Monday, October 15, 2007

Hausa-Fulani Myth and Nigerian Politics

Monday, 14 March 2005
Here are more reasons for Nigerians to have political debate devoid of region and religion

Hausa-Fulani ethnicity have been Nigeria’s fall-guy and metaphor which have been historically used by too many Nigerians, especially the politicians, intellectuals, journalists and public commentators or government critics, to encapsulate economic mismanagement, inefficiency, ineffective policies, corruption, waste and general mismanagement, in one sentence, the world is told that the past failure of Nigeria, economically and politically, is because: The Hausa-Fulani mismanaged Nigeria!

After all, it is added, the Hausas and Fulanis were in charge politically, especially at the federal level, but so much have happened in recent times to debunked these fallacies… especially so, since the civilian administration of government of democracy inception in 1999.

I have it on good authority, that governor Lucky Igbinedion of Edo state is not of the Hausa-Fulani ethnic group, I also have it on good authority, that Edo state have been colossally and phenomenally mismanaged since the inception of democratic governance in Edo state in 1999; Conversely, I reliably informed that Jigawa state, a new state carved out mainly from the old Kano state, have been very progressive, growth oriented as it is developing rapidly. I have it on good authority as well, that governor Duke is doing an excellent job in his state.

The Edo state governor have had series of allegations of corruption and maladministration leveled against him, he is said to have always planned his frequent travels abroad to coincide with monthly statutory revenue allocations from the federal government to Edo state and the speculations that have been rife, suggest that this concerted travel junkets and the monthly allocations are to enable the young governor to deposit ninety percent of the revenue meant for Edo state public infrastructure and recurrent expenditure diverted into the second term governor Igbinedion’s private account in Europe and America and South Africa?

There have also been speculations and loud murmurs, that Mr. Igbinedion was arrested overseas, just like his Plateau state counterpart, but that he covered his tracks too perfectly well hence he has not suffered the same public opprobrium like Mr. Dariye of Plateau state, lest we forget, Igbinedion and Dariye are members of the so-called minorities, who have frequently argued that the minorities would do better, were they to have opportunities. But I have been reliably informed, that Edo state have received more statutory revenue allocations, in the period since 1999 compared with a ten year period before 1999 and yet, Edo state has fared much worse, without improvement in living standard, infrastructure, water and road network or other social amenities. How could a state do much worse with more revenue allocated to it? Why would Edo state argue for more resources, receive more resources and there is no evidence of their utilizations for the benefits of the citizens of Edo state? Where are the benefits of more revenues for Edo people? There are still decrepit schools, roads, empty hospitals and decayed infrastructure

The former governor of the same geographic expression now known as Edo, formerly Midwest state and later then known as Bendel state, was Mr. Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, he was known to most Nigerians as an action governor, he was dynamic and he made citizens of that state proud, because, during his tenure as governor, he created a marvel of a sports camp and there were wonder-kids sport persons emanating from the Midwest state as it then was.

Governor Ogbemudia transformed the infrastructures in Edo state, built roads, created an effective rural electrification projects in Burutu, Bomadi and all local government areas of the state, built a university, a teaching hospital, a giant government secretariat, government press and much more, and yet, he was operating under federal governments frequently headed by Hausas and Fulanis! But is Rivers state, Delta state headed now by Hausa Fulani, are these states more developed now? A corrupt Nigerian is a corrupt Nigerian is corrupt Nigeria and he or she could be Hausa, Fulani, Igbo, Yoruba or Tiv!

Those bereft of concrete and workable ideas, are always seeking to blame others, but themselves for glaring failures for which they should take responsibility and be ashamed.
My understanding is that, governor Igbinedion had good and workable ideas when he became Oredo Local Government Area Chairman some ten years ago, and those in Edo state had been convinced that he would replicate effective policies for the entire state, he appeared to have done effortlessly for the arguably most populated local government of the entire state. It is said the Mr. Igbinedion had tremendous public goodwill as a local government chairman of Oredo that led to his easy victory to become governor of Edo state; Even though he did not possess previous public service experience prior to that.
We have heard of loud murmurs of arrest of the Edo state governor, we have heard gossips about properties in South Africa, including hotels, car assembly plant or factory.
We have heard, but would someone point to specifics, so the law takes its course?

