There have been reported clashes in Bauchi State in Northern Nigeria. A non-conformist Islamic group had been on the rampage and clashed with security agents.
No doubts there have been ominous signs from Northern Nigeria since Mr. Obasanjo allowed the creation of Sharia States in Nigeria. Nigeria is a secular country and the emergence of Sharia in Northern Nigeria is a confirmation that there had been plans in the past to make Nigeria an Islamic country. Tyrants and dictators like (late Murtala Mohammed) and Mohammudu Buhari have been alleged in the past to have tried to make Nigeria a muslim country. How true are those stories?
The presently sick illegal president Umaru Yar Adua was one of those who instituted Sharia in Northern Nigeria. He was then the governor of Katsina State.
They may want to convince us that Sharia State has nothing to do with the constant violence in the North but that will be hard to prove as well. The fact that they allowed religion to blur their sense of reasoning is a catalyst to the emergence and spread of extremism in Northern Nigeria.
Northern Nigeria is like a failed region in Nigeria. However that does not also take away the fact that the Nigeria’s central government is a total failure in itself. Saddled with extreme corruption and ineptitude the various governments since independence have failed to tackle infrastructure and social well being of the populace. Look around you, almost everything is bad and rotten.
Government officials have stolen and looted while neglecting the ideals of real democratic governance. The Military regimes in Nigeria added to the woes of a country that should have been the giant of Africa but which instead have become a global laughing stock. Countries like Togo, Benin and Ghana are doing much better than Nigeria in terms of infrastructure and social welfare. Nigeria is rich but the people are living in extreme poverty because a few people continue to steal and make themselves richer and richer.
Northern Nigeria where most of the rulers come from is by far the worst hit. They lack basic education and family planning is not in their dictionary. Many children are un-catered for, and they are ready tools in the hands of the fanatics. A people without education surely are destined to perish and this is what has been happening when security agents confront the religious fanatics in Northern Nigeria.
My major concern has always been for the Christians or atheists in Northern Nigeria. They are usually brutally murdered or executed for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Seriously I don’t know how southerners live in the north when they could be killed at any time!
I am not implying that southerners should vacate northern Nigeria. My emphasis rather is on addressing the roots of the matter. First is, if Nigeria wants to continue as one nation, then the abrogation or abolition of sharia is non-negotiable. We cannot live in a country with two laws, it will not work. Never!
Secondly is the fact that policy makers or administrators in Northern Nigeria needs to wake up to answer their call duty. They are there to educate and emancipate the people but over the centuries the privileged people in the north have ensured that opportunities for education are limited and restricted. Even if I am wrong still there is something in the north that makes education non-attractive. Many of the people are not only poor but they are also ignorant. This is probably a political device to ensure that the general population can be manipulated especially during national elections. So far this has worked.
Therefore if anyone thinks that the end has been heard of religious uprisings in northern Nigeria, he/she should get his head checked. There are fundamental issues that if not address the problems will pass on from one generation to another and forever more.
The whole of Nigeria must revert back to secularity and there must be one law, one constitution. The persistence of sharia is an aid to extremism and double standards. The absence of education or the restriction of it especially in the north is a chronic disease that will continue to push this nation to the precipice. The ineptitude of Nigerian politicians is a colossal cankerworm that may ultimately lead to disintegration. Making it non-violent will be an uphill task.
Meanwhile isn’t it time for the people of Nigeria to wake up, ask for political justice, social justice, equality, freedom of speech and expression and the dividends of true democracy? It’s been 10 years of maladministration by seriously incompetent men and women. Change must come, but we must demand it and take necessary actions to see that it happens.
Nigeria is now labelled a potentially terrorist nation and here we are battling religious violence, again in Northern Nigeria. I’m getting tired. Where do we go from here?