MARCH 3,2018

The conquest of Biafra Land also known as (Southern Nigeria) seems to be taking shape after accusation and counter accusation of Islamization. Southern Nigeria is the Christian dominated part of Nigeria with dominant Igbo language. The people of South were divided into Southsouth and Southeast to enable easy rule over them by Britain through Sokoto Caliphate. A region that collectively fought and suffered together suddenly lost unity while Akwa Ibom state that produced the deputy to Ojukwu comes first under Islamic conquest. The Fulanis have reportedly appointed Emir in Ekot-Essie a community in Akwaibom state; the Emir was appointed after the host community people were sacked by invading armed Fulanis. The attack came after many years of harbouring and living with the Fulanis that settled in the community. Prior to the attack, the report is unclear if the Fulanis have a specific amount of money they pay the community leaders of Ekot-Essien for settling on their land. Perhaps, the Fulanis were peacefully allowed to settle in the community from where they graze to other places and also associate with the farmers and people of the community. The conquest of Southern part of Nigeria is massive as many cases of sacked communities are not reported by the media. Most people in the South believe that the failure of the media to report and focus on the conquest going on has a lot to do with the presidency of President Muhammadu Buhari who is the leader of the Fulanis and bona fide Fulani. The failure of Nigerian mainstream media to fight the ongoing conquest has inadvertently made them an accomplice. Nigerian Christians remain the highest persecuted and killed Christians in the world and Fulanis/Boko Haram are the major drivers of the rating. There seems to be no way to stop the onslaught against host communities in various Southern states. The conquest seems to have a tribal colouration but facts and figures have proven it is a religious conquest. An independent survey shows that Fulanis invade only Christian communities in all parts of Nigeria. The survey further showed that they have never invaded any Muslim community in any part of Nigeria. Meanwhile; Fulanis are mostly radical Muslims who believe that infidels (Christians) are not worthy of the air provided by the creator of mankind. This notion has turned the conquest into an orthodox Jihad with more Muslims identifying with the conquest. Nigerian security seems to be using carrot and stick approach to the fight against radical Islam and Fulani menace. Critics have accused the President who said in 2003 that he would ensure the spread of Sharia in the country of supporting the onslaught against Christians in the country. The ongoing religious conquest is indirect to spread Sharia across the country, as believed by the people. The next on the line of successful conquest is Akwaibom state; a Southern state and the first in Southern Nigeria. An indigene of the state and member of the under-siege community who spoke made it clear that the community has fallen and is helpless. The state government and the media feigned ignorance; he further said that notwithstanding they are helpless, they are now getting ready to take back their community. The report says the community people were living happily with the Fulanis but towards the end of the year 2017, Fulanis rebelled against the community. The report stated that Fulanis came into the community armed and killed many while others ran out of their homes for fear of being killed. The community was attacked on the basis that Christmas is forbidden by the Fulanis; the Fulanis had accused the community of infringing on their religious sanctity and dragging them into sin every year. They complained that the observation of Christmas by the community also affects them hence pushing them back into joining the festive period of rest and merry. Christians in Nigeria close their various businesses during Christmas and that affects movement and daily business. The community remains sacked as the possible condition for coming back is if they agreed to stop observing Christmas.

The Fulanis have reportedly installed an Emir in the community who was initially the ‘Ardo’ or Fulani community leader. The installation of Emir is to cement the conquest and start a process of complete takeover of the community. The people of Ekot-Essien remain ousted but massively mobilizing to take back their conquered community.

Ifeanyi Chijioke writes from Abuja He is an author, Analyst, investigative journalist and TV anchor

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