Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has given a scathing reply to a professor of Maitama Sule University, Prof. Umar Labdo over his recent comments.
Labdo, in an interview with Punch, had asserted that the Fulani people of Nigeria is destined to lead Nigeria.
He also said that Fulani people are saddled with the burden of leadership and that they have to shoulder that responsibility because they are qualified for it.
Fani-Kayode has however slammed Labdo’s assertion, describing the Fulani as ‘the least qualified and least deserving to lead’.
“Qualified? How? As a matter of fact, some would argue that in terms of history, they are the least qualified and the least deserving to lead and rule. If it was simply about qualifications and not a brutal show of power and the force of arms, they would be nowhere because there are many nationalities in Nigeria that are far more qualified to take the lead than they were or are.”, he said.
“The Fulani are not amongst the most educated in Nigeria and if the truth be told, education came to them very late.”
“They were so uneducated and unenlightened that they were terrified of Nigeria gaining independence from the British in 1953, when the first motion for Nigeria’s independence was moved because they knew that they could not compete with any of the southern ethnic nationalities in a newly independent Nigeria.
“That is why they said 1953 was too early for our nation to have independence. Imagine someone saying it was too early to be free and to break the yoke of colonialism.
“That is what the North, led by the Fulani, said in 1953. They walked out of Parliament when the motion was moved because they knew that they were not qualified or capable of leading and managing the affairs of a newly independent nation then and they made it clear that they did not want southern leadership or domination and that they would rather have British rule than southern rule. That is why the British loved them so much and favoured them.
“Labdo talks about education and I wonder what he and his people know about it. If not for Federal Character and the quota system, where would they, including Labdo, be today?
“Would he even be a professor? What was his father, his grandfather and his great grandfather in life? Were they educated or were they qualified in any way to lead? I doubt it very much and I don’t want to say the sort of things they may well have been doing. Compare that to the southern experience and their southern counterparts.
“The Yoruba, for example, had people in the best universities in the world like Oxford and Cambridge as far back as the early 1800 when Usman Dan Fodio was still learning to ride a horse and planning his Jihad.
“The Igbo also had many educated and enlightened people then. Do you know how many southern Nigerians were at the great Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leone, which was part of Durham University in the late 1800?
“What do people like Labdo and his progenitors and forefathers know about that? Do you know how many people in the South who were educated by the great Christian missionaries and the Anglican Church, including my great grandfather, Rev. Emmanuel Adebiyi Kayode, who was one of those that first brought Christianity to Ile-Ife (in Osun State) after finishing at Durham University.
“Do you know that his son, my grandfather, Justice Adedapo Kayode, was at Cambridge just as his son, my father, Chief Remi Fani-Kayode, was? Where were their forefathers that were so qualified to lead educated and what was the nature of that education?