Muhammadu Sanusi, the Emir of Kano, used the launching of the Association of Foreign Relations Professionals of Nigeria to address the migration problematic, wherein he reduced it to Africans’ migrations into Europe which has of course created another problematic for Europe itself, with its solution anchored on ensuring that these migrants are virtually forced to stay in their countries enticed with some economic incentives while tightening European borders. Muhammadu Sanusi’s solution is based on what he called a review of the World Economic Order, declaring that “we set up the world system that transfers resources of Africa to the rest of the world….”
By not defining the “we”, he lumped the victims and perpetrators together thus creating a collective responsibility under whose aegis a “conversation on migration that is part and parcel of a wider conversation of the world order on what can the world do to develop Africa” will take place while at the same time lamenting “trade liberalization” as the culprit, when it is not so.
Trade, liberalized or not, is a function of a political economy, which in this instance, was founded on the Slave Trade and subsequently, colonization, transferring Africa’s human and material resources to Europe and under which Migration, in all its manifestation, form an intrinsic part. Such migrations are always forced, being an integral part of the relations between Africa and Europe, with the form of force determined by a prevailing political economy.
Thus, Arab Slave Trading of Africans forced a migration into the then Asia Minor and now Middle East, followed by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade which forced Africans into Europe and the “new World”, both of which occurred because the mode of production of the period depended on Slave Labor which accounted for a large percentage of European/New World productivity. Slavery as a form of migration was replaced by “voluntary” migration once Slave labor was no longer profitable and a new form of political and therefore economic control became necessary which led to formal colonization, which, in effect, made Africans look unto Europe for direction, leading to some form of assimilation of the African into the European political economy and raising a corps of “native” overseers while surrendering the “African personality” as a human being created just as other human beings were.
Colonialism became unprofitable for Europe, more so when the in-fighting among European powers was heading towards self-destruction hence a new methodology of control, with its own migration platform, was established through “Independence”; a move now clearly acknowledged as an opportunity for Europe to appoint her overseers for its African plantations euphemistically called countries or Nation-States, with an architecture either imposed by the colonial power or replicated by the “native” overseers hence the retention of a political economy mandating migration into the mother country.
Attempts by the African, on the continent or the Diaspora, to generate alternatives had always been met with a conspiracy between the African overseers and the European plantation owners to destroy the effort.
Thus, while France was still trying to come to terms with her despotic Monarchy, the Slaves in Haiti on August 21 1791 rose up in revolt and carried out the first successful anti-slavery/anti-colonial revolution against France, preceding the French in their “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite”; while the rest of the “world”, that is, Europe and America, feverishly worked towards its neutralization so much so that Haiti was forced to pay “reparations” to France in order to maintain its freedom, coordinated by French and American banks, a situation which is on-going, so much so that Haiti is now heavily indebted to France and the US.
All of these took place while the Peoples of Africa, already balkanized into different countries, and sustained by an architecture of State alienating them from themselves, that is, making them who they are not, are settled in their subordination to the same American/European banks via the political suzerainty of the African Overseers imposed by Euro-America with the post-independence political economy initially anchored on military rule but now characterized as “democracy” which consisted of nothing more than periodic elections while forces of plantation life subsist and strengthened by a security mechanism sustained by the same West.
The attempt by early continental anti-colonialists to address the artificiality imposed on the Peoples of Africa through the colonial boundaries was neutralized by the same forces of the Plantation and its overseers, of which Muhammadu Sanusi’s nationality, the Fulani, played a prominent part, both in Nigeria and Africa. “Trade Liberalization” thus becomes useful in excusing this Nationality’s role, as a general overseer, in bringing this economic order into fruition.
It was under the watch of the Northern Peoples’ Congress, a Fulani-controlled political party in the then Northern Region, that Nigeria led other countries to scuttle the effort of those like Kwame Nkrumah and our own Obafemi Awolowo in their attempt to address the economic order through neutralizing the artificial boundaries created by the colonial authorities and whose retention became the source of internal instability and crisis and economic underdevelopment now haunting them and being lamented by Muhammadu Sanusi.
