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De Moment of Truth

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"How the Mighty Fall", a management book by Jim Collins on how big businesses, organizations, empires or individuals fall, is a veritable explanation of how the minority Fulani hegemony which has bestridden  Nigeria since independence is fast losing grips of the country.

"How the Mighty Fall", a management book by Jim Collins on how big businesses, organizations, empires or individuals fall, is a veritable explanation of how the minority Fulani hegemony which has bestridden  Nigeria since independence is fast losing grips of the country.

Juxtaposing research findings of the book and how the Fulanis rose to power and mismanaged this country, it becomes evident that the greatest undoing of Fulani oligarchs include the hubris  of born to rule, arrogant acquisitiveness, imperilment of the polity by opposition to true federalism or restructuring and all their concomitants. They are still ignorant of this development because power and success often cover up the conditions that an entity is on the verge of collapse and it takes the prudent to identify the signs.
With political power handed over to them by Nigeria's colonial masters, the minority Fulani took charge of every aspect of the nation's government - civil service, military and police, thereby making them oligarchs foisting hegemonic influence over other ethnic nationalities. Flowing directly from their vantage position, they became the exclusive beneficiaries of a corrupt polity and therefore have always stood against equity in Nigeria. However, the albatross of this oligarchy is its opposition to true federalism, implementation of recommendations of the 2014 national conference and brutal treatment of agitators of sovereignty. In their hubris, they began to ascribe to themselves the Devine mandate to rule. Their unveiled contempt and disdain for other ethnic nationalities are betrayed by their often held assertion that their continued control of federal power is not negotiable which is couched in the refrain that Nigeria's unity is not negotiable as if Nigeria is not a product of negotiations.  It is this arrogance of born to rule that made them to also neglect how power was corruptly handed over to them by Britain. Being complacent with the corrupt system, being the exclusive beneficiaries, Fulanis forgot that any organization which fails to adapt to changes must miss the train, as it were. This is a fact of life. They are indeed blind folded by that stroke of luck in 1960 when Britain handed over power to them.
Flowing directly from the arrogance of thinking that they can do anything in Nigeria with impunity, the Fulanis became corrupted by their “brightness" like Lucifer. As far as they are concerned, Nigeria is just for them to plunder. Corruption everywhere, embezzlement of public funds, liquidation of corporations under them. Like Oliver twist, they continue to ask for more. For example, Fulanis are exclusive owners of oil blocks, they control most of federal agencies. Their acquisitiveness made them to develop a conquest mentality which was exposed in their secret strategy to occupy the whole of Nigeria through the Grazing Bill as well as the unprovoked invasions of southern communities by armed herdsmen in the guise of grazing animals.
In addition to their acquisitiveness, Fulanis are also politically undisciplined. For instance, after presentation of the 2016 federal budget, Northern Elders' Forum led by Alhaji Maitama Sule wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari through which it made extremely provocative requests. It demanded Mr. President to review the allocation of 2016 budget to the North upwards. It also demanded that the federal government should crush all agitations for restructuring.
It is obvious that Fulanis failed woefully to appreciate that they were endangering the polity by their brazen corruption, nepotism, squandering of our treasury, liquidation of virtually every public enterprise under them, etc and that their hegemony carried risks with damning consequences if not managed well. For example, owing to political imprudence to recognize and manage the risks associated with hegemony, the warning signs of resentment began to appear in several forms of militancy and agitations like IPOB, NDA etc and the strident calls for restructuring or true federalism. As usual in their denial of risks, they brushed these signs aside with the belief that nothing can go wrong fundamentally. Since Fulanis are still in power, all negative developments are blamed on external factors or political enemies as we have seen them heap blames on PDP instead of accepting responsibility for the setbacks. And because Fulanis are drunk by being in power coupled with greed, they neglect that their recklessness and mismanagement of Nigeria's resources to the disenchantment of other ethnic nationalities is a great risk with devastating consequences if not managed properly. But their inability to recognize this risk made them to feel that the proper way to deal with agitators of sovereignty is to crush them with military force. This is manifest in government reaction to IPOB/MASSOB peaceful protests by killing several of them and the military armaments deployed to the Niger Delta in search of militants.
As events continue to unfold in Nigeria, the cumulative effects of an endangered polity begin to manifest, the signs have started to show that the political power of Fulanis is already waning. This development was visibly exposed when brute force failed to cow the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA. Suddenly, the Fulani oligarchy has realized that it is about to lose grips and like the proverbial drowning man that clinches everything in sight, even a floating straw, it is already panicky and desperately grasping for breathe. This is the reason behind the surreptitious negotiations going on between federal authorities and Niger Delta militants while Buhari promises to clean up Ogoni land and rebuild the Niger Delta regions. When a business organization falls into a situation where the iniquities of cumulative mismanagement threaten it, the recommendation remains going back to those business disciplines that brought it success in the first instance. But in the case of a polity where in this instance the minority Fulanis acquired political power through British corrupt manipulations, this becomes impossible. Therefore the other options open to the Fulani oligarchs is this sudden resort to a radical transformation, adoption of a bold but doubtful, untested strategy (silver bullets) and anything it can think of like the discreet negotiations. Unfortunately, it is natural for a drowning person to clinch everything, be it a straw or leaf, but the truth is that such dramatic actions result in a short term respite as they do not last. The reason for this is that Fulanis mismanaged this country to the extent that whatever palliatives they introduce now can only calm tempers temporarily because of entrenched suspicions. This is one of the consequences of having imperiled the polity.
As we speak now, based on the fact that oil, the livewire of the nation is involved, there is just a tiny line between now and when Fulanis will capitulate to militants and stop their opposition to restructuring or true federalism. They have reached the zenith of their rule in Nigeria and further antagonism to the rest of Nigeria is not in their interest. This can be seen from the support of prominent northerners like Atiku Abubakar, Abdulsalam Abubakar, Ibrahim Babangida and so many others to agitations for true federalism and restructuring. Although a Fulani is the incumbent president in the person of Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling party is Yoruba, but if the hand writing on the political wall of Nigeria is anything to believe, then a Yoruba man will succeed Buhari. Known for their insistence on true federalism, Yorubas won't waste a minute to resolve the restructuring imbroglio in Nigeria. Indeed, the end of Buhari presidency will mark the end of Fulani hold on to political power in the country. Nigeria is already spinning out of their control. It's a matter of few years.
First published in July, 2016

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