Clearing The Boko Haram’s Clouds By Erasmus Ikhide
It’s no longer news that Nigerian nation facing debilitating security challenges. The stentorian Nigerian state with the national security apparatus have been subjected to severe nettling humiliation. The President himself sits on the horns of gunpowder and seems unable to resolves the damning crisis. Thank goodness Nigerians are coming off the trauma through foreign military help.
Before now, the President has resulted to spiritual solution – nothing wrong with spiritual supplication – in a constitutional matter where protection of life and property is the irreducible minimum of any government. Dr Jonathan has been unable to discern the difference between fantasy and practically. It only shows how unremitting, hopeless, irredeemable and backward we are as a nation to easily abdicate our contractual responsibilities. But this is what you get when an ethically and politically bankrupt Presidency trifles with serious matters of development politics.
You can now tell how far removed Dr Goodluck Jonathan have been from the security challenges the nation is grappling with. The Nyanya Abuja bombing occurred a day after I delivered parcel to a friend using the same park. The dust has hardly settled from that bombardment that resulted to the abominable slaughtering of score of early morning commuters in broad daylight when the President flew to Ibadan to felicitate with the Olu Badan of Ibadan on his centenary birthday where he had a taste of the noble charlotte.
The bibulous President hardly regained his consciousness from the bouts of sparklingly champagnes feat in Olu Bada’s Palce, or just about the time his feet were being swept from the burning soil of Kano by Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso than the ominous news dropped like clatter on the floor. There was the wholesale adoption of hundreds of female students who were herded into waiting buses for onward transportation to the dreaded Sambisa forest, Borno State. Now, we are told that the Chibok girls have been moved to Ashaka forest in Gombe State. It was a day of mourning dramatically infused with peril dance steps of insensitivity.
No one is in doubt that Dr Jonathan’s Presidency is stricken by Alzheimer’s Disease, a long, agonising, incurable disease where one loses memories, even forgetting the identity of their loved ones, and deteriorates physically. It’s truly difficult not to believe that this government has not been tripped of its faculties.
A few days ago, Nyanya bombardment has repeated itself with almost equal damage before the backs of those who rescued the earlier victims of April 14 were turned. President Jonathan has yet to explain to Nigerians what happened to the $470m (N76billion) Abuja CCTV contract that would have easily revealed the identity of the perpetuators, just the same way Boston’s bombers were unmasked last years, in split seconds, in the US.
In the midst of these, there is a fog of empathy weighing heavily on my mind like the sword of Damocles. I’m feeling drawn down to the bottom of an ocean like the alleged notorious criminal who was melted jungle justice, down Mile 2 lagoon, Lagos some 10 years ago; with heavy stone tied to his neck. It was a classical case of monkey being exchanged for baboon.
The scene is better imagined than witnessed in all its tortured agony, bitter wailing and extreme afflictions that assailed the alleged criminal. It was an incident that cumulated in loud silences as his voice was drawn in echoes that reverberate to torture your soul, your entire universe, albeit menacingly until each departed happily or sadly, depending on which part of moral ethos you were driven.
We are back on the same spot as we were on that fateful day: tormented, stirred up, jaded, bodily or mental suffering that throws us into uