The below population data is from The World Almanac and Book of Facts. (New York: World Almanac Books, 2015) page 717. According to it, the populations of major Nigeria groups are:
- Hausas: 25 million persons
- Yorubas: 19.4 million persons
- Igbos: 18 million persons
- Fulfulde (they are found in several West African countries for total 11.6 million persons); if nearly half of them live in Nigeria so about 5 million Fulanis live in Nigeria
- Kanuri: 3.8 million persons
- Kanuri central: 3.2 million persons
- Tivi: 2.2 million persons
The other Nigerian tribes, according to the book, do not have over two million persons; the book ranked groups with over two million persons, worldwide.
You may ask why I chose to use the World Almanac data instead of data from Nigeria. Good question. Do Nigerians keep accurate data? Do Nigerians conduct clean census? All we are given are cooked figures calculated to make some groups seem large for political purposes; Nigeria bands around its population as 120 million today, tomorrow 150, another day 170 and even180. It is a mess, that bizarre country called Nigeria. They cannot get anything correct.
But that is not our problem right now. The issue at hand is this: there are about five million Fulanis in Nigeria and this minority ethnic group rules all Nigeria (Buhari is Fulani).
Five million Fulanis since 1804 ruled the Hausa states (they appointed emirs in major Hausa towns and cities and ruled them from their headquarters at Sokoto). Fulanis ruled Northern Nigeria and have now completed their quest to rule all of Nigeria with the victory of Mohammadu Buhari as the president of Nigeria.
Five million people, a minority rules Nigeria a country of about 140 million people!
What does that make Fulanis? It makes them politically savvy. They are like the Tutsis of Rwanda and Burundi. The Tutsis are very few in numbers but for centuries (from, at least, 1300 AD) have ruled the majority Hutus.
For our present purpose, we have a situation where a handful of so-called Nigerians rule the majority of Nigerians.
And such large ethnic groups as Igbos, who are, at least, 18 million people (Igbos are the third largest Ethnic group in Africa, behind Hausa, and Yoruba) are now ruled by minority people, Fulanis!
The amazing thing is that members of this Fulani tribe are probably the least educated tribe in Nigeria. Who is going to compare them to the hugely well-educated Yorubas and decently educated Igbos? How did it come to pass that a bunch of illiterate Fulanis rule Nigeria?
Just look at Mohammed Buhari, a man with only shoddy secondary school education (I doubt that the man can write a good sentence) ruling Yorubas and Igbos; two groups with a basket full of doctorate degree holders.
What does that make Igbos? It makes them politically unsophisticated. A handful of Fulanis rule Igbos and they come to the public square telling the world how they are a superior people and expect the world to believe them? The world sees Igbos as not what they claim to be, for if they were the gods they claim to be a minority people, a mostly illiterate bunch for that matter cannot rule them.
Nigeria is actually in the situation of Apartheid South Africa where five million white folks ruled forty million black folks.
Let me repeat: five million Fulanis (who probably have Arab blood in them) rule 140 million black people called Igbos, Yorubas, Kanuris, Tivi, Edo, Efik, Urhobo and other ethnic Nigerians.
Is this not an outrage? How is it that a minority tribe, Fulanis, who are not even from Nigeria, who came from Guinea only a few hundred years ago, are ruling Nigeria?
Is it the case that black folks are always ruled by people with Caucasian blood in them?
Fulanis are said to be part of Maghreb Arabs, Arabs who left Arabia (may be around 700 AD) and journeyed across North Africa until they got to Morocco. Some turned north and conquered Spain in 711 AD and some turned south to Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, and Mali and so on.
Fulanis, Arabs of sorts are ruling Africans in Nigeria! This is amazing, I say. If Europeans did this to us we would all be complaining about colonialism but when Arabs colonize Africans, Africans do not complain.
Well, this Igbo, this African will complain. I do not want to be ruled by white folks or by Arabs and if Fulanis are Arabs I do not want them to rule me.
I have begun my war to eliminate the Fulani rule of Nigeria (they actually want to make all Nigeria their fiefdom) and rule it in perpetuity!
This war will end only when Fulanis, a minority group accept ruler-ship by majority Nigerians or there is no deal, there is no Nigeria. Alaigbo must separate from Nigeria rather than allow itself to be ruled by Arabized Africans.
Please Igbos do not ever use the word Biafra in referring to us. Biafra is a village in Portugal. A Portuguese, during the age of exploration, in the 1400s, gave the Atlantic Ocean area directly below the lower River Niger the name the bight of Biafra. That Portuguese sailor probably came from the village of Biafra and gave the name Bight of Biafra in honor of his village?
There is no need for Igbo people to call themselves by a Portuguese name, Biafra. I feel insulted been referred to by a Portuguese name, Biafra.
So, let us stop hearing that nonsense called Biafra. Please refer to us as Alaigbo. Forget Ijaws, Efiks and other groups that were in the so-called Biafra. No ethnic group should dominate others. Igbos should strive for their independence and allow other groups to do the same and give up the delusion that they need to call themselves Biafra so as to have Ijaw, Efik and others in it. Those groups do not want to be ruled by Igbos and this Igbos does not want to dominate other ethnic groups.
I want independence for my people. There must be a Republic of Alaigbo with capital at Owerri. This is not a negotiable proposition, it is a done deal; if you do not like it you are free to go jump into the Atlantic Ocean and drown yourself and I could care less.
Africans self-rule does not mean that we should allow ourselves to be ruled by half Arabs called Fulanis. Half Arabs used to rule all of Sudan and abused real Africans in South Sudan and currently do so to real Africans in Darfur province of Sudan.
Internal colonialism whereby one so-called African group dominates others should not be tolerated just as white rule of Africans should not be tolerated.
I will not tolerate Buhari and his Arabized Fulani rule of Alaigbo. The subject is not open for debate.
Ozodiobi Osuji, a public affairs analyst, has PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles