I promised two months ago to write series of articles on why the first incumbent president of Nigeria, Mr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan lost the last 2015 presidential election and how that monumental event will affect the future of Nigeria. The defeat of the former president and the successful installation of President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, 2015 will bring a lot of changes to Nigeria, never witnessed in the annals of Nigeria. Many political analysts were still apprehensive of a major event that would kibosh the colorful inauguration and as insiders know, Nigeria is a land of anything goes. In fact, the sabre rattling of some aides of former president Jonathan that over their dead bodies would President Buhari govern Nigeria were enough teases for bloodbath and uncertainty in the Nigerian landscape. Shortly after President Goodluck Jonathan conceded victory to Muhmmadu Buhari in April 2015, there were subterranean forces by the of Gen Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida to ensure that the inauguration of President Buhari didn’t take place, including contemplating killing Buhari.
The characters are still much around and we are calling them out to deny our story. The reasons why the Babangida Camp didn’t want President Buhari govern Nigeria are not far- fetched. Any one conversant and on the know with Nigeria’s contemporary politics will tell you that former Nigeria military dictator, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babngida has not been able to sleep well since President Buhari won the 2015 Presidential Election. No one was taken aback by his presence at the inauguration on Friday May 29, 2015. Nigerians should know all the backhand deals he made with Asiwaju Bola Tinunu to scuttle the inauguration but Asiwaju stood his ground and delivered Nigeria from the PDP’s 16 years furnace. Buhari has been sworn in and is now the fourth executive president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is now a fait accompli, in spite of all the manfiki moves and intrigues of Babangida and his cliques on the Buhari Presidency.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo knew the forces of power play beyond the established media report when he remarked during the electioneering campaign that President Buhari was an intelligent army officer, a former military head of state and a man that could not be compared with the late Chief MKO Abiola over the June 12, 1993 political saga in our nation. As I disclosed in this column last month, attempts were made by the fifth columnists in the outgone Jonathan Administration to take out then President-elect Buhari at all costs so Nigerians would not witness the May 29, 2015 Inauguration Day, but Buhari listened to our prophetic warning and escaped the booby traps laid for him. He was also wise enough to travel out of the country to the UK ten days to his inauguration.
No one should even be surprised that General Ibrahim Babangida showed up very early with his ubiquitous sidekick, Gen Abdulsalam Abubakar at the Eagle Square on Friday May 29, 2015 for the epochal event of President Buhari’s inauguration. No one also is yet to know whether or not Gen. Ibrahim Babangida will soon go into exile or commit suicide under a Buhari Presidency, but whatever he does, his comeuppance is on the way and several events and actions of President Buhari will presciently prove these assertions. Nigeria will never be the same again under President Buhari in the next four years.
President Buhari said in his inauguration speech that the past is gone, and no one should be afraid of persecution. We disagree with him, because the Word of God says in Exodus 20: 5: “…for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me…” Similarly, the True Lord God Almighty promised in Isaiah 13: 11: “I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless,” and assured us in Proverbs 11: 12: “Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished.” Yes, the past is past, but those who perpetrated the evil and wickedness of the past must not be allowed to get away with evil. Gen Ibrahim Babangida must not be allowed to get away with the monumental evil he perpetrated in Nigeria. But before we go into the specifics and politics of the Buhari Administration and the fate of Gen Ibrahim Badamasi Bangida and his group; it is apposite to go into condensed history of Nigeria.
A nation is like an individual, perpetually in motion. Our Lord Jesus Christ looked at the City of Jerusalem in His Day and addressed her metaphorically thus in Matthew 23: 37-38: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate…” Again, the Lord looked at two other cities; Chorazon and Bethsaida and proclaimed a curse on the twin cities in Luke 10: 13-14 thus: “"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you.…” Why are nations treated as humans in the spirit realm as our Lord Jesus Christ did many times in the Word of Life? Simple, cities, towns, villages and nations are governed by principalities that in turn use their human agents to foist satanic agendas in the affairs of human beings.
Take for instance my city of Chicago here, there are about six to eight high-ranking principalities that control people and leaders in the Windy City and when their agendas are carried out, they manifest in the spate of gangland activities and perennial violence among our youth here in Chicago. The same for all other towns and cities around the world; principalities are fallen angelic beings that supported Satan in heaven during their rebellion (Revelation 12: 7-9: “Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth and his angels with him”). Those fallen angels are what human beings referred to as gods and goddesses.
They are divided into six cadres namely: Satan, Beelzebub and as Ephesians 6: 12 pointed out: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” We have detailed the modus operandi of these fiendish forces in my co-authored book: “The Kingdom of Satan Exposed: Activities of Principalities and Demons in Our World.” “Unlike demons that inhabit the physical bodies of human beings, principalities are so malevolently wicked and fiendishly strong that they can’t inhabit the physical human flesh, rather occupy topoi from where they control human beings to do their biddings. They are fiercely territorial and are worshipped by human beings in the forms of festivals and entertainment under the veneer of culture, custom and traditions as Apostle Peter declared in 1 Peter 1: 8-9: “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.…” (KJV).
