Should Nigerians accept Fulani colonialism?


Ozodi Osuji

      In International politics and international law, it is an axiom that the nation-state has sovereignty over a designated territory and that it should have the military wherewithal to defend that territory against foreign enemies.

     The nation-state traditionally also has control over internal means of coercion. The state has control of the military (army, navy, air force, guards) and the police. It has the legal right to use that military and police force to maintain its territorial integrity and law and order.

      International law accepts that the state, meaning the national government, has the authority to control the people and lands under its authority. This sounds nice because someone must possess the means of coercion with which the people are made to obey the laws of the land.

     Without the ability to arrest, try and jail folks, many people would not obey the law, so it makes sense for the state to have the police means to punish lawbreakers. All of us benefit from living in a well-ordered society.

     However, the traditional understanding that the central government has control over coercion, in Africa has resulted in whatever ethnic group controls the state means of coercion, using it to terrorize other groups.

    The tribe that controls the national government uses the nation’s military force to intimidate other tribal members into obeying them.

      In Nigeria, a minority tribe, Fulani’s have been in control of the central government since the country gained its independence from Britain in 1960. This means that the Fulani overlords of Nigeria use their control of the means of coercion to oppress the mass of Nigerians. It has the legitimate means of the means violence and uses it to intimidate other groups into allowing it to rule them in perpetuity, and, incidentally, steal most of the country’s money.

      Thus, there is no economic development in Nigeria while the rulers of the land regularly meet and divide the resources of the land among themselves.

     People run for political offices just to steal money from the national treasury.

     Given this unfortunate situation where one ethnic group now uses their control of the state’s means of coercion to intimidate the people into silence and steal from them, may be there has to be a different understanding of who should control the means of coercion in Africa?

     May be each ethnic group should be organized as a state in a multiethnic federation and each has control over the means of coercion within its territory?

    I am thinking aloud because something must be done in a situation where one tribe controls the government and under the auspices of legal control of the state’s means of coercion use the national military and police forces to enslave the people.

    Is it time for each tribe to have its own military and police? Where is it written in stone that the national government should control a country’s means of coercion?

      I am aware that if every state has control over its army and police a situation could occur where the national government is unable to control the state governments. War lords would control the territories under their control. This situation may occur, but leadership would mean the ability to negotiate loyalty from state leaders.

      Something must change in Nigeria to prevent Fulani ruling the country in perpetuity. There are about thirteen million Fulani’s and about forty-five million Igbos. To allow a minority Fulani group to rule Igbos is tantamount to allowing only five million white south Africans ruling forty-five million south African Black people. We all saw that apartheid situation as wrong and fought it.

     Are we now going to say that it is permissible for a few Fulani’s to rule many Africans? And the justification is?

     Are Black folks allowed to colonize other Black folks?

     Read the last statement aloud and see how stupid it sounds.

     Something must change in Nigeria so that no ethnic group dominates other groups. To allow the absurdity that is Nigerian politics to continue is to set the country up for catastrophic collapse.

    I suppose that it can be argued that Europeans designed African countries to collapse unless Africans have a smidgeon of intelligence in their heads and can govern themselves right rather than their present tendency to desire to lord it over their fellow Africans.

Ozodi Osuji

June 8, 2022

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