As I woke up this morning, Friday, July 12, 2019, I was greeted with the following WhatsApp message on my cellphone:
“I am so sad to see the Fulani herdsmen, the world’s fourth most deadly terrorist organization on Nigerian International Passport. It is a proof that the federal government has been the major sponsor of all the terrorist attacks been meted on Nigerians, on the Eastern, Southern and Middle Belt parts of the country. … I am urging all well-meaning Nigerians to reject the new International Passports, as a protest, and those who have obtained them to start destroying them. … Whatever symbol you have in your International Passport, that symbol represents the values of that country. And now the Nigeria government has the fourth terrorist organization on its International Passport. What does that tell you? Does it mean that Nigeria government promotes the values of Fulani herdsmen militias? … I urge you to boycott applying for International Passport until the government removes this terrorist organization from that Passport.” (The author of this video You-Tube message gave his name as, Simon Ekpa).
The day before, precisely in the early morning of Thursday, July 11, 2019, as I was working on another article entitled, ‘Dangerous Silence of Christian Politicians at a Time Like this in Nigeria’, I got a WhatsApp alert on the same issue, with the following message:
“#RUGA: Zoom in on the attached copy of the 2019 Nigeria International Passport and see what’s imprinted on it: ‘Killer-herdsmen symbol’. …. Then, the sender added, ‘Why not just let us go our separate ways’ … It is getting too much unbearable in Nigeria.”
I shared the clip with few friends in my phone contacts. One of them after few minutes replied with the following comment:
“Yes. We belong to the COW country and that is why we are COWARDS with ranches in our vegetable gardens and ritually sexed cows on our table. RUGA will soon become our currency as our President is a cow rearer.”
These are just few out of many comments of concerned Nigerians, expressing their disappointment on the newly launched Nigerian International Passport by President Muhammed Buhari. They argued that the new International Passport dotted with killer-herdsmen symbol or rather inscription, is part of the unfolding Islamization and Fulanization agenda of Buhari government.
This is against the insinuation of all those who interpret Islamization and Fulanization agenda being levelled against this administration as ‘conspiracy theory.’ With what has been unfolding rapidly nowadays, it is clear to whosoever cares to know that the present administration is pursuing Islamization and Fulanization agenda in Nigeria.
A popular Igbo adage says, ‘Ahu ihe ka ubi, ele oba.’ Which loosely translates, ‘when you see something bigger than your farm, you immediately sell whatever you have in your (yam) barn to get at it.’ I had to abandon the article I was working on before when this issue of killer-herdsmen symbol and inscription on the new Nigerian Passports came up. This is to enable me give full attention in discussing the new burning national issue in our present article.
This is what I have exactly done here. Our present article is about the implications of having killer-herdsmen symbol on the Nigerian International Passports. The article discusses it as a great spite of the present federal government on Non-Muslim Fulani Nigerians, especially, Christians, who constitute little over 50% of the country’s population.
Caveat: In this article as in our previous ones, we are not referring to all Fulanis as ‘killer-herdsmen.’ No. Far from it. In fact, the truly Nigerian Fulanis, those who have been living and pasturing their cows in various parts of the country before the arrival of these ‘killer-herdsmen, are not in support of what these terrorist-herders are doing in the country today. Moreover, we know that not all Nigerian Fulanis share this administration’s Islamization and Fulanization agenda. Not all of them are in support of inserting killer-herdsmen symbol on our International Passports.
We say all this, in order to show that we are not against our Nigerian Fulani ethnic-nationality. Especially, those of them they have been living peacefully, rearing their Cattles in ranches in the past with simple sticks, without molesting or killing anybody. These are different people from today’s marauding killer-herdsmen, who roam around every town and villages of the Middle Belt, Eastern and Southern Nigeria, with their cows, carrying AK47s, killing innocent citizens, destroying their villages, towns and farmlands. These are the killer-herdsmen being discussed here.
Therefore, in this article, we avoid making sweeping-statement of putting all Fulanis in the same box with the Killer-herders, or the Aso Rock Cabal and Miyetti Alla, the Umbrella association of the marauding Fulani herdsmen themselves. Unfortunately, President Buhari is the Grand National Patron of Miyetti Alla, sponsors of the Fulani killer-herdsmen.
Moreover, President Buhari himself had told us that the marauding Fulani killer-herdsmen he wants to establish RUGA settlements in all the 36 States of the federation are not Nigerians. That they are from Libya and other neighboring African countries. One wonders why he wants these foreigners, who are deadly, to relocate to Nigeria, occupy the ancestral lands of people of the Eastern Nigeria, Middle Belt and Southern parts of the country!
Many Nigerians who have fallen victims of these killer-herdsmen in recent time also confirmed that majority of them do not speak English or Hausa or any other Nigerian language. Rather they speak French and Fulani Fulfulde. Therefore, we are dealing with foreigners who have invaded Nigeria from neighboring African countries and beyond, where Fulanis also are found. That is, if we are to take the President and his spokespersons by their words. And also going by the testimony of many victims of these killer-herdsmen in recent times.
What we are dealing with in Nigeria today, is a situation whereby Fulani killer-herdsmen from neighboring African countries, such as Mali, Niger Republic, Ghana, Benin Republic, Cameroun, Sudan and Central African Republic, etc., have invaded the country, and the federal government appeared to be solidly behind them. As Retired General T.Y. Danjuma recently alerted the nation, the Nigerian federal government, military and police, collude and work closely with Miyetti Allah, sponsors of the killer-herdsmen.
This explains the federal government complicity of silence and inaction whenever these terror groups strike and attack innocent Nigerians in the Eastern, Middle Belt and Southern parts of the country. And why none of the killer-herdsmen had been apprehended, prosecuted or imprisoned since this government came to power in 2015?
Again, it still beats the imagination of people of good conscience, why President Buhari prefers these foreigners, terrorists from his Fulani tribesmen, who are from other countries, to his fellow Nigerian citizens. Why the President and his team invited them to invade Nigeria in the first place, allowing them to carry out all those terrorist activities, without apprehension, is a matter of great concern to all people of good conscience. This is difficult to comprehend.
This is why some have concluded that perhaps, the present administration employed the services of the killer-herdsmen for its’ Islamization and Fulanization project. And if need be, for execution of Jihad on the rest of Nigerians. If this is so, may God frustrate all their plans! May this regime not succeed in its evil plan!
Killer-herdsmen Symbol on Nigerian Passport: Implications
Trust, they say, connects government with the governed. Once people sense an insincere government in power, the trust they have on the government collapses. President Buhari had, few days ago, launched and presented to the public, the new International Passports. However, what he and his aides did not tell Nigerians was about the RUGA-killer-herdsmen symbols inscribed in the Visa pages of the newly launched International Passports.
Very disturbing was the secretive way, the administration cleverly inserted the Fulani herdsmen terrorists’ inscription in the new Nigerian International Passports. By inserting the symbol of the world fourth most deadly terrorist organization on the Nigerian International Passport, President Buhari has finally told the world the kind of value his government believes in, and he himself, is promoting in Nigeria. This identity, he wants to confer on Nigerians, carriers of the new International Passport, as ‘citizens of a terrorist country.’
Therefore, the President’s action is a spite on Nigerians, calling all of us fools and weakling. People on whom he can easily impose his own tribesmen religion, ethnic-culture and symbols as he wishes. To allow Fulani killer herdsmen symbol inscription on the new International Passport to stand, would amount to all of us succumbing to Buhari’s Islamization and Fulanization project. It means accepting this spite of his on all of us as Nigerians.
Again, it would mean that the President has finally, succeeded in imposing Fulani RUGA-herdsmen life style, symbol and culture on all of us, as the new identity of every Nigeria carrier of the International Passport. It means, in the final analysis, in the eye of the world, that Fulani herdsmen terrorism is the value Nigeria as a nation state is promoting. Symbols found on any international passport represent the values the particular country promotes and believes in.
