Femi Fani-Kayode, a former aviation minister and a leading opposition figure in Nigeria, granted an explosive interview to a national daily. Below is the full transcript of the interview which took place against the backdrop of the killings by Fulani herdsmen militia.
The People’s Democratic Party chieftain blamed the Muhammadu Buhari-led government for its complacency and indifference in the face of the genocide and warned the Middle Belt and Southern States of accepting the “cattle colony” police of the Buhari regime. He called it a cover for colonisation of Nigeria by the Fulani and says that they are deliberate about “enslaving” the rest of Nigeria.
Read the first part of this interview HERE.
Q: What do you think about their [Fulani] leadership qualities?
There is something very interesting that Napoleon Bonaparte, the greatest Emperor and leader that France ever had, once said about the British cavalry.
I believe it was at the Battle of Waterloo. He said that the British had “the best cavalry in Europe” but that it was “the worst led”.
This describes the Fulani very well. They are a wonderful people who are courageous in battle, fearless and disciplined. They are also deeply loyal to their friends and bitterly ruthless and ferocious with their enemies, never forgetting a favour or a slight.
However sadly their traditional institutions and political leadership encourages and sustains a feudal system which frowns on education for the ordinary people and which keeps them in darkness and bondage. Worst still they have a rigid class system which does not serve them well.
That is why the great Hausa leader from Kano, Mallam Aminu Kano, once said that until all the Fulani Emirs were removed the ordinary people and masses of the north would remain in servitude and would not be truly free. That is what the Fulani leaders have done to their own people.
They would rather have them herding cows or walking the streets as almajiris and begging for alms and food than lead them into a place of enlightenment, liberty and prosperity and I think that is a failure of leadership on their part.
If you cannot lead your own people right and you insist on keeping them in bondage and ignorance how can you then possibly lay claim to leading others?
Outside of that I must add this and it is important: When it comes to furthering and protecting a collective TRIBAL interest or championing the cause and interest of their own ethnic group there is no tribe that is better at that than the Fulani. And this applies to both their rich and their poor.
They are focused, courageous, patient, disciplined, tough, resilient, ruthless and able to take pain without betraying any emotion all because they think far ahead and they know what they wish to achieve for the greater good of their tribe and kinsmen.
However when it comes to furthering or protecting the NATIONAL interest in my view they are the weakest and the worst simply because, generally speaking, they see themselves as overlords and masters of everyone else and this breeds hatred and resentment.
Most of them actually believe that Nigeria was created for their benefit alone and that the country and its people is essentially their foot stool. Labdo’s words actually betrays the thoughts of most of them though they would never say it publicly.
They conquer not just by force of arms but by guile, deceit and assimilation. History proves that, particularly the way they conquered Gobir and Ilorin. And of course Buhari’s actions and style of governance over the last three years, which is basically Fulani and Muslims first in everything and to hell with everyone else, proves that.
I am very reluctant to judge a whole race of people based on the failings of their present and past leaders but generally speaking I am not impressed by their leadership abilities because it is always more about promoting a tribal and ethnic interest rather than a national interest.
They always pretend otherwise but that is the reality. Actions speak louder than words. I know the history of our country well and sadly that has always been their trait and style whenever the Fulani are in power.
To them everything is about conquest and domination. And it is not just ethnic but also religious and that makes it even more dangerous. Worse of all is the fact that they never allow their most civilised and liberal or their brightest and best to get to the top.
They fight and attempt to destroy people like Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, Sambo Dasuki, Kabiru Turaki, Sule Lamido, Ahmed Makarfi, Abubakar Atiku, Shehu Sani, Rabiu Kwankwaso, Nuhu Ribadu, Mohammed Dankwabo, Aminu Tambuwal and others for being too liberal and for accommodating other tribes and faiths whilst they encourage and promote those with blood on their hands, that kill Shiite Muslims and Christians and that attempt to justify and rationalise the barbaric genocide and unconscionable ethnic cleansing of the Fulani terrorists and herdsmen. I will not mention names but you know who I mean.
They prefer the ultra-conservative feudalists, the ethnic supremacists, the religious bigots, the diehard hegemonists and the radical hardliners amongst them to lead. They do not like the liberals and the reformers within their own ranks and they view them with as much disgust and contempt as they do southerners.
