By Adeola Aderounmu
Nigeria will have to do a lot more on her immigration policy. Chadians and Nigerien infiltrating Nigeria and unleashing mayhem on Nigerians is completely unacceptable. Northern Nigeria is a ready-made fertile ground for jihadists and for once those who introduced the sharia system of government in Northern Nigeria are beginning to see the foolishness of their actions.
In the name of politics and political gains, the Northern states in Nigeria introduced the sharia system of governance which is contrary to what the national constitution stipulates. Nigeria is a secular country and the introduction of sharia under the Obasanjo administration is a very costly mistake. It was an act of madness which MUST be reverted as early as possible. Obasanjo did nothing to stop the foolishness and stupidity of the Northern Governors which incidentally include Yar’ Adua who is now ruling Nigeria after forcing his way to power through illegitimate elections.
Bokom Haram is the latest addition to the “hell” that Nigerians are going through. This is a national problem and the effects are profound in the North of Nigeria. The illegal immigrants from Chad and Niger and the massive pool of unemployed Northerners have now become a national emergency.
Bokom Haram would have to be wiped out literarily. I am sure of this. But the real battle will include addressing fundamental issues relating to the Nigerian constitution, education, social infrastructure and national orientation. What does the constitution say about religion and secularity?
When we have addressed the issue of returning the Northern States to normalcy, it will bring social justice and fairness to the various citizens esp Christians living in Northern Nigeria. I mean the south of Nigeria is still secular and no southern states have declared their territory Christian Nation. So if Nigeria is one country, there should be a way unify the country in an absolute manner. If the Northern States continue to have Sharia constitution, then Nigeria is definitely not one country. It will be an illusion to address her as such.
Religious crises are parts of the hallmarks of Northern Nigeria. Bokom Haram is the latest addition to the madness in Northern Nigeria. Over the years we have seen how Christians and other innocent citizens have been slaughtered for no reasons at all. There was a time a problem in far away Denmark led to the slaughtering of Christians in Northern Nigeria. To avoid a Miss World Show from being staged in Nigeria, Christians also paid with their lives. They were murdered by riots in Northern Nigeria.
The level of ignorance and illiteracy in Northern Nigeria is extremely high and shameful. This is the same Nigeria that has been ruled for several years by military men and civilians from Northern Nigeria. These rulers do not have plans to educate the civilians in the North, at least not to the standard that is obtainable in the East, South and West of Nigeria. This way the few privileged ruling class in the North can conveniently suppress the illiterate population. Worse still is the ease with which these illiterate populations are harnessed and used for religious and political violence and riots.
In this manner, the Bokom Haram found a fertile ground to infiltrate the vulnerability of the people and the states in the North of Nigeria. It is a sad situation. Years of neglect, underdevelopment and ineptitudes has caught up with the North. It has infected the entire country because everything is now slow and almost standstill. The country is almost entirely paralyzed due to strikes and inefficiency of institutions.
Due to the mentality of the illiterates and politicians from Northern Nigeria, I don’t know if it is possible to completely prevent religious riots or uprisings in Northern Nigeria. It is a very complex situation as ignorance is a real disease. But a few things can be done over the next few decades for the future of Nigeria.
Education should be given more attention. Massive and unprecedented efforts should be made to educate all the children born in Northern Nigeria and of course in Nigeria as a whole. Such an effort will minimize the high level of illiteracy and consequently ignorance about religion and religious tolerance. Civics should be taught in Nigerian schools. Tolerance, co-existence and the acceptance of other people’s views should be emphasized.
Imagine that 80% of the Manufacturing companies in Kano have closed businesses. Kano is the commercial center of Northern Nigeria. This means that probably millions of youth in the North are unemployed or idle. Urgent steps must be taken to address unemployment across Nigeria. Electricity is almost absent in Nigeria and this is affecting businesses. What is wrong with Nigeria? Electricity must be restored by all means so that business can come back to Nigeria. Individuals and private people also need electricity to do many things.
Provision of basic infrastructures ranging from housing to water and safe environment (in addition to the electricity mentioned above) is now even more than National Emergency. It is something that must be done NOW!
Mohammed Yusuf KILLED
Image from BBC
Detained Nigeria sect leader dead http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8177451.stm
Mohammed Yusuf has been killed in Police Custody. Extra-judicial killing?