By Chima Chibueze
For Family Writers

1. The Founder Was A Jihadist.
Many Nigerians may already know that the Fula empire in Nigeria was founded by Sheykh Othman Ibn Fudi (Usman dan Fodio) in 1804 but what a lot of them don't seem to know is that it was created through an ISIS-styled jihad: about the same method and intent of Abubakar Shekau.

Othman—the leader of the Fulani jihad, and his followers were members of the then most notorious Islamic extremist group called Qadiri. His military campaign started as if it was for the establishment of a fundamentalist Islamic state in the already existing Islamic kingdoms of the Hausa people but indeed extended to non-Muslim territories southwards. Just like ISIS and Boko Haram, he captured and enslaved non-Muslims and then "offered" them a chance to become Muslims. 

He instigated numerous other jihads outside his domain after the end of his "holy war". Based on his writings, his intent could be understood as the total islamisation of and strict implementation of Sharia throughout Bilad as-Sudan—the then known Black Africa by Arabs. 

2. Various Terms For The Fulani Caliphate. 
The Fula empire is commonly referred to as the Sokoto Caliphate in reference to the suzerain in Sokoto. It is also called "the North", and Fula oligarchs refer to themselves as the "core North". When they say Ilorin belongs to the North, what they rightly mean is that the emirate of Ilorin is part of the Fula empire.

In more recent times, they refer to the Fulani empire as the "estate" of their great grandfather Othman bn Fudi; that estate is Nigeria—the old Sokoto caliphate along with the "conquered" Southern Niger-area apparently acquired for them by the British colonialists. 

3. Fulani Herdsmen. 
Traditionally, the Fulani are nomads and herd their cattle as they migrate from place to place. Some of them, like Othman Ibn Fudi's father, may eventually settle down in cities. However, it should be noted that all Fulani herdsmen are Muslims. 

One of the prominent attributes of a Fula oligarch is the ownership of herds of cattle. This means he has a number of workers (i.e. herdsmen) under his control. The oligarchs run their cattle-rearing businesses like mafia bosses and arm the herdsmen, who also served as their personal soldiers, with (initially) machetes, bows and arrows; and (recently)  automatic rifles. Hence, the herdsmen are also known as Fulani militants.

Fulani militants are employed to seize lands for their masters and expand the Fulani's Islamic territory. 

Othman ibn Fudi used them extensively during the Fulani jihad. In fact, they were the main mujahedeen of that war. They built Othman's Fula empire with the blood of the infidels. 

In Nigeria today, Fula oligarchs make up a syndicate formally known as Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN). This doesn't mean Fula oligarchs are not into other commercial businesses other than cattle breeding. The MACBAN is just some sort of an elite club. 

4. The Sultan of Sokoto. 
The Sultan of Sokoto is the caliph (or emperor) of the Fula empire and the supreme religious leader of all Muslims under his suzerainty. In other words, he is the emperor as well as the pope of the Fula Islamic state. Since Othman era till date, all successive sultans of the Sokoto caliphate are members of Qadiri. Many former and current emirs within the caliphate are members of Qadiri while some others were or are members of Tijani, an equally fundamentalist group. 

5. The Islamic Empire Itself. 
The Fula Islamic empire, from its foundation, is a radical and extremist Islamic state, and over the years has contracted and bred more deadlier sects and constantly births many more seriously wicked fundamentalists. Some of them, aside from the Qadiri and Tijani, are the Wahhabis and the Salafis. 
There isn't much difference between Wahhabism and Salafism; both are associated with the following internationally notorious Islamic death cults: Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and Daesh. 

The Fula Sokoto empire is only two-hundred-years old. It was barely a hundred-years old when British colonialists interrupted it in 1903. Right now, it is at what may be called the "juvenile stage". It has only had just one dynasty. It is very eager to conquer and annex more lands. Remember, as has been mentioned, the primary objective of Othman's jihad (and subsequent jihads he inspires) was to bring all of Bilad as-Sudan under an uncompromising and strict Islamic rule led by the Fula race. Now, Bilad as-Sudan in the modern map is the approximate area that is West Africa and eastern Central Africa. One could think that Islamisation of such a vast area is impracticable but note that most of these countries there are practically Muslim countries.

Currently, the Sokoto Caliphate's main focus is to march southwards and "dip the Koran into the Atlantic Ocean" but the march has been a bit slow. Boko Haram is only the handiwork of some impatient elements of the empire who cannot wait any longer for that slow march. Do not forget that Boko Haram's current official designation is Islamic State West Africa Province. 

The resurgence of Fulani militancy, the grazing bill and the accompanying intrigues are the Caliphate's renewed efforts, through Fula syndicates across Bilad as-Sudan, to complete its conquest of the "South".

6. Quotes by Notable Fula Oligarchs.

“We do not want our Southern neighbors to interfere in our development. We have never associated ourselves with the activities of these people. We do not know them, we do not recognize them, and we share no responsibility in their actions. We shall demand our rights when the time is ripe. If the British quit Nigeria now at this stage, the Northern people would continue their uninterrupted conquest to the sea.”
—Tafawa Balewa (Nigeria’s first Prime Minister) in 1947.

“We the people of the North will continue our stated intention to conquer the South and to dip the Koran in the Atlantic ocean after the British leave our shores.” 
—Sir Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna of Sokoto) in 1957.

“This New Nation called Nigeria, should be an estate of our great grandfather, Uthman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the North as willing tools, and the South as conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us, and never allow them to have control over their future”.
—Sir Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of Northern Region) in The Parrot on October 12, 1960.

“I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria... God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country”.
—Muhammadu Buhari in August, 2001.

7. Celebration of Extremism. 
Othman ibn Fudi (Usman dan Fodio) and his jihadi comrades are eulogized in the North by naming places after them. In the case of Usman, they have Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto and Usman dan Fodio Teaching Hospital. There's a Sultan Bello Road and a Sultan Bello Mosque for Muhammed Bello—Usman's son and right-hand commander. There are others. Of course, these were bound to happen. It is like having schools, mosques and streets, in the areas controlled by Islamic State Jihadists, named after notorious terrorists like Abubakar Shekau, Kabiru Sokoto and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

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