Connect with us

News

Arewa And Oduduwa More Alike Than Unlike ~ Professor Farooq A. Kperogi.

Published

on

Arewa and Oduduwa More Alike than Unlike,

By Farooq A. Kperogi.

The past few months have ignited impassioned and frenzied political brickbats between the elites of the South and those of the Muslim North. Plus, over the years, the differences between the people of the regions are often magnified and their similarities papered over. In today’s column, I show how this is all elite manipulation.
Centuries before colonialism and the British-supervised formation of Nigeria, much of what we know today as northern and western Nigeria have had robust relational and cultural encounters, evidence of which still endures in the contemporary linguistic and cultural artifacts of the people.
The centuries-long Trans-Saharan Trade between the Arab world and so-called Sub-Saharan Africa, which passed through much of what is now northern and western Nigeria between the eight and the seventeenth centuries, brought traces of Islam and cultural interchanges in both places.
Thereafter, both regions witnessed massive migrations of the Mandinka people from the Mali empire who brought more concentrated expressions of Islam—and monarchies. That is why much of what used to be the Oyo empire was actually ethnically syncretic. Take northern Oyo, called Oke-Ogun in Yorubaland, for example. Several of the towns and villages there were founded by people from Borgu who themselves trace their ancestry to Mali.
READ ALSO: Nobel Prize: Profile of New Peace Laureate Maria Ressa
For instance, Ogbomoso, a major Oyo town, was founded by a Baatonu (Bariba) prince. The title of the town’s monarch, “Soun,” is a corruption of “Suno,” the Baatonu word for king. Kishi, another major town in Oke-Ogun, was founded by a Baatonu prince by the name of Kilishi Yeruma. Kilishi is the Hausa word for rug (which symbolizes the throne) and Yeruma is the corruption of the Kanuri “yerima,” which means prince. But “Kilishi Yeruma” is a fossilized, time-honored title in all of Borgu, which is a cultural melting pot, for the heir apparent to the throne.
Even the town of Igboho whose son, Sunday Igboho, has become the symbol of “Oduduwa republic,” is ethnically syncretic. Apart from the large number of Fulani people in and around the town who have lived there for centuries, some of whom have become culturally and linguistically Yoruba, there is a major neighborhood there that is called Boni.
Boni is the generic Borgu birth-order name for the fourth son. That is why many Igboho people embrace me as their brother when they find out where I am from even though I don’t speak Yoruba well enough to sustain a conversation in it.
Historical accounts also reveal that during the Trans-Saharan Trade, many Hausa people worked as intermediaries between Arab traders and the Alaafin of Oyo. Most didn’t return to their places of birth, and their descendants are now Yoruba people.
Similarly, we read from the late Professor Abdullahi Smith’s account of the tiff between Afonja and the Alaafin of Oyo that a large chunk of Afonja’s army, called the Jama’a, was drawn from Hausa slaves who escaped from the Alaafin’s palace.
And the Fulani presence in Yoruba land preceded the coming of Mu’alim “Alimi” Salihu to Ilorin by several decades, perhaps centuries. As I pointed out in a past column titled “Ilorin is an Ethnogenesis: Response to Kawu’s Anti-Saraki Ilorin Purism,” some of Afonja’s followers, with whom he fought the Alaafin, according to Abdullahi Smith who quoted the Ta’alif, a pamphlet written in Arabic by an Ilorin Yoruba Muslim cleric about the events of the time at the time they occurred, were Fulani pastoralists who were never Muslims.
The pastoralists had lost their cattle to tsetse fly bites and “had nothing to lose,” according to Smith, so they became Afonja’s mercenaries. One of the Fulani pastoralists whom Alimi couldn’t convert to Islam, was a man named Ibrahim Olufade who spoke perfect Yoruba and Fulfulde and acted as the interpreter for Afonja in his initial interactions with Alimi.
In other words, Fulani people had been bearing Yoruba names in Yorubaland at least a century before Nigeria was formed. I won’t be surprised if descendants of Ibrahim Olufade are now Yoruba (nationalists) if they are in western Nigeria.
My hunch has some basis in real-life examples. One of northern Nigeria’s most celebrated journalists, the late Hajia Bilikisu Yusuf, was descended from Yoruba people who migrated to Kano generations ago. She was one of the most passionate defenders of Arewa that I know.
When the late Mohammed Sule, author of the famous The Undesirable Element in the Pacesetter Series, told me of Hajia Bilikisu’s Yoruba background in Kaduna in the late 1990s, I was incredulous. But he said they were neighbors in Kano and swore that Hajia Bilikisu’s grandfather still spoke Yoruba.
