No doubt President Muhammadu Buhari [PMB] means well for Nigeria. Both his actions and inactions so far are raising dust. Recently, his appointment of political
assistants received sweeping condemnation from a cross section of Nigerians who will do anything and use everything within their disposal including the dishing out of misinformation to convince everybody that the earlier raised fear before the presidential election is true: Buhari has an Islamic and Hausa-Fulani agenda.
This is Nigeria where anything can be used to pull down a perceived enemy. Tongues are already wagging and many self-style Critics are already prancing on the one-sided appointment of PMB and dishing out divisive and uninformed analysis because the table is turned against them and their paymasters.
It takes political maturity and patriotism not to be deceived by the antics of these religious and tribal bigots from the North, South, East, and West; People who don’t mean well for Nigeria and never wish to see Nigerians smile.
Nationalism is in question in Nigeria because of the evil of tribalism that have refuse to be exorcise despite over 54 years of prayer and fasting in church’s, mosques and shrines. Not minding the once in a while pretention and cosmetic display about one Nigeria, the leprous hand of tribalism have continued to rise up pointing to the fact that the three major nations in Nigeria or what contemporary Nigeria political doctors call the “Big 3” Igbo Hausa and Yoruba plus other numerous minority tribes that were forced into marriage in 1914 by Lord Frederick Lugard act of amalgamation are strange bed fellows.
I am one writer who is fanatically of the view that humanity is a constituency and I have had to act or refused to act as occasions demanded based on this philosophy but it is a pity that most Nigerians choose to build castles on the accidents of life (race, tribe, religion, state of religion). I wonder why people refuse to see anything good in what anyone that is not from their tribe or religion does no matter the credibility or goods intentions behind such action. Must are subject actions taken by PMB to ethic, tribal and religion based test? Where is patriotism and nationalism?
Regrettably, I have come to realized that even if PMB gives the vault of central bank to Nigerians across the Niger, many will still accuse him of having Islamic agenda, because of the falsehood that political actors from that side of the country who have fallen out of political grace dish out to the masses.
Most of us are quick to accuse people from the other side of the divide of lording it over us politically. We enjoy pointing accusing fingers and shifting blames a lot but now that we are looking forward to a new Nigeria where tribe and religion are worthless commodities, it is important we look towards home so as to realize that our politicians and their crones are only playing on our emotions and sentiments for the sake of our pockets.
We just chased out the most corrupt regime in Nigeria since the return of civilian rule. A regime most people from one side of the country supported based on primordial sentiment: He is our brother (I never knew that Ijaw is the same as Igbo) to break the Emmaus bread, it is important I raise posers: After six years in Aso rock, what did our brother do for us? We have worst of Federal roads (Enugu-Onitsha, Enugu-Abakaliki, Enugu-Umuahia-Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt-Owerri, East-West), total lack of federal presence, unemployment and mind Boggling poverty yet he was Azikiwe, the first son of our father. Haba mana! Can’t we see the handwriting on the wall? Are we so senseless? What did our governors (Enugu, Imo, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, and Delta), federal and state legislators and local government chairmen do with the resources at their disposal for the past sixteen years? Or is Buhari still to be blame and abused for the mis-governance of our wicked and shameless sons and daughters? Don’t we think it is a better wisdom to allow an Imam who will respect our fundamental human rights and ensure the availability of food, shelter, clothing and unemployment to rule than the clamour for a brother that will politically roast our flesh for food and drink our blood for water? What political, social and economic benefits have majority of us gotten for the appointments of our sons and daughters for the past sixteen years?
“Federal character principle” is now a weapon of political destruction that people who have been looting our treasury are using against the new government. We must not allow these people with dubious credentials, and self – seeking intentions to trade us an apple for an orange. What have Federal character done for us in the last sixteen years? If it will take a Fulani man from Daura to make Garri, rice, beans cheap in the market for Nigerians, if our hospitals, industries and national institutions are repositioned for optimal performance, if Nigeria can sleep with two eyes closed, then I owe nobody apology if I say, federal character by foot, one- sided appointment to hell; said Baba Buhari!!
