•We can no longer be honest to ourselves that we have a nation – Prof Anya
•Adolphus: Fulanization of Nigeria is an agenda, Buhari will handover who will complete Islamization
The former president of Nigeria Dr. Ebele Good luck Jonathan has break silence over the worrisome insecurity in the country, this coming less than 24 hours after ex-President Olusgeun Obasanjo raised the alarm over the high level of insecurity in the country.
Jonathan on a condolence visit to Reuben Fasoranti, leader of Afenifere, in Akure, Ondo state capital, on Tuesday, the ex-president said insecurity is getting worse under President Muhammadu Buhari.
Although he did not mention the name of Buhari, he clearly referred to the government headed by his successor.
He challenged the federal government to come up with new strategies to tackle insecurity, adding that one could not continue doing old things and expect new results.
Jonathan visited Fasoranti over the death of Funke Olakunrin, daughter of the elder statesman, who was murdered along Benin-Ore highway while returning to Lagos after visiting her father in Akure on Friday.
“The issue of security must be approached from a different dimension. We cannot continue the old way because it is getting out of hand. We hope the federal and state governments will do something about it,” he said.
“Every generation face problem and this generation must find ways to solve these problems. Every government faces problem. The first commercial kidnapping, because it involved money, happened in 2006 when I was the governor of Bayelsa state. From that time, it moved to terrorism in the north. Now, it is a major problem in the country.
“The federal government in conjunction with state government must design a different approach to this issue. I was there as president and security challenge was there but now, it is getting worse every day and we can’t continue to use the same old method.”
The former president advised the government to create a special security unit to fight banditry and kidnapping.
“I believe the federal government should set up a special unit like we set up EFCC and ICPC to handle corruption cases, so that they will know that their responsibility is to manage this kidnapping, killings and the rest. We can’t continue like this, it is not possible.
“We can’t even talk about managing the economy of this country when people are not saved. The economy is for the people, people must be alive to enjoy the infrastructures. If you do all the roads in the country and people cannot move about, the roads become meaningless.
On the call of Obasanjo for a national conference, Jonathan said: “A lot of things were discussed during the national conference organized during my time as president. The issue of security, state and community policing were discussed. I always believe that government should look at that report, it was not written by me.
“We should not play politics with serious national issue. If we look at that report, there are recommendations that bother on security and if there is area that need to be expanded because I believe everyday new idea comes, it should be updated. There is nothing wrong holding a specific meeting to look at the issue of security. I believe the federal and state government having a new approach, deploying technology and having more money to protect our people.”
We can no longer be honest to ourselves that we have a nation – Prof Anya
At 82, Professor Anya O. Anya is one of the few Nigerians who understand the country well. His knowledge of Nigeria – its politics, failures and triumphs – is encyclopedic.
He brings his wealth of experience to bear on his analysis of the problems. With a razor sharp intellect, he, despite his awe-inspiring accomplishments in the field of natural science, is also at home in every other academic field.
In this first part of a two-part exclusive interview with IKECHUKWU AMAECHI, Prof Anya, achartered Biologist, who is distinguished for his work in Parasitology, 1992 Nigerian National Medal of Merit awardee, former Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Economic Summit Group, former President of Nigerian Academy of Science, dissects the problems confronting the country and gives a damning verdict: Nigeria is in a desperate situation.
What is your assessment of the state of the Nigerian nation today?
If you were to read the public lecture I gave in Port Harcourt on May 27, as part of the inauguration ceremonies for Governor Nyesom Wike’s second coming, you will see that we are in a very desperate situation. Nothing can go well under the present circumstance unless we do some major readjustments to the way we are approaching things right now.
The nation has never been as threatened as it is right now. We are a nation under siege and the worst is that we the elite are moving on as if we are not seeing what is going on. People are being, I won’t say hypocritical, but people are not saying what they see and what is in their minds and when things are like that, those who see beyond the surface have course to worry.
I was 82 years earlier in the year and in those years, I have never seen as much blood being shed in this country as presently. Yes, people say it is Boko Haram but this has gone beyond Boko Haram.
