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True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State - Politics - Nairaland

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True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by sarrki(m): 6:53am On Feb 15
Away from politics, today's column on the back page of Saturday Tribune explodes myths and unmasks the ethnic origins of Nigeria's past military and civilian heads of state: Nigeria’s education system robs Nigerians of basic knowledge about their country and its people. That’s why although ethnic identity is a central part of Nigeria’s national imagination, most Nigerians know awfully little about the ethnic identities of their rulers.

In the absence of accurate, official information, most people have resorted to assumptions, guesswork, and outright falsehoods on the ethnic origins of their rulers—and on most things about the country, leading me to once characterize Nigeria as a “know-nothing nation” in my August 10, 2013 column.

I have chosen to dedicate today’s column to providing accurate, verifiable information about the ethnic identities of Nigeria’s past presidents and heads of state.

1. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Several people, particularly in the South, have assigned a Hausa, Fulani, or “Hausa-Fulani” ethnic identity to Nigeria’s first Prime Minister. But he was neither ethnically Hausa nor Fulani. Of course, if he was neither Hausa nor Fulani, he couldn’t conceivably be “Hausa-Fulani.”

He came from a small ethnic minority group called the Gere, whom Hausa people call Bagere or Bageri (singular) and Gerawa (plural). Gere is not mutually intelligible with Hausa or Fulfulde. It’s a wholly separate ethnic group that traces distant roots from what is now Chad.

As I pointed out in my January 23, 2016 column titled “Gere:Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa’s Real Ethnic Group,” a 1905 Journal of the Royal African Society article by a G. Merrick titled “Languages in Northern Nigeria” said the Gere are “closely related to the Bolewa [a minority language spoken mostly in Fika Emirate in Yobe State] and living to the west of them.”

2. Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi: There is no question that Aguiyi-Ironsi, who became Head of State after Tafawa Balewa’s assassination, was Igbo from Umuahia in what is now Abia State.

3. Yakubu Gowon: Although he was raised in Wusasa near Zaria, which is home to Fulani Christians, his parents were Angas (also called Ngas) from what is now Plateau State. Angas is an Afro-Asiatic language like Hausa, but it is mutually unintelligible with Hausa.

As I pointed out in my April 3, 2016 column titled “Nigerian Languages are More Closely Related Than You Think,” “Another surprising fact about Nigeria’s language family classification is that Hausa, the most prominent member of the Afro-Asiatic family in Nigeria, shares the same ancestor with the Angas of Plateau State. In fact, just like Hausa, Angas belongs to the Chadic subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic language family. Yet two ethnic groups couldn’t be more culturally different than the Hausa and the Angas.”

4. Murtala Mohammed: Murtala Mohammed's paternal identity is the subject of elaborate, long-standing speculations. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who is now Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II, once wrote that Murtala Mohammed was Fulani. A few other people from Kano say the same thing. But several other people say it was only Murtala’s mother that was Fulani from Kano.

His paternal identity is shrouded in controversy. But the most credible clue to his paternal identity, in my opinion, is the assertion that his father was from northern Edo State. A man by the name of Austin Braimoh, who says he is Murtala’s paternal first cousin, wrote in a February 19, 2016 Vanguard article titled “Remembering Murtala Mohammed” that Murtala’s father's name was Dako Mohammed and that he migrated to Kano from the village of Igbe in the Auchi area of Edo State after briefly living in Lagos.

“It is well documented that General Murtala Mohammed made efforts to reach out to his paternal relations before his demise,” he wrote. “Two months into his tenure as Head of State, he was at Auchi to confer with the Otaru of Auchi Alhaji Guruza Momoh. He invited him to join him to that year’s Hajj in Mecca. On his way out of Auchi, he directed that a mosque be erected at Aviele, near Auchi in a predominantly Muslim settlement. The mosque was completed after his death and named after him.”

Given the number of people with “Auchi” ancestry who rose to prominence in the Kano society, including the legendary Isyaku Rabiu, this claim isn't far-fetched.

5. Olusegun Obasanjo: Obasanjo’s Owu ethnicity is well-known. There is nothing to add or take away from it. Of course, the Owu are a subgroup of the Yoruba ethnic group.

6. Shehu Shagari: Shehu Shagari’s Fulani ethnicity is also well-known. Although he also spoke Hausa, he self-identified as Fulani. His great-grandfather founded the town whose name he adopted as his last name.

