We are Nigerians and all of us know ourselves infinitely. We know when we are serious and when we are just playing to the gallery. Nigerians are richly endowed in many destructive idiosyncrasies.
And we are passionate about it. We oppose anything progressive, but readily embrace and find brotherhood in retrogressive tendencies in Nigeria. That’s why Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs), the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) find ideological expression outside the shores of their origination. They represent the worse modern-day veiled or open campaigners and harbingers of the gospel of disunity, destabilization and disintegration of Nigeria.
They fairly gauge themselves on any potentially implosive national issue, regardless of the sensational affinities or sentiments we play in public domain. Whether Christians, Muslims, traditional worshippers or atheists, we lie endlessly, as long as it serves the agenda of selfish promotion of the interests or sentiments we uphold!
These detractors reject dialogue or even when they accept it, impossible conditions of peace and reconciliation are dished out in a manner ridiculous of any known fraternity. But in the backyard, they choreograph the finest of lullabies about injustice, marginalization and segregation.
As a minority, I am provoked that some powerful tribal lords of Nigeria feel the over 300 minority tribes in the nation are a bunch of dummies only suitable for manipulation.
As embarrassing as it sounds, we are further insulted by any of the three “majors,” as any one of them stands up to decree an evil agenda on Nigeria and rob it on us all. It’s simply because Nigeria is historically expressed as North and South, courtesy of the British colonial masters.
But facts are sacred and sensation is an eclipser. Nigerians must remind themselves that we signed the bond of inseparability a century ago, through our forefathers, expressed as the amalgamation of the Southern and Northern protectorates under British colonial masters. And we have lived it despite differences!
These days, we hear so much confusing noises in Nigeria, by the succeeding generations of Nigerians’. Like others, I believe the problem with my country Nigeria is with the three first major ethnicities- the Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa/Fulani. They feel Nigeria belongs to them and so some few elements in their fold express discontentment with everything.
I search every day to find a clue in today’s generation of Nigerians, whose wisdom or acceptability has surpassed that of our nationalistic forefathers. They were those who struggled to give us independence from the British. They made unquantifiable sacrifices.
But even in the heat of anger and acerbic verbal exchanges, as each struggled to grab anything his people, none advocated for the separation of Nigeria, much more through violence. The uniting consensus of these forefathers even in deadly fits of anger was uniting for the unity of Nigeria, as one indivisible entity. I believe it was a covenant made at the behest of the rest of us. That is why it is difficult to break this bond.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s inaugural speech to Nigerians on May 29, 2015 recounted these Nigerian nationalistic treasures and reminded us of how far we have deviated from the path of prosperity they laid for us thus;
“In recent times Nigerian leaders appear to have misread our mission. Our founding fathers, Mr Herbert Macauley, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Malam Aminu Kano, Chief J.S. Tarka, Mr Eyo Ita, Chief Denis Osadeby, Chief Ladoke Akintola and their colleagues worked to establish certain standards of governance. They might have differed in their methods or tactics or details, but they were united in establishing a viable and progressive country. Some of their successors behaved like spoilt children breaking everything and bringing disorder to the house,” Buhari bemoaned.
The congregation of these great Nigerians had tribes, professed various religious faiths and even pandered to personal or regional interests, but respected and held the unity of Nigeria very sacrosanct. It did not mean none of them suffered personal or regional injuries nor never had clashes of interest in their interactions.
But these disuniting factors were not strong enough to shatter the cord of the oneness of Nigeria. The spirit of patriotism was evergreen on their minds.
Must we only appreciate ourselves only in faults and weaknesses, especially when these are contrived in opposition to spontaneity? We have positive sides too.
Nigeria has been held down and tied to the tither of evils. And always, it is the shadows of the three major tribes one sees. The Yorubas of the Southwest have relaxed in the last few years, as Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) is simply just contented with itself now.
But between the Igbos of the Southeast and Hausa/Fulanis of the North, the battle is still very pronounced. Hate speeches are bandied freely and promoted. The Southeast’s questionable secession agitators, particularly, IPOB carelessly inflame the passions of hate against their kinsmen and Nigeria any time they deem fit. Up North, some Hausa/Fulani elements are downcast and so, rehearsed new verses in hate speeches, begging for fisticuffs with other ethnicities and the nation.