The ancestors of the late Professor Ibrahim Ayagi of Kano were Yoruba. As he himself told the Daily Trust on September 2, 2018, “Unguwar Ayagi was initially inhabited by the Yoruba and Nupawa, who came from outside and settled here. That’s how the place became known as Ayagi. So most of the people in Ayagi are Yoruba, Nupe and, of course, Hausa.”
In fact, a one-time civilian governor of old Sokoto State (i.e., present-day Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi states) traces his ancestry to a Yoruba man. And he governed the heart of the caliphate.
Given this depth and breadth of relational interconnectedness, it is no surprise that northern and western Nigeria share an extensive repertoire of cultural vocabularies that are derived from Arabic, Songhai (because the Malians who brought Islam to Hausa land, Borgu, and Yorubaland abandoned their language and spoke a dialect of Songhai called Dendi), and mutual borrowings.
I will give a few examples. In both Yoruba land and Borgu, the term from an unmarried girl is some version of the word “wondia.” That’s a Songhai word for an unmarried girl. “Bere,” a title of respect prefixed to the names of older people in Borgu and parts of Yoruba land, is a Songhai word. The word “karambani,” which I was shocked to find out occurs in Yoruba, is a Songhai word that is now integral to the lexis of many languages in Borgu.
Asiri, the word for secret in Hausa, Yoruba, Kanuri, Baatonu, and many other languages in Muslim northern Nigeria, is derived from the Arabic “as-sirr” where it also means “secret.” Wahala, which used to be limited to Yoruba and languages in Muslim northern Nigeria but which is now widely used all over Nigeria, is derived from the Arabic “wahla,” which means “fright,” “terror.”
Yoruba and most languages in Muslim northern Nigeria also use “talaka” (talika in Yoruba) to refer to the poor. The word also appears in Mandinka, Songhai languages, Teda, and in other West African polities where Islam is predominant.
Talaka is derived from “talaq,” the Arabic word for divorce. (The chapter of the Qur’an that deals with the subject of divorce is called Suratul Talaq). Talaq is derived from the verb “talaqa,” which means to “disown,” to “repudiate.” In times past (and it’s still the case today in many Muslim societies) if a woman was divorced, she was invariably thrown into poverty. Thus, Tuaregs used the term “taleqque” to denote a “poor woman.” But Hausa, Kanuri, Yoruba, Mandinka, and other West African languages expanded the original Tuareg meaning of the word to include every poor person.
And although the term “alufa/alfa” has now been replaced by “malam” in Hausa, it is still widely used in Yoruba and other languages in Muslim northern Nigeria and owes etymological debt to the Mandinka. It denotes a Muslim scholar but has evolved to other meanings in the languages that use it. It can be a synonym for Muslim in Baatonu and a husband among Yoruba Muslim women.
It is derived from the Arabic “khalifah,” which means a “successor” or a “representative” (of the prophet of Islam). It was first corrupted to “Alfa” by the Songhai-speaking Mandinka from Mali who later exported their version of the word to western and central Nigeria—and to other parts of West Africa.
The ever-present “lafia/alafia/lapia” that dots the lexis and structure of Yoruba and many languages in Muslim northern Nigeria is derived from the Arabic “afiya,” which means “health.” And “alubosa,” the Yoruba word for “onion,” was borrowed from the Hausa “albasa,” which Hausa itself borrowed from the Arabic “al-basal.”
There are also direct borrowings from the native vocabularies of Yoruba and Arewa languages. To give a few examples, the Yoruba “lakaye” is derived from the Hausa “la’akari.” Seriki, which is even a personal name in Yoruba land, and which often collocates with titles, is borrowed from the Hausa “sarki,” which means king.
Jaara in Yoruba (which has spread to other Nigerian languages, including Pidgin English, where it means a courtesy addition after a purchase) is a loan from the Hausa gyara. Pali in Yoruba is kwali in Hausa.
In a conversation with Dr. Muhammad S Balogun, a polymathic epidemiologist at ABU whose parents are from Offa but who was born and raised in Kano, I also learned that many everyday words in Hausa are borrowed from Yoruba. The examples he gave include ashana [asana], akwatu [apoti], alaakun [alakun], kwana-kwana [pano-pano], gwale-gwale [gbale-gbale], tale-tale [tele-tele], agwaluma [agbalumo], saukale [sokale], awara [wara], atarugu [atarodo], teba [eba], alabo [elubo], ayoyo, agushi [egusi], alala [olele], agogo, keke, kia-kia.
Of course, sharing cultural and linguistic similarities is not a necessary and sufficient condition to unite, but it’s a good starting point. It also helps to remember that while we are different in many ways, we are also more alike than the elites want us to acknowledge.

