Wish I were Alhaji Ado Dansudu
I READ the interview granted by Alhaji Ado Dansudu, the national president of Arewa United (Consultative Forum) and wished I were in his shoes. I would be a leader amongst the Fulani, a people who have a presence in about 22 countries stretching from Mauritania through Guinea, Ghana, Senegal, the Gambia, Nigeria, Mali, Sierra Leone, Benin Republic, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Niger, Cote D’Ivoire, Chad, Togo, Niger, Gabon, Central Africa, South Sudan, Sudan to Egypt and Liberia.
Being the President of Arewa United (Consultative Forum), I would be respected amongst my kith and kin in all these countries and be acknowledged when we meet for our traditional festivals. My zeal to protect the interest of my people will know no bounds. However, this is how far I would wish because I would not want to offer leadership that will keep my people’s time machine stuck in 1900 AD.
The fact that my people are spread in 22 countries means we would be included in the fiscal and economic planning of all these countries. This makes us the only ethnic group in Africa and indeed the whole world with this advantage.
The Fulani are really blessed because the cows they so cherish offer hundred per cent utility since the hide, the muscles, the fat, the milk, the nasal sputum, the root gland of the tongue, the hair, the blood, the intestines, the hooves, horns and even the dung have potential for industries to be built around them to offer job opportunities to millions of Fulani youth who presently are roaming the forests in the name of grazing cattle and the full economic value of the cows is lost when they are viewed as a mono product.
While one is not playing down the harshness of the weather during the harmattan in the North, it is interesting that countries with worse climatic conditions in the Middle East are to be reckoned with among nations that are agriculturally successful. Their people do not have ethnic relatives that they can run to and yet they are thriving. They do not take a short cut by going to where grass grows freely because they know that nothing is really free. The Fulani leadership who have the love of their youth at heart should take a cue from these countries because they also have cattle and their youth are not wasted chasing cattle about in the bush; instead they are educated, trained and involved in research to improve the welfare of the cattle and crops they farm for greater profitability.
I want to remind Alhaji Ado Dansudu that the first Caliph, Abu Bakr, said among other rules for warfare that during a war, no harm should be done to the trees, nor should they be burned with fire, especially those which are fruitful. What justification would there be for the destruction of farm produce at anytime?
People who speak from a position of authority should do so to educate, energise and push lesser informed people to achieve greater heights, not hold them down or bound for the purpose of having them at hand to further their own selfish interests.
If grazing cattle was such an easy and enjoyable task, many young people from the North will not prefer to remain in cities in the south trying to eke a living. I would suggest the Alhaji tries walking from Chad to Lagos to find out how effortless it is.
I urge all Fulani to join hands with other ethnic nationalities to fund research into how to expand their horizon in terms of economic emancipation so that collectively, all over Nigeria and even Africa, we will live decent lives and stop dissipating our God given natural resources. If our railway was properly developed, fresh meat will reach every part of the country every day being carried by Freezer coaches and it will be possible to harvest every part of the cow in quantities large enough for industrial use.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said among other things about anger: “Anger corrupts faith in the same way that vinegar destroys honey” and “He is not strong and powerful, who throws people down, but he is strong who withholds himself from anger.” These sayings and the cultural leaning towards peace are the reasons why Muslims in the South West do not retaliate or go violent with all the treatment being meted to the Yoruba by Fulani herdsmen.
When a leader turns the other way and justifies as alright a situation where the only worldly possession that youth from his ethnic nationality have are just a radio and items that cannot be valued at N10,000 because they have to be perpetually on the move, that leader is breeding angry people who will not have any regard for society because they habour hatred for the society that makes them see but not taste life the way it should be.