By Adeola Aderounmu
ONE of the most disturbing issues in the unification of Nigeria is religion. The North of Nigeria is dominated by Muslims and the south by Christians. But Muslims and Christians spread considerably well across the length and breadth of Nigeria. In my own family for instance we have both Christians and Muslims. My family is well educated and there is no doubts that we know what religion is and how to tolerate one another.
But how does one deal with thugs and illiterates who do not understand the views of other people on religious matters? It is a difficult situation indeed and in Nigeria the politicians over the years have continued to blend politics and religion. For instance, the constitution of Nigeria does not apply in every state in Nigeria. Yet some people are saying that Nigeria is one country. That is far from the truth, the only thing that is keeping Nigeria as one country is the crude oil from the Niger Delta.
In Northern Nigeria, the sharia law has been imposed on the population during the disastrous regime of Obasanjo. So depending on where you are in that geographical entities, different laws apply and your life style can change considerably. The ugly truth though is that the politicians have instituted the law for their own selfish gains.
In Jos-Nigeria, hundreds of people may have lost their lives because of an election that took the dimension of religious inclination. You can imagine that ignorance remains a weapon that has been used to send innocent people to their early graves. The perpetrators of these evil acts will never be found. They will never be brought to book. In Nigeria, this type of killing usually comes with the backings of some wicked politicians. The perpetrators enjoy privileged protection or anonymity and they will be unleashed again to do the same harm in the future. This is why religious riots or political riots associated with religion remains recurring incidents in Nigeria.
One of the reasons why this type of nonsense happens in Nigeria is because the politicians are thieves. Who would fight or kill in the name of service to the people? Politics in Nigeria is a winner takes all game. The winner steals and loots the treasury while the losers lick their wounds. If someone or a politician would pay or go to jail for stealing or for looting, I do not think there will be this mad rush to government houses across Nigeria. It is not an easy thing to serve. You need skills, you need knowledge and you need to be tolerant to a lot of things. You will persevere.
This is not the case in Plateau State where some idiots and fools have been killing other people because of election results. This is in fact not the case anywhere in Nigeria where the reason for politics is to steal and oppress the people.
In 2007, Yar Adua was forcefully imposed on Nigerians in what has been adjudged as the worst election in human history. If the president is occupying a position illegally, what do we expect from the other subordinate positions across the country? If the head is rotten, what part of the body can be whole? Nigerians are shying away from the truth and the consequences and repercussions will continue to be grave.
If the anomaly of April 2007 and the anomalies since 1914 and 1960 are not rectified, Nigeria will not make progress and these types of pockets of violence will continue to make the citizens to live in panic and fear.
More and more Nigerians are sliding below the poverty level while only a privileged few continue to enjoy abundant wealth. Corruption continues to eat deep into the fabrics of governance. The present illegal government continues to shade the likes of Ibori who used the stolen wealth of Delta State to bundle Yar Adua to Aso rock. This type of obvious evil acts will continue to deny this country of progress and the insincere search for prosperity will continue to be abstract-resulting in self-enrichment of the politicians and a few selected people. Nigeria today is definitely not for all Nigerians.
Eye witness account: On BBC Africa