- Written by Bukhari Muhammed Bello Jega -
If you judge others, you have no time to love them – Mother Theresa
The recent security challenges occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgence and its attending bombing, killing, and destruction of lives and properties, has presented North, Islam and Nigeria in bad light. The senseless bombing, killing and destructions no doubt are condemnable and call for drastic
action and goodwill from men and women of conscience and faith. The growing show of dexterity and disregards to people’s lives and properties by this nuisance and their sponsors both within and outside the country call for sober reflection and caution among Nigerians. The glorious North is on fire; a fire unanticipated in the socio-economic and historical antecedent of the region; a fire that has penetrated the heart and soul of a once peaceful and innocent region; a region that is critical to the peaceful co-existence and survival of the Nigerian Federation. This blazing fire of bombing and destruction is destroying the vast landscape and economic potentials of a promising region.
The politics and paradoxes of Boko Haram represent a huge conspiracy and confusion against the north and the people of the northern region if the contemporary realities are anything to go by. However, it baffled the mind of most of us, when our Southern brothers and sisters will look into our bereaved minds and souls and insults us for not doing anything to solve and call the Boko Haram insurgence to order; as if it was the leaders or the people that created them or have absolute control over them. They thought the Boko Haram insurgence was the same with the militancy in the Niger Delta region and other regions in term of operation and political support. I think it will amount to blackmail and insult to the people and leaders of the northern region to accuse them and most of us of silence and lack of commitment to the crisis of Boko Haram insurgence. If my memory will not betray me, there is no leaders in the north both traditional, political and religious in one forum or the other that had not condemned the activities of the Boko Haram members.
Interestingly, few weeks ago, Alh Shettima Monguno former Minister of Petroleum Resources based in Borno went as far as offering to dialogue with the sect members on behalf of the Nigerian state, but, absolute silence was what he got from the new owners of Nigeria. It may interests our southern brothers and sisters to know, no matter the goodwill of northern leaders and followers, the whole onions stopped at the desk of President Goodluck Jonathan and members of his security team. The inaction and lack of clarity from the government often generate suspicious that the government is playing politics with the Boko Haram issues to either destabilized the northern region or create some alibi of sought. I believe there is virtually, nothing the northern leaders and people can do, than the often public condemnations, and appeals for calm and understanding among the inhabitants.
The problems with our social existence as people and as a nation, is that, we are dishonest to ourselves. Our brothers and sisters from the southern region, who had being feed and nurture from childhood to adulthood with northern hatred and lies by their leaders, media and arm chair critics and public affair analysts, continue to condemned and blackmails the rest of us especially with the recent killing and deceptive tendencies in the killing of southerners and burning of churches by often acclaimed Boko Haram militants as representing agenda to Islamized the country by Muslims. Ironically and interestingly, some have argued that, it is the turn of the north to experience the Niger-Delta style of instability and violate conflicts.
It is often reported that, Boko Haram claimed responsibilities to the spate of bombing and killing, including may be if the President catches cold, Boko Haram will claim responsibility. Who are they? They are radical Islamists with affiliation with the Osama Bin Ladin Al-Qaeda network as some will put; or no, it was created by failed politicians and disgruntles northern leaders and people to make it ungovernable for President Goodluck Jonathan to succeed with his transformational agenda; Or It is an attempt to Islamized Nigeria; or that the Igbos and southern are not only being killed but, their attempt to flee the north were being blocked; or is it the most treacherous allegation by the South South leaders who alleged that they have uncovered a plan to assassinate President Goodluck Jonathan by mostly northern political establishment etc. These are often the sensational, gullible and stupid media report filling in the last few months. This is not only a blackmail and disregards to the already traumatized people and region, who could not understand, appreciate and internalize the growing social confusion and conspiracy around them using the mantra called Boko Haram, but, the government seem to be using this sensational media reporting and blackmails to seek sympathy from mostly southern people especially the Christians community, against agonies of incompetence, corruption, and lack of direction and motion one years after inauguration of President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Reading the various social media and online news medium is most disturbing and shows the general hatred, bias, blackmail, ignorance and disregard to the feeling and frustration of the people of the north as a result of the social evil called Boko Haram. In the last few years or months we witness and read a lot of social media and websites that were established specifically to misinform and misrepresent the facts and realities on ground in the northern region and the new culture of demonizing the Islamic religion. One of such misinform and conspiracy was the interview granted and moderated by one Rossquo with one obnoxious Sheikh Sani Haliru a repented Boko Haram leader who has now converted to Christianity in naijajive.com. The so called Sheikh Sani Haliru (never had of him), spoke vehemently against Islam, northern part of the country and implicated some northern leaders as the originator of conflicts and crisis in northern Nigeria. The said interview, was not only well plan with chorographic display of perfidy, but, received a lot of media attention and unusual reactions from our brothers and sisters from the Southern part of the country, without logical and rational analysis of the content and context of the said interview and its implication on the future of Nigeria.
However, in another development, a new and passionate news media NewsRescues.com seriously did a graphic analysis and debunk most of the insinuation in the said interview. According to the NewsRescues.com “classified reports reaching our news desk, indicate that certain websites are engaged in an intense cyber propaganda wars against Nigeria and its people”. The naijajive.com, (the website the carried the interview) according to IT experts upon investigations discovered it to be a brand new website, with no logo, no online reputation. A further check by the website discovered that, the type of post on naijajive.com found them all of an anti-Nigeria or anti-north or Islam agenda. Up investigation, said the website, we found that the domain, only created and registered on 21st November, 2011, registered by Schlumberger of 10 Edun Street Ladipo, Lagos Nigeria – Website administrative contact: Fayanjulola Gbeminiyi, Readers contact %E2email@example.com”>–firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 2348056297330”. I think this information are enough evidence for a serious government to take proactive step to rescues our nation and the north from this spiral of confusion and disharmony, but, the new owners of Nigeria are not interested in the new cyber war waged against the peaceful co-existence of the Nigerian state.
The question we may ask, what is the motive and benefits, is about Islam or northern political and economic interests. Unfortunately, what the Southern press and opinion makers have failed to told their unsuspected news consumers, is the fact that about 80% of the death and casualties of the Boko Haram insurgence are Muslims and northern. Secondly, in a retrospect, when former despot Chief Olusegun Obasanjo engineered a reform programme tagged “National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS)’ that destroyed all the economic superstructures of the northern region and the closure of all the textile companies in Kakuri, Sabon and Sharada and Bompai Kaduna and Kano state nobody raise an eyebrow. It was estimated that millions of workers lost their jobs and livehood, which lead to wide spread of poverty and hopelessness in the region, no one said anything, except the few us, that raise alarm on the dangers ahead against the region and country at large. The same people that are accusing the North of not doing anything were the yesterday cheer leaders that praised the braved and sound economic reforms and judgment of the messiah all conquering warrior of our time against the almighty northern political and economic front.
Ironically, when Muslims were killed and mutilated in Jos plateau, the same press, media and arm chair critics and public affair analysts will keep mute about the whole fiasco, but, the moment few Christians were killed, the sensational heading become a source of propaganda against bloodthirsty northern and muslims. After all the Jos crisis is a political war to polarize the unity and solidarity among Muslims and Christians engineered by the same evil genius and the conqueror of Northern political and economic machines Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for political gains. Ironically, its pays the political tacticians and conspirators, if the prevailing political realities are anything to go by. As Muslims I know that Islam and God did not permit the splitting of the blood of anybody without a just course, so, the killing from both sides must be condemned in all ramifications. But, justice and fairness should be our watch words and both scenario be given adequate news coverage; as no blood of anybody, tribe or religion, is more sacred or better than another. We are all God’s creators and the best among us, is (s)he who fears him and obeyed in Him the most.