In terms of former presidents of Fulani extraction the one I can say that I have the most respect and affection for was Shehu Shagari who, in my view, is a good man.
He was a gentle and moderate leader that did not let power go to his head, that was fair to all ethnic nationalities and that had no ethnic agenda.
Another leader amongst them who was part Fulani and who I had the greatest respect and affection for was the former Head of the dreaded and defunct Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO), Alhaji Umaru Shinkafi, the late Mararan Sokoto, who brought me into politics in 1990 and who taught me all I needed to know about the secret and grey world of intelligence-gathering and spying.
He was a man of unimpeachable integrity and a strong and dependable leader. He was fair-minded: a profoundly good man with no iota of racism or tribalism in his body, spirit or soul.
Sadly, when it comes to good quality leaders, he and people like Shagari were the exceptions rather than the rule.
There are many Fulanis around today that would also make good leaders but those that have the mindset of total domination of other ethnic groups hardly ever allow them to emerge because they know that they will serve a national interest rather than a narrow tribal or religious one. This is my view about Fulani leadership.
Q: Do you agree with his assertion that Fulani people were benevolent by not forcing people to convert to Islam and so on during the invasion that brought them to Nigeria and led to the conquering of some empires in the North?
He is talking absolute rubbish. He is indulging in deceit and falsehood of the worst kind and he is attempting to revise history.
The fact of the matter is that the conquest of parts of the north by the Fulani and the establishment of the Calphate empire was justified and propelled by the desire and supposed religious obligation to wipe out all other faiths, including Christianity, and spread Islam by the force of arms.
Consequently this was effected by a series of brutal and genocidal jihads in which hundreds of thousands of people if not millions were slaughtered in cold blood.
More Christians and traditional religion practitioners were slaughtered during the Jihads and during the establishment and spreading of the Caliphate than at any other time in our history.
Usman Dan Fodio offered either the sword or the Koran and he was utterly ruthless about it.
To say that Christians were allowed to practice their faith freely at that time or to stick to their religion is a lie from the pit of hell.
There was no benevolence extended towards the Christians in the Caliphate during the jihads or thereafter, only death, mass murder and slaughter for all those that were labelled as Christians, infidels and unbelievers.
The Christian faith continued to spread throughout the Caliphate and the north in spite of the butchery and persecution meted out to them by the Emirs and because of the hard work of the Church, the Christian missionaries and the immense courage and resilience of the northern Christian minority groups.
It did not spread because Usman Dan Fodio or his successors did them any favours or showed them kindness.
Q: Are you denying the fact that Fulani people indeed have a rich heritage or history dating back to many years?
Certainly not many years. I have told you that the history of the Caliphate dates back to just over 200 years.
That is very young when you compare it to others like the Benin Empire, the Oyo Empire, the Habe Empire, the Nupe Kingdom, the Borno Empire, the Kalabari Empire, the Ashanti Empire in Ghana, the Kingdom of Dahomy and the other numerous kingdoms that were dotted all over the geographical space which later became Nigeria after the British arrived.
The Fulani do have a rich heritage and a noble history but all that came after the establishment of the Caliphate and their invasion of northern Nigeria.
Before the establishment of the Caliphate their history was very dark and there was simply nothing to it. And without Nigeria they would have remained nothing.
Until the time they came to our shores with their swords and horses they were just easy-going, nomadic and migrant cattle herdsmen from Futa Jalon who wandered all over west Africa breeding horses, rearing cattle and trading primarily with the Malians, Berbers, Arabs, and Tuaregs of north Africa.
They married and cross-bred with these trading partners for many years and that is how the genetic make-up and the bloodline of the Fulani was established. They are actually a hybrid race from mixed racial stock.
They are not black Africans in the true sense of the word and this explains their strange physical features. Just look at their frame, their hair, their noses and their complexion and you know they are different. Their temprement and culture is also very different to ours and it is most un-African.
I am not talking about the Hausa but about the Fulani. They are different from us. They are a cross between the black Africans of Futa Jalon in modern day Guinea and the light-skinned Arabs, Berbers, Malians and Taurags of North Africa.
