Form self-defence guards to repel the Wahhabi-Salafist rioters! Protect the life and property of Northern Christians and Minorities!
Statement of the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard (RSV) Nigerian Section of the RCIT, 15th May, 2022. https://revolutionarysocialistvanguard.wordpress.com/
The recent macabre murder of Deborah Yakubu and the ensuing crises in Sokoto state once again proves the Marxist characterisation of the Wahhabi-Salafist Fulani dominated Northern Nigeria as an oppressor nation. After the alleged arrest of those who brutally lynched Deborah Yakubu and set her ablaze riots followed which saw the razing of a Catholic church, an ECWA church and attacks on Christian homes and businesses. The governor of Sokoto state Aminu Tambuwal has declared a curfew throughout the state but as these lines are penned the propensity for the rioting to escalate increases.¹
In response, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called for peaceful protests on May 22nd.² Despite the limited scope of the protests due to the directive which restricts the protests only to CAN branches and church premises, we join CAN and all Christians across the nation to demand #JusticeForDeborah! We call on all progressive northerners, northern workers and Christians to form self defense guards to halt the advances of the marauding horde of Wahhabi-Salafists raiders! We say protect the lives and property of northern Christians and minorities! Bring the killers of Deborah to book!
One of the prospective candidates and a leading opposition politician in the PDP, Atiku Abubakar quickly deleted his posts on Facebook and Twitter, where he condemned the egregious murder of Deborah after threats from northerners that his presidential ambition was doomed because of the post.³ Atiku is no ordinary politician as he was president Muhammadu Buhari’s major opponent in the 2019 presidential elections. Moreso, he his a Fulani man with a long string of businesses in Nigeria. He is rumoured to be the major importer of Mikano electric generators into the country and to have a sizable share in Rolex wristwatches.
The deletion of those posts is a powerful and lucid confirmation of our analyses that the northern and most powerful faction of the ruling class in Nigeria has for its base extreme Islamsists of the Wahhabi kind, the most reactionary arm being Boko Haram/ISWAP and “Bandits”. It is this base that keeps them in power and from which the state apparatus such as police heads and military chiefs are drawn. This is why after the police claimed to have arrested the murderers of Deborah and seeing the riots that followed, they have announced that the one who led the Salafist mob against Deborah is now at large as he his a citizen of the Republic of Niger to which he may have fled.⁴
Is Poverty Level A Determining Factor For Oppressor/Oppressed Nations?
When we say that the Fulani dominated North is an oppressor nation as far as Nigeria is concerned many activists are swift in pointing to the level of poverty in the northern region. While the standard for assessing this ‘endemic’ poverty is yet to be scrutinized a quick comparison is required with other imperialist respectively oppressor nations.
Each state in the US, the most powerful imperialist state until now, has the highest number of incarcerated people per capita than any democratic country in the world (including Nigeria).⁵ As a result it has one of the highest fraction of total population with criminal records. The US also has a highly staggering amount of individual debt or private debt part of which is the mounting student debt. Apart from this the number of houseless people in the US is rising alarmingly. Also the US gives one of the shortest periods of maternity leave in the world. Lastly the Biden administration faces criticism for deciding to send 40 billion dollars to the Ukraine while mothers in the US are facing a dramatic scarcity in baby formula.⁶
Shall we then because of all these decategorise the US as an imperialist state since when compared to weaker imperialists and even advanced semi-colonies it is worse off in the aforementioned areas? In fact, it seems that the more powerful the imperialist state the weaker its social security safety nets. Well to denounce the status of an oppressor nation for the US because of worse performance in these areas would mean to define an imperialist state as a classless society.
Yet we know that the US is not just imperialist but the number 1 superpower throughout the globe because its monopolies are the top transnational corporations in the world; its victory at the end of WWII and its interventionist wars ever since; its military might and overseas bases etc. But before we go any further, more must be said about the standard by which this ‘northern poverty’ is measured.
If the yardstick for this poverty is largely influenced by those imperialist states who pilfered the human, natural and mineral resources of Africa for centuries and then turned around to call us poor then a considerable element of exaggeration is inherent in it. Moreso, what may pass as poverty in the imperialist metropoles may be seen as affluence in the nations of the global south due to the difference in standard of living caused by imperialist super-exploitation.