Consequently, in Nigeria the principalities that have at various times held the nation prostrate and chained were hamstrung as evinced by the eventual results of the last presidential elections and the Lord God Almighty will pass over the Nigeria Land between 2015 and 2019 and judge the principalities as He did in Egypt of Old as He disclosed in Exodus 12: 12: “"On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.” You may ask: But what has all these ancient stories got to do with Nigeria and the Buhari Administration? Unless your spiritual eyes are open, you may not be able to grasp the Divine Judgment that has begun in Nigeria since 2014 when the True Lord God Almighty showed us President Goodluck Jonathan would not return as president and why the Good Lord had made the move to prepare retired Gen. Muhammadu Buahri to return to power and execute Divine Judgment.
This was the first reason President Jonathan lost his re-election and he knew, because as we revealed then, God Almighty Himself showed President Goodluck Jonathan his defeat in the 2015 presidential election. A friend called me from Dallas, TX two years ago and asked; “Dr, Moshood, what is God doing to all the atrocities committed by Gen Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, the death of Dele Giwa, the Gloria Okon drug episode, the June 12, 1993 palaver, the murky events surrounding the deaths of Sani Abacha and Chief MKO Abiola and all the rest? Will the characters that perpetrated these and many atrocities go unpunished as it appears they are getting powerful daily?” I told the Nigerian friend he should wait a while to see what the Lord God will do very soon in accordance with His Words in Psalm 37: 1-2 & 7: “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away…. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” How will the Lord God Almighty carry out His Divine Judgment on the principalities of Nigeria and their human agents beginning this June 2015? We will not understand such heavenly arrangement unless we dial the historic Snooze back to the beginning of Nigeria and take a capsulized account of epochal events that defined the present and will shape the immediate future of the Nigerian nation.
THE BIRTH OF A NATION: 1900-1960
NIGERIA WAS at the ferment of political and nationalistic agitations immediately the British imperialists invaded the geographical space known as present-day Nigeria. Nigerian historians and political humorists commonly assert that, prior to 1960 when the British colonial authorities ceded the political stage for the local politicians to govern themselves; Nigeria was sitting on three legs. The western region was administered by the Action Group (AG), political party led by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo; the eastern region was controlled by the National Citizens of Nigerians and the Cameroons (NCNC), led by the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, while the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) was led by Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the late Sardauna of Sokoto. Awolowo ruled western region with administrative capital in Ibadan, Azikiwe held court in the coal city of Enugu, while Bello ruled in the northern region’s town of Kaduna. The seat of the federal government was in commercial Lagos. Between 1887 and 1900, the British colonial authorities brought all the disparate towns, villages, cities and regions in the areas known as Nigeria together under British colonial rule and divided the large swath of land in the north and south into what it referred to as the northern and southern protectorates of Nigeria. In 1903, the British colonial authorities conquered the Hausa-Fulani Caliphate based in Sokoto, which had in turn conquered much of what eventually became northern Nigeria during the Jihad waged by the legendary Othman Dan Fodio. Three years later, Lagos was annexed to become part of the southern protectorate of Nigeria just as Sokoto became part of the northern protectorate of Nigeria.
Following the outbreak of WWI, the British colonial authorities were concerned about the costs of the global war and dwindling budgetary allocations to run and administer their foreign colonies. This necessitated the merging of the colony of Lagos and the southern and northern protectorates together as Nigeria. The 1914 annexation and unification of both the north and south were later referred to as the amalgamated territories of Nigeria. Conscious of the impact of WWI on the psyches of other peoples of the world toward foreign domination and imperialism, especially colonial territories that fought in the global war, the colonial government in Nigeria began to chart ways to disengage from Africa so the natives could govern themselves. This was to materialize in the next three decades after several outspoken Nigerians; especially the early educated elites who studied in the United Kingdom, the Americas and other parts of the world led the nationalist struggles for political independence. In the next three decades, the British colonial authorities took Nigeria through five constitutional arrangements and tried successfully to weld all the centrifugal and centripetal territories of Nigeria into a single whole.
In 1922, the Clifford Constitution was born, which allowed Nigerians to stand for elections as legislative members for Lagos Council. The signals that the British colonial government gave that it was preparing Nigerians for self-government coupled with the push on the path of the early Nigerian nationalists led to the formation of the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) in 1936. For administrative convenience and to ensure the autonomy of the constituents’ parts of Nigeria, Governor Bernard Henry Bourdillion (1935-1943), who took over from Mr. Donald Charles Cameron (1931-1935) in the fall of 1935 divided southern Nigeria into two separate entities known as western and eastern regions in 1939. Seizing on the political ferment in the country, some southern politicians coalesced round the great Nigerian orator, journalist, philosopher and the bête noire of the British colonial administration, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe to float a political party known as the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons in 1944. Notable foundation members of the NCNC were: Mr. Herbert Macaulay who co-founded the NCNC-Nigeria’s first political party with Mr. Azikiwe- Messrs.’
