This piece is a compilation of a variety of quotes about Nigeria. They were put together by members of the Oòduà Foundation in the United States. The quotes are glimpses of and into the minds of those who have gone through the haze of a contraption, euphemized as a country called Nigeria.
I find their perspectives interesting and want to bring them to the attention of Nigerians, especially the Yorùbá sons and daughters, for the sake of their future and freedom. There are a few words of wisdom from other sources across the ocean that are included. Please, enjoy them. Happy reading.
“Nigeria is only a geographical expression to which life was given by the diabolical amalgamation of 1914, that amalgamation will EVER remain the most painful injury a British Government inflicted on Southern Nigeria”.
- Obafemi Awolowo in 1956 after the break out of unrest and killings of the Southerners in the North.
“If you want us (the North) to be part of this Nigeria you have in mind, then we want 50% of the membership of the National Assembly”.
- Sir Ahmadu Bello’s wish and demand from the Colonial Secretary in 1952 which was later granted shortly before Nigerian Independence in 1960.
"This New Nation called Nigeria, should be an estate of our great grand father, Uthman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the North as willing tools, and the South, as conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us, and never allow them to have control over their future"
- Sir Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of Northern Region The Parrot of October 12, 1960
“...the handing over of the reign of leadership to the Hausa-Fulani by the British was not a mistake; it was deliberate.The British knows that the Hausa-Fulani will be so pre-occupied with the quest for survival and domination of Nigeria that they would not have the time to pull Nigeria from the dreg of under-development.”
- The Vanguard Newspaper, February 7, 2002
|"I'm set and fully armed, to conquer the Action Group, AG, in the same ruthless manner as my grandfather conquered Alkalawa, a town in Sokoto province, during the last century" -- Sir Ahmadu Bello(Premier , Northern Region and grandson of Uthman Dan Fodio) The Daily Times, May 3, 1961 “Fulani......represent the most brutal when it comes to conquests. One of their earliest of such political adventures was in Futa Toro area of Senegambia, where during the greater Beiram Festival by the natives of that country about 400 years ago, they killed the king having posed as dancers. They seized the land as the leisurely and less political natives watched in bewilderment. In that ancient country, they (the Fulani) established a theocratic state led by Al Maru, a Fulani called Karamoku Ibrahim. They ruled for 300 years but were later driven away by the locals.” |
- Vanguard Newspaper, February 7, 2002 "The conquest to the sea is now in sight. When our god-sent Ahmadu Bello said some years ago that our conquest will reach the sea shores of Nigeria, some idiots in the South were doubting its possibilities. Today have we not reached the sea? Lagos is reached. It remains Port-Harcourt. It must be conquered and taken." - Mallam Bala Garuba. West African Pilot Newspapers, December 30, 1964
“......interesting is the military prowess of the Fulani which though not fantastic, has been mystified through their ability to fuel acrimony among their rivals and their capacity to show great courage in the defence of collective interest rather than the defence of individual wisdom.”
- The Vanguard Newspaper, February 7, 2002
“The Southern people who are swamping into this region daily in such large numbers are really intruders; we don’t want them and they are not welcome here in the North. Since 1914, the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country. But the people are different in every way, including religion, custom, language and aspirations…….. we in the North take it that Nigeria unity is only a British intention for the country they created. IT IS NOT FOR US”.
- Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in a 1952 address to the Northern House of Assembly.
“Anyone who holds the view that the Hausa/Fulani political leaders are not in control of Nigeria’s past, present and if possible, the future may need to re-examine their thinking. ...the Hausa/Fulani leadership is the best organised and the most tactical of all the ruling power blocs in Nigeria, that is the Yoruba and the Igbo and of course, the minorities put together as a disjointed and never united bloc, always being used as puns in the game.”
- Vanguard Newspaper, Thursday February 7, 2002
"The country Nigeria started from being divided. We are never one. It was the process of history that brought us together. The British did not meet us as one country. The country Nigeria started from being divided."
- General Ibrahim Haruna, Chairman Arewa Consultative Forum in Compass Newspaper, November 29, 2009
"Everyone has a gift from God. The Northerners are endowed by God with leadership qualities...."
-Alhaji Maitama Sule, making a case for permanent political domination of Nigeria by the Hausa – Fulani at a speech in Kaduna.
"It is indeed in the interest of the South-Westerners and South-Easterners for some affirmative actions to be taken to redress the situation, else there will be no real peace in this country moving forward.” - Mallam Falalu Bello, MD Unity Bank of Nigeria in a statement that preceded the taking over of solvent Yoruba and Igbo owned banks in Nigeria by the Northern oligarchy.
“Around 1050, they (the Fulani) were chased away by the Tuaregs because they (the Fulani) insisted they wanted to be masters in a land not theirs.”
