I read a rather silly interview by one Saleh Alhassan, the National Secretary of the splinter group Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, an offshoot of Miyetti Allah, the more respectable umbrella body of Fulani in Nigeria. In the said interview, Alhassan, apparently to justify milking gullible members of the splinter Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore by the street-smart leadership of the group, came hard on Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, calling him a drunkard, for saying majority of bandits operating in the North are members of the Fulani ethnic group. In Masari’s words:
“They (Fulani) are the same people like me, who speak the same language like me, who profess the same religious beliefs like me. So, what we have here on ground are bandits; they are not aliens, they are people we know, they are people that have been living with us for 100 of years. The infiltration we have from some West African countries and North African countries are also people of the Fulani extraction. I am not saying 100% of them are Fulani but majority of them are, and these are people who live in the forest and their main occupation is rearing of cattle.”
One is left wondering why a simple statement of fact like Masari’s in as serious situation as we have could draw the ire of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore to the level of throwing decorum to the dogs. But then, anger flares whenever a raw nerve is touched. There’s more to Alhassan’s misplaced explosive outrage than the welfare of the Fulani people as I will explain in as logical and factual manner as possible.
To begin, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore is a creation of some desperate street-smart renegade-members of the more popular and more respectable Miyetti Allah. Indeed the two associations are distinctly different. Although the history of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore is hazy, the association achieved notoriety in the dying days of the Jonathan administration (precisely 18/3/15) when it appointed former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan both as its life-patron and sole presidential candidate in the 2015 presidential election for a fee of N100 billion allegedly promised the association by the Jonathan administration. This hasty merger between the Jonathan administration and the renegade Kautal Hore was intended to counter the influence of the real Miyetti Allah social-cultural association which stood solidly behind the candidature of one of its own, “General Muhammadu Buhari,” against Goodluck Jonathan.
If the appointment by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore of Goodluck Jonathan as a life-patron of a Fulani socio-cultural association and his adoption as a sole presidential candidate in an election a Fulani man, Buhari, is the most prominent contender doesn’t explain Saleh Alhassan’s anger against not just an APC governor but one supervising the home state of President Buhari, nothing will. Not in this life anyway.
With this background, let’s review Governor Masari’s “sin” as which earned him what’s, perhaps the most exceptional display of poor parental upbringing by anybody holding a position of influence in this part of the world. Not that I expect Alhasan to have the capacity to properly contextualize Governor Masari’s opinion given his anger with Buhari/Masari as presented earlier, still, I expect him to be more circumspect and fair as its obvious Masari’s courageous declaration was an effort to save the Fulani from themselves. A step by step review of Alhassan’s anger will prove his disconnect. He said and I quote:
“Did you take that drunkard serious? My governor, do you take him serious? Can’t you see that he is already tired? Records should come from security operatives, not a confused human being.” End of quote.
So, which “records of security operatives” is Masari expected to wait for before deciding the identify of criminals in his domain when the first thing on his table every morning is the security reports gathered by all the security agencies in Katsina State working round the clock to give him a clear report of the security situation in the state? Apparently the case of Alhassan’s drunkenness is compounded with daftness. Alhassan said and I quote again:
“He (Masari) knows them now, is he not a Fulani man? All of them talking, they are stealing security votes, they should find solutions, create ranches for these herders and accommodate them. Which people do you find along the Sahel Sahara desert? They are many tribes, is it by physique that you now identify a Fulani man? End of quote.
If anything, this only highlights the shallow intellectual make-up of Alhassan. So, Governor Masari should play the proverbial ostrich by giving cover to the Fulani and allow them to continue brutalizing and traumatizing innocent Nigerians simply because he is Fulani? Then in the same shot Alhassan should have begged President Buhari to buy tankers and Tucano war aircrafts for his Fulani kinsmen to enhance their capacity for criminality being a Fulani man. Nothing could be dafter!
Perhaps, Saleh Alhassan’s anger may not be altogether misplaced. It should make sense and possibly connect the dots that, while, as Secretary General of Kautal Hore, he’s somewhere busy exonerating the Fulani on the internet using the platform of the dubious Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Governor Masari was in Katsina busy arresting the Chairman of Charanci Local Government chapter of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore for cattle rustling (video attached). How ironic! I wonder when Alhassan will mount, once again, the Sahara Reporters’ pulpit to tell Katsina Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore is not only a socio-cultural group but also the first criminal gang in Nigeria registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Veering off the road to delve into the performance of Governor Masari was the oldest albeit exhausted trick in the book deployed by Alhassan to solve his misery. He said and I quote:
“Forget that man, that man is the worst Governor Katsina has had; we are just praying for his time to lapse.” Unquote.
Alhassan is either a shameless liar or a daft hypocrite. As the Secretary General of the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, a socio-cultural association theoretically created to protect and enforce the welfare of the Fulani people, never find the convenience to complain about how Katsina State (a Fulani state) is governed until Governor Masari put the blame the ongoing banditry on majority Fulani.
Accusing Governor Masari of stealing “security votes” is even dafter! Neither Masari nor any governor need to have the convenience of a “security vote” to steal a state dry if he/she so wishes. I was embarrassed as a Fulani seeing another Fulani man of the status of a National Secretary General of a socio-cultural group experimenting with the suya-joint belief about security votes being free money for governors to buy chocolates with. But for the seriousness of the need to save the gullible from the childish tendencies of people like Alhassan, practicing this belief alone is enough to prevent anybody from glorifying this oaf with a response.
Last but not the least, the cowardice of Saleh Alhassan. Where was he when after the attack on NDA in Kaduna, the Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai declared anybody living in the forests (forests the Fulani call home) criminals who should be killed after the recent attack of NDA in Kaduna. To quote Governor El-Rufai: “Nobody living in the forest is innocent and we must kill them all.” Apparently it’s the old Hausa aphorism “Ko kura ta san gidan mai babbar sanda” at play.
The only thing that sealed Alhassan’s lips is because he’s very enlightened about Governor El-Rufai’s no-nonsense policy against charlatans and crisis-merchants hence, he meekly kept quiet and pretended to ignore his advocacy, perhaps saving it all for the next soft target. Alternatively, Alhassan’s silence was a clear indication of agreement with Governor El-Rufai on the plausible idea that nobody living in the forest in these days of banditry deserve to be given the benefit of doubt and be seen as innocent. This is in total conflict with his disagreement with Governor Masari on the equally plausible idea that Fulani are the majority criminals wrecking havoc in our forests, villages and inching closer to our cities.
This dunderhead should have known Governor Masari couldn’t have meant every Fulani is a criminal instead of every bandit in the North is more likely a Fulani. Even a kindergarten kid will understand you don’t mean every Nigerian is an APC member when you say “Nigeria is APC” but will understand you mean APC is the majority in Nigeria. But then, only God knows how many below-kindergarten brains are in position of influence in Nigeria. In any case, if Governor Masari’s description of Fulani as bandits is to be taken in the shallow sense Alhassan did, are we to take it both Buhari and Masari that he confirmed are of the Fulani ethnic group are also bandits? This is the shallowest anybody could go!