Theophilus Olawale Shobowale Benson, Adeniran Ogunsanya, Patrick Nwakama Ottih of southern Cameroons, Harold Dappa-Biriye, Kenekueyero B. Omateseye, and Mrs. Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, the first treasurer and women leader of the party among several notable leaders. In 1946, a new colonial governor-general of Nigeria was sent from Britain, and a new constitution known as Richard’s Constitution named after Mr. Arthur Richards (1943-1947) was passed into law. Seizing the initiative of their southern counterparts that had formed a political party five years earlier, politicians in the northern region of Nigeria met in Kaduna and formed the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) in 1949. The main movers behind the formation of NPC, which began, first as a cultural organization before it morphed into a full-fledged political party were Messrs.’ Ahmadu Bello and Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa. Other notable foundation members of the NPC were Mr. Maitama Sule, Mr. Shehu Shagari, who was to become Nigeria’s first executive president (1979-1983), and others. Gov. Richard left Nigeria and was replaced by Mr. John Stuart McPherson in 1947. The latter was instrumental in setting the stage for regional elections in Nigeria a year later.
Three year later, a political magus in the western region, who had just returned from the United Kingdom as a lawyer, just 41 years old, rallied all traditional rulers, the intelligentsia and elites in the western region of Nigeria to form a political party known as the Action Group (AG). The young attorney was the legendary Obafemi Jeremiah Oyeniyi Awolowo, and the launching of the political party took place in April 1951. The AG was initially a cultural association called; “Egbe Omo Oduduwa.” Other foundation members of the AG were Messrs.’ Samuel Ladoke Akintola, Adekunle Ajasin, Shonibare, S.O. Gbadamoshi and others. As if the British colonial authorities had clearly read the political mood of Nigerians aftermath of WWII, in 1951, Mr. Macpherson passed a new constitution into law and elections were held in the three regions of the north, west, and east. The 1951 regional elections were held in the three regions with the British regional governors as chief electoral officers. In the northern region, Mr. Bryan was the governor and twenty out of the ninety seats allocated to the northern region were to come from Kano alone. The NPC controlled most of the seats in the northern house of assembly and among some of the notable members were; Messrs.’ Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello, Ibrahim Imam of Yerwa representing the Bornu Youth Movement, Muhammadu Mustapha Made Gyan, A.A. Agogede, Iya Abubakar, Malam Mukhtar Bello, Mr. Shehu Shagari, Mr. Ado Bayero, Bello Malabu, Malam Bashir Umaru, Malam Ibrahim Mwa, Alhaji Usman Liman, Malam Ibrahim Musa Cashash, and Malam Mohammed Dangote,
The 1951 regional elections in the northern region and the other two western and eastern regions of Nigeria laid the foundations for the constitutional conferences that were held in London between July 30 and August 22, 1953 on how a future independent Nigeria would be governed. Gov. McPherson left Nigeria in 1955 and Mr. James Robertson took over and prepared Nigeria for independence in 1960. At the epoch-making event attended by equal representatives of the three regional governments of NPC-northern Nigeria, AG-western Nigeria and NCNC-eastern Nigeria, the AG and NCNC jointly canvassed for a federal government. On the other hand, the NPC listed a-10-point political agenda which should govern the future federal arrangement in an independent Nigeria namely: higher education, defense, power (electricity), insurance, foreign trade, water control, and central court of justice, industrial development, external relations, and the issue of southern Cameroons. The delegates from the southern Cameroons told the conference they wanted to opt out of future Nigeria but were told to submit the request for a referendum when they returned home. The referendum eventually passed and southern Cameroons joined with the northern Cameroons to become today’s independent nation of Cameroon on October 1, 1961 while the French-controlled northern Cameroon had earlier gained independence on January 1, 1960. Following the successful conclusion of the London Constitutional Conference, a new constitution known as the Lyttelton Constitution came into effect in 1954, which retained the political restructure of the country as it was fashioned out under the Macpherson Constitution three years earlier: 184 members in the federal legislature in Lagos with a speaker and three ex-officio members; 92 members from the northern house of assembly, eastern and western regional houses of assembly had 42 members each, and 6 for southern Cameroon and 2 for Lagos. At the regional houses of assembly, 90, 80 and 84 legislators were in Kaduna, Ibadan and Enugu in the north, west and east respectively.