In the North East, Boko Haram is there. Just recently, suicide bombers operated in Maiduguri; in the North West there is banditry and kidnapping to the point where if you remember, the immediate past governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Yari, at a point said he was not in-charge of anything any longer. You come to the Middle Belt, the problem is the same with variation – the so-called Fulani herdsmen have taken over and from all indications, if you saw the interview of some northerners with the Heritage Foundation in Washington, these are first hand reports of what is going on.
Then you come to the South East, it is the same. You see, what people do not know is that there is no isolated forest in the entire South East that does not now have Fulani colony. There is none. You go to the South-South, it is the same problem and you go to South West same thing. In fact, they are the ones who are now making so much noise because they weren’t expecting those things that are happening to them to happen.
So, we have come to a point where we cannot say with certainty that we have a nation or even that we have a viable nation, unless we do some hard renegotiation of our relationship across the board. That is where we are.
President Muhammadu Buhari will surely disagree with your analysis because he insists that his administration has done pretty well security-wise. Recently, he passed a vote of confidence in his security chiefs. So, where is this disconnect?
We are a nation in denial and there is no help when the officials now say things that are contrary to the evidence available to them and to us all. Why that should be so I don’t know because if you want to change a situation you start by telling yourself the truth and from there you can now start looking for the solution. But when you are deceiving yourself, then even outsiders may find it difficult to help you and that is where we are now.
You see, recently, Army Chief Tukur Buratai told us that the military in the frontlines were either sabotaging or are not showing enough courage and things are going bad.
That is the Chief of Army Staff and that was the headline in major national newspapers. If the man who is the agent of the president says that, it is either the president didn’t hear him well or alternatively it may well be that he has other information that even the Chief of Army Staff does not have. I leave you to judge.
Do you think that this high level of insecurity, the menace of herdsmen, is orchestrated or just a coincidence?
It is not a coincidence but this is not what I want us to talk about now because this is an issue that deserves a full interview of its own.
You must go back to the 3rd Century when people from the west, that is Western Europe, discovered that there were three clans in the western-most part of Africa – Guinea, Senegal, Mauritania – who at that point knew more about astronomy than the Western World. Then, they were wondering how that came about but what then happened was that while the western knowledge of astronomy went the scientific way leading to their being able to go to the moon and all that, the African knowledge of astronomy went into astrology and occultism and when Islam came, these great practitioners of the occult used that to cover up their own religious experience. For the Fulani, Islam is an instrument to expand territory, it is not the belief system, they have their own belief system and that for them is more important. That is why the marabout is so important in their culture but most Nigerians do not know what I am talking about now. But the good news is that there was, let me call it a prophecy that was given to them at that time, many centuries ago, that says they will sweep across West and Central Africa and then come back to the Atlantic Ocean but before they get to the Atlantic Ocean, they will come against some obstacles that will stop them from getting to the sea.
To those Fulani who have a historical sense, it is Nigeria, southern Nigeria that is the roadblock to the Atlantic Ocean. But the good news as I said is that there are now divisions in the perception of what the future for the Fulani is. There are those who think Nigeria has been good for them and they have strived in it producing Heads of State and so on. So, they would want to cooperate with their other brothers and build a black power that will be a pride to everybody. But there are also those who are coming out from those prophecies of the past and they think that is more relevant and these are also the ones whose understanding of the modern world stops in the 17th Century.
Unfortunately, they are still powerful within that system. How that will be resolved, we don’t know but that is the core of what is going on in Nigeria. Those who are occupying territory and so on, those who are herdsmen and so on … they are part of those people that would want to run over the whole of West Africa and take charge. To build a virtual empire in the 21st century that is not possible but their worldview is still stuck in the past, so that is a dangerous situation we have.
Do you then agree with the position of former President Olusegun Obasanjo that there is a deliberate plan of Islamisation and Fulanisation of the country?
I will say yes by default. And what do I mean by saying it’s by default? Because I am not sure that there is evidence that any group of people gathered together and said we must Islamise, we must Fulanise. No! But those who are working for the influence of their group as they see it naturally see the situation as it is as a good cover and Islam becomes as I said earlier a cover, so they want to overcome everything else because they are following a blueprint if I may say so but the practical effect of what is happening is what Obasanjo said.