There is little evidence that they had any history of an orderly, strong, well-structured, sophisticated and well-administered community like any of those that existed within the borders of what was to later become Nigeria before the establishment of the Caliphate.
And before they came to Nigeria they resided primarily between Mali, Guinea and Senegal.
Q: You said in your essay that Fulani people were originally not part of us, does that mean you don’t agree with Prof. Labdo that Fulani people should not be called settlers in Nigeria because other tribes had also settled where they are at a point in their history?
Fulani people are best described as settlers because they came here relatively recently compared to everyone else. The rest of us have been here for 500 to 1000 years and some even more.
Secondly, they are the only tribe in Nigeria that wander into other peoples ancestral and tribal lands, reside their for some time and then after some time claim that land as their own.
This always leads to trouble as they try to forcefully impose their will, religion, culture and ways and dominate the indigenous community that unwittingly took them in as guests years before.
When these conflicts start it always leads to violence and that is why the Fulani are not only regarded as setters but also there is always a huge amount of resentment channeled towards them.
Labdi cannot get away with attempting to label the indigenous communities that have lived on their tribal land for up to 1,000 years as settlers. This is intellectually dishonest, disingenuous, and unfair.
For many generations the indigenous people have lived on that land and their right to it cannot be altered by those that have just arrived and that they originally welcomed with open and loving arms.
Q: When you said ‘originally not part of us’ in your essay, who are the people that you meant by ‘us’? Which tribes should be considered as original owners of Nigeria?
Every single tribe in the country apart from the Fulani can be considered as the original owners and I said that only in the context that the Fulani only arrived in our shores 220 years ago.
I did not say they are not Nigerians. What I said was that they joined us later than others and unlike the rest of us they were not originally from here.
Q: It appears that there is Fulani-phobia in Nigeria now. What do you think is responsible for that? Is it the attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen on host communities, villages and farms or what?
It is much deeper than that and it is very real. You need to look at what has been happening to this country over the last 100 years since the amalgamation and over the last 57 years since independence to understand it.
Things are about to explode and Buhari, who sees himself as the third Mahdi and the reincarnation of Usman Dan Fodio and Sir Ahmadu Bello all rolled into one, has made matters worse.
I do not hate the Fulani and as a matter of fact one eight of the blood that runs through my veins is Fulani blood because my maternal great-grandmother was a pure-blooded Fulani woman from Sokoto. However the bitter truth is that their leaders and their people have not been fair to the rest of Nigeria.
We want a nation in which everyone is equal and not one of masters and slaves. We are not interested in a nation where some are more equal than others.
They have other ideas and we cannot allow that. We would rather go to war and break the country than have that. My Yoruba forefathers were never slaves and I will not see my people or my lineage and offspring enslaved. Whilst I live I shall resist those that seek to enslave me, my children and my lineage with everything I have got.
Even if I am killed or die in the struggle at least they will know and history will record that I lived for something and that I died fighting for the cause of freedom and liberty of my people and their future.
That is what real men and real leaders are meant to do and I am happy to do it. As long as there’s life and breath in me I will never stop. It is my calling.
This inordinate desire and long term Fulani aspiration of conquering the whole of Nigeria and dipping the Koran in the Atlantic ocean cannot work.
It will be resisted. And those that wish to do it must desist from trying before the whole thing explodes in their faces.
I say again it will be resisted. And the more they try to impose it the more resistance they will meet.
I predicted conflict a while back and all that is going on today does not surprise me because I said it would happen if they were given power. Go and read my essays over the last 30 years and especially over the last 5 years.
They have obviously reached a decisive stage in a plan long prepared. A plan that has economic and social facets as much as political.
They are following a script long prepared. Large bodies of armed men cannot be roaming the country freely without the intervention of security agencies if there is no high level complicity.
If you ask me why they are doing it the answer is simple and clear: it is what the Nazis called the quest for “Lebensraum” (meaning “living space”).
It is an economic programme of inheriting as much land with as few people as possible left on them. The desertification is driving them southward. Increasing population, dwindling resources. It was bound to happen with our planlessness.
Even Rwanda genocide had an economic aspect to it. Rwanda and Burundi are one of the most densely populated places in Africa.