In 1957, the British colonial authorities were preparing to depart Nigeria for Britain, preparatory to Nigeria’s attainment of political independence in 1960. There were flurry of conferences in Britain by the various stake-holders toward working out modalities among the various ethnic and tribal groupings that make up modern Nigeria on the future independent nation. The British Government sent Mr. Westray Gawain Bell (1909-1995) to serve as the governor of the northern region that year and was told to stay in this position till Nigeria attained political independence, but after independence, Mr. Bell stayed till 1962 and Malam Kashim Ibrahim (1910-1990) took over as the governor of the northern region. Meanwhile, the indomitable and legendary Sir Ahmadu Bello (1910-1966), who had won the April 1954 regional elections became premier and his administration had the following cabinet ministers: Mr. Ali Monguno, minister of agriculture; Malam Mua’zu Lamido, minister of animal and forest resources; Mr. Hedley H. Marshall, minister of justice and attorney-general and Malam Abdullahi Danburan Jada, minister of northern Cameroon affairs. The northern part of Cameroon was initially slated to be a part of independent Nigeria but when a referendum was conducted in that part of Nigeria, the Nigerians inhabiting that geographical area chose to be a part of independent Cameroon rather than be with Nigeria in 1960. Other ministers in the administration of Sir Ahmadu Bello were: Mr. Isa Kaita, the Madawaki of Katsina as minister of education; Mr. Abba M. Habib, minister of trade and industry, the minister of works was Mr. George U. Ohikere; the minister of finance was Mr. Aliyu, the Makama Bida; Mr. Abdullahi Maikano Dutse was minister of local government affairs, while Mr. Ahman, the Galadima of Pategi was minister of health; and Malam Shehu Usman, the Galadima of Maska was minister of internal affairs; Mr. Michael Audu Buba, the Waziri of Shendam and Mr. Ibrahim Musa Gashash as minister of land and survey.
In order to bring governance to the grassroots level and involve all important stake-holders in the Nigerian People’s Congress (NPC) administration of northern Nigeria before the attainment of political independence in 1960, first class traditional rulers were constituted into a ministerial council but were assigned no portfolios: Sultan Abubakar III of Sokoto; Emir Muhammadu Sanusi of Kano, Emir Usman Nagogo of Katsina; Emir Sulu Gambari of Ilorin; Atta Ali Obaje of Igala, and the chief of Wukari, Mr. Atoshi Agbamanu. Six ministers of state were equally appointed namely: Mr. Abutu of Obekpa; Malam Muhammadu Kabir, the Ciroma of Katagum; Mr. Samuel Aliyu Ajayi; Malam Umaru Abba Kaam, the Wali of Muri; Mr. D.A. Ogbadu and Mr. Aliyu, the Turaki of Zazzau. In the October-November 1956 regional elections which produced the Ahmadu Bello Administration, 134 members were elected into the northern house of assembly and the region’s minister of justice and attorney-general, Mr. Hedley. H. Marshal became an un-elected ex-officio member.
Another London Constitutional Conference was again held between May 23 and Jun3 31, 1957, as regional governments were being constituted in the north west and east. The two conferences were charged with the task of deliberating on the political structure of a future independent Nigeria. Among the delegates that attended the conferences were: the Action Group delegates (western region); Oba Adesoji Aderemi, the Oni of Ife; Messrs’ Bode Thomas.; Samuel. L. Akintola, Arthur Prest, and Obafemi Awolowo, who was then western regional minister of local government. The following people were chosen as advisers to the western region delegates: Messrs’ Rotimi Williams; S. O. Shonibare, Samuel. O. Awokoya, the western region minister of education; Anthony Enahoro, Justice Latifu J. Dosumu.; Mrs. Tanimowo Ogunlesi; G. C. Nonyelu, Alfred O. Rewane; Mallam Mudi Sipikin; Oba Timothy Olateru- Olagbegi II, the Olowo of Owo, who was western regional minister without portfolio and the Obi of Idumuje Ugboko.
The National Council for Nigeria and the Cameroons (eastern region) delegates were led by Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe comprising Messrs Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe, E. O. Eyo, Esq., Mallam Bello Ijumu and Kolawole Balogun. The following were chosen as advisers to the NCNC delegates: Messrs Mbonu Ojike, T. N. P. Birabi, V. A. Nwankwo.; N. N. Mbile, L. P. Ojukwu; E. G. Gundu, and Dennis C. Osadebe.; Mrs Margaret Ekpo; Mr H. Omo Osagie; Mr Yamu Numa, and Mr F. S. Edah. The Northern People's Congress northern Nigeria) had the smallest number of delegates led by Alhaji Ahmadu Belo who was the northern region minister of local government and community development. Other members were; Messrs Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the central minister of works and transport; Aliyu Makaman Bida, the northern region minister of education and social welfare; and Emir Usuman Nagogo, of Katsina, who was the central minister without portfolio. The following people served as advisers to the NPC delegates: Messrs Abba Habib, Ajiyan Bama; Pastor David Lot, from Benue-Plateau; Mallam Ibrahim Imam from Bornu; Mallam Saladu Alamanu, Mr. G. U. Ohikere, Benjamin Akiga, Mohammadu Ribadu, the central minister of natural resources, mines and power; Mallam Dauda Kwoi; Mr Shehu Ahmadu, Mallam Sarkin Shanu and Mallam Nuhu Bamalle.