- Vanguard Newspaper, February 7, 2002
“The Yoruba nation is saddled with the governments it loathes. The Yoruba nation is prevented from following its vision. The Yoruba nation is impeded from the pursuit of its dreams. The Yoruba nation is made to abandon its true character under duress. The Yoruba nation is made to denounce its true self under the threat of economic and political annihilation. The Yoruba nation is being made to abandon its great heritage, its great values and its great history. The Yoruba nation has had its fabric torn to tatters. They are scheming to take over our lands, our towns, our cities and enslave us as well as our future generation. They have destroyed our economic and educational gains achieved via hard work all through our history. All these have been possible because the Yoruba nation is chained to the tragedy called Nigeria.” - Remi Oyeyemi in his article "Why Nigeria Must Break Up" published on April 2, 2007 on www.nigeriavillagesquare.com
“Abiola does not look like a president. Tell (Ibrahim) Babangida to stop it. If you cannot tell him, I will tell him.”
- Ibrahim Dasuki speaking as Sultan of Sokoto in his Palace to the CDS delegation leaders after excusing the Press Corps and others present during an official visit in April 1993.
“We planned for one transition but ended up with two and one is not acceptable. The transition we planned is Military to Civilian and not North to South.”
---- Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida in comments to the staffers of the Center for Democratic Studies (CDS) at Aso Rock in 1993 shortly after the June 12 Elections
“The annulment of June 12 Elections is an act of God.”
-Ibrahim Dasuki’s comments to the Press after the annulment of the June 12 Elections by Ibrahim Babangida
“….. Suffice to say, putting all consideration to test: political, economical as well as social, the basis for unity is not there….”
-Lt. Colonel Yakubu Gowon in his maiden speech on July 29, 1966
“The use of the word, Amalgamation, was not perfunctory. It was advisedly used. What they put together was an AMALGAM not a COMPOUND in chemical parlance. An amalgam is an admixture of different constituents; an alloy, easily resolvable into individual components or entities. On the other hand the constituents of a compound are held together by enduring bonds, which are not readily extricable. Thus, metaphorically, a Compound will stand for a Nation. - --
-Prof. Tam David- West in 2002.
“What kind of trouble have we let ourselves in for, by associating with these southern people. Lord Lugard and his amalgamation is not for us. We shall set up our own and cease to have anything more to do with the southern people”.
- Sir Ahmadu Bello’s complaint in 1956 after the Northerners refused the Motion for Independence.
“Federal Nigeria has never since her independence shown the distinctive mark of a united nation. It has been impossible for her to silence tribal rivalries –to achieve that mixture of ethnic /cultural blend required to forge National Unity”
-Francois Duvalier, then President of Haiti, March 22, 1969.
“When you are politically enslaved, you cannot be economically free. When you are not free economically, you will have constant social crisis. When you have constant social crisis, religion sets in as opium with its pervasive perversion of reason. When this happens, sustaining you in bondage by your internal and external political enemies becomes an easier task. You will then be unable to help yourselves only to be abandoned by the Heaven that is always ready to help you. You can not pray to God to preserve your life and then jump off the cliff as soon as you finish praying. This is because, as we all know, ‘Heaven helps only those who help themselves’.”
- Remi Oyeyemi, Philadelphia, USA January 2011.
“We are different in too many ways”.
--- Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, wondering why all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria have to be lumped together in one “country.”
“We have nothing in common with the rest of the Nigerian peoples except that we are all human beings. Other than that, our aspirations are different. Our cultures are different. Our traditions are different. Our values are different. Our hopes are different. Our dreams are different. Our primordial attachment is very strong. No one likes to be dominated the way the Yoruba is being dominated in Nigeria. No one likes to be in bondage the way we are in Nigeria. No one likes to be enslaved the way we are in Nigeria. No one likes it when others take advantage of him or his/her people. It is time to think of alternative route(s) to our destiny as a great people, as a great race and as a very great Yoruba Nation.”
- Remi Oyeyemi in his article "Why Nigeria Must Break Up" published on April 2, 2007 on www.nigeriavillagesquare.com
“....the strength of an endangered race lies in maintaining a homogenous cultural and political machinery.”
-The Vanguard Newspaper, February 7, 2002
“A nation, to exist has to be ingrained in the psyche of its citizens. There has to be that emotional connection. It has to run as blood in the veins and marrow in the bones of those who subscribe to it. A nation is that consummated indescribable feelings that command the unalloyed love, permeated with buoyant affection and infused with unsolicited loyalty of those who subscribe to it. A nation is that which is patently invisible but translucently obvious and recurrent in the gliding waves of the sea of sub-consciousness, of its people.”
-Remi Oyeyemi in his article "Why Nigeria Must Break Up" published on April 2, 2007 on www.nigeriavillagesquare.com
���Ask ye for the political kingdom, and every other things shall be added unto thee.”
- Osagyefo Kwameh Nkrumah, World Statesman and first Prime Minister of Ghana during the struggle to liberate his country from the oppressive and denigrating clutch of colonialism.
