Owo Massacre and the Settler Colonialist Nigerian State


Statement of the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard, RCIT in Nigeria, 7th June, 2022, https://revolutionarysocialistvanguard.wordpress.com



The massacre of 50 worshippers at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church Owo, Ondo state on 5th June (Black Sunday) sends once again seismic chills down the spine of Nigerians. As the death toll increases so does the uproar around the mass killing shake the very structure upon which Nigeria is built as a national entity and sovereign state.


We have always characterised the Fulani nation as an oppressor nation. However in the light of recent historical happenings with growing consciousness amongst the masses of the oppressed southern nations about the alien nature of the Fulani, it is more appropriate to further classify them as a settler colonialist nation. Thus Nigeria is a settler colonialist state dominated by the Fulani and controlled by imperialist powers in the East and West.


The Fulani identity as is now known was always foreign in the geographical region that is North of the Niger even after the Jihad of Uthman Dan Fodio in the 19th century that conquered the Hausa kingdoms. The conquest was the extension that served to strengthen Arab colonialism in West Africa. British imperialism strengthened this settler colonialist drive through the amalgamation, in 1914, of their colonial enclaves North and South of the Niger in two ways.


First, it eliminated the status of occupiers the Fulani settlers had before the advent of colonialism. Especially since both settlers and indigenes could now be seen as subjects of British colonialism without really tampering with the structures which solidified the hegemony of the occupiers over their disquieted captives upon whom the status of minority was imposed.


Secondly, the amalgamation gave equal rights to the Fulani occupiers to own lands South of the Niger. Lands which nations south of the Niger had fought to defend against the incursion of marauding Fulani armies. Colonialism gave a certain kind of “legitimacy” to the conquistadors to penetrate into lands which they had hitherto been thrown out of after the failure of several southward military campaigns. Only now the southern indigenous nations have been disarmed by the creation of Nigeria.


That is why like other settler colonialist nations such as European Americans in the North and South American continents, the Fulani nation wages an asymmetrical war against indigenous minority nations in the North and ethnic nationalities in the south. Nigeria is not the only state run by a settler colonialist nation with the backing of Western imperialism. The Zionist state of Israel which took off largely with the Nakba of 1948 which saw the genocide of Palestinians and subsequent eviction from their lands is another example. Even as we speak the Nakba has not ended.




A bit about Immigration and Okada (Commuter motorcycles) Ban




As we mentioned in our recent statement concerning the murder of Deborah foreigners have been fingered as the cold blood killers many times in events like this. Apart from being an escape route to prosecute the murderers (and why should an escape route be necessary?!) these claims point to another aspect of the Fulani settler colonialist nation–a state sponsored ethnic cleansing to wipe out the indigenous population and replace them with foreign Fulani and Wahhabists.


Many analysts have raised concerns about the porosity of Nigeria’s northern borders. Some experts even go as far as claiming that international boundaries exist only along Nigeria’s southern boundaries. That is, there is an influx of alien Wahhabi mercenaries from other parts of West Africa who share a southern border with Nigeria’s North especially since these countries face also raging Fulani terrorism.


So on a daily basis the indigenous nationalities North of river Niger are overrun by state imported aliens who bolster the ranks of terror groups such as ISWAP, Ansaru, Boko Haram, “Bandits” and in a further push down south, the Fulani herdsmen. There are already speculations that the killings at St Francis Cathedral are reprisals of the Fulani hegemon for the outright and total ban on open grazing by the Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu. Alas, the attack happened in his home town of Owo.


However, there is a more subtle expansion of Fulani and non-Nigerian mercenaries from the Sahel into the south as petty traders; cobblers and mostly commercial motorcyclists (okada) etc. The latter bears ample semblance to cattle rearing nomads since many of the proprietors of the bikes are northern moguls and oligarchs. But no only so, the bike riders of northern extraction have similar but reduced bellicose disposition as the herdsmen.


Dave, a father of two and a sound engineer was lynched and set ablaze by a gang of these northern okada riders leading to the reinforcement of an earlier ban on commuter motorcycles in Lagos state. Scores of motorcycles have thus being confiscated and destroyed by the Sanwo-Olu government of Lagos state.


It is true that the Okada ban began as a reactionary and anti-poor policy which affects the average Yoruba as they too form a considerable number of commuter motorcycles (such a policy causes inflation in transportation costs; increased crime rates etc). Still truer is the fact that the frenzy to seize and destroy bikes is mainly driven by the ulterior motive of the Lagos state government to preempt another mass unrest. Albeit, there is scant resistance from ordinary Lagosians even though the vandalism of the government is more severe and swift than when the ban first kicked off. All of this is due to nothing else but the tacit recognition by the southern people, of the numerous, and they are no small a number, okada men from the North as the infiltrating forces of the Fulani hegemon waiting only on a green light to begin attacks.


As socialists we do not recognise the right to open borders for members of a settler colonialist nation. Just as no genuine revolutionary would support the migration of Jewish settlers into Palestine even if they come as Ukrainian refugees! In the same way, we support the total ban on open grazing especially for Fulani nomads in the south. We call for an end to the unimpeded influx of Wahhabists and alien peoples through the North of the country. For controlled access of northerners to the south. While we support boycotts of northern bike riders and every other necessary measure to curb present and impending menace they pose. We warn that a total ban of okada will adversely affect the livelihoods of local bike riders and as such lead to and upswing in crime rates.


No doubt none of these measures can be successful or effectively carried out without a working-class leadership to front these efforts. The southern ruling class are embroidered unto the heam of northern Wahhabi coat tails, thus they can only serve as impediments to the struggle for total liberation of the south. Even now Tinubu and other minions after aiding the seizure of power of a known (at least to them) Wahhabist and patriarch of the Fulani aristocracy, in the person of Muhammadu Buhari, is engulfed in the presidential race. Such traitors must be given no room in the movements for the national liberation of the southern ethnic nationalities.


* For Popular Armament in the South! Every southern citizen must have the right to bear arms! For armed self-defence militias and training to end the Fulani settler colonialist project and to throw imperialism out of West Africa!


* No right to freedom of movement of Fulani nomads or northern infiltration cells of Wahhabi forces in the South! No open borders for foreign Fulani and other Wahhabi mercenaries in the northern border states! Ban open grazing throughout the Middle Belt and Southern regions!


* End Nigeria! For military and physical support for IPOB and Oodua Nation but no political approval for their reactionary leaderships! Northern workers, activists and progressives must support the movement of southern ethnic nationality to secede from Nigeria!


* No room for the southern ruling class in the national liberation movements of the south! For Biafra and Oodua Nation under the control of the working class and poor!


* For the right of all indigenous minority peoples to self governance!