The ancient city of Kano had always acted independently from the northern region political mood, because the people of Kano traditionally had always registered their political uniqueness by voting for the Northern Elements Progressive Union (Northern Nigeria, Kano) or NEPU. At the constitutional conference in London, they demanded and got a separate delegation led by one man; Mallam Aminu Kano. He came with his only adviser: Mallam Abubakar Zukogi. The northern Cameroon was still a part of Nigeria and was equally represented by one delegate and one adviser: Mr E. M. L. Endeley, the central minister of labour and Rev. J. C. Kangsen, respectively. The south-eastern people or those referred to as the Niger Delta, had always claimed and still claim that they are a distinct people from their Ibo eastern Nigerians and canvassed for a separate delegation. They got their request at the second London Conference and two delegate leaders under the aegis of a minority party; the National Independence Party (NIP). These were: Messrs Eyo Ita., who was eastern regional minister of natural resources and A. C. Nwapa, who was the central minister of commerce and industries. Three delegate advisers: Messrs Okoi Arikpo, the central minister of lands, survey, local development and communications. Jaja A. Wachuku, and E. U. Udoma, completed the pack.
The deliberations of the second independence conference in London led to the 1959 general elections, which eventually formed the basis on which the federal and regional governments ruled Nigeria at independence on October 1, 1960.
HOW THE NAME “NIGERIA” WAS SUGGESTED BY MR LUGARD’S MISTRESS AND LATER WIFE, FLORA LOUIS SHAW IN 1897
It is historically significant to trace the three generations of British explorers and army generals that shaped the history of Kano, northern Nigeria where Aliko was born and the history of modern Nigeria. The Scottish explorer Mr. Mungo Park was the first to embark on a voyage to West Africa in his desire to discover the legendary River Niger which serves much of Nigeria and West Africa today. He later died at Bussa near Lokoja in what later became central Nigeria and present-day capital of Kogi State. His colleague, Mr. Hugh Clapperton took over and extended his discovery to much of the whole of northern region, reaching Kaduna, Zaria, Katsina, Sokoto and Kano. In June 1826, he managed to reach ancient Kano but contracted a strange disease but was not deterred until he reached Sokoto where he was detained by Sultan Bello and later died in April 1827. The Lander Brothers; Richard and John, took over from the two deceased Scottish explorers. Mr. Richard was the first to arrive in Badagry near Lagos and later was accompanied by his younger brother, Mr. John Lander. They navigated the routes established by both Messrs Park and Clapperton but on getting to present-day Kogi State, they were attacked by African tribesmen. Mr. Richard died from arrow wounds shot at them by villagers before he and his brother reached New Bussa to see the tomb of Mr. Mungo Park. Mr. John Lander died on his return to England from a disease he had contracted in Africa. Historians said the disease that killed him was probably malaria fever.
The pioneering efforts of these British explorers almost two centuries earlier helped the invasion of the present-day Nigeria when Lagos Colony was annexed by the British in 1806 and the Sokoto Caliphate was similarly conquered in 1903 by General Kemball, who established his garrison in Sokoto and gave Kano semi-autonomy outside Sokoto. He was later to hand over to his fellow military commander, General Frederick Dealtry Lugard who assumed office as the governor-general of both the northern and southern protectorates in 1912. It was Lugard, after consultation with his mistress, and later his wife, Ms Flora Shaw (1852-1929), a foreign correspondent/colonial editor for the Times of London newspaper on a vacation at Borgu where Lugard was stationed that gave the name “Nigeria” to the two territories of north and south. Ms Shaw based the new name on the Niger River or Niger-Area and was later shortened to “Nigeria.” In 1914 as WWI broke out, Lugard quickly united both the northern and southern parts of Nigeria, including southern Cameroons into one nation. Reproduced below was the report/article that Ms. Shaw sent to the Times of London making a case for the name; “Nigeria,” as the appropriate name to call the northern and southern protectorates of the British in pre-1914.
“… Nearly two months have elapsed since the dispatch of additional British officers and war-like stores to the territories of the Royal Niger Company prepared the public mind for probable military operations in those districts’ Sir George Goldie, the governor of the company, left England on December 4, and reached Lokoja, the military capital of the Company, on New Year's Day. It is to be expected that his arrival will be shortly followed by a decision as to any active policy which it may be thought desirable to pursue, and in countries where the fighting season is short action follows swift upon decision. Therefore, if fighting is to take place, it is probably that news of it will be not long delayed. A force of from 800 to 1.000 trained Hausas well provided with military equipment and well led by British officers constitutes an instrument for war which, though small in comparison with the vast crowds in arms commanded by local chiefs of the native Niger States, is still sufficiently important to arouse considerable interest in its proceedings. Various rumors have been current as to the object against which the force is to be directed. The fact that its military base will be at Lokoja combines with, what is known from other sources to give assurance that the operations will be confined wholly to the internal affairs of the territories over which the charter of the Company extends. Border difficulties may be dismissed from consideration. While we wait for definite information it may, therefore, be worthwhile to consider briefly what is known about the general situation in the Royal Niger Company's territories.
In the first place, as the title "Royal Niger Company's Territories" is not only inconvenient to use but to some extent also misleading, it may, be permissible to coin a shorter title for the operation of pagan and Mahomedan States which have been brought by the exertions of the Royal Niger Company within the confines of a British Protectorate and thus need for, the first time in their history to be described as an entity by some general name. To speak of them as the Central Sudan, which is the title accorded by some geographers and travelers, has the disadvantage of ignoring political frontier-lines, while the word ‘Sudan’ is too apt to connect itself in the public mind with the French Hinterland of Algeria, or the vexed questions of the Nile basin. The name "Nigeria" applying to no other portion of Africa may, without offence to any neighbors, be accepted as co-extensive with the territories over which the Royal Niger Company has extended British influence, and may serve to differentiate them equally from the British colonies of Lagos and the Niger Protectorate on the coast and from the French territories of the Upper Niger.
“Nigeria,” thus understood, covers, as is well known, a thickly peopled area of about half-a million square miles, extending inland from the sea to Lake Chad and the northern limits of the empire of Soot, bounded on the east by the German frontier and on the west by a line drawn; southwards from Say to the French frontier of Dlahomey.
The frontier lines have for 10 years been the subject of discussion with our European neighbours on either side. The northern limit was definitely settled by the Anglo-French treaty of 1891; the eastern boundary was determined by the Anglo-German treaty of 1893; and certain vexed questions on the western frontier were for practical purposes brought to a close last year, when the Royal Niger Company completed in the neighbourhood of Bajibo the erection of forts which it judged necessary for the legitimate maintenance of its authority. Within these limits “Nigeria” contains many widely differing characteristics of climate, country, and inhabitants. Its history is ancient and is not wanting in dramatic elements of interest and romance. The country has been vaguely thought of as a country of swamps and forests, inhabited by pagan natives of low type who, as was lately demonstrated after the outbreak at Brass, had not finally risen above the cannibal stage. This is true of the immediate neighbourhood of the coast, where the Niger runs to the sea through mangrove swamps and a population demoralized by the use of bad European spirits display their barbarous vices to European observation. Nothing could be more misleading than such an impression of the general character of the distinct hill question. As the country slopes inland it rises in successive waves. The first drops to a valley three or four hundred miles inland through which run in opposite directions the two great rivers of the district. The Benue, lowing west by south from the German frontier, and the Middle Niger, flowing east by south from the French Sudan, meet at Lokoja, and the double flood, turning at that point at a right angle, forms the waterway of the Lower Niger to the coast. This is the entrance passage of the Company's territories.
Everything desiring to enter “Nigeria” from the sea must pass this way, and it is therefore not surprising that this is the most generally known portion of the territory. The most important territories of “Nigeria” lie beyond the boundary of the two rivers. North of the valley, traced in an irregular semi-circle from east to north-west by the basins through which they run, the ground rises again in another and more considerable wave, reaching a height of 2,000 feet and maintaining a plateau level of from 1,700 feet to 2,000 feet which does not appear seriously to decline until the northern boundaries of Sokoto are reached. On the further side of two great rivers the ground rises so rapidly as to overhang the flood in some places with hills of which the summits are forest-crowned, while in other parts beautiful views are offered of open and diversified landscape. At this time of the year portions of the riverbanks are covered with masses of flowering creepers, which hang to the water's edge. Scarlet, yellow, pink, and mauve tints prevail. Rare lilies and orchids also abound, and the European travellers who have seen it to rank with the picturesque beauties of the world have held the scenery on some points of the river.
The country of the northern plateau appears to be generally open, and in its natural condition to consist in many parts, like a large portion of the bush country of Australia, of roughgrass lightly timbered. It is well watered, abounds in natural products, and offers evident facilities for cultivation. In the northern parts of the territory connecting the towns of Kuku, Kano, Wurnu, Sokoto, Landu, & co, where, by proximity to the principal seats of native authority, the maximum amount of order and security may perhaps be looked for, the country has been described by a recent traveller as resembling, wherever it is. Not subject to devastation by marauders, a continuous garden. The methods of agriculture are simple, but the fertility of the soil appears to supply the place of more scientific treatment. Hedges of castor oil plant, which grows luxuriantly, divide the cultivated, land. The principal crops raised are Guinea corn, Indian corn, wheat, and other cereals, cassava, rice, onions, cotton, indigo, peas, beans, sweet potatoes, ground nuts, and kitchen vegetables, and the Hausa native of the interior attributes the great superiority in strength which he possesses over the native of the coast to the superior food on which ho lives. The pagan coast native lives chiefly on cassava and bananas, to which gin may perhaps now unfortunately be added. The Hausa of the interior lives chiefly on Guinea corn, and uses neither tea, coffee, nor habitually any stimulant, except the kola nut, which he chews, and which, notwithstanding its disagreeable taste to Europeans, is immensely valued as a native luxury.
The Royal Niger Company, unable to prevent the consumption and importation of alcoholic liquor in the territories of the coast, took the precaution in the early days of their administration of absolutely prohibiting the introduction of European alcohol in any form into the territorys of the interior. Throughout the central region economic trees abound. Conspicuous amongst thorn are India-rubber, shea-butter, tamarinds, date and other palms, besides bread fruit, kuka, and many of which the nameless are less familiar to English ears. The banana and the papaw are among the native fruits, and wherever the pomegranate flourishes the climate is said to be suitable for white habitation. Tobacco grows wild through-the whole region. Towards its eastern boundaries the plateau of “Nigeria” rises into mountainous. Regions, where amid rocky fastnesses and fertile valleys the aboriginal pagan inhabitants of the country defend their liberties as they can from the advancing slave-raider. The mountainous districts alternate with forestland still the home of the elephant, and with regions of extraordinary fertility where cultivated crops flourish. Wild fruits land flowers are plentiful, and extensive tracts are described as being covered with rich sweet herbage full of violets in various parts of “Nigeria;” iron is found and has been worked for centuries. Silver is known to exist in considerable quantities, and the waters of the Benue are reputed by the natives to wash down gold. The whole plateau is diversified by occasional mountain ridges. Towards the west, where it fattens into a region of extensive cotton fields, it stretches across the valley of the Niger to the comparatively little known but interesting kingdom of which the name is variously given as Barbar, Boussa, and Borgu. Near Blajibo, on the boundary of this State, the flood of the Niger is broken by rapids which impede the course of navigation from the sea and have been the scene of the death of more than one distinguished traveller. Borgu has successfully withstood the advance of Mahomedan power, and is one of the few large States which is wholly independent of Sokoto. It is usually counted among the pagan States, but the inhabitants repudiate the description of themselves as pagans and claim to be of the religion of "Issa, the Jew who died for men." A sort of spurious Christianity, largely mixed with pagan superstitions and rites, is held by some travellers to be the religion of the people of Borgu, who are also believed to have some racial affinity with the Berbers of Northern Africa. The populations of “Nigeria” are, like the country which they inhabit, widely diversified. Tribes distinguished by most interesting and remarkable peculiarities occur. The body of the population may, however, fairly be classed in three main divisions. These are pagans, Hausas, and Foulahs. The Pagans are the indigenous inhabitants now driven by successive tides of foreign conquest to take refuge in the mountains or in the countries of the Lower Niger and the coast, where they have sought the protection of European Powers. They are still very numerous, and they represent the lowest civilization of the country.
The Hausas, who are generally regarded as forming the most interesting of the races which inhabit the country, are believed to number as many as 15 millions. At the beginning of this century they were conquered by the Mahomedan Foulahs, who for about two hundred years had been gradually establishing their domination in the Sudan. The Hausas at that time were pagans, but their civilization claims to be quite as old as that of the Foulahs themselves, and they also came originally into “Nigeria” from the north, travelling, according to their own traditions, across Africa from Asia. In “Nigeria” they either drove out or enslaved the original pagan inhabitants and founded several States known geographically as Hausa land. Their principal town of Kano, which is now the commercial capital of Sokoto, has flourished as a centre of government, commerce, and art for nearly 1,000 years. It was founded at about the period when William the Conqueror was engaged in building the Tower of London. Its marketplace is said to be the largest in the world. Kano-made cloth is sought by the Arab populations throughout the north of Africa, and Kano workers in leather and iron have maintained the fame of their district for centuries. The pure-bred Hausa is perfectly black, but is, of course, of a far higher type than the ordinary negro, and differs from him especially in the fact that he is naturally active, persistent, and industrious. He is essentially a man of peace as the Foulah is a man of war. The Hausa of today is Mahomedan, having in the matter of religion yielded to the superior enthusiasm of his conquerors. The Hausa language has, however, conquered the language of the Foulah, and is the Court language of Sokoto.
The Foulah is a Mahomedan Arab, relatively light coloured, of the well-known type. The Foulah domination over various Hausa States in Nigeria was established in the first instance rather by military than by religious superiority, and gradually rulers of the Foulah race began to take the Place of the Hausa Kings. But in the year 1802, a religious war was proclaimed against the Hausa populations, and resulted in the establishment of a certain Sheikh Othman as Sultan of Sokoto, then, as now, the dominant State. Within a few years all the petty Kings of the Hausa States were replaced by Foulah Emirs, and the Foulah race was definitely established in the position which it holds today as the dominating race of the entire district. On the death of Othman one of his sons inherited the sovereignty of Sokoto, and one the sovereignty of Gandu. Gandu has, however, always recognized in some degree the supremacy of Sokoto, and Sokoto has remained the supreme native power of Nigeria. All other Hausa States within the borders of this district pay tribute to it, the so-called pagan State of Borga forming a notable exception. The principal fact in regard to the payment of this tribute with which the administration of the Royal Niger Company is likely to be concerned is that it is largely paid in slaves. The Emir of Adamawa, whose territory lies towards the eastern boundary of the Company, is said to contribute no less a number than 10,000 annually. Nupe, Muri, Bautshi, Zaria, and other States contribute in their degree. Slaves are raided for not only among the pagan populations of the mountains, but by every Foulah King amongst his own Hausa subjects.
