The recent events in our country has forced me to dive deep into the past of history of this great country called Nigeria.
The Fulanis insurgency, the so-called Fulanisation agenda for Nigeria to take complete ownership of this nation and many threats other tribes have received in recent time, including the rising terrorism, banditry and kidnapping obviously being perpetuated by Fulanis tribes under a seating political Fulanis administration, with the military, intelligence, security, law enforcement and judiciary under their controls triggered my desire to know more about the evolution of Fulanis, the history of their exploit in Nigeria, and to unravel the root of their claims of ownership of Nigeria.
I must say sincerely the banning of Nigeria history education in our schools has fueled my suspicion on a great hidden attempt aimed at shielding Nigerian children from knowing the history about evolution of their fatherland. Why should there be such a draconian policy against education in
Nigeria? It’s an assault against our collective historical heritage.
There is this latest Nigeria History book entitled “A Short History of Conquest and Rule” – What Britain Did To Nigeria written by Max Siollun. The book was first published in 2021(yes this year) in UK by C. Hurst & Co. (Publishers) LTD. Please get a copy of this book to help you unravel many mysteries about Nigeria history shrouded in secrecy and untaught in our schools, even during my own time in 80s.
I will be sharing many of my findings in relation to the topic of this post.
Who are the Fulanis?
They are group of immigrants that came to Hausaland from Mauritania and Senegal with different culture and language.
They were a cattle-rearing nomadic people who had spread across West Africa. French called them “Peul”, the Kanuri called them “Fulata”, but the Hausa called them “Fulani”. Traditionally they referred to themselves as “Fulbe”.
Who’s Usman Dan Fodio and his antecedent?
This man was an Islamic cleric from the clan of Torobe Fulani. His ancestors migrated to the Hausa town of Gobir from FUTA Toro in Senegal. His father’s name was Mohammad Fodio, also an Islamic cleric.
Now the meaning of “Dan Fodio” is “son of the learned”.
The history has it that Bawa, the Sarki of the Hausaland of Gobir hired Dan Fodio as Islamic teacher for his royal house and Hausa prince named Yunfa.
The Rise of Usman Dan Fodio and Sotoko Caphilate
Then what suddenly happened?
Dan Fodio accused the Hausas of practicing idolatry and contaminating Islam with their animist rituals.
In 1804, Usman Dan Fodio declared a Jihad and invited his followers to establish Islam throughout Hausaland.
The man issued jihad directives with flags as symbols of authority from him to wage holy war.
Most unfortunately, the jihad war set Usman Dan Fodio against his own former student who’s now a king Yunfa in Hausaland.
And so the entire Hausaland was defeated and converted into a huge confederation of Islamic Emirates popularily known as the Sokoto Caliphate and became Africa’s largest pre-colonial state stretching far to western Mali and eastern Cameroon.
Usman Dan Fodio gave himself the title of Amirul Mu’minin meaning Commander of the Believers and appointed his loyal flag bearers as Amirs or Emirs meaning Commanders or Rulers of the conquered territories.
By 1830s, the Caliphate had growing to almost 10millon population and extended his conquered cities to non-Hausaland including part of kanem-Borno Empire, Jukun, Nupe, and Ilorin a province of then Oyo Empire.
The Usman Dan Fodio advances into the south of then unknown Nigeria was halted by the impenetrable dense forests of the south and the dangerous insects most especially tsetse fly menaced against their horses. ( If not, they would have conquered entire south and west by their aggression and imposed Emirs as usual )
Now note carefully, the rapid success of Usman Dan Fodio inspired jihads in other part of Africa. Ironically, many other revolutions took place almost about the same time including French revolution in 1799, Haitian revolution in 1804.
The Fall and End of Usman Dan Fodio Sokoto Empire & Usman Dan Fodio Prophecy
Usman Dan Fodio legacy and proclamations were an inspiration to the Fulanis Empire and Fulanis since pre-colonial era till today in Nigeria.
It was alleged Usman Dan Fodio made a prophecy that the Caliphate would last for a century I.e. 100years. Whether that prophecy is true or not, in exactly 100years after Usman Dan Fodio declared Jihad in northern Nigeria in 1804, the British northern invasion led by Lord Lugard and conquest of the Sokoto Caliphate and its Emirates effectively put on end to the Usman Dan Fodio old and original Sokoto Empire and the regime conquest agenda.
The Britain conquest of northern Nigeria is not based on any overriding commercial interest in the north but a pre-emptive move to block their European rivals from gaining control of its northern protectorates. According to the history, France and Germany have shown interest in the area and would have conquered if Britain had not made that move.
However, it turned out to be an act of providence to restrict the occupational agenda of Usman Dan Fodio. The occupational agenda from Fulanis stock against Nigeria was real from their ancestors.
That agenda has been re-birthed severally since demise of the original Caliphate, it has continued to shape their political agenda and aspiration before and after Nigeria independence.
But now, is there any historical validity that the whole of Nigeria belongs to Fulanis? Capital NO!
The last Amirul Mu’minin of old Sokoto Caliphate, Sarkin Mohammadu Attahiru initially survived the war against the British and fled.
After the conquest of the northern region and the Seat of the Old Caliphate, on 21th March 1903, Lugard assembled Sokoto’s leading officials and released aloud a proclamation, which was interpreted in Hausa, verified word for word. He made it unmistakably clear that independent Fulani rule had ended.
The excerpt below;
“The old treaties are dead; you have killed them. Now these are the words which I, High Commissioner, have to say for the future. The Fulani in old times under Dan Fodio conquered this country. They took the right to rule over it, to levy taxes, to depose kings and to create kings. They in turn have by defeat lost their rule which has come into the hands of the British. All these things which I have said the Fulani by conquest took the right to do now pass to the British. Every Sultan and Emir and the principal officers of State will be appointed by the High Commissioner throughout all this country “.
The next day in a public ceremony, Lugard appointed another Attahiru II, son of a former Sarkin Musulmi, Aliyu Babba, who reigned from 1842 to 1859, as the new Sarkin to replace his fugitive namesake Mahammadu Attahiru I who fled away.
Lugard gave Attahiru II a letter of appointment which outlined his powers, and made him swear an oath of allegiance to the British Crown. Thereafter, the British started referring the new Sarkin Musulmi in English as the “Sultan of Sokoto”.Follow us on social media:
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