Is there a way out?
Yes. Because the beginning of this weird vision of the future does not bear any semblance to what the actual world, the real world is, in the 21st century, it is bound to fail.
But before those who push it recognise how impossible it is, maybe more people would have been killed but there is no way it can succeed but there will be a lot more suffering and a lot more dislocation before it becomes clear that the objective cannot be achieved.
And there is also a counter-prophecy from the Christian side that suggests that Nigeria has a special place in the plans of God for not only Nigeria but Africa and Nigeria is at the head of it. So, ultimately one of the two world views will overcome but it is not likely to be the one whose vision is founded on beliefs from the 17th century, it is likely to be the one that has come to terms with the 21st century.
Recently, the Miyetti Allah, the umbrella body of the Fulani herdsmen, came with a very curious suggestion of establishing youth vigilante groups to police the South East. What came to your mind when you heard it?
(Laughs heartily) Well, it only goes to underline what I said, the unrealism on the part of those who want territorial conquest and the Miyetti Allah definitely is at the head of it and they think it is just easy. But you see there is a principle in Islam call Taqiyya, what that principle says is that there is what you may consider legitimate deceit, in other words, we can be dealing with you as friends while we have our plans to bring you under our control and that is what Miyetti Allah is practicing.
In fact, in a sense it is a confirmation of what I said earlier namely that: there is no isolated forest in the South East and parts of the South West and South-South where Fulani herdsmen are not there already having colonies ready for whatever they are expecting, there is none. And probably that is what is giving them the confidence but I do not know whether they think that we are so naïve or that those who are ruling the South East are so naïve that they will be taken in by that argument.
All I can say is deceit can be practiced by all parties, so we can behave as if we don’t know what is going on, while we make our own alternative plans. But if anybody thinks that that is not an ultimatum that tells you that we are in-charge and can disorganise you anytime we chose then the person must be naïve.
Is there any peaceful way out of this without bloodshed, without a fight?
There will be bloodshed but it will not be on the scale at which it is planned and the reason is simple. The truth of the matter is that the world of the 21st century is very different from the world of the 18th century or even of the 19th century. The truth of the matter is that where we are now – globalised world – means that the international community will not tolerate it and therefore, there are institutions that when it gets to certain points, the rest of the world will intervene. Look at what is going on between Iran and the United States; U.S. got to the point where it mobilised to go and interfere but pulled back. The mere fact that such possibilities exist means that no group of people can act with impunity on the international stage.
There is an international criminal court and there are various institutions that exist that can deal with cases of genocide and so on. In other words ultimately when they realise that there is a red-line put on the ground by the international community that may put in some hesitation on the part of leaders of those particular tendencies but we have to be patient before we get there but also we have to be wary and ask ourselves very difficult questions and probably have to do scenario building, put ourselves on the other side and say: what do we do if we were on the other side because when you can get into the mind of your enemy that is where building a strategy starts from, we must learn to do that now.
Do you think President Buhari has been fair to Nigerians?
Well, I will ask you two questions. Go back to 2015 when he was sworn in as the President of Nigeria. There were three things he did in that year that I will want you to now tell me what you think it signifies. His first trip out of Nigeria after being installed President of Nigeria was to Niger Republic and in Niger, he was presented with the gift of a white horse and a sword. My Fulani friend tells me that is the symbol of welcome for a returning successful and victorious warrior. So, as far as the people of Niger Republic were concerned, this was a great son who had now returned after conquering. So who did he conquer?
Secondly, he plans to have Nigerian railways going through Katsina to Zinda in northern Niger. It is taken for granted that Nigeria will pay for it. Is Niger Republic part of Nigeria? If it has become part of Nigeria, then a proper negotiation should have taken place, it should have been constitutionalised.
Thirdly, people forget that he also plans to build a refinery in Katsina but the crude will be supplied not from the Niger Delta but from Niger. In other words, some of the fundamental major changes in the economy of that area he is planning is not for Nigeria. So?
The joint report of the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) on the 2019 general elections in Nigeria said the elections were significantly less transparent than the 2015 polls …?
