Nigerian Centenary of Slavery: A Reflection of British Genocide against Muslims
By Dauda Nalado
Introduction: From English definition, a nation is defined as a group of people with common language, culture and history. By this, Nigeria is a nation because it shares a common history of being colonized by the British.
A nation can exist in a state and a lot of nations can also form a state as well. Also a nation can exist without a state because they are not synonyms. The coming of the colonialists has led to the creation of many states which has also destroyed nations as well. Such states were described as nations by the colonialists. There are states that belonged to the same nation of which its people are still proud of. There might be likelihood that some of such states have lost parts of their nations to other states as a result of colonialism.
Nigeria differs from those states because it is not made up of one nation as the others are but a collection of past nations. For example it is not the Islamic Empire established by Shehu Othman Fodio that existed that is now called Nigeria; it is only some part of it that is in Nigeria today. It is also not the past Borno Empire that is referred to as Nigeria but part of it. Had it been it were the past empires that make up Nigeria then we have a cause to take pride in it as our nation. It is the absence of these historic nations that has brought about a Nigeria that is now ‘celebrating’ centenary of British amalgamation.
Currently, the errand boys of Western arrogance created an opportunity to further loot our treasury under the guise of this celebration. One important thing that calls for our sober reflection is the brutal nature of the process of conquest of the Islamic state as established by Shehu Danfodio before the amalgamation. The issue has been deliberately kept away from the attention of people. More so is the final ruthless blow by the British invaders to the migrating caliph Attahiru Amadu at Mbormi near Bajoga in Funakaye Local Government in present Gombe State.
This article aims to view the centenary concept through the reflection of British conquest of the Islamic Empire. This perspective, God willing, would bring to limelight the pre-determined mindset and hence attempt to realign our thoughts and actions for better tomorrow and salvation from our Creator.
Brief historical Perspective
Shehu Uthman bn Fodiye was a divinely appointed revolutionary scholar-reformer (Mujaddid) not a traditional King or ruler. He revived the pure teaching, learning and actions of Muslims in this region. He successfully established an Islamic state. This State covered wide span (major parts of present Nigeria, Chad, Cameoun and Niger).He amalgamated North and Southwest Nigeria (Hausa bakwai , banza bakwai plus Yoruba land and some parts of present Benin Republic).He did not establish the state based on tribe or ethnicity as British want us to believe and deliberately coined it as Fulani empire. Neither did he establish it as a means to usurp worldly material wealth but rather, he wanted to deliver his individual and societal duty as a vicegerent of Allah on the Earth.
There are many factors that led to the decline of this caliphate. This write up is not a history discourse; however it is good to mention two important ones: The instruction (wasiyya) of Shehu that Abdullahi bn Fodio, his brother should succeed him was relegated. Secondly, the Emirs reverted back to traditions of the defunct Hausa Kingdoms, hence fragmentation and feeling of independence from the central caliphate ensured. All these notwithstanding, it was the Islamic system that governed people. The Europeans came during these critical moments of the Caliphate.
Let us recall that Africa, a beautiful and strategically placed continent in the globe, is endowed with vast human and other natural resources. Unfortunately, it has been subjected to various forms of tyranny: slave trade, colonization and neo-colonization. After Europe’s breakthrough in technological inventions, the slaves were no more useful. They were replaced by machines through the industrial revolution. The Europeans then used the Technology to destroy. Thus they employ superior fire power to scramble for Africa and other oppressed peoples in the late 19th and early 20th century AD.
After the Berlin Conference, the area now referred to as Nigeria was allocated to Britain. Its surrounding countries, Niger, Chad, and Benin and Cameroun are all francophone. Nigeria and indeed other colonies were created solely to serve the interest of the masters: To rob natural resources and dump finished products. With these, they amass wealth, built their home countries and established high living standards. The slave nations on the other hand were and are still left in deprivation, hunger, confusion, chaos, disease and poverty.
