In recent times, several statements have issued from Fulani leaders claiming that the current run of separatism or self determination is propelled by hatred for Buhari and the Fulani. Particularly, they allege that the struggle for Biafra is an ethnic backlash against Buhari just because he is a Fulani Muslim.
Having disinterestedly studied the current run of the Biafran struggle, it seems to me that it has absolutely nothing to do with hatred for Buhari or the Fulani, not even Islam. How can this be when the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Radio Biafra and the phenomenon of Nnamdi Kanu, all pre-dated the election of Buhari in 2015. Radio Biafra particularly dates back to 2012.
That the struggle seemed not intense during the Jonathan administration was simply because Jonathan appeared sincere at addressing some of the crass injustices that are now driving the neo-Biafra resistance as led by Nnamdi Kanu. Even before Jonathan, there was Yar’Adua, who was as Fulani as Buhari, yet the Biafran struggle was not as intense. Why? Because Yar’Adua was, unlike Buhari, even handed.
Therefore, it is not true that this epic Biafran struggle as singularly led by Nnamdi Kanu is directed personally at the election of President Buhari or the Fulani in general. If at all, it’s only because Buhari has proven to be the first post-Civil War Nigerian President that has made open hatred of Biafrans (especially Ndigbo) a state policy.
In addition to his stubborn nepotism, the highest point now is Buhari’s new state policy of ordering soldiers to hunt down IPOB members, especially those of the newly formed Eastern Security Network. This infamous policy of attrition has culminated in the recent sack of Obigbo and Orlu, where many civilian Biafrans were killed. As you are reading this, the manhunt continues and is intensifying, particularly in Imo State. If you add Python Dance and other massacres, you begin to see where Kanu’s tempest is coming from.
One common feature in all of these is that life is no longer sacred in Buhari’s Nigeria; almost nobody is ever brought to book for taking of innocent Nigerian lives. Fulani murderers and terrorists operate with impunity and appear to enjoy the tacit support of certain people at the commanding heights of the Nigerian government of this era.
And to make it worse, they hurriedly declared IPOB a terrorist organization, thus putting millions of IPOB members at the risk of being shot at sight by security forces primed to see IPOB members as number one enemies of State. They forget that beyond being IPOB members, tens of millions of peoples of former Eastern Nigeria profess allegiance and loyalty to Nnamdi Kanu. So, how many millions can you kill?
Making matters worse are the treasonous and dirty deals the Federal government and Northern States are making with terrorists they now prefer to call bandits, just to make them look good. In all of these, Buhari and his ilk have proved dodgy and complicit while their kinsmen are threatening the whole country; and even recently rewarding them for launching a food embargo against the South.
In the circumstances highlighted above, it will be highly insensitive to expect everybody to play dead and pretend that all are safe.
Mazi Nnamdi became a prime target because he is the first one to organize an effective and principled resistance. To his eternal credit, Kanu made so much success of it that others finally joined in and much of indigenous Nigeria are now beginning to have a new awakening, as was illustrated by the EndSARS protests and rising push for an Oduduwa Republic.
So, this whole thing about seeking division or a new arrangement for Nigeria is not and never about the Fulani or Buhari. It is beyond them. It is an epic battle for survival of a people.