I think it is important for us to pause and ask some fundamental questions; is the Boko Haram insurgence a northern problem or a national problem? Who are these guys and where are they located? Where did they get their brand of Islam, which ideological lineage or sources of Islamic jurisprudence? Why the killing of innocent civilians instead of political leaders that they accused of corruption and injustice? Is this new way of settling political scores among the political classes or what? Is the north facing balkanization like Somalia to weaken her political and socio-economic strongholds come 2015 or what? Is it about the resurgence of Islamic consciousness and values among Muslims that someone, somewhere is afraid of? Why is the government not interested in dialogue ever when notable leaders in the region have accepted to facilitate such? Why is the government failing to release the white paper on Ambassador Usman Galtimari committee report? Does this have to do with the United State intelligent community’s predictions of possible breakable by 2015? Or has to do with the proposed African Command (AFRICOM) that Late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua refused to sign with the United State of America? Does it have to do with the new wave of Trans-Sahara drugs trades in West Africa? Could this be as result of proliferations of small and medium weapons and piracy in the West African sub-region? Or grand conspiracy against the economic potentials of the Nigeria state by defence contractors, arms dealers and Nigerian security network? Questions searching for answers
It is important, for Nigerians to be rational and critical in their thinking and projections about the current shockwave of violence and Boko Haram insurgence. The prevailing insults and blackmails in various media channels will not take us anywhere than destruction. Someone, somewhere is remote controlling the whole situation and we are not only failing to understand and appreciate the dangers ahead of us due to our deep seated prejudice and hatred, but, we are building a generation of young and agile haters and irresponsible youth that will crippled this social co-existence. As I often say, in our contemporary Nigeria, nobody is a parasite on any region’s resources, but, we are all parasite on each other, so the call for Nigerian disintegration or the called to renegotiate our co-existence will ended up creating more tension and frictions among the new emerging nations, due to minority issues in the new region. I think what we need is to build the culture of truth and self respect among ourselves. Blackmails, name calling, insults and disregards to the feeling of bereaved people of the North and families of our southern brothers will not take us anywhere than further destruction. Building solidarity, compassion, compromise, tolerance and understanding among God’s inhabitants is sacrosanct to our overall future aspirations as people and as a nation. I think our southern brothers and sisters needs to understand the political and socio-economic set up in the region, and they have to be truthful to themselves and their conscience; monetary inducement and unnecessary hatred and blackmails will not take them anywhere than destruction; the northern people are good and passionate, people, but, often misunderstand.
The earlier we began to see the crisis of northern region as a nation crisis, the better for us. The crisis of Almajiri, unproductivity, youthful restiveness, unemployment, drug abuse, politically motivated conflicts and crisis and closure of industries and companies through deliberate government policies and other insensitive projected policies and conspiracies as a bad omen not only to the northern region but, also to the whole of the country the better for us and our future.
Boko Haram insurgence is never and will never represent the aspiration or agitations of the northern people or Muslims; we are men of faith and tradition, one thing I will assured all the conspirators both within and outside this country, that, the good people of faith we will defeat and shame them all and build a new seeds of peace, security, solidarity, unity, prosperity and restores the glory of the northern region and period. This is the century of Nigeria. We will emerge from this transition, stronger and united and Muslims and Christians will unite and fight their enemies and the enemies of the state and build a new Nigeria, where love, self respect and development will strives. This is may be utopian to some, but, to my mind, nothing is not possible, because, this is a period of uncertainty, and Nigeria is not an exception to that.
Finally, Nigeria must understand, we are not begging for mercy from anybody including the government, as our lives and existence is in the hands of OUR Creator. Victory and success belong to Him. If someone feels he has conquer the good and spirited people of the north and Muslims, then I want to tell him, he is only joking, because, in history nobody have defeated men of reasons and faith. We don’t believe in the direction the Boko Haram have taken and it will never represent the aspiration of the northern and Muslims people for self discovery and existence in the nucleus of the Nigeria state. I want to say, we believe we still have men and women of good conscience and integrity among our brothers and sisters in the southern region. I believe it is the combination of these men and women from both regions that will reinvent a new Nigeria. As for the mischief makers, we want you to know, that, as we are suffering I know vividly you are also suffering too; we will never rest till we defeat you all both within and outside the government and the country. As for the bandwagon followers, I want you to realized and understand, that, just like the NewsRescues have vividly, highlighted, we are in a war zone, that we neither understand, plan, and appreciate; this is a war that is often carried out via online and mobile platform, to ferment discord, stoke the fires of tribal, religion and other sentimental – ultimately resulting deadly violence and destabilization, according to the medium. I think this the time for us to wear the thinking cap (if we still have one), and analyze our predicament with the Wisdom of Solomon, bravery of Moses and the patience of Muhammed (May the peace and blessing of God be upon them all). Insults, blackmails, disrespect and hatred will not lead us to any way than further destruction. This is our century, and the good people of Nigeria will emerge victorious against evil and insensitive people, both in government, outside government and outside the country. Keep Organizing; stop agonizing, as Late Tajudeen Abdulraheem will say.
Bukhari Muhammed Bello Jega
Writes from Wuse Zone 4