111 Years of the Martyrdom of Caliph Attahir: An Insight
Caliph Attahir popularly called Attahirun-Ahmadu in the northern part of Nigeria, is the great grandson of the 18th century Islamic revivalist and reformer in Nigeria, Sheikh Uthman bn Fodio (TR). He was martyred on 27th July, 1903 in the western Sudan, Bormi, Bajoga local government area of Gombe state today.
His resistance had led a successful revolution as that of grandson of the prophet of Islam, Imam Hussain (as) in the land of Karbala on the 10th Muharram 62 AH. He left Sokoto for Makkah (Saudi Arabia) to seek asylum but the forces of Lugard under the leadership of Major Marsh followed him, giving him no option but to kill him. The courageous, fearless caliph Attahiru, family and his disciple confronted the forces of Lugard, until his last breathe chanting ‘there is no deity of worship except Allah and Muhammad is his messenger’.
The colonialist came as businessmen, tourist, herdsmen spying the resources and the nature the country. In 1897, they formed a company as part of the scramble popularly known as Royal Niger Company after then, Fredrick Lugard formed an army called the Western African Frontier Force (WAFF). The officers of the army were British while the raw recruits were some egotist Nigerians.
The coming of British colonialist to Nigeria is nothing but conspiracy and to protect their selfish interest. Before the British conquered Nigeria, they make pyramid of corpse after the pogrom that took place in Bormi.
The Sokoto Empire then, includes many West African countries such as Nigeria, Burkina-Faso, Mali etc. States in Nigeria that have fallen under the empire were Ilorin, Oyo, Bauchi, and Sokoto among others.
Freakishly, in less than 12 decades, Nigerians seems to have forgotten and fraternize Lugard, which history has recorded him as a Frankenstein monster. Some Nigerians sees him as an intellectual who civilize Nigeria. But the issue is so clarifying that you can understand who Lugard as well as other British colonialist.
Although so called historians and those who claim to be the heirs of the revivalist, sheikh Uthman bn Fodio (TR) had shown the sheikh as an emir rather than a teacher, and Lugard as a hero who came to civilize Nigeria rather than a yahoo. But, a film of the life and works of Uthman bn Fodio (TR), produced by the Islamic movement production suite is on the pipeline. The film will jog the memory of Nigerian who was he and the roll he played.
Celebrating the centenary anniversary in Nigeria has it memorable history from the Lugard-led massacre. In 1897 the West African Frontier Force (WAFF) trampled some states and establishing the northern protectorate. In 1914 northern and southern protectorate were amalgamated, which gave birth to Nigeria formally known as western Sudan before the scramble.
The Academic forum of the Islamic movement in Nigeria organized a three-day seminar to commemorate the 110 years of the martyrdom of caliph Attahiru. The event which started on 26th and wrapped up on the 29 th of December, 2013. The aim of the event was to reflect the resistance of caliph Attahiru and imbibe the sense of resistance. Elite from different part of the Nigeria display their talent by giving account on the pathetic adventure and praise caliph Attahiru as an epitome of resistance.
Today in Nigeria we have a leader that is calling on the words caliph Attahiru was slain, which is ‘there is no deity of worship except Allah and Muhammad is his messenger’. Sheikh Ibraheem Yaqoub Zakzaky (H) is the only person calling to entomb the constitution of Lugard which is built on the platform of secularism and supersede it with the Holy Quran as it was formally in Nigeria.
Sheikh Ibraheem Yaqoub Zakzaky (H) is the only leader that is calling for Islamic unity and against sectarianism as Allah says in the holy Quran “as for those who divide their way of life and break up into sects, you have no part of them at all. There affair is with Allah. He will tell them the truth of what they did in the end”. Indeed, it is undisputable that caliph Attahiru is an unforgettable hero in the Islamic history of Nigeria!
Muhammad Mahdi Garba