Nigeria: It’s no business of religion
I just returned back to the capital seat of “Sarkin Sudan” after a mission that took me across five states (Imo, Anambra, Delta, Edo and Kogi). Of course, I met and interacted with Nigerians of various religious persuasion and political inclinations.
However, throughout the journey, one mass choir was singing loudly than ever. It was a popular song. The “Aboki” from Daura has started marshalling out his Islamic agenda through political appointments.
Funny enough, these conclave of ‘holy pastors’ and college of Christian crusader are of the view that the intention of the once cattle-rearing “presido” is to convert our Cardinal Archbishop to Imam and our Pro- Cathedral in Garki into the national mosque II. Make no mistakes. They have well-furnished points to convince the most difficult of doubting Thomas that by 2019, we will be talking about the Islamic Republic of Nigeria, where will be entitled to marry 13 years old girls, Slaughter, bomb, sell human being on behalf of Allah and finally enjoy over seventy virgins in heaven.
Hahahaha, “I dey laugh”. As laughable as this falsehood appear, people still believe them in this planetary and lunar age. It is a pity that some Nigerians who can’t even locate Sokoto in the map of Nigeria or have not seen a mosque before will assume the role of Rabbi; spreading fear and hatred with comfort. We find these haters of peace and unity everywhere in Nigeria, in the East, West, South and North and in the two major religions (Christianity and Islam).
I don’t deny it. Christians are persecuted in the North, they are often relegated to the background as second class citizens, denied land allocation to build Church, denied access to social, educational and medical facilities and discriminated against or refused employment in government institutions, but how do we treat Muslims in the Eastern and Southern states where Christian are in the majority. Put bluntly, we are guilty of the same crime we accuse the other side of the divide of committing.
If we throw away sentiments and look closely, we will understand that no religion promotes evil. It is only the human elements or adherents of these religions that manipulate or distort the teachings of these religions for economic, financial, and political gains. The bane of our “Wahala” is not mainly religious differences but the character of man. I am a catholic and have spent more than two decades of my life with Muslims. I respect my Muslim friends not because of their religion but for what fact that I find most of them to be humble; respectful and easy going when you don’t throw a stone in their glass house.
In every religion just like in any tribe, we have bad eggs. I got a sucker of my life some time ago in Owerri, Imo State. I was in a public lecture organized in commemoration of the centenary celebration of Catholicism in Owerri. A Nigerian lecturer from one of the American universities had condemned the rejection of Bishop Peter Okpeleke from Akwa, Anambra State as the Bishop of Mbaise in Imo State by ethnic and clannish bigots of Mbaise origin. When he canvassed for the appointment of Bishops outside their places of origin, a Priest sitting beside me shouted Tufiakwa oga eme (abomination it will never happen).
We all know that the Catholic Church, is mother, holy, one and apostolic. It is one big family where the Jew and gentile divide should not exist but the crisis rocking Mbaise diocese is a pointer that many people see religion as a weapon of exploitation and manipulation.
Most of these people accusing the President of Islamic agenda are only trying to sow the seed of hatred and fear like some people did in Mbaise so that the masses can be easily manipulated and exploited to serve their interests. An ordinary Nigerian don’t care about religion when he goes to buy food stuff in the market, hospital for medical services and other engagements just like an ordinary Mbaise Catholic don’t care about the origin of his Bishop but people who have dubious interest to protect will always cry wolves even when a rat is not at a light in order to deceive the rest of us.
It has become a common practice for pastors, imam, and politicians to abuse and misuse religion. It also beggars my imagination how people who are lettered and should know better accept and swallow even the most senseless of falsehood.
It is, therefore, a categorical imperative for us to eschew all form of presumptions and presupposition that can throw up ill-will and conflictual situations in the name of religion. We must not forget that he who brings in woods infested with maggot must be ready to welcome lizard as observed by late Prof. Chinua Achebe.