Former Aviation Minster, Femi Fani-Kayode, has responded to declaration by National Chairman of Fulbe (Fulani) Development Association of Nigeria (FULDAN), Malam Ahmad Usman Bello, that they cannot be defeated by any ethnic group in Nigeria.
Bello made the remarks amid the widespread outcry against the murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen in Benue, Plateau and Taraba states and many other parts of the country.
Reacting, the former presidential aide said: “It is historically untrue. The Yoruba defeated the Fulani in Osogbo and sent them back to the north.
“Though they got Ilorin as a consequence of the rebellion of the then Aare Ona Kakaanfo, Afonja, who colluded with the Fulani leader Alimi and fought against his commander and traditional ruler, the Alafin of Oyo, the Yoruba have never been conquered by the Fulani or anyone else and neither will they ever be.
“It is interesting to note that Afonja himself was later betrayed and killed by the Fulani Alimi who took the Ilorin throne for himself and got the backing of the Sultan of Sokoto. That is how Ilorin was lost to the Yoruba and became a Fulani Emirate till today.
“Outside of that, the Fulani have never been able to take one inch of Yoruba soil or defeat us in battle.
“The truth is that we are slow to anger but irresistable in battle. They say that it is not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of fight in the dog.
“Nobody wants to fight and neither do we want a war but it would be a grave error and griveous miscalculation on their part for the Fulani to “wake our sleeping sword lightly” (to use King Henry Vth’s words).
“Wisdom dictates that we must all be restrained, sue for peace and try to talk our differences out like civilised people rather than exchange blows and indulge in violence.
“However, if full scale war is ever forced upon the Yoruba, the people of the south or indeed the people of the Middle Belt by any group of misquided or deluded adventurers who wish to conquer us all, we will not run or shy away from it.”
Fani-Kayode noted that will be viewed and regarded as the final battle for independence from “our internal colonial masters.”
“They say hubris always comes before nemesis. Let this Fulani man and all those that think like him and make these threats keep talking and bragging that his people can never be defeated.
“If, God forbid, armed conflict ever comes we shall put his boast to the test and I trust that God shall defend His own.
“As the Leader of the Yoruba, Chief Obafemi Awolowo once said, “kaka ka dobale fun gambari ka kuku roju ku” (meaning, “we would rather die than bow and submit to the Fulani”).
“Those words are as true today as they were when Awolowo spoke them.”