A little known Fulani group that calls itself the Fulani Nationality Movement, (Funam) may have stoked ethnic nationalism in Nigeria with its claims of Fulani ownership of the country and its giving notice of planned conquest of the entire territory.
FUNAM, which made a similar provocative statement in 2018, following the Benue massacre by herdsmen, returned to its familiar territory in a statement that further sharpened the ethnic cleavages in Nigeria.
While the statement was a reaction to recent killings in Plateau state by armed Fulani herdsmen, its claim of the existence of a Fulani Strike Force that coordinated what it called a retaliatory attack against Birom people in Barkin Ladi, in Plateau state may ignite an arms race by Nigeria’s various ethnic groups.
President of the group Badu Salisu Ahmadu was unapologetic about the killings, in which 14 people died. He said the killings were justifiable as the Fulani had been attacked before the counter-attack. And he laid an operating philosophy of the ethnic nationality: “For the avoidance of doubt, our heritage is that ANY ATTACK ON A SINGLE FULANI IS AN ATTACK ON ALL. ANY OF SUCH ATTACKS MUST BE COUNTERED WITH TRIPLE MEASURE”
Ahmadu claimed that Plateau-Benue and the rest of Nigeria is an indigenous territory of the FULANI people. But his claim is a pure distortion of history as the Fulani migrated into Nigeria around the 18th century and set off the Jihad in the 19th century.
“We are the first to settle in Plateau-Benue axis thousands of years ago. We shall take and possess every inch of this land; A conscious attempt to rewrite history and distort, manipulate or destroy our past will be resisted with all the might at our disposal”.
Read FUNAM’s threats:
That there is a clear agenda to divide Nigeria and exterminate the FULANI people. We are long aware of this plot. We call on FULANI all over Africa to prepare for this inevitable war and set our people on an offensive path rather than being weaklings that choose a defensive strategy in warfare.
We have said it over and over, that Nigeria is the only inheritance we have in Africa and anywhere in the world. This land belongs to us, from Sokoto to the banks of the Atlantic Ocean. This was the destiny bestowed on Uthman Dan Fodio which would have been fulfilled since 1816 if not for the obstruction of this great assignment by the British. It is no longer time to play the ostrish(Sic). Our men are waiting. We are eager to fight. We are boiling with the zeal to actualize our dream; enough of double dealing and ambivalence by FULANI political leaders who unfortunately think the FULANI can only take back what belongs to us through appeasement and elections destined to reflect cultural values antithetical to the preachings of Uthman Dan Fodio.
We warn that nothing will be able to save those raising their voices against us and Allah. Nothing will be left behind, from the East, West and Middle Belt except those who accept the creation of Allah and the leadership place of Fulani in fulfilling this destiny. Since this irresponsible Western notion of democracy was imposed, the Fulani have been shortchanged and maligned. The Middle-Belt, the West and the East should be prepared. We are already here.
Let the Birom and the ethnic minority invaders in the entire Middle Belt leave our territory or be prepared to accept our ways of live. It is time for them to savour their wounds. It is just the beginning. Many more will come and nothing can stop us.
Insha Allah, we shall take this battle across the sea, on the land, in the air, on the mountains, in every territory currently occupied by the Kafirs. This is our position. This is our destiny. For those who think they can stop or continue to conspire against us, we wish them good luck.