Northern Nigeria: Alhaji vs Alhaji

November 22, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Ed Kashi



Prince Charles Dickson


Use Religion as a tool to dumb them down…use ethnicity as a tool to fan the embers of hatred and then sit back and watch them burn themselves…The template has remained the same…albeit with slight modifications from time to time…and nothing has changed. If anything, much worse…Folashade Oshun


Let me quickly state that this admonition will step on toes, it will even step on legs, arms, and possibly shoulders; and this is because while not crediting all knowledge and expertise on the topic I am discussing, most of what I am about to share with us are largely true and thus it will hurt.

Whether we address ourselves as Hausa-Fulani or Fulani Hausa, the fact is that Nigeria is currently under our leadership, so we have to own up to some amount of responsibility.

A few days ago, several Nigerians lost their lives in Kano, in clashes that involved the Shiites and Policemen…and the Inspector General of Police according to reports had this to say: “Citizens should not be killed during riots, but he stressed “If those involved in the riot are armed to the teeth, killing police officers, the method deployed by the police should be appreciated.”

“Killing police officers! I don’t think it happens anywhere. We have to appreciate a dangerous situation and be sympathetic with the police that are being killed by some of these miscreants.”?

The IG is from the North, the Shiites are from the North, and while criminality should not be tagged as anything other than the crime, which it is…It is a shame that again alhajis are against alhajis.

This was how Boko Haram started, if the Shiites were armed to the teeth, how did they get armed from their feet to the teeth, who is responsible for ensuring that ordinary citizens are not armed whether in the legs or the teeth?

The term ‘herdsmen’, is like any other term, but add Fulani to it, and one wonders what exactly the topic of discourse is. Benue is north; Plateau is North, Zamfara, and even the President’s home state Katsina is north…however herdsmen of all colorations without refrain have ravaged these same places. Call them Fulani herdsmen, Hausa herdsmen, Cattle rustlers or Alhaji herdsmen, truth is that the umbrella body Miyetti Allah, and the Alhajis on top have done very little to reverse a dangerous building order.

Do I need to remind Alhajis of what has become a slow but steady extinction exercise being carried out in several Southern Kaduna villages, the North killing the North, the figures are alarming, even when the Senate for all its hollowness, made a feeble attempt by requesting for a state of emergency, we hushed up the whole episode.

Villages are raided, women and children are killed in scores and people who claim to be brothers or at least brothers burn homes.

The Arewa Peoples Congress seems in recent times a retirement home for lame leaders, while the Northern Governors Forum are more concerned with running to the US like kids summoned by the headmaster and that is when they are not in Germany learning how to light a match stick.

The North is on fire, a fire set by herself. The issues are there, the whole nation, despite a collective backward motion, seems to be leaving us behind, while schools are springing up in the South. One of our alhajis on top is spending billions to build mosques, like another alhaji gave millions to rebuild burnt churches and mosques and you cannot but ask, when all the villages are empty who would attend these worship centers.


Photo – Sunday Alamba/PA


While I grieved writing this admonition, the administrative secretary of the JNI who was kidnapped on his way to Kaduna, had been released, but that really is the end of story, just like months back when a top ECWA minister was equally held for several weeks in the same Kaduna State.

While we watched the government opera of negotiating with Boko Haram, the same group continues to dissipate some of our best military hands.

On one hand it may be safe to say that we are hated because we are Northerners, or because we are Muslims, but that is false, we are Northerners, we are not Muslims, we are Christians, we are Muslims, we are pagans, atheist, we are not Fulani Hausas, we are Hausas, we are Fulanis, we are Tarokh, Tivs, Idomas, Nupe, just to mention only a tiny number, and importantly we are a people against herself for selfish ends.

Let me end this admonition in this manner by telling us the story of the Demanding Beggar as told by Mufti Taqi Uthmani.

He had mentioned an amazing interaction between himself and his honorable father Mufti Shafee (Rahmatullah Alayh). He says; “It was the habit of my father to always give beggars something. Once I was in the car with him. At a certain junction, we stopped. A beggar came and asked in a demanding voice for some money. My father took out something from his pocket & handed it over to him.

I submitted: “My father, these type of beggars are generally not worthy of being granted money. Should we give them or not?”

The amazing answer, which he stated, is still engraved in the recesses of my heart. He said, “What u have said is correct. However, ponder, if we also have to receive from ALLAH Ta’ala according to our worth, then what will happen to us?”

The North of Nigeria remains at war with herself, just like Nigeria continues to fight herself, like Kano state is upset that it has been removed from the North East Development Commission, the problem is beyond a development commission but the refusal of the leadership of a people to get it right.

As we continue to grapple with an alamajri system, as we refuse to bring functional industrialization, as we continue to major in minor, spend our largesse on mass wedding, the distance between us and reality will continue to widen, and will we get it right?—Only time will tell.










Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.

1 Comment

  1. James mclain - is it poetry November 22, at 13:26

    Dividing Babylon Some 1200 years before Caesar's birth, the Assyrian nation conquered and divided the nation of Babylon under the leadership of Tukulti-Ninurta. They subsequently used the same procedure of conquest and annexation in building an empire, as they subjugated Syria, Palestine, Armenia and Mesopotamia. Their last great conquest was the division of the 12 tribes of Israel, an event lamented throughout the Old Testament. Ironically, the Jews were conquered and divided yet again by Babylon, another occasion for Biblical lament, as their temple was razed and the Jews exiled throughout Babylonia. Dividing Macedonia The republic of Rome, 68 years before Caesar's advent, used his "divide and conquer" strategy on Macedonia in the Battle of Pydna. The aftermath of this battle brought to light a second, ironic division: Insiders in the kingdom had betrayed the Macedonian forces to the Roman commanders. King Perseus' kingdom was ruthlessly fractured, with heavy injunctions laid against the separated states being able to interact; families and households were split forever. In a final purge, remaining Macedonian citizens were slaughtered -- most of them had already perished fighting in the streets. Dividing Gaul, Et Al By the time Julius Caesar, born 100 BC, arrived on the scene, "divide and conquer" was already firmly in place in Roman war strategy. Caesar took it to new heights, however, conquering and dividing the kingdom of Gaul into three equal states and recording the deed in his eight-volume history; chapter eight recaps the near-decade it took him for the conquest. He similarly conquered the Celtic nations of Great Britain, but holding the kingdom proved difficult; it was 40 years after his last battle that the Celts were finally overcome. Dividing Today, In Politics "Divide and conquer" is still key to warring strategies today, but not on battlefields; political commentators note that the division of right and left political systems is splitting American politics as effectively as Caesar's war plans. Some disagree, citing political division as a smokescreen for maintaining economic unrest. The disagreement is ironic; perhaps public opinion itself is being subjected to "Divida et Impera. By Michael Stratford


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