This is the crux of the matter! Is terrorism of the killer-herdsmen the value Nigerian state promotes? Certainly no! This is why everybody should reject the new International Passport and demand that the killer-herdsmen symbol on it be removed with immediate effect.
With regard to the killer-herdsmen symbol inscribed in the new International Passport, the most painful part of it all is that this is happening at the heat of the debate – the national outcry against the infamous federal government policy to establish RUGA Fulani settlements in all the 36 States of the federation. Unfortunately, people foolishly thought the President had listened to their outcry against the whole issue, surrounding establishment of Fulani RUGA settlements. That is, when he announced the suspension of RUGA project, and people began demanding that the whole idea of RUGA, be cancelled altogether, for peace to reign in the land.
However, little did we know, that the federal government had even another deceitful bigger plan on the opine, the type that would eventually, make Fulani herdsmen militias’ life style, symbol and culture, the new identity of all Nigerians through the nation’s new International Passport. A deceit that has come to characterize the administration’s relationship with the rest of us, its response to serious national issues of this nature.
Therefore, the new Nigerian International Passport, which is completely, ‘RUGA Fulani killer-herdsmen symbol’ infested, has invariably given all Nigerians a ‘Fulani-Islamic’ and terrorist identity. This is irrespective of your ethnic, religious or cultural identity as a Nigerian. The new International Passport has automatically, made all of us from that British contraption called Nigeria, Muslim terrorists and bearers of ‘Fulani-Islamic’ cultural identity.
Is this not the completion of President Buhari’s administration Islamization and Fulanization project? His final attempt to destroy Nigeria as a secular state, and transform it into a Caliphate Islamic Arabic nation for his tribesmen, Fulani herdsmen from all over African countries and beyond, to come and take over our ancestral lands, after killing our people? What abomination!
If we don’t act fast now, the next plan of action of Buhari administration, perhaps, will be the Fulanization of the Nigerian Currency. Already, all the notes and coins of ‘Naira and Kobo” respectively, of the Nigerian Currency, each, has an Islamic Inscription in Arabic on it. Moreover, sooner, or later, under Buhari government, the official name of Nigeria may be changed. That is, from ‘Federal Republic of Nigeria’, to, perhaps, ‘The Caliphate Islamic Arabic Republic of Nigeria.’ Only time will tell.
The federal government structure of Buhari administration is already 99% Islamized and Fulanized. The fate of Christians and indigenous populations of Nigeria today, under Buhari is so pathetic that there is no Christian or somebody from Non-Fulani indigenous Ethnic-Nationality heading any of the three arms of the federal government: a) executive, b) legislature, and c) judiciary.
In today’s Nigeria, under President Buhari, almost all important posts at the federal level, are headed by the same people, Northern Fulani Muslims. E.g.:
Chief of Army Staff – a Northern Muslim
Chief of Air Force – a Northern Muslim
Chief of Defense Staff – a Northern Muslim
National Security Adviser – a Northern Muslim
Internal affairs Minister – a Northern Muslim
Chief Customs Officer – a Northern Muslim
Head of Nigerian Immigrations – a Northern Muslim
Head of Paramilitary – a Northern Muslim
Education Minister – a Northern Muslim
NNPC – a Northern Muslim
EFCC – a Northern Muslim
DSS – a Northern Muslim
Secretary to the Federal Government – a Northern Muslim
Chief of Staff to the President – a Northern Muslim
Pilgrim Board – a Northern Muslim
Population and Census Commission – a Northern Muslim
Chief Judge of the Federal Court of Appeal – a Northern Muslim
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria – a Northern Muslim.
All the key Federal Parastatals and Companies, etc., are headed by Northern Muslims.