7. Muhammadu Buhari: Apart from being phenotypically Fulani like Shagari, Buhari also never missed an opportunity to proclaim his Fulani ethnic identity. In fact, at 18, when he applied to enlist in the Nigerian military, he gratuitously mentioned his ethnicity. “I have the honour to apply for regular service in the Royal Nigerian Army,” he wrote on October 18, 1961. “My name is Muhammadu Buhari and I am a Fulani.”

8. Ibrahim Babangida: IBB’s ethnic identity is surprisingly a magnet for controversy and speculations. He has been called Gbagyi (whom Hausa people call Gwari), Nupe, and even Yoruba from Ogbomoso or Osogbo. But he told journalists and his biographers at different times that his immediate ancestors were Hausas from Kano who migrated to what is now Niger State.

I’d rather go with his self-definition of his ethnic identity than the evidence-free claims of others.

9. Abdulsalami Abubakar: Because Minna, where Abubakar was born, was founded by the Gbagyi, people have also assumed that he is Gbagyi. But he told a biographer that he was born to Hausa parents. Since Hausas are not native to Minna, it must mean that, like IBB, his immediate ancestors came to Minna from Nigeria’s northwest.

10. Umaru Musa Yar’adua: Yar’adua has been erroneously called “Fulani” because of his phenotypic features, but his immediate paternal ancestors are actually Tuaregs, possibly from Mauritania. The Tuaregs are a branch of the Berber cluster in North Africa. Many Tuaregs (whom Hausa people call Buzu) in northern Nigeria tend to be mistaken for Fulani because of the similarities in their physical features. I got to know that the Yar’Adua family are Tuaregs when I lived in Katsina town in the late 1990s.

Another prominent Tuareg family in northern Nigeria that people mistake for Fulani is the Baba-Ahmed family in Kaduna State.

11. Goodluck Jonathan: Jonathan is often mistaken for an Ijaw, but he is not. He is from a small ethnic group called the Ogbia (or Ogbinya), which is linguistically and ethnically unrelated to Ijaw. As of 2006, according to records, the Ogbia were a little over 266,000.

As I pointed out in my August 3, 2013 column titled “What’s REALLY President Goodluck Jonathan’s Ethnic Group?” while Ijaw belongs to the Atlantic-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo language family, Ogbia belongs to the Central Delta subphyla, but historians say the ancestors of the Ogbia people most likely migrated to their present location from present-day Edo State. Ogbia has its own dialects, which are all mutually intelligible, according to Ethnologue. They are Agholo (or Kolo), Oloibiri, and Anyama.

Concluding Thoughts
A distribution of the paternal ethnic identities of Nigeria’s presidents and heads of state shows that the Hausa and the Fulani each had two, and Yoruba, Igbo, Angas, Ogbia, Tuareg, and Etsako (or Afenmai) each had one.

Of course, that’s simplistic. Identity in northern Nigeria is more complex than that. Religion is a more important marker of identity than ethnicity is. For instance, although Abubakar Tafawa Balewa was Gere, he was culturally Hausa and was indistinguishable from a Hausa or Fulani Muslim.

Nonetheless, in the interest of historical accuracy, it doesn’t hurt to be familiar with the facts about the ethnic identities of Nigeria’s past and present presidents and heads of states.

https://www.farooqkperogi.com/2020/02/true-ethnic-origins-of-nigerias-past.html?m=1

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by 360degreess(m): 7:52am On Feb 15
All i know is;North is hausa and hausg is North.

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by Sammy07: 8:02am On Feb 15
Judging from the write up.
2 Hausas
2 Fulanis
1 Yoruba
1 Igbo

Others are minorities.

55 Likes 2 Shares

Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by rafindo(m): 8:09am On Feb 15
Sammy07:
.
.


Even internet can not cure your illiteracy. Don't worry continue to spin that trash of 3 ethnic group in Nigeria to your already myopic self.

42 Likes 4 Shares

Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by Citytrend: 8:11am On Feb 15
Not a bad idea for History Students
One the other hand, I wish God will open our eyes to see what ethicity has done to this country

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by Sammy07: 8:11am On Feb 15
rafindo:
.


Even internet can not cure your illiteracy. Don't worry continue to spin that trash of 3 ethnic group in Nigeria to your already myopic self.

Have you taken your drugs today
It's past 8.

38 Likes 4 Shares

Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by clevvermind(m): 8:12am On Feb 15
The north is still a mess despite their rulership over the years.

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by valarmorghulis: 8:34am On Feb 15
What about shonekan?

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by MelesZenawi: 8:52am On Feb 15
Sammy07:
Judging from the write up.
2 Hausas
2 Fulanis
1 Yoruba
1 Igbo

Others are minorities.

Hausa-fulani remains the right word...both must be together.

25 Likes 3 Shares

Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by Caseless: 9:14am On Feb 15
where is abacha and shonekan? We all contributed to the mess we have today. No one is living the wreckage.

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by Caseless: 9:15am On Feb 15
MelesZenawi:


Hausa-fulani remains the right word...both must be together.
nothing of such is existing.

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by solmus: 9:19am On Feb 15
cool



I have always told people who just lump north up as just an ethnic group, North is diverse just as the South, just that they are bounded by religion

I look forward to a day that reality about the imaginary Hausa-Fulani Oligarchy they sell to dummies get exposed s, Hausa is hausa, fulani is fulani, many Kanuri's Nupes, Gwari all intermarries Fulani, but Fulani smartly dominate hausa politically with the fraudulent hausa-fulani narrative... truth is Hausa can.never get Presidency, or even become a member of common Meyetti Allah, they cant even become Emirs and that was why they sided British Empire in chasing few fulani back

..






.

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by unbitchable(m): 9:29am On Feb 15
Caseless:
where is abacha and shonekan?
We all contributed to the mess we have today. No one is living the wreckage.
The list is not complete

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by Dreambeat: 10:30am On Feb 15
Great article. Never knew about a couple of information in the article but the article is right about Goodluck Jonathan.He is Ogbia and not Ijaw like most people who are not Bayelsans or haven't lived in Bayelsa think. Ogbia is only POLITICALLY Ijaw but are in no way the same people.

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by wwwihy: 10:39am On Feb 15
No Abacus
No Ernest Shonekan

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by orisa37: 11:57am On Feb 15
Sammy07:
Judging from the write up.
2 Hausas
2 Fulanis
1 Yoruba
1 Igbo

Others are minorities.





It's
HAUSA
YORUBA
IGBO. Others are Satellites of these three.

13 Likes

Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by orisa37: 11:59am On Feb 15
Citytrend:
Not a bad idea for History Students




What about Abacha? He was an Abomination.

2 Likes

Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by yeyeboi(m): 12:02pm On Feb 15
You should have included failed leaders and failed head of states angry
Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by Auxtin85(m): 12:03pm On Feb 15
Buhari is a Fulani from where please

2 Likes

Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by jaxxy(m): 12:03pm On Feb 15
What has ethnic origin got to do with good governance? We keep deceiving ourselves with tribal bigotry and using ethnicity as benchmarks for performance.

When sm1 is capable and can perform it’s obvious by certain traits and attributes ethnicity isn’t one.

If u like u can keep glorifying ur tribal bigotry and languishing in ur absolute ignorance.

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by FuckThaMod: 12:04pm On Feb 15
So Hausa and fulani has produced 2 presidents each..
Can they now allow the rest to rule? undecided At least Pity itsekiri and urobo them cry

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by Young6x1: 12:04pm On Feb 15
While some adults are here checking their NL likes. Shouting afonja, biafla, brown roof, osu and blaming Buhari

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by visijo(m): 12:05pm On Feb 15
1⃣ INTELLIGENCE is like Underwear, necessary to have but unnecessary to show.

2⃣ DIGNITY is like VIRGINITY, once lost, it can never be regained.

3⃣ TRUE FRIENDS are like BRA, always there to hold us in our falling days.

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by ablemachine(m): 12:06pm On Feb 15
Ok

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by NaijaMutant(f): 12:06pm On Feb 15
Buhari's identity is still uncertain undecided

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by Donaldoni: 12:07pm On Feb 15
If you could add Ironsi, why didn't you add Shonekan

What of acting president Osinbajo

Waiting for piggiiddiiioootts to come for my head... grin

8 Likes 1 Share

Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by psychologist(m): 12:08pm On Feb 15
In conclusion

Nigeria was sold to northerners for a peanut since time immemoral

4 Likes

Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by Bonessaw: 12:08pm On Feb 15
Olu Obasanjo’s ethnic group is shrouded in secrecy just as Murtala

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by seunlayi(m): 12:09pm On Feb 15
*

Fulani will soon have their own country, shecow will be the first President of the region that has 4ever bn a burden infested with parasites, he has warned someone never to come to near that territory again

***

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Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by davillian(m): 12:09pm On Feb 15
And no general angrysani abacha
Re: True Ethnic Origins Of Nigeria’s Past Presidents And Heads Of State by ZombieHUNT: 12:10pm On Feb 15
360degreess:
All i know is;North is hausa and hausg is North.

Liar....
There is nothing like North

Just group of rag heads whose elites use religion to dupe and impoverish

8 Likes

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