(Cuts in) Let me help you there. Their sense of diplomacy stopped them short of telling you what it is: The 2019 election was a sham, they said so but that goes to underline what I said earlier that the international community is watchful all over the world now. A new world order is emerging and I think that despite the sovereignty of nations, people will not be allowed to do whatever they want.
The mere fact that they have come and said what they said and those comments agreed with the comments of the European Union, it’s like: we are telling the Nigerian leadership you are not free to do whatever you will. This time we will allow you but better do your homework and put your house in order and I am all for that.
You see the potential of Nigeria is huge. Take what our children are doing not only in Nigeria but outside the country. If we all start working together including the Fulani, the new civilisation that we will build, the world would not have seen the like of it and that is what gives me hope that despite all this, 50 years from now, what we are seeing now will look like saying, Good God, did this really happen and it will look like a very small blip that was meaningless that people can’t understand.
But those who are holding Nigeria down seem to be having their way. For instance, in the 2019 elections, they seem to have gotten away with murder?
It is too early to judge. Let me say two things and modern history are the indicators. I will take what happened in the Soviet Union and Germany. Did anybody think that the Soviet Union will unravel as quickly as it did? Did anybody think even until the day that Berlin wall was being hacked down did people really foresee it? No. This is likely to happen in Nigeria. The change will be so sudden that people will ask: what is going on? What is it? It will happen.
The second dimension of this is what is happening in China. China is now the leader of the world despite all the pretentions, China is going up while America is going down. That’s the new world order but you know the change in China took place, precisely, in 11 short years. There are things that if it happens this year in Nigeria, by 2025 you won’t recognise that this is the same country. Whether it will go that way or whether it will go the opposite direction, it is too early to say.
Africans have a non-violent way of dealing with matters and it is about time all Nigerian people returned to commitment to non-violence and commitments to building consensus, sharing a new vision of what kind of country we want to build. It is still possible.
Indeed, I go far enough to say that the things you need to do to change the history of Nigeria is already in the report of the 2014 National Conference including what a new constitution ought to be. It is already there. What is missing is having people who can see the future, people who are determined that that future will choral all of us willing or unwilling into that direction and it can happen.
History in China and elsewhere has shown that a determined leadership can take its people along the part where it sees the future but when it has done so even those who were resisting will start to enjoy the benefit that they will even forget that they were obstacles at some stage.
I sympathise with the confusion among my Fulani friends because the fear of the future is a major impediment in a society that has been tradition-bound and yet some of the best educated Nigerians are Fulani but they cannot operate with the kind of consciousness that they operate with when they come out of their cocoon and interact with other Nigerians. Some of the brightest young men and women I taught in Nigeria are Fulani. They are a new group of well-educated people, particularly the women, those are the agents of change and when that agent of change starts taking place within the Fulani community, it will be the motivation that will drag Nigeria into the new ways.
You don’t see our national fault lines – ethnicity and religion – ever diminishing the rosy picture you are painting?
That is why I talk about leadership. When a leader comes forward with a vision that does not tell you that what you believe is wrong but tells you there is an alternative and starts showing the fruits of that alternative, human history shows that people go along.
Take China again for instance. The country had all kinds of leaders. During the period of Mao Tse-tung, China was one violent, regimented society, but within the same communist system a new thinking came in. Deng Xiaoping emerged, he was even sent to prison and so on, but ultimately, when the changes in the Chinese society favoured his ideas he became a new rallying point and brought the reconciliation between the market-driven economy and the communist polity and then brought merits and the pursuit of excellence which were no strangers to past history of China.
You know China is one place where they recruit leadership every 10 years and when that new leadership comes, it usually has the brightest of the next generation, they are trained and so you hand over to them.
Xi Jinping, the incumbent president, emerged out of that system although he is looking as if he wants to change it but that is a different story. When the best in a country is in-charge, what they bring to the table not what they take out of the table, becomes the driving force. That can happen in Nigeria.
But unlike China, Nigeria seems to be a country where the worst get into positions of leadership, so who will do the magic?
You know what the Bible says; while we were not watchful, the enemy sowed tars instead of wheat. Have you forgotten that a former Deputy Inspector General of Police who became a Senator once got up in the Senate chambers and said amongst some of his colleagues were people he investigated and who should be in prison rather than making laws for the country? We all laughed over it, and this was probably seven years ago.
It was an oddity to have such people in that kind of hallowed chamber but when it was said we took it light-heartedly as we take most things. Well, they have recruited the worst of the worst and they are in charge and it has gone through, permeated all the institutions of the nation, however, such things don’t last but it will come with pain and that is why to some extent, I told my children I feel for them but I also know they will survive it and there will be a better country.
Fulanization of Nigeria is an agenda, Buhari will handover who will complete Islamization
Former Senate President and member of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Adolphus Wabara, has said that in few years, Nigeria will be Fulanized.
According to the Abia-born politician, Fulanization of Nigeria is an agenda that must be accomplished and for this reason, the South East should perish the hope of taking over from President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Wabara noted that Buhari will not hand over to anyone who will not continue the project of making Nigeria a full Muslim state, adding that the signs are already manifestating.
“I believe what is happening is an agenda, it’s just that some of us, we are media friendly, but we don’t have easy access to the media to cry out every of your thought or whatever you say and we say things like that, sometimes the journalist will not take them seriously except if it comes from one with the stature of Obasanjo that you just mentioned,” he was quoted by Sun.
The former Senate President added that Nigeria may not survive the next 20 to 30 years, adding that if it does, it must have become a 100 per cent Muslim state.
He added, “I have always been of that opinion anytime I had the opportunity of talking to the press on that particular topic. I have read how Turkey became a Muslim state, 100 per cent, so to speak Muslim state and those signs are manifesting in my great and blessed country called Nigeria.
“I foresee this country as it is today if it survives another 20, 30 years Nigeria will be a mono-religious state, a Muslim state, then Nigeria would have been Islamized and not only being Islamized because if you talk of Islam, you don’t even know where you belong and I will rather say Nigeria would have been Fulanised because even within among the Muslims they are also confused.
“You see many Muslims who will not support what the Fulani’s are doing to us today, so if you talk of Islamization they will disagree with you, so what we are getting is Fulanisation of Nigeria because those who want to Fulanize Nigeria are indeed not true Muslims, they are nomadic Muslims who do not even believe in Islamic teachings neither do they believe in Western education, no wonder President Goodluck Jonathan attempted to bring education, nomadic education to them and what happened, it failed and it has failed till today because they are not interested in any form of education except their cattle, that is what they believe in.
“But the true Muslims of the North believe in Islam and they believe in peaceful co-existence between other religions in the country, but these Fulani people, they are basically not even Nigerians, they are mainly from Mali, Mauritania, etc, so they are territorial, no wonder they are talking of moving their cattle from one end to another and in the process they will Fulanize whatever territory they are.
“So, I foresee and I want to be quoted that the way we are going, if we don’t find a solution to our problems, particularly security-wise Nigeria will become Fulanized in the next couple of years and that is why I deeply regret and I hope anyway that my party, the PDP and specifically Atiku Abubakar will thrive in the tribunal. This is because Nigerians are looking forward to his doctrine of restructuring the country that is the only way we can save Nigeria from Fulanisation.
“The answer is no, if you want a sincere answer from me. You cannot be talking of the Fulanisation of Nigeria and you are thinking of an Igbo president coming in between 2023 for eight years, no. It is a project, Fulanisation of Nigeria is a project and it cannot be interrupted, I hear somebody from the Southwest is hoping to take over in 2023, it doesn’t matter whether he is a Muslim, but the truth of the matter is that he is not a nomadic Fulani, so there is no way power can shift to the South in 2023 and we the Igbo do not have what it takes to fight for it.
“As at today’s Nigeria, we don’t have what it takes to fight for it, where are we? Is it in the security apparatus of the nation? Where is the Igbo man, anything we have achieved or have been achieving is all personal efforts and in some cases community efforts.
“You hear of people stealing billions of naira, how many Igbo people have been mentioned? This is because you have to be where the money is before you can steal it.
“And this money they are using to Fulanize us, it is this money that you use to conduct an election and you know what happens with the election. So, we are not there unless you want to deceive yourself, we will not be there in 2023, mark my word.”