“While M.D. Yusuf, former Inspector General of Police leads the ACF, a lawyer who cannot differentiate between a double-barrel gun and a .38 pistol leads Afenifere. ACF has not less than 20 retired soldiers of Hausa- Fulani extraction and all former Nigerian leaders of note are ACF’s activists. ...... Afenifere has no single retired soldier as a member. Yet any group that undermines the importance of the military in any struggle does so at its own peril.”
-The Vanguard Newspaper, February 7, 2002
“To choose the right moment in which to act is the great art of men…”
- Napoleon Bonaparte
“....the South might remain in bondage unless the political leadership shed their self-serving garbs, imbibe the art of courage and be prepared to die for their beliefs if the need arise.”
- The Vanguard Newspaper of February 7, 2002.
“The Ethnic Nationalities in Nigeria must free themselves from the yoke of internal colonialism cunningly instituted by the Hausa- Fulani oligarchy through the use of local satellites recruited from amongst every ethnic nationality to give it a semblance of NATIONAL CHARACTER with the sole objective of hiding the true powers behind the throne. Such satellites are imposed on the peoples of these ethnic nationalities to constitute part of a larger class of exploiters and oppressors to divert attention from the source of the problem. It is time for us to wake up as individual ethnic nationalities and insist on SELF DETERMINATION of our various DESTINIES.”
- Olu Tunagun, Observer at the Egbe Omo Yoruba Convention, New York, USA September 2011.
“The tears of Biafrans are still brimming. The Biroms’ blood is still bleeding. The Tivs are still tormented. The Niger Deltans are still dehumanised and denigrated. The Ogonis are still agonising. The Mumuyes are still mourning. The Nupes are still being noxiously nagged. The Igalas are still gnashing their teeth. The Katafs’ tears are still flowing. All other minorities in the North referred to as “willing tools” by Ahmadu Bello are still in quandry, wondering how they lost the fundamental rights to self determine their destinies. All the ethnic nationalities in the South of Nigeria, particularly the Yoruba, as promised by Sultan Ahmadu Bello, have been conquered, cowed, confused, and psychologically cluttered. The Yoruba who used to be in the vanguard of principled leadership are themselves in search of visionary leadership. In the face of this unfortunate reality, how sustainable is Nigeria as an entity?
- Remi Oyeyemi, Philadelpia, USA, April 2010
“It is self deceit and fallacious to contend that Nigeria cannot break up. Facts on the ground do not support it. History of Nations do not uphold it. It can and it will if the ethnic nationalities want to be freed from the bondage called NIGERIA. All that it requires is the commitment on each of their parts to the principle of SELF DETERMINATION. Issues like ethnic inter -marriages are not and cannot be impediments to strong desires to be free and be able to determine your own destiny. Ngeria may yet be salvaged but it has to be via RESTRUCTURING. Otherwise, the only definite option will be ‘To your tents O Israel.’ How we get there is going to be determined by time.”
-Samuel Ebire, observer at the Yoruba Convention, New York City, September 2011
“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”
- John F. Kennedy, former President of the United States.
���The right to and the desire for SELF DETERMINATION has nothing to do with the hatred of and or for others. But it has everything to do with SELF LOVE. The first law of Nature is SELF PRESERVATION. If any man feels he is held captive in any ramification, his natural instinct is to set himself free. This is about freedom from social, economic, religious and political captivity that Nigeria represents to the ethnic nationalities within its boundaries. It is not about dislike or hatred of others in any shape or form. It is about the freedom to be able to determine one’s own destiny – preserve one’s heritage, language, culture, customs, values, world view and intergrate with modernity at one’s pace as well as relate with others of your choice across the globe and in your own way.”
-Remi Oyeyemi, Philadelphia, June 2011
“If you see any man evocatively singing the songs of ‘ONE NIGERIA’ as is presently constituted, effusive about its indivisibility, eloquently advocating a tortuous ‘UNITY IN DIVERSITY,’ exuding unguarded PATRIOTISM about it, emotively feeding you on hope while you crave to extricate yourself from grinding poverty, agonizing want, debilitating need, incapacitating insecurity, and inability to SELF DETERMINE your own destiny; movingly asking you to persevere in this unending miasma as he forcefully gives unfounded assurances about the future of Nigeria; check him out very well. He or she is an active participant, a satellite or a sentry of those angling to exploit, dominate and enslave his own and all other ethnic nationalities at all costs and by all means. He is definitely benefitting from the misery, denigration and dehumanization of you and your people. You and your ethnic nationality have the choice of listening to such a person or find a way around him or her to get to your own appointed destiny through self determination.”
-Remi Oyeyemi, Philadelphia, USA July 2010
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
-Benjamin Franklin in his contribution to the American Conference on February 17, 1775
Compiled through the auspices of Oodua Foundation, USA and edited by Remi Oyeyemi
Lies never last, History never dies and the TRUTH is always constant.