By: Pastor Godwin Danjuma Kwalbe
Our attention has been drawn to malicious statements made by some armchair historians on behalf of the Hausa/Fulani community in Southern Kaduna.
These claims are published under the above title by Blueprint newspaper on August 17th, 2020. It is very worrisome that in this moment of search for peaceful coexistence, they have chosen to be deliberately mischievous and inciting using the media.
Anyone who has read their assertions will see what we choose to describe as “historical terrorism” against the Southern Kaduna people. This situation calls on the state government to be objective when assessing the role of individuals in causing crises in Southern Kaduna. These individuals hide behind the media statements of Mr Governor (that Southern Kaduna elites are the trouble makers) to keep fanning the flames of war tactically.
They have refused to integrate into other societies just as people from this region integrate freely in Zaria, Katsina, Kano, Zamfara etc.without asking for independent chiefdoms. In fact, because of their unique names, they do not get indigene certificates no matter how long they have lived there.
We would have not considered giving them publicity by making a counter statement but for the reason that this gross falsification has been published and now available in the public domain for unsuspecting readers out there who will become cheap preys in their net as it is said that “lies travel faster”.
We also are aware of the POWER OF THE PRINT – whatever junk that got printed easily gains acceptance and rises to the realm of truth thereby dismantling most readers that would not be on guard. Moreover, keeping quiet will automatically means our acquiescence. Therefore, we want to undress their comic relief in which they (Hausa/Fulani Community) claim to be the founders of Kafanchan that concerns us for now.
2. This sham which has become a regular pattern is really embarrassing to serious scholarship and has long been regrated by Wole Soyinka in the following words:
There does exist a … mentality even among reputable scholars who would rather destroy or hide evidence than contribute to the understanding of the world we live in, whenever such evidence appears to upset… Soyinka (2006:23)
Just like prophets, we clearly stated in our rejoinder to SOKAMUDA that the covert motive for some of these “neo-Southern Kaduna histories” is a stepping stone to demanding for chiefdoms and emirates, this present position is a confirmation to our position barely over a month when we made such revelation.
It means that the ultimate goal of these people is not just to lie or hide the evidence for fun, but a political calculation is being unfolded and pursued. For Ibrahim James:
The aggregation of these groups interests based on geographic affiliation… has become more salient than class interest. And in the competition for the values of the society to be realised politically, some kind of geographic identification has become a means of claiming place of advantage. James (1997:13)
3. It is sad that they do not know, as they appear in their presentation, that it is ahistorical to muddle together the history of Kafanchan town and Jama’a Emirate treating them as one and the same. If there is anything similar, then it is only that both are a colonial creation.
The obsession of the Hausa/Fulani with the 1810 date is an indication to their need for help and we offer ourselves for consultation whenever they can become humble and ask for our services.
We wish to state that Jama’a Emirate as it is known today came into existence only in 1911 as a direct product of the British Indirect Rule System, Sciortino (1913). Before this period, what existed was a local arrangement within the band of Fulani settlers who never and could not conquer any indigenous community nor wield any political influence over their host communities.
In retrospect, for better appreciation of the depth of this lie, it should be noted that when Mallam Usman of Kebbi arrived the foot of the Roro hills, he was hosted by a Kaninkon man known as Roro, Kirk-Greene (1972:13 – 16) and Hogben & Kirk-Greene (1966: 553 – 555).
Simple logic will tell anyone that if there were Fulani or Hausa settlement(s) existing in this area by that time, Mallam Usman would have gone to live with his Fulani blood and not seek refuge at the residence of Roro.
4. For the history of the entire Southern Kaduna in terms of migration, we again refer them to our rejoinder on July 6th, 2020 in which we have laid this issue to rest. We equally ask them to tell us where they are situating the rich evidence of Nok Civilization. This was not a Hausa/Fulani innovation. How then did they become the owners of Southern Kaduna when linguistic, archaeological and cultural evidences speak otherwise? It was an excellent innovation by our forefathers and because of this painful reality, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, the bastion of Hausa/Fulani inflated history does not give much attention to this fine civilization like other mythical topics from the far north.
5. Kafanchan town evolved as a child of necessity without any contribution of the Hausa/Fulani community. It was designed by the colonial government. It remains a British innovation that started after the completion of the railway junction in 1926, long before the emirate was relocated to the emerging town. The completion of the railway junction was immediately followed by the construction of quarters for the rail workers.
The choice of this location was both for its topography – flat and open land and also for its economic value – both agriculture and solid minerals, Jaekel (1997: 189 – 190). This portion of land was uninhabited but of course, form parts of the farm lands our fore fathers plowed and hunting grounds with other sister communities.
Late Mallam Jacob Jatau, a parliamentarian in the First Republic defended this claim which was upheld by the Alhaji Balarabe Musa’s land dispute and boundary adjustment committee (thanks to his family who gave us access to his personal library).
6. For clarity and posterity, while this development was unfolding, Jama’a emirate was still located at Jama’a Na-Roro (Gidan waya) until its relocation in 1926 to Jama’a Sarari (Madakiya). If the Hausa/Fulani community founded Kafanchan, this movement would not have been necessary. It was not until 1933 that the British granted the emirate permission to relocate again to Kafanchan town when it was already a beehive of economic activities with bulk of its population composed of Southerners in the majority because they were the labour force for the railways.
7. The charade by the Hausa/Fulani community is only sweet to their ears and maybe, those who are ignorant of history. Jama’a emirate remains one of the regrets by the British colonial administration. That is why we laugh when we see people talk with pride about it. It was considered a burden, an invalid and made up of irresponsible rulers and successors. The British administrator/District Officer (D.O.) advised that the whole arrangement be dissolved because it was not adding any value to the Indirect Rule System. The reader should note here that the usual practice then was to depose an emir or a traditional ruler and not to dismantle the system.
This is a telling evidence to the fact that it was a colonial making – because the British were very sympathetic to the Fulani structures they met on ground and would do anything to preserve them. In the end, the advise was not implemented and we today are dealing with a perforated arrangement which stands as a reminder to the evil and treachery of British Colonial Policy of imposing minority rule over indigenous majority.
8. We feel ashamed that in this moment when even northern elders who would usually hide the truth are now coming out to tell government that it has failed and demanding for good governance that should be seen in the area of protection of lives and property, better living conditions for citizens and proper economic policies, then some persons are demanding for a bill that will stop aboriginal population of Southern Kaduna from calling them settlers and reverse the order. It is despicable.
Truly, history is a noble career and that explains why we are having so many homemade historians on the rise. On the other hand, it is such a high calling with rigours and disciplines that gate-crashers cannot survive beyond a limit.
We therefore call on anyone who desire such game of misrepresentation of facts to desist as the field is no longer safe to tread upon with little training. Here is an independent commentary from a British administrator that would normally hide true evidence in order to protect their Fulani accomplices in the so-called Indirect Rule. It demolishes the claim of ownership of Kafanchan town by the Hausa/Fulani community.
On July 7th, 1913 a report by J. C. Sciortino concerning the gruesome execution of four Kaninkon men who were leading their community to resist the illegality of British imposition of Fulani rule state that:
The sentence was confirmed and will be carried out in public … at Kafanchan the village in which they lived before a large number… who would be called in for the occasion.
It should be noted by the reader that in 1913, the present town we know as Kafanchan was not in existence. This informs the public that a village was bearing this name, inhabited by Kaninkon people (NAK. ZAR PROF. 2089) who the British could not mistake, at all, for the Hausa/Fulani. This is very similar to the history of the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) that took its name from a settlement in Niger State. Therefore, the present town (Kafanchan) took its name from a village that was neither founded nor inhabited by the Hausa/Fulani.
Pastor Godwin Danjuma Kwalbe
For: Nikyob Progressive Youths