One of the major challenges against European invasion in the West African sub region was the caliphate. British espionage activities, courtesy of Landers, Clapperton, Stanley, Mungopark etc, identified weaknesses and strengths of the Caliphate. Britain established the Royal Niger Coy and later went straight into their mission of military terrorist conquest of the already fragile Units of the Caliphate. With the background spy information, they were able to use insiders, garnered support and obtained vital information at their advantage.
The British employed their deadly arsenals and the units in the Caliphate fell one after the other. Thus the colonialists took the feeling of independence and fragmentation to their great advantage. They used the first hand insider information and collaboration to install a warring family member to the throne of the Emir after deposing the existing. They arrested and assembled all the deposed Emirs at Lokoja.
Sultan Attahiru was the caliph at the centre, Sokoto. As mentioned, the invading forces have already conquered almost all the units in the Caliphate. It remained finishing touches in the seat. Caliph Abdurrahman died in October 1902 amidst the challenges posed by Europeans. Sultan Attahiru, a brave warrior per excellence had to be chosen by the king makers even out of the routine lineage protocols so as to face such challenges.
They were in real dilemma on the next line of action against an impending ruthless conqueror. They proposed options. At last they preferred the option of migration towards the East. Sultan Attahiru migrated with thousands of followers. Sokoto felled to the Colonizers after brutal massacre, courtesy of Europe superior artillery power and inhuman ruthlessness. Attahiru moved eastwards amassing huge warriors en route.
The British trailed the movement of Attahiru who camped at Mbormi. There was an unequal battle that ensured. Despite their inferiority in terms of armour, Muslims had exhibited an unprecedented bravery and sacrifice. The British merciless Major Mash commanded the massacre of all. Heap of corpses were burnt down. Note that Mash was also killed by an expert archer who targeted him from an unimaginable distance. His grave is still there at Mbormi. This British act that has been covered could best be described as genocide against Muslims. Britain has to account for this. Muslims must work towards the declaration of this massacre as a crime against humanity and the culprits to be judged accordingly.
Already, the British, after capturing Lagos and other places, had established the southern protectorate. What were they protecting? They also established what they called Northern protectorate after the massacre of Muslims in the established caliphate. Thus they established the present day Nigeria after the amalgamation of North and South protectorates by Lugard in February 1914. The British did not hide their mission. They burnt down the Islamic Flag and urinated on the Holy Quran and subsequently raised the Union Jack in front of the assembled deposed Emirs. They stated categorically that the Islamic order had ceased to operate henceforth and all allegiance was and is still to her majesty, the Queen of England.
Since then there was a biased treatment of Muslims in this country. The security apparatus was set in such a way that it views as a threat anything Islamic. Muslims were alienated in all important spheres of life. Lugard had a deliberate policy on education which relegated Muslims in the North. Politically, they attempted biased representation in the parliament. An objection was raised and they had to reluctantly adopt a representative assembly somehow. Economically the story was the same.
What sense is there in celebrating years of slavery to the invaders? In contrast, it is the Masters that are supposed to celebrate the success of their capture of Nigeria since they are still the powers behind the mask. The captives should mourn and vow to emancipate themselves. Unfortunately, they are deluded into believing to be free and independent. This mindset remains. Imagine the current so called President giving ‘centenary’ award not only to the destroyers of the country’s economy, looters of our treasury but even to war criminals such as Frederick Lugard and his wife.
Current Situation and What next
The impending demise of capitalism, the rise of prospective Islamic system exhibited in Iran coupled with their adage of subjugation made the arrogant powers to design and breed a new form of colonialism. This time around they created a monster called terrorism and in the name of Islam. They are eager to once again have unlimited access to our resources under the guise of combating what they have created- TERRORISM. Boko Haram is a hoax initiated to deceive people into believing that an extremist Islamic organization exists and that it is going about killing and bombarding places with the intention of establishing an Islamic government. This is an act of subjecting Islam and Muslims to ridicule. Actually, they instituted it to kill Muslims destroy their economic base, hence weaken or neutralize the prospects of a full blown Islamic revolution. They would thus continue subjugating us and keeping at bay any threats to their hegemony and any hindrance to their usurpation of our resources.