Conversion of these artificialities into permanent boundaries ensured the atomization of various African Peoples and prevented the establishment of an African Political Economy anchored on a Federation of African Peoples, an example of which had been visible in the Western Region as a model of development on the continent.
Africa’s history since 1960 had been one long series of attempts at sustaining these artificialities, a condition fitting perfectly well with colonial designs and which flowed from the earlier periods of conquest, where every foreign invasion invariably demands the atomization of the Peoples. That these overseers are simply anti-African development is shown by their “following their masters’ voice” in setting up ECOWAS exactly as the EEC and followed up by an AU on the same pattern as the EU and now the African Continental Free Trade Area which Muhammadu Sanusi favors. Yet, if the Fulani-controlled Nigeria had not been an active participant in thwarting the efforts of the Nkrumah/Awolowo group, Africa would have leaped beyond the imaginations of either the EEC or the EU as the expectations of the African at that point would have led to a new international political economy based on the new political configuration. So, Muhammadu Sanusi’s nationality thwarted an African aspiration while now calling on the “world” to come and help develop Africa??? The tragedy of the Nkrumah/Awolowo period now repeating itself as today’s farce.
The problem, therefore, is not a “world system that transfers resources of Africa to the rest of the world” as Muhammadu Sanusi says, since this is a sine qua non for any form of conquest, but the retention of political and economic power in the hands of colonialism’s caretakers parading as African leaders, which sustains such transfers. The consolidation of artificial colonial boundaries by these African entities, led by Nigeria, ensured the decapitation of the ultimate anti-colonial expectations of the various African Peoples by corralling them within an order established to alienate them from their post-colonial expectations.
Muhammadu Sanusi cannot ask France to build solar panels in the Sahel or anywhere under political conditions created by France in furtherance of its own economic and political power; the Sahelian countries’ economies being so dependent on the French Treasury and Muhammadu Sanusi wants her to come and industrialize the Sahel for the benefit of Africans? More like asking the US and France to go help Haiti’s agricultural development when the US had dumped her subsidized rice into Haiti, undercutting Haitian farmers and ruining her agriculture thus making Haiti the third largest world importer of US rice.
Yet, Muhammadu Sanusi would not touch the anti-developmental political foundation now being operated by the Fulani to sustain the colonial political economy for Nigeria through further centralization and unitarization coupled with the mantra on “indivisibility of Nigeria”, just as the various wars on the continent resulted from this attempt at sustaining the artificialities and for Nigeria, the Fulani North is the champion despite the evidence of an alternative paradigm that played out prior to 1966, which the same Fulani North proclaims as of greater value than what obtains now. A “new world economic order” cannot be created on the foundation of the old political economy of underdevelopment and which, supposedly, is the reason for the call for a new order.
“Migration”, internal or external, is a fundamental and existential issue for the Fulani who had even claimed it as a cultural and economic necessity with a so-called ECOWAS Protocol legitimizing their cultural migration, even when now being presented as an African or Sahelian economic question. This was why the Emir would premise his solutions on an assumption that all the Peoples of Nigeria and/or Africa are faced with a singular economic imperative, which is not so; even if only because no other People(s) of West Africa made cultural-political pretensions as to any of its economic paradigm or vice-versa. His call for a new order without dismantling the present order has therefore, rather than solving the question, merely justified it.
Nigeria is now passing through a phase where it can become the beacon for Africa in resolving this fundamental question for the Peoples of Africa. The 2019 Elections brings this into the fore: solidifying Fulani homogenizing mission through further centralization, especially when the two major contenders are expected to be Fulani, or opening up the way for a Federation of the Peoples of Nigeria.
For “ooduapathfinder”, the latter is the only acceptable option with the motto: “Neither Buhari (APC) nor PDP”.