A rich man in pre-colonial times may not pass as a rich man now, even so only the oppressive aspects of such affluence such as using women (wives) and children as the source of exploited labour must be referred to as backward. This is where many activists, progressives and leftwingers even in the socialist camp miss it. They lump together as the colonists did every aspect of African living before the advent of colonialism and capitalism as “backward”, “poor”, “illiterate” and even a times “barbaric”. Leading to expressions such as “polygamy is the cause of poverty (in the North)”, “cattle herding is a backward practice”, “northerners are illiterates”, etc.
In terms of education, the north is not full of illiterates what is missing is the Western formal education. On the average, people of the far north can speak Hausa and write basic Arabic expressions which is evident of the stunted nature of Western colonial influence on the region. Compare this to the South where the native languages have undergone decades of erosion and have been replaced with English.
In light of the foregoing, poverty has nothing to do with the classification of a nation as oppressor/oppressed. Its concrete relationship with other nations however does. And just to point out a few, the Nigerian state, the major front of the Hausa-Fulani hegemony has not paid any reparations for the pogrom of the Igbos and other southerners in 1966. The official mainstay of the national economy as been oil and gas even though there is a plethora of mineral resources in the north and oil in the Chad basin all of which are unaccounted for. Even when we agree that the poverty level is higher in the North than in South it still does nothing to change the subordinate role the Southern ruling class pay for their Northern counterparts.
We note in passing that dismissing the oppressor status of the Fulani hegemon because of the level of poverty in the north means that the Southern ruling class is better than their northern section of the ruling class.
The Fulani Nation is An Oppressor Nation
The ongoing events prove that the issue at hand is not about “northern illiteracy” since the killing of Deborah came from the hands of her classmates in the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto after she posted a voice note on a WhatsApp chat group allegedly blaspheming the Muslim prophet Muhammed. Again it cannot be said to an issue of poverty since the major defenders of such barbarity, online and elsewhere, have been the rich and middle class from the north sometimes with a PhD.
Middle class northerners and even activists with a Western education have either defended the imposition of Shari’a Law on Christians and atheists (like in the case of Mubarak Bala, an atheist, who now serves a 20 year jail term for insulting prophet Muhammed) or provided soft landing for the attack on Deborah’s life by pointing to incidents of lynching thieves in the south.⁷ Of course the middle class of any society have always been known to draw orientation from their ruling classes. This reaction from them is merely a reflection of the image of the northern ruling class headed by a Fulani cabal.
It must be understood that the context of the oppression of the south is a proxy for Western imperialism at first, and imperialism in general, to sustain Nigeria as a neo-colonial outpost for imperialist exploitation. The north has always been an outpost for exploitation of indigenous peoples starting from the Arab slave trade which entrenched Islamic conquest, the offspring of which is Usman Dan Fodio’s conquest of 1804. Even after the abolition of slavery in the late 1800’s slavery persisted in the north into the 1920’s – an evidence that even without the Western colonialism the Hausa-Fulani hegemony played the role of an oppressor nation.
The north now has a hybrid disposition of sustaining the heritage of Arab colonialism while serving as a proxy for imperialism in Nigeria. While lynchings like that of Deborah’s distracts the Hausa-Fulani masses from the inequality and poverty in the North, it is a privilege which they enjoy since there will be no repercussions for it. This is the privilege that divides them from the minorities and southern masses. To aim to prove that poverty level is a determinant of which nation is an imperialist/oppressor is to forget that every ruling class wishes to exploit the masses of its nation to the fullest.
So it is hardly about poverty or education. It is not even about religion or Islam. That is why we propose that Sharia should be practiced by willing adherents who are Muslims. Sharia should not be imposed on Christians and other groups who do not subscribe to be under its laws and as such an individual can only subscribe to Sharia when from 18 years onward and will have freedom of renunciation at any moment afterwards. This does not mean however that individuals who of their own volition subscribe to Sharia should not be under the secular courts if the offence is not covered by Sharia or if the offence is also recognised by secular laws.
We reject all imposition of Shari’a or any religious laws! Northern workers and progressives must form self-defense guards with Christians, Shia Muslims, and other religious and ethnic minorities to defeat the raiders in Sokoto and all Northern states. Northern workers, progressives and socialists must also defend the right of self-determination and secession of the southern ethnic nationalities. This is the only way to gain the trust of their southern brothers for joint struggle to bring down the capitalist ruling class of every nation! In case of a civil war Northern workers must not support the Nigerian state but call for its defeat and the victory of a workers and poor peasant government in the emergent nations!