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The foolish warriors

By Dele Farotimi
05 April 2021   |   3:55 am
As the Buhari presidency has enabled the very worst of the Fulani Islamist agenda, and heated up the country in furtherance of these treasonous agenda, the rhetoric has become extremely...

As the Buhari presidency has enabled the very worst of the Fulani Islamist agenda, and heated up the country in furtherance of these treasonous agenda, the rhetoric has become extremely violent everywhere in the country.

Only a few men have dared to speak to the unity of Nigeria, when the head of the state himself has proven to be a shameless ethnic irredentist.

In the face of the manifest failure of the Nigeria State and its security forces to protect the lives and properties of the victims of Fulani militias, and in the face of the objective realities that would suggest that the president condones the actions of these violent criminals by his inactions, considering the bewildering directive of the Defense Minister to grieving victims, to defend themselves, it is becoming increasingly difficult, to speak to the unity of a country that is being killed by its ruining crass.

The venal brutality of the Fulani militias operating across the length of the country, from Otuoke in the Bayelsa swamp, to Epe in Lagos, its evil excesses, and arrogant flippancy, have kindled a flame of ethnic nationalism, the like of which Nigeria has never seen before. The lines were clear during the Civil War. The borders were defined. The tribe being hunted was known. This is different, and this is dangerous. There would be no explosions; only implosions. The battlefront would not be there, it would be right here. On the victims’ doorsteps… in their homes.

The Nigeria ‘ruining crass’ does not live in the country that they have ruined. They cream the land for their living alright, but they do not live in Nigeria. Their homes are in the Gulf Arab states, on the Potomac in Washington DC; they live in Dubai, London, Monaco; some live in Niamey, others in Niger. The northern aristocracy has long-favoured homes in the Sudan, and a few have kept residences in Cairo. The Nigeria ‘ruining crass’ hates living in Nigeria.

Their children, rarely ever born in Nigeria, do not go to schools in Nigeria, and where they do, it would mostly be the elementary schools. The Nigeria ‘ruining crass’ does not use the antediluvian healthcare facilities. A country that once had an internationally renowned healthcare system, once good enough for Saudi royalty, has had its President travel abroad to fix his unhearing ears. I am sure that you get the point: the Nigeria ‘ruinous crass’, does not live in Nigeria.

Fela famously dubbed the Nigeria ‘ruining crass’, Alhajis. He lamented that we were being ruled by strangers who are untouched by the pains of our afflictions. He had no idea just how right he was, and just how bad it is. The case of Dizzy Baby, Deziani, has brought some attention to a notorious fact that should engage the attention of the warring victims. Almost the entire ‘ruining crass’, political and economic, is possessed of second passports; not subject to the same travel restrictions, that affect we, the foolish warriors.

In the cauldron of the afflictions unleashed on the victims by Buhari, secessionist agitations have boiled over. Self-defence against the rampaging Fulani militias have become a fair ground upon which other ethnic warriors are being raised across the length of the country. The extremes of the Fulani herdsmen in the Oke-Ogun part of Oyo State, raised the person of Sunday Igboho as the “Yoruba freedom fighter” (apologia Punch newspaper).

The prevailing circumstances have led to a situation where the voices of reason have been ignored, drowned out and disparaged by the government, and reasonable men and women have been rendered impotent in the face of the rampant insecurities, and the government’s failure to protect the lives and properties of the hapless victims. The violence of Igboho’s response, was received with respect by the perpetrators of violence, and by the Nigeria State itself, in further validation of the extremist view, that the voices of reason, are being useless in an unreasonable place, and validation for those that have believed, that violence works with the State, and is respected by the Fulani militias that have carried on like an army of occupation.

Variant of warriors
The foolish warriors may be broadly divided into two categories. The chief protagonists are rarely ever resident in Nigeria. They are the ones that have escaped. They could see that the Nigeria State was failing early enough, they escaped the insanities pretty early in most cases. They have built good lives away from the Nigerian madness. They are citizens of the countries of their refuge, a privilege that is denied to them in the country of their birth and origin. But unlike the Nigeria ‘ruining crass’ that can hardly wait to be rid of Nigeria, these escapees have never managed to leave Nigeria behind. Take the monkey outta the jungle, but the jungle is inside the damn monkey, you might say.

The Nigeria Diaspora is the most homesick you’d find anywhere in sizable numbers. I have never come across a single Nigerian in my travels who wouldn’t rather be in Nigeria; if the country was “working”, they’d say. The Nigeria diaspora is the most patriotic layer of the Nigerian peoples, and I say this without ignoring the fact that the Nigerian is not a citizen in truth. They are the ones that consume the most news about the Nigeria State, they are extremely tuned in to the politics, and are constantly bellyaching about the country that they have been forced to flee, but which they have never desired to be separated from. These ones are the first category of foolish warriors.

The Nigeria Middle-Class, or its ‘middling class’ as I have sometimes been forced to label it, is the most foolish and willfully ignorant of the different layers of the Nigerian peoples. It is the class that is most incapable of identifying what is in its own best interests; the most existential of the classes, and the least reflective of all. The Nigeria middle class pays for the excesses of the ‘ruining crass’, but instead of seeking critical engagements with the system to make it better or to change it, the middle class is in a constant race for survival, even as the objective realities should have announced to it that it is fighting a lost battle against the forces of feudalism.

To be continued tomorrow

Being the Preface to the book, Imperatives of the Nigerian Revolution, by Dele Farotimi, which is due to be released on May 1, 2021). Farotimi is a lawyer and civil rights activist based in Lagos.