Hausa/Fulani “Settlers” in Plateau State: What You Don't Know


Mahamman  Adarawa



It is unfortunate that even after conducting a flawed election and using the opportunity provided by protest against the rigging to commit ethnic cleansing against Hausa/Fulani and Muslims, Jonah Jang and his government officials are still talking about “settlers” and "foreigners". The fact that they are not sober or reflective on the crimes they have committed and no one is calling them to order just showed the decadence in our political and judicial system. What it shows is that retired military officers and political office holders are at liberty to commit and even boast about their crimes.


In the medieval chronicles, Kasashen Bauchi (Present day Plateau and parts of Bauchi and Nasarawa) was in reality part of Kwararafa Kingdom, which was one of the Medieval Hausa Kingdoms. Infact, most of the tribes inhabiting the eastern and southern part of the Kasashen  Bauchi have linguistic affinities with the Jukuns who were the founders of the Kwararafa kingdom. There was no historical document showing that the place has any other name in the old chronicles apart from Kasashen Bauchi (which meant Bauchi Lands). During the reign of Queen Amina of Zaria (1533-1610), parts of kasashen Bauchi, especially it’s Northern and Western reaches became part of Zazzau Hausa Kingdom. After the death of Queen Amina of Zazzau, Kwararafa regained its strength and sent frequent raids to the other Hausa Kingdoms like Zazzau and Kano for booty, after that it disintegrated around the eighteenth century.


During the revolution of the nineteenth century, Usman Danfodio appointed Yakubu, an indigene of Bauchi (one of his disciples) as the first emir. He established one of the best multiethnic emirates in Northern Nigeria.


When the colonialists arrived at the beginning of the twentieth century, they referred to the area as the Bauchi Plateau (Kasashen Bauchi) and administered the whole area as Bauchi province.


Hausas already on the Plateau founded a settlement they called Jos, when tin mining started and hence they are called Jasawa. Later, the Emir of Bauchi appointed Magajin Gari (overseer) and Qadi(Judge) of Jos from Bauchi city. Fulani  herdsmen who have being grazing their cattle on the mountains and valleys of the Plateau for centuries, as well as Kanuri traders also participated in building Jos. Subsequently Jarrawa, Birom, Naraguta and Rukuba tribesmen came down from the surrounding hills to settle. The amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates as well as the building of the railway brought Igbo and Yoruba traders making Jos one of the best examples of a vibrant multi ethnic city in Africa.


In 1926, the colonialist carved out Plateau province from Bauchi because of the large size and ethnic diversity of the province. General Gowon later merged it with Benue Province to become Beune Plateau state in 1967. When General Murtala created more states in 1976, Benue was made a separate state. Subsequently in 1996, Abatcha created Nasarawa state out of Plateau state.


The fascists who promote the idea of “indigene and settler” in Plateau state have never hidden their greed, bigotry and hatred of other ethnic and religious groups. In 1976, they tested the waters when one of their gangs (Bukar Dimka, Gagara and Dabang) assassinated Murtala Muhammed and Ibrahim Taiwo in cold blood. This infuriated the whole country leading the government to institute a military tribunal that recommended capital punishment for them. This made the fascists to stop using cold-blooded murder as a way of settling scores for some time.

In the 1980s, they shamelessly resorted to harassing, frustrating and kicking out people from Benue and Kogi states out of the Universities and Federal institutions in the state, even though they participated in development of the Universities.


Since their relatives were in the military governments of the mid 1980 and 90s, there was a lull in their evil.


When Obasanjo came to power in 1999, they had thought he would dance to their evil tunes all the time. There were riots and ethnic cleansing against Muslims and Hausa /Fulani in Jos over an appointment of a Hausa man to a Federal position in 2001 and then further ethnic cleansing followed in Yelwan Shendam(2004) in which the then Plateau state Government of Joshua Dariye was found to be involved. Even the leadership of his party, which used to protect misdemeanours of its members, could not hide his atrocities and irresponsibility, leading Obasanjo to declare a state of emergency.


It is unfortunate that a more irresponsible, callous and fascist Governor, who in 2008 organised and rigged a local government election and then ordered shooting of protesting opposition party members as well as ethnic cleansing  could not be reprimanded. He also hoodwinked journalists by parading Innocent “Okada commercial cyclists” as foreign mercenaries!


At this time of writing, the living victims from previous Jos and Yelwan Shendam ethnic cleansing are wasting away in refugee camps in Bauchi state! If the Governor of Plateau state and his officials are bent on ethnic cleansing not to talk of rehabilitation of the living victims, don’t we have a Federal Government to return and rehabilitate the victims?


In conclusion, it is an abomination for anyone to call Hausa/Fulani and indeed all ethnic and religious groups “settlers” in Plateau state. The latest ethnic cleansing of Hausa/Fulani and Muslims by the savage and primitive fascists in Plateau state hiding behind Christianity and irrational tribal jingoism is a crime against humanity and attempt at inciting civil war. Jang and his officials should be prosecuted as soon as possible to save our country from disintegration .