The Northern case is perceptively more shameful, as it is coloured with religious supremacy, in Boko Haram, wrongly assigning the status of unbelievers to other Islamic sects and morphing into a terrorist sect. And the IMN or the Shiites in Nigeria’s toppling of other Islamic sects to ascend the throne of Islamism, by proclaiming themselves “original” Muslims and the rest fake bigots.
These are ferocious detractors of Nigeria and they operate directly or through various masked agents. The organizations’ and the visible characters behind the mask share certain character traits in common.
The masters and their agents deeply hate Nigeria and her people; they are neither Muslims nor Christians; they are murderers and believe in the sanctity of violence; while wishing that their own human rights be respected, they violate the human rights of others with cruel impunity. They believe and assiduously work to ensure Nigeria violently splits, in accordance with the covenant with foreign allies and sponsors.
The leader of IPOB, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, exudes this suspicion and indeed, consistently defines himself as the Chief agent of the Southern component of the conspiracy to plunge Nigeria into another civil war. So, he publicly brags about it; proudly brands other Nigerians “animals” and the country, a Zoo and the government, an odious Zoo cage. He endearingly preaches to gullible Igbos, most of whom are not just his grandparents, but also Christians’ that Ndi’gbos are not Christians but descendants of Jews, a religion no longer known to the Holy scriptures, specifically in the teachings of the new testament.
Kanu spawns the ambers of disunity and advises the Igbos to stop attending churches where Yourubas are pastors over Christendom. While every Igbo youth of his age in Nigeria, sermonizes about peace, even in the face of adversities, his appetite for violence and confrontations in the guise of Biafran secession is unimaginable.
Up North, these apostles of the eventual breakup of Nigeria are crazier. They are devoid of wisdom to differentiate saneness from insanity in the pretext of religion. Sheik Ibrahim El –Zakzaky has vowed never to recognize or respect the existence of other Islamic sects, except his own demonic congregation of Shiites. Not that this Sheik hates other Muslims or Christians’ he insultively brands as infidels alone, but he has also, brainwashed his followers to hate and perceive the teachings of clerics of rival Islamic sects as anti-Islam.
Backed by the Republic of Iran, this pseudo power has so much intoxicated El-Zakzaky and his clan of rogues that he allegedly imported arms into Nigeria and planned to assassinate Nigeria’s Army Chief, Lt.Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai to stir a fire that would be difficult to quench. But God Almighty delivered us from their evil machinations, as the assassination plot was exposed and the attempt foiled. Since then, IMN has declared war against Nigeria and Nigerians.
Before IMN, their senior brothers, BHT held sway. Led by both Abubakar Shekau and , the splinter faction of Musab al Barnawi, Boko Haram insurgents terrorized, tormented, murdered and committed many other nauseating atrocities on Nigerians for years. The grudge of BHTs, just like IMN in ideology is that their version of Islam forbids western education and every other Muslim must dump his sect to obey the doctrine of insurgents.
Also, funded by the Iranian republic, BHT neither spared Muslims nor Christians’ in the atrocities they imposed on Nigerians . Every Nigerian was good for the kill. Boko Haram leaders have never been persuaded to approach mosques or even churches to win converts into their cherished sect. It has been blood, blood and blood of the innocent.
Thus far, I have no doubt that Boko Haram, IMN and IPOB are our collective enemies as a nation-state. And we have just two options in deciding our fate as a people. It’s either we strive to overwhelm them or they conquer the rest of us. It’s a battle between light and darkness.
The confusionists and blood suckers in our midst, corrupted with the blood- stained dollars, paid in commission on the soul of Nigeria should never be allowed to subdue us. We must resolve now to come together with a unanimous voice to defend our country and its sovereignty. Only then, would these enemies understand that Nigeria remains indivisible and unshaken by their threats. This is the plea and the lesson Nigerians must learn from the interface with Boko Haram, IMN and IPOB.
Ainoko, a One Nigeria advocate contributed this piece from Kaduna.