Slaves are the currency of the country for all large sums as well as for Imperial tribute, and whenever a petty ruler is pressed for money he raids on whom he dares. So numerous is the Hausa population, and so general is the practice of slave-raiding amongst the Mahomedan Foulahs, that it has been calculated that of the whole population of the world one in every 10 is a Hausa-speaking slave. To proclaim a general war against the practice of slave-raiding over an immense-district through- out which slaves constitute so important a source of wealth would inevitably rouse all the Foulah States to arms, and would be a task far beyond the strength of the government of the Royal Niger Company. The Company has endeavoured to pursue its work in the territories under its influence with the friendly co-operation of the constituted authorities. No Foulah administration has more constantly oppressed its subject populations in this respect than that of Nupe, whose territory stretches along the northern bank of the Middle Niger from the neighbourhood of Lokoja to the frontier of the western province of Borgu, and whose Emir claims to extend his rights southward over the pagan States upon the other bank. Nupe was one of the latest of the Hausa States to fall under the Foulah yoke. It was conquered about 1818, and the Hausa populations within its borders, who were among the most civilized of the country, have more than once since then risen against their oppressors. On the latest occasion of such a revolt, when the Hausa populations of the kingdom of Nupe rose in 1882 against the then reigning emir, the help of the Company was given to the Mahomedan domination. But help has always been given with conditions.
It has been the practice of the Company to endeavour to protect certain peaceful pagan populations. To the south of the two rivers who have appealed to them for assistance. In a personal interview between the Governor of the Company and the late Emir of Nupe, held at Bida so lately as January of 1892, it was clearly laid down that Nupe should not raid for slaves across either the Niger or the Benue in countries which are under British protection. The Emir of Nupe was definitely warned that slave-raiding south of the river would constitute a casus beli with the Company. The warning has been disregarded, not only by the Emir Maloke, who died last year, but by his successor, the present Emir Abu Bokhari. A force of Nupe soldiers numbering about 1,000 cavalry and 10,000 infantry have been for some months concentrated to the south of the river in the neighbourhood of Kabba waiting only for the season to permit of the beginning of slave-raiding operations.
The latest news which has been received from the territories is to the effect that this force has been further strengthened by the presence of the Emir himself with the remainder of the Nape army, bringing the whole to an approximate strength of 2,000 cavalry and 18,000 to 20,000 infantry. If the Company should judge it necessary in vindication of their authority to enter into armed conflict with this body of troops, the operation will be more considerable than any which has yet been attempted by them, and, whether success or failures attend their arms, the consequences cannot fail to be proportionately far-reaching.” (Culled un-edited from the Times of London, January 8, 1897)
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK: THE FIRST REPUBLIC: 1960-1966
Readers’ Letters and Comments
Dear Dr Moshood Fayemiwo, man of God, I want to thank you very much for the seven days prayer you had with me, the advice and also the encouragement. May the Good Lord God continue to bless you sir and your entire family, the anointing of the Almighty God on your life will not dry up, and your star will continue to shine in Jesus name amen. My life has changed especially in the area of exercising faith. I am beginning to realize the purpose of God for my life and also enjoying the peace of God .God is using you to change many things in my life. I appreciate you sir. Once again God bless. I hope to hear from you soonest. ---Mrs. Elizabeth O. London, UK.
Good evening, Dr Fayemiwo. It’s evening here sir! How are you sir? May the Living God prosper the work he has committed to you sir. Please, i need your assistance. I am a Nigerian living in South Africa, I got your various write ups on the Internet when I was searching for Christian write up for Christian growth and development. Here is my candid and ultimate request: with humble heart please sir i want you to start discipling me (I want your spiritual tutorage so as to grow in Christianity. This depends on how the Holy Ghost has laid it in your heart; this may be by email, just as you are led. Please kindly help me. Thanks in anticipation of your response. Yours sincerely, thanks. ----Mr. Aderemi A.T., Johannesburg, South Africa.
Praise the Lord Sir! All your Prophecies have just being fulfilled in Nigeria. Happy New Government Sir! I remember the prophecy you gave that President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo are joined at the heap. Their reign is like that of Pharaoh and Joseph in the land of Egypt. We trust God to use them to accomplish His purpose for Nigeria at this end time, in the Matchless Name of Jesus Christ, Amen. We are still expecting your promised series of article on Nigeria on why former President Goodluck Jonathan lost the 2015 Presidential Election, Shalom Sir. Yours in Christ Jesus, our Lord. ---Mrs. Musa Christiana Abuja, Nigeria
*Dr Moshood Ademola Fayemiwo is CEO, Alternative Lifestyle Communication, DBA. He lives in Chicago, Illinois in the United States. His new book titled: “How The Lord Jesus Christ Recycled My Life While I Was Wasting Away And Gave Me Hope For Eternity?” will be available from his Florida-based publishers in the fall of 2015. Visit his website at www.allternativecommunication.net Email him at [email protected]