Lack of planning over the decades is the cause. Apart from Awolowo, Houphouet-Boigny, Bourguiba,, Nkrumah and Nyerere, African leaders, including Mandela, had neither strategic vision nor a clear plan for resolving the challenges facing us.
Awolowo suggested incorporating secession clause into our constitution at the 1954 Constitutional Conference. Sadly, it was opposed primarily by the north and it failed.
Had it been entrenched in our constitution we may have avoided the first civil war and the second one which I am praying will never come.
Q: Some people have been saying that it appears that Fulani people want to colonise the whole of Nigeria. Where do you think that is coming from? Why would people say that?
They are saying it because it is true and because it is real and both Labdo and Buhari have proved that.
Every single one of the 19 security, military and intelligence agencies and formations in the country today except for the position of the Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Defence Staff is headed by a northern Muslim.
It has never happened before in our history. Again every leading key officer in NNPC today is a northern Muslim. I could go on and on.
Let me share something with you that a friend of mine who is a governor of one of the northern states said which really worried me. I won’t mention his name but I will tell you what he said. He said,
“Boko Haram has been rebranded into herdsmen but Nigerians are unaware.The Fulani Caliphate in collaboration with Chad, Niger, and Mali have orchestrated a deadly plan on Nigerians and their land. The Federal Government, the Presidency and the Fulani elders, including the Emir, are all part of it. The cattle colony is a pretext. Chad, Niger, and Mali are presently on a full-scale invasion of Nigerian territory. Nigerians must rise against it. The Federal Government now works with Boko Haram to kill citizens. I am an APC member but I must tell you this government has failed the people”.
His words worried me because I am a man of peace and I abhor violence. Yet every day now we see nothing but violence as our people are being slaughtered. Just last Tuesday, the commander of SARS in Saki, Oyo state was cut to pieces with matchets by Fulani terrorists. Where will it stop?
No-one is safe yet our President says and does nothing except to say we must not retaliate, we must not defend ourselves and we must live peacefully with our killers and accomodate them. What does that tell you?
And he is a Fulani like them and he is also the life patron of Miyetti Allah their umbrella organisation. How do you expect us to feel? Of course, we feel like an endangered species.
We are being sent like lambs to the slaughter and we are told that we can’t defend ourselves even though the government refuses to defend or protect us.
Worse still our Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who is clearly out of his depth and totally overwhelmed by all these challenges, says we should pray for the Fulani terrorists as they are killing our loved ones whilst at the same time he says we must crush the Igbos that belong to Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB who we have much in common with us, who have done us no harm, who are being persecuted and butchered and who never killed our people, raped our women, stolen our land or burnt our homes and farms. What strange madness is this?
And this man calls himself a Christian and a Pastor? Has he no conscience? Does he fear Buhari more than he fears God? It really is a shame. It is a tragedy.
And the truth is that every word that my Governor friend said above is true. He has spoken courageously and at great risk to his life and that of his family. I commend him for that.
Q: How did it all come to this? How did iy get so bad? How come we did not see it coming?
Most Nigerians did not see it coming but I and a few others did.
WE WARNED the Nigerian people that it would come to this. I saw all this coming in 2015 and when I spoke out about it I became a marked man. The system resolved to discredit and destroy me for speaking the truth.
As a consequence of all I said and all my warnings, I received nothing but insults, politically-motivated criminal charge, 3 months of incarceration, ruthless persecution of not just myself but also my family members including my beautiful young wife Precious.
We have been put through hell and are still going through hell but we have never complained or relented in our quest for fairness, truth, good governance and justice and in our attempt to stand against the evil tide and calamity that has befallen and overwhelmed our people and our nation.
I was even assaulted by a young and depraved northern Muslim jihadist security agent for “praying and reading my bible for too long” when I was in one of my spells in detention.
On another occasion I was locked up in the terrorist wing of a prison for a couple of weeks where they keep only Boko Haram convicts and suspects.
Can you imagine that? Can you believe it? I thank God for the professionalism, humanity, and kindness of the prison warders otherwise it could have been worse.
Someone was hoping that the Boko Haram inmates would either maim me or take my life but God went ahead of me and they showed me nothing but respect and kindness.