Moreover, out of all the senior officers presently serving in the Nigerian military, air force, navy and police, Christians do not constitute up to 10%. The administration retired many serving senior Christian military officers and police, especially from Eastern Nigeria, once it came to power in 2015. The exercise of premature retirement of Christian officers of the Nigeria military and police have been on regular basis since this administration came to power.
The Nigerian military and police are today Hausa-Fulani dominated, followed by the Yoruba. As things are today, it is as if Christians, especially from Eastern Nigeria (which is predominantly Christian), no longer count in the country’s political leadership and governance structure. Which is another way of saying that Nigeria is already a Muslim nation under President Buhari. This is the naked truth, many are afraid to acknowledge and condemn in the present administration.
Nepotism and lopsided government is the biggest problem with Buhari administration. The President is running Nigeria as if the whole country is a constituency of Fulani clan. This is the trouble with this administration. As someone said, “it is like running a clandestine government of the Fulani by the Fulani and for the Fulani.” In such a government, other ethnic-nationalities that make up a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country such as Nigeria, count as non-entities in the eye of the President and his ruling Cabal at Aso Rock, Abuja.
Nowadays, the Nigerian Military is fast decorating with Islamic and Arabic symbols or inscriptions, the Walls of their Barracks in different parts of the country, especially in the Southeast, which is over 90% Christian. The Police, Paramilitary, Customs, Prisons, Immigrations, and what have you, may follow suit in no distance time. All these things are taking place at a time, when there is no effort on the part of the federal government towards the promotion of indigenous African languages and arts of different ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.
From all indication, all attention of the present administration is on promotion of Fulani welfare, especially, the herdsmen. Few months ago, the federal announced that it had purchased License to operate Radio Fulani Fulfulde. This is in a country of about 250 different language-groups, with Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba as the major indigenous languages spoken in the country. Federal government is sponsoring Radio station to serve just one ethnic-group, Fulani, without regard to the feeling of other language and ethnic groups!
The same federal government recently gave N100 Billions (One Hundred Billion Naira) to Miyetti Allah, sponsors of the Fulani killer-herdsmen. The government gave such a huge amount to this terrorist group, ‘Miyetti Allah’ without any clear explanation. Perhaps, to purchase ammunition for the marauding Fulani killer-herdsmen? Who knows? These are some of the reasons, people believe, the present administration is solidly behind activities of the killer-herdsmen.
Already the federal ministry of education’s New School Curriculum made Arabic-Islamic studies a compulsory subject on its own right for all secondary school students irrespective of one’s religion. The New School Curriculum suppressed the teaching of Christian Religious Knowledge as a subject on its own right. The teaching of Christian Religious Knowledge in the New School Curriculum is approved only in mention, as part of general studies, among many other topics in the new subject to be known as ‘Civic and National Values,’ which in turn has Islam inclusive. Although, some church leaders have kicked against this policy, we are still to see whether government will listen or not.
That means that the newly approved School Curriculum does not even recognize Christianity as a religion, a separate subject on its own right. Only Islam is recognized in the New School Curriculum as a religion that deserves to be taught in Nigerian schools as a separate subject on its own right.
In addition, the New School Curriculum suppressed Latin and made Arabic language, obligatory for admission to study law in Nigerian universities. That means that sooner, or later, Sharia legal system will be imposed all over the country. And any Nigerian child who wants to study law in universities must choose Arabic as a compulsory subject for the WAEC examination. Moreover, since most Nigerians, especially from the Southern States do not know or speak Arabic, it means that very soon, Southern Nigeria will be flooded with Muslim teachers from Arabic countries for the teaching of Arabic language.
In other words, with the ‘RUGA Fulani-herdsmen’ inscription on the Visa pages of the new Nigerian International Passport, and as the new travelling identity of all Nigerians, home and abroad, does anyone still doubts about the Islamization and Fulanization project of this administration?
In addition, with the launching of the new International Passport, infested with killer-herdsmen symbol, the federal government also announced, that it has cancelled all e-passport printing contracts abroad. According to Femi Adesina, special adviser to the President on media and publicity, the printing of the Passports will now be the sole responsibility of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting (NSPMC). The new directive means, all existing contracts concerning Passports and other documents will not be renewed.
The Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, popularly known as The Mint, was established in 1963 and was saddled with the responsibility of printing the nation’s currency and secret documents for ministries, departments and agencies of government, banks and other blue-chip companies.
At inception, the Mint was the largest banknote and security documents specialist printing company in West Africa until its performance dwindled. However, anyone familiar with the inefficiency of Nigerian government parastatals and companies, knows that there is no way, making the Mint the sole responsibility of printing Nigerian International Passports won’t be another clever way to frustrate Nigerians, especially, those in Diasporas.
Nigerian Embassies or Foreign Missions, with the new arrangement, now have natural excuses to give to those seeking new or renewal of their Passports, namely, that there are no Passport booklets yet. The Embassy officials will now be telling Passport applicants that the Embassy is still waiting for new consignment of Passport booklets from Abuja. Thus, the new directive of making the Mint the sole responsibility of printing the International Passports, and cancelling existing contracts outside Nigeria, will only succeed in increasing the suffering of Nigerian citizens home and abroad, applying for new Passports as well as renewal of same.
For this reason, federal government will better revisit this decision and let what has been there to continue, while working towards improving on the services our Embassies render to Nigerian nationals living abroad. The frustration and anger being experienced by Nigerians living abroad each time they go to our Embassies for their Passports, leaves much to be desired.
These are things, not supposed to be heard of in modern time, especially, in Embassies located in foreign lands and developed countries. It presents very poor image of Nigeria. This, I think, should make the Nigerian government to do something urgently to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians in Diasporas, especially, with regard to Embassy services being rendered to them.
If at all, there is need to represent Nigerian Fulani Livestock agriculture on the new International Passport, the government could take clue from the symbol of ‘Cattle Ranches’ – the type of symbol of “Cattle Ranches’ used in the old Nigerian postal stamps. That is a mechanized and modern way of Livestock husbandry, known to the civilized world. Roaming and marauding nomadic herdsmen, is thing of the past. Please, we are not in Stone-Ages in Nigeria.
It is shameful that in the 21st century, when other countries are show-casing symbols of new technological, and scientific innovations taking place in their lands, on their International Passports, what Nigeria has on its own, is nothing but the symbol of killer-herdsmen, carrying AK47s, knives, arrows and other crude weapons. Nigerian state is making the symbol of killer-herdsmen, its’ poster child of the 21st century. What a shame!
Allowing the new International Passport with the symbol of killer-herdsmen on its’ pages to stand, would be accepting the ‘terrorist identity’ it confers on all of us as Nigerians. The killer-herdsmen symbol on the new International Passport confers on all Nigerian holders of the Passport, a ‘terrorist identity.’ It show-cases Nigeria as a promoter of terrorism as a value in the world today.
This is the reason why all Nigerians, not only Christians, but Muslims as well, are invited to reject the new International Passport and demand that the killer-herdsmen symbol inscribed there be removed entirely.
The federal government will do well to rethink and listen to the feeling of the people on this matter. Nigerian government needs to reverse its decision, revert to what was there before, that is, the symbols in the old International Passports.
In fact, it is a bad omen for Nigeria to allow on its International Passports, symbol of the world’s fourth most deadly terrorist organization. It is a bad omen for Nigeria to issue its’ citizens, an International Passport, bearing a symbol, which confers on them a ‘terrorist identity.’
Therefore, in this most important matter, Nigeria must avoid the temptation of telling the world, that hers is a country that promotes terrorism as a value. God forbid! Let us, at least, for the first time, prove to the civilized world that we are a decent people, with positive values to show-case the world.
Francis Anekwe Oborji is a Roman Catholic Priest. He lives in Rome where he is a Professor of missiology (mission theology) in a Pontifical University. He runs a column on The Trent. He can be reached by email HERE.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.