Nigeria possess vast resources (human, oil, gas and solid mineral) needed by the oppressive powers. There is majority Muslim population. Coupled with these there is general public sympathy to the Islamic awakening sweeping across Middle East and North Africa. Furthermore, there is an Iran model Islamic Movement under the revered and divinely ordained leadership of Sheikh Ibraheem Ya’qoub El-Zakzaky (H). The Islamic Movement in Nigeria enjoys widespread, balanced and loyal follower ship that is ever ready to act with a unity of purpose. It was able to keep to its aim and objectives. It targets the peoples’ faculty of reasoning backed by sound Islamic knowledge.
It is rapidly becoming a formidable and articulated mass Movement with a very high potential of a full pledged revolutionary force to replace the existing confusion in Nigeria. One can clearly see the reason behind the continuous effort of successive Nigerian tyrannical rulers to drive away people from the Movement: Campaigns of calumny, character assassination, raising sectarian bigotry, backing thugs to attack members, direct attacks from security operatives, demonizing propaganda and incessant attempts to kill the leader.
Of recent there was yet a futile assassination attempt after the killing of Albaniy. One week after the brutal killing of the salafi scholar which occurred along gaskiya-danmagaji route, Nigerian security deployed soldiers to gyallesu, a different place altogether from the site of the incident. They claimed to be there for the purpose of safeguarding ‘Malam’ because they said that they got ‘intelligent’ report that the Salaf would come to attack Shi’ah.
The soldiers also went with a plan to hide some weapons only to come around later to conduct their funny “cordon and search’ operation. Subsequently they would claim that weapons were discovered. They could then assert that those were the ones used in killing Albaniy. This could then pave way for them to unleash all the mayhem at their disposal. God has made their plans to naught. None of their evil postulations materialized. Had they the human mind, the bunch of idiots, to borrow from Malam’s expression, could have been shameful.
As far as the Present Nigerian system has not undergone a complete revolution, the status quo would be maintained. Before Nigerian slaves mark centenary of amalgamation, the academic forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria marked 110th year of the Massacre of Muslims at Mbormi. His eminence Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky (H), in his speech at the occasion, has categorically stated that time has come for Muslims to awake and install back the banner of Islam. The colonialists’ concept of Nigeria is a Nigeria that will not go back to its past history and Islamic heritage but rather continue to serve their interests.
Although they have installed their stooges in position of authority openly, in the actual sense they are in direct control more so with the current bunch of palm wine ‘chain’ drinkers who only echo ‘wetin you go give me’. They dine and wine while they approve the butcher of innocent lives including women, children and the elderly in the North East and finance same with our endowed resources. The command in the security forces work hand in hand with that of the presumed insurgents, if not the same. A typical pointer to this was the recent mayhem that killed tens of school children at FGGC Buni yadi in Yobe State, hours only after the withdrawal of the ruthless JTF. How can the issue be tackled?
The situation in the country is now politically tense with presumed parting of ways between oppressors, treacherous mergers and re alignments coupled with manufactured insecurity situation. Shehu Fodio has stated that the Caliphate would undergo intrigues. There would be confusion and chaos such that people would have to resort to Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky (H), the mujaddid of the time, for the way out.
There is an end to everything. There is an end to the continued suppression of Islam. Definitely when the time comes Islam shall be established. We cannot possibly continue to stay like this whereas the Qur’an and the teachings of the pure progeny of the Prophet (SAWA) are here instructing us on what to do. We are believers in Islam. The majority cannot continue to relinquish their rights because of minority rights. In fact it has to be majority rule and minority right. Whether we accept it or not, Islam is on the rise and nobody can stop it. This is the stark reality and you cannot fight against reality. By the grace of God Almighty, Islam is the destiny of this nation and this shall come to pass.