Friday, January 8, 2010
Nigerian Headache (Part3) Eucharia Mbachu
It is in this context that, what Umar Farouk al- Abdulmuttallab, the Nigerian terrorist did on the Christmas Eve, became simply a nightmare that is incomprehensive and frightening. We can see how a Nigerian, whose father is as rich as Osama Bin Laden’s family, could engage in such a deadly and unacceptable action as that perpetrated at 9/11. Through the monopoly of power by the likes of this young man’s father, the wealth of Nigeria is siphoned off and the victims in the North suffered the same global shame and humiliation as other Nigerians. . To explore the dynamic interaction between religious bigotry and political instability in the nation, some serious attention must be given to the occasional eruptions of ethnic and religious violence in the land. The most brutal are those inspired and driven by religious intolerance. The most recent religious outburst in the North a few weeks ago testifies to this. What is most disturbing to me is that, despite the fact that a Northern petrodollar rich Muslim man tried to kill about three hundred innocent people aboard a Northwest Airlines carrier, and his activity which has turned every Nigerian a suspected terrorist in the world, the northern leaders have not yet taken effective action and are yet to promise better ways of using religion as a means of political pursuit. Adding insults to Nigerian injuries, let us just remind ourselves about the cohabitation between local terrorism and internationally inspired terrorism. According to local news report, “thirty eight people died at Zango village on the outskirts of Bauchi in what the police said was a clash between members of a fringe Muslim sect described as the Kala Kato. This nonsense is in place because some bad elements among the northern clerics allow these kinds of groups to form in order to use them as their religious tools to achieve their selfish narrow-minded and myopic political illusions. The action of these Islamic radicals, such as the Kala Kato, the Maitatsine, the Boko Harem groups and others not so well known, belongs to that category of system-challenging operations need to be cleaned out of the Nigerian system for the sake of national unity. These bad eggs in the society are subversive; their provocative preaching does not foster unity and social solidarity in the country. Apparently linked to the much discredited Maitatsine group, whose activities were forcefully brought to an end under President Babangida, these new groups claimed to be the resurrections of the old Maitatsine Movement and are characterized by their religious fanaticism, militancy and superstitions. . Taken together, this volatile religious craziness in the North, plus the Nigerian criminally- minded, corrupt bad government, has added heartburn to strings of problems facing this nation of 150 million people. The radicalization of religion in the northern part of the country has not been helpful in getting Nigerians on the path towards development. Being wedded to state power, the leaders from that region have not solved the problems of elite-mass gap. And illustration of this crisis was captured when, during the recent uprising, Alhaji Abubaker said: “before they were subdued, the sect members were shouting at the top of their voices that they were the real Yan Tatsine, i.e. followers of the late sect leader Muhammad Marwa alias Maitatsine who was killed during a major uprising in Kano in 1980.” What these utterances from the resurrected Islamic fanatical group tell us is the survivals of Old bigotry in the country. While modernization and social change are being effected in many African countries, there are the paradoxes of the Boko Haram. Like many religious bodies today, technology and science are seen as partners for social change. However, in their affirmation of their metaphysical beliefs many of these groups act opportunistically and aggressively towards the destruction of anything progressive. . Could there be a worst moment of a religious uprising in the country than this time when the world sees Nigeria as a terrorist nation due thanks to the misadventure of Umar Farouk Abdulmuttallab and his Islamic nut heads. In as much as I strongly disagree with the Islamically deep-seated fanaticism of the North as well as a Gambialization of Nigeria, it is also important to ask ourselves, if it would not be better and safer for the nation to say, to your tents oh, Nigeria. We can call this DIVIDED STATES OF NIGERIA (DSN) under different religious attitudes and political principals. Although every sovereign nation has a right to decide how individuals enter and leave their country, it is equally important to know and reject any form of cut and dry and clear evidence of name profiling because of a country’s geographical location. By saying this, I mean to ask if Great Britain, Germany or France citizens had carried out this senseless act of terrorism, would the United States have black listed any one of them as sponsors of terrorism? This brings flash blacks on the inferior relationships between the West and Africa. President Obama and his ruling class know very well that Nigeria is a sticky rotten 419 crook who loves good life. This is true, and sure we are. But to say that Nigerians are terrorists is not a simply argued case; rather, we know Nigeria has better representatives than this fellow in the news. And this very terrorist has a father who has lots of money in the USA, the father’s money was not ceased because the Obama administration felt that he tried to prevent the terrorist act to happen by informing the security agents who by their omission or commission missed the point. So tell me, where in the world does Nigeria have anything to do with this? If not, because Nigeria is a Third World country with leaders as rotten and corrupt as dead vultures? Therefore, the situation facing Nigeria is not a Nigerian problem, it is an African problem, as the saying goes get the leader and his disciples will scatter. Nigeria has a big role to play in the stability in Africa; so once Nigeria is hit and cowed, then the other African countries will be yummies for the rest of the world. Let history be everyone’s best teacher, We all remember a couple of years ago when President George W. Bush called the sleeping North Korea and Iran “axis of evil” Bam, there began trouble that seem to be spilling out of country. Or Pakistan, see what is happing in that country today. So my suggestion is that The United States should remove Nigeria from this harsh categorization in the name of peace and unity for the rest of us. I want to be able to go home with pride without being treated as a hardened terrorist.
Eucharia Mbachu is the President and Founder of Voices of Women and Children in Africa and Diaspora. (VOWAC.org)
Labels: conflict and Religion
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