby maintaining the colonial margin. According to Sagay (2008), the most absurd aspect of the announced figures was the attempt to equate Kano State (the most populous state in the north) with Lagos State (the most populous state in the south). While Lagos was awarded a figure of 5,655,751, Kano, in order to match that, was awarded a figure of 5,632,040. Sagay (2008, p. 368) argued that “any honest observer knows that the population of Lagos cannot be less than 15 million.” Yet, based on the 1991 census results, Lagos was allocated only 20 local government councils while Kano and Jigawa states (Jigawa was carved out of Kano in 1991 and prior to the 1991 census the expanded Kano state had a much smaller population than Lagos) were allocated 71 local government councils. Again, while Lagos State has only 24 members in the Federal House of Representatives, Kano and Jigawa (with a smaller combined population), have a total of 35 seats. What this means, according to Sagay (2008, p. 368) is that “no bill can pass through the house without the concurrence of the northern states” thus guaranteeing “permanent power installed by a combination of the colonial master, the Arewa political oligarchy and the northern military organization”.
Thus, through the politics of population, the Hausa-Fulani political elite have had an effective hold of political power in Nigeria. Their dominance ensures that the bulk of the nation’s resources go into providing infrastructure in the north even though the north contributes least to the nation’s resource wealth and revenue. For example, out of 774 local councils, the north has 418 and the south 356. These numbers are important because each local government council irrespective of its revenue and expenditure (and resource profile) gets exactly the same amount from the federation account. The federal revenue derives 85% from the sale of crude oil, which is obtained 100% from southern Nigeria (Okonofua, 2011; Okonta & Douglas, 2003; Sagay, 2008; Ukeje, Odebiyi, Sesay, & Aina, 2009). Thus, the bulk of the 20% of the federation account reserved for local governments end up in the north. Similarly, out of 336 seats in the Federal House of Representatives, the north is allocated 182 seats and the south 154 seats, thereby re-enforcing the British colonial legacy of centralizing control under the leadership of the caliphate. Moreover, northern cities like Abuja were built exclusively from oil wealth. In comparison to oil powerhouse states like Bayelsa, Abuja boasts some of the most sophisticated infrastructure in Africa whereas cities like Yenagoa lack basic amenities like roads, pipe borne water, electricity, and hospitals.
C. Wright Mills (1956) in analyzing the political elite observed that their power derived from their occupation of command positions within government bureaucracy. These positions are constitutional. It is the authority domiciled in the office of the president, for example, that gives the American presidency its power. In the Nigerian case, the power of the Hausa-Fulani elite does not obtain from the constitution or for that matter from the authority encapsulated in executive positions of government. The power of these elite derives chiefly from their possession of religious and cultural capital. Through the spiritual headship of the Sultan, the Hausa-Fulani aristocracy is able to exercise near absolute control over northern populations and this control extends into the military, the top echelon of which is made up principally of Muslim officers from the north. The religious authority and power of the Sultan and members of the Sokoto Caliphate can be juxtaposed to the powerlessness of the northern mass. The fact that politics in Nigeria is not functionally differentiated from the sociocultural considerations that govern everyday life enables the Hausa-Fulani elite to systematically manipulate the Muslim Ummah through a generalized system of patrimonialism (Chabal & Daloz, 1999) transmitted in different ways but especially through a pedantic form of Islamic education that teaches quiescence and servitude. In this way, the spiritual authority of the Sultan and the Caliphate is maintained. Historically, the Sultanate has instrumentalized its immense cultural capital through the Hausa-Fulani political elite, whose political dominance has been legitimated over the years (even in periods of military rule) by its hegemonic (which includes its born-to-rule mentality) control of the apparatus of state and by its rigid control of the politics of population.
The full article is scholarly publication is here: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/ful…
In closing, it seems in the Final analysis- the “talented tenth” mentioned will have to amicably wrestle with these issues, to agree nationally and then influence President Buhari who is a Fulani, and commander in Chief of Nigeria, is evidently stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. He is a devout muslim, a Herdsman himself, who’s nomadic culture he inherited, conquered his native Daura people, well before his time, and is still subsisting in the culture. but he is already leading the Nigerian people. Clearly from the data below you will discern: That the British rigged the Census data in favour of the North will come to the fore again, because the southerners despite their differences, when faced with an existential threat, will unite against the threat. Then the numbers will be laid bare and the error of where power is CONSTITUTIONALLY domiciled will either be corrected by the leader, or the Nigeria union will become untenable.