Prominent Northern Muslims elders, represented by Alhaji Usman Faruk, a former military governor of North-West State during the General Yakubu Gowon regime, have dismissed the threats of the leader of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), Mujahideen Dokubo Asari, telling him to go and brush up on his History of Nigeria.
The response came yesterday at the Sultan Bello Mosque in Kaduna wher Faruk, a frequent face at the Sheik Ahmad Gumi’s Ramadan sermon, was asked to speak, from the elders’ perspective, on Asari’s threat to Northern Nigeria.
A source at the event related to SaharaReporters that Alhaji Faruk first commented that the elders had waited to hear whether President Goodluck Jonathan would say something about Asari’s threats to cut off the North and his bragging about the armoury under the NDVF, but that no such response had come.
Of the elders, he then noted that they were the ones that fought the civil war. “We conquered them including their Bayelsa and gained victory, the answer I will give him is he is not the first to fly the kite.”
Faruk said that before the start of the civil war in 1967, his government set Chief Obafemi Awolowo free from prison although it was another government that had put him there.
“Eventually when the war was to start with Biafra, [Awolowo] went to Ibadan and gathered all Yorubas that they should know the war about to commence was between the North and the East, and the Yoruba in the West were not part of it,” he said.
“We received this with shock and the whole Northerners met in Kaduna and we issued them a warning that we heard they (Yoruba) were not part of it and we agreed but we have one demand,” he said.
That condition, according to him was the establishment of a One Mile Corridor. “From Offa which is in our region, from the rail line to the sea (wharf) we declare One Mile Military Corridor, meaning all of them who built houses within One Mile, we will crush down their houses. And nobody will stop our vehicles and vessels from accessing the sea, this we told our Yorubas in Ilorin to tell them. And from that time we never hear them. This is Military Corridor, we of the past hope our children will carry it,” warning that nobody could stop the people of the North, whom he said number 120 million, from accessing the sea.
“If he doesn’t know let Dokubo go and read history,” Faruk said. “Awolowo attempted he failed talk less of one boy.”
He also disputed the Nigeria’s population according to religion, blaming Obasanjo for refusing identification by religious faith in the 2006 census in order to avoid proving that Muslims are populated than the rest. “Today, our population is as Muslims is 120 million and the rest are 50 million,” he said. “Because of this, if census will be conducted again they must be column for religion.”
The source said Faruk also blamed politicians, including Northerners he claimed to have been bribed, for the onshore/offshore economic imbalance.
“This comprehension is above our people here it means, crude oil extracting in the sea and that in the non sea region,” he said. “From Lagos to the high sea it about 200 mile and people like Ghali Umar Na’abba in their time were bribed and they conceded to the onshore/offshore deceit. This case was taken to Supreme Court and the court ruled against it, despite that our lawmakers did not do anything. Today, what Bayelsa State is collecting with just about 3 million people triple what Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Katsina States 10 times.”
He said that legislators of Northern extraction in the federal legislature must challenge and change this situation in view of the fact that the Supreme Court has ruled against it. If they cannot do it, he warned, they should all come back home.