I was put through all this not because I had done anything wrong but just to humiliate, disgrace, punish and intimidate me for simply telling the truth and speaking out against the evil that has befallen our nation. That is how wicked these people are.
Meanwhile, innocent people are being killed everyday. And everything that I had warned about is unfolding before our very eyes and everyone is saying “Gosh FFK was right all along”.
Well I wish I had been wrong but one thing is clear: What lies ahead is far worse than anything that Nigeria has ever witnessed or seen before in its history.
If anyone thinks that the tiger that already has the goat between its teeth will give it up easily then they still don’t understand the nature of the beast that we are dealing with.
You must get this clear: it is not just about Buhari but about who and what he stands for and represents and they make no bones about it.
It is about conquest, rulership, power-show and the total and complete domination of every sphere of our life and existence by a small, hateful and slippery little ethnic group which considers itself superior to all others, which is racist in all its ways and which believes that it was born, destined and ordained by God to control and laud it over the rest of the 180 million people that make up the numerous ethnic nationalities of Nigeria.
You better not just pray but you must also get your PVC and your spiritual weapons of war out if you want to save Nigeria.
You had also better get ready to defend yourselves if and when you are attacked because the government has proved that it has NO interest in protecting you but rather in assisting your killers and oppressors to kill and oppress you.
It is not just about winning an election in 2019 but about saving your nation, your land, your faith, your family, your children and future generations of your lineage and loved ones from being humiliated, decimated, blighted, enslaved, pillaged, ethnically-cleansed, exterminated and completely wiped out by the most vicious, bloodthirsty, cunning, relentless and self-serving group of people that the African continent has ever seen or known.
It is about defending and protecting yourselves from a tiny race of ethnic aliens and itinerant vagrants who are hell-bent on subjugating our nation, milking dry its vast mineral and human resources and controlling them for their own benefit.
Take it or leave it, that is what is at stake. And if we fail to stop it now, a little down the line when the curtain comes down, all hell breaks loose and it finally happens, you will come back to me and once again say, “Gosh, if only we had listened! FFK was right all along!”
Q: The professor and National Chairman of Fulbe Development Association, Alhaji Ahmad Bello, have been quoted as saying that Fulani can never be defeated. What do you think about such claims?
It is historically untrue. The Yoruba defeated the Fulani in Osogbo and sent them back to the north. Though they got Ilorin as a consequence of the rebellion of the then Aare Ona Kakaanfo, Afonja, who colluded with the Fulani leader Alimi and fought against his commander and traditional ruler, the Alafin of Oyo, the Yoruba have never been conquered by the Fulani or anyone else and neither will they ever be.
It is interesting to note that Afonja himself was later betrayed and killed by the Fulani Alimi who took the Ilorin throne for himself and got the backing of the Sultan of Sokoto. That is how Ilorin was lost to the Yoruba and became a Fulani Emirate till today.
Outside of that the Fulani have never been able to take one inch of Yoruba soil or defeat us in battle.
The truth is that we are slow to anger but irresistible in battle. They say that it is not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of fight in the dog.
Nobody wants to fight and neither do we want a war but it would be a grave error and grievous miscalculation on their part for the Fulani to “wake our sleeping sword lightly” (to use Shakespeare’s King Henry V’s words).
Wisdom dictates that we must all be restrained, sue for peace and try to talk our differences out like civilised people rather than exchange blows and indulge in violence.
However if full scale war is ever forced upon the Yoruba, the people of the south or indeed the people of the Middle Belt by any group of misguided or deluded adventurers who wish to conquer us all we will not run or shy away from it. It will be viewed and regarded as the final battle for our independence from our internal colonial masters.
They say hubris always comes before nemesis. Let this Fulani man and all those that think like him and make these threats keep talking and bragging that his people can never be defeated.
If, God forbid, armed conflict ever comes we shall put his boast to the test and I trust that God shall defend His own.
As the Leader of the Yoruba, Chief Obafemi Awolowo once said, “kaka ka dobale fun gambari ka kuku roju ku” (meaning, “we would rather die than bow and submit to the Fulani”).
Those words are as true today as they were when Awolowo spoke them. END