Nelly Agwu is an educationist, a Blogger, graduate of History. Very dynamic and a realist. A mouthpiece of the oppressed. Easy going and a Philanthropist.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Baltimore University Professor Ivan Sascha Kasheen Sued By IPOB

Published

on

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has announced that its legal luminaries in the United States of America, led by a US Attorney, Dr. Bruce Fein, has sued professor of Baltimore University, Dr. Ivan Sascha Kasheen, in USA to court for writing falsehood and junk against IPOB.

Ivan was said to have been allegedly paid to write false and malicious article against IPOB and its leader which was published by Washington Times.

According to IPOB, the article invariably asked the US State Department to designate a peaceful Sslf-determination movement like IPOB as a terrorist organisation.

A statement by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, said that the law of America will catch up with him for telling lies against a peaceful movement.

The statement added: “Our legal team in America led by Bruce Fein has instituted a case against him in a competent US court. This paid agent will testify before the court why he accused IPOB wrongly and who paid him to do the hatchet job.

“We also wish to announce that IPOB group of lawyers in Nigeria led by Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, will address a World Press Conference in Abuja today, Wednesday, 20th October, 2021 between 10-11 O’clock in the morning

“We, therefore urge members of the public to watch out for the press conference where some burning issues surrounding our Leader’s court appearance and the struggle generally will be addressed.”

Source~ News express

Continue Reading

News

Reasons Why Eight Former Lasu Union leaders Joined Road Transport Employers Association Of Nigeria (RTEAN) Has Emerged

Published

on

Eight former students Union leaders of Lagos State University (LASU) have been inducted into the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).

In a statement by the association’s chairman, Nurudeen Eniafe, and secretary, Olalere Owoseni, in Lagos on Tuesday, the move is part of the rebranding effort to correct the notion that the association consists of uneducated and never-do-well personalities.

The statement lauded the association’s National President, Musa Mohammed, for his efforts in ensuring that the association was sanitised at all times.

“The emergence of Alhaji Musa Mohammed, fondly called Alhaji Mollar, as the National President, represents the turning point of the old public narrative from negative to positive, for arguably the most vibrant trade union in Nigeria.

“We want to commend the national president of the union for cleansing the system and giving student leaders a room to direct the affairs of chapels of the association.

“In the same vein, we want to also appreciate the astute and impeccable role of our father, his royal majesty king Adeshina Raji, the Oniba of Iba Kingdom, who, in his pleasant disposition, gave us his support,” it noted.

The statement quoted a recent report by a media organisation that the Lagos chapter of the National Road Transport Workers Union, generated annual revenues of N123.08bn.

It attributed this to the induction of Nigerian graduates into the association, to offer their expertise.

The induction took place during the inauguration of the LASU chapter of the association.

The inducted students’ union leaders were; Nurudeen Eniafe, Akamo Babatunde, Samuel Olalere, Macarthy Olatunji, Ayomide Bakare, Oladele Omotayo, Isaiah Kuku and Osho Oladele.

(NAN)

Continue Reading

News

Healing Streams Live, Healing Services With Pastor Chris: Getting Ready To Shake The World

Published

on

Healing Streams Live Healing Services with Pastor Chris: an online global phenomenon that has blessed so many lives in countless ways. Streamed via the internet and on various terrestrial and satellite TV and radio stations all over the world, billions have been tremendously blessed by the power of God through healing miracles, salvation in Jesus Christ, and spiritual endowments.

 

Testimonials of supernatural encounters and divine interventions into human situations abound aplenty from those who have participated in these programs since its inception in September 2020, and more especially for the March and July 2021 editions that featured the man of God, Pastor Chris.

 

“My son had skin problem on his back. During the July Healing Streams Live Healing Services, I placed my hand on his back as Pastor Chris was praying. When we woke up the next morning, we saw a huge difference on my baby’s back. He is completely healed. Indeed, God is amazing, I can’t stop praising and thanking Him for what He’s done. My son’s skin was so ugly, but is now perfect,” says Lesego from South Africa.

 

“On the Monday of the week of the recent Healing Streams program in July 2021, I developed a sudden lower back pain whilst in the kitchen. The pain became so severe that I could not sit or even stand but could only lie on my back. I participated in the program from Friday and by the close of the program on Sunday, I was totally healed. The pain disappeared and I can now sit and stand normally. Glory be to Jesus!” Harrison from Spain proclaims.

 

Neither time nor space in any one article would suffice to even begin to tell of the many glorious wonders that God has wrought through the Live Healing Services, which is reminiscent of John’s declaration when he said, “Jesus did many other things. If they were all written in books, I don’t suppose there would be room enough in the whole world for all the books,” (John 21:25 CEV).

 

Still, all that has happened is only just a foretaste of things to come. The Healing Streams Live Healing Services with Pastor Chris will hold from Friday to Sunday, 29–31 October 2021, and it is set to be the biggest and grandest crusade yet. Nothing the world has ever seen will compare to it.

 

On the impact of the upcoming program, the man of God, Pastor Chris says, “We are going to shake the world for Jesus one more time. It’s the biggest thing happening in the world right now.”

 

Language? Time? Distance? There are no barriers to your miracle. The program will be streamed live in over 4,000 languages, on the Healing Streams TV website

 (www.healingstreams.tv) , the Healing School Mobile App, and on Loveworld Networks (TV and radio stations all over the world). You can participate from wherever you are!

 

So, the only question is this: are you ready?

 

There are 4 Ps to remember when preparing for the Healing Streams Live Healing Services with Pastor Chris:

 

  1. Pray about the program and for those who will participate in it.
  2. Publicize it to your world. You sharing the news is the only way some people will hear.
  3. Prepare places; share the program with other by creating on-site and virtual healing centers
  4. Partner. Sponsor the program.

 

To register for the program and for more information on what to do, please visit

www.healingstreams.tv/3days

Continue Reading
Advertisement Advertisement
Advertisement Advertisement

Join Our Newsletters

Trending