What do you say people? I have frequently heard of allegations of STRONG suspicions of corruption and corrupt enrichment by the corrupt governor of Edo state. It is believed by many persons of Edo origin, and even other Nigerians, that the current Edo governor has stifled and stunted the growth of Nigeria's erstwhile #1 state!

Number one state in culture, education and sports etc, so what happened?
There must be SOMETHING we can do!

1. Does anyone possess real evidence of his landed properties in the United States, Europe or South Africa?
2. Does anyone possess information that could stand the muster of legal proof?
3. I have frequently heard "RUMORS" but if anyone has information? There are rumors, there are speculations, there a plethora of allegations... We need PROOF or there is really no use repeating rumors, speculations or allegations
Or if we have factual information, but unwilling to divulge, we will be in complicity.
Posterity will judge us well, if we reveal facts of crimes, even if ANONYMOUSLY!

It is also the case, that the states in Nigeria with the most economic and political crises since 1999 have not been states where an, Hausa-Fulani man or woman is in charge of economic or political affairs. Governor Dariye is accused of corruption, money laundering and criminal negligence of his duty as governor of Plateau state while the indigenes and so-called settlers in that state were at each other’s throat!

Perhaps it is just me, but I also believe, that Ngige and Chris Uba are not of the Hausa-Fulani stock, and yet, they have managed to conduct themselves in crises ridden manner that have stalled progress and development in poor Anambra state that have been bedeviled by the antics of these vermin of public figures. Are these Anambrarians just puppets on strings manipulated by mysterious Hausa-Fulani persons?

These examples above should make for a rethinking of the erroneous assumptions and the hitherto unquestioned conclusions, to the effect that, Nigeria’s economic and political troubles were caused by the ineffectiveness and or inefficiencies and mismanagement by the Hausa-Fulani political characters, who admittedly, dominated the Nigerian political stage for many years.

Additionally, it must be remembered, that many of Nigerian economic and political players, were from every other ethnic groups! Such other Nigerians may not have been president or even governor or military administrator, but they were surely, police officers, customs officers, management level executives and much more

We must now ask ourselves, whether the worst governors today in Nigeria are of the Hausa-Fulani ethnic/language/cultural group? Or we must concede that the myth that made politicians economic managers of Hausa-Fulani stock, the fall-guy or the whipping boy of Nigerian public commentaries, as the Hausa-Fulani leaders have always been blamed for being single-handedly being responsible for mismanagement of Nigeria’s economic, political and developmental opportunities, bar none!

Other Nigerians must now concede that the worst-run state governments, the most fractious state governments, the most crises ridden state governments where near-anarchy and near-lawlessness persists, have been outside the states and subdivisions of Nigeria managed or governed by Hausas and Fulanis, this, therefore gives a big lie to the age-old or perennial fallacies of blaming Hausa-Fulani or any particular group in the wondrous diversities of Nigeria ethnicities for the challenges that Nigeria have faced in the past.

Uneasy, lies the head that wears the crown, the Hausa/Fulanis have been the heads in Nigeria wearing the Nigeria crown many a time, but they are just convenient scapegoats for Nigeria’s economic and political underdevelopment or stunted growth. All Nigerians played a part or some part, active or passive, in the present funk and malaise. We must together resolve all the challenges faced by our nation, without finger pointing at one group as the sole cause of our collective or national bind.

It should now be settled, for once and all times, that there are virtues and vices in all Nigerians, be they Igbo, Ijaw, Ibibio, Esan, Idoma Tiv, Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa-Fulani.

We must start looking ahead together! Work together, cry or laugh, be joyfully happy together, Nigeria is ours to make a success… We must set sail for our national journey.

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