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Published On: Thu, Jul 31st, 2014

Hausas: A people and their way of life

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By Abdullahi Musa

Bala Muhammad, a media consultant, had cause to write about the ‘second Cibok’ that afflicted Hausa North: the incarceration of four hundred-plus traders on suspension of being terrorists. If I can get away with generalizations, I will say that violence is the way of life in the South of Nigeria. The relevance of this statement will be apparent when I draw try to explain why we Northerners are experiencing insults from Southerners, particularly, from South-East and South-South.

What we see from that area is that democracy as give and take, as the right to disagree with someone is totally alien to them. To them a contest simply means war, pure and simple. You may say this has nothing to do with Hausas and their way of life. It does in that Hausas share with South-Easterners a love for violence, specifically in relation to religion. People from South-East see the Hausas as killers without reason. If someone like Ezeife will see BOKO Haram insurgency as a fulfillment of the threat by Northerners to make Nigeria ungovernable for Jonathan, what of an average person from the zone?

The media consultant lamented the apathy of the likes of those incarcerated to Western education. They can’t converse with law enforcement agents; they do not know their rights, and they don’t know how to organize politically.

Our way of life condones naivety. We assume that all the killings of non indigenes in the North were forgotten by their kinsmen. We may pay dearly for that assumption. These are people who wage wars of attrition against different clans, what more of a different tribe, whom they feel has wronged them?

A sari Dukubo was alleged to have turbaned a dog to show his contempt for the new Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhmmadu Sanusi 11. What is the crime of the Emir? As Central Bank Governor he drew Jonathan’s attention to missing billions. According to Asari’s mindset, a president from South-South is accountable to no one .It is a pity. But Hausas seem trapped in an age long gone. I am not an oracle to confirm it will never return. But for now they seem not to understand power, state structure, nor even international politics. They blunder about as if they are still under the rule of Dan Fodio. But their leaders want them that way: illiterates without rights, without ability to read situation, or even understand the consequences of their own actions.

Amalgamation was only 100 years ago? The Hausas may need 500 years to undo the damage they have done to themselves. But the question is: who will allow them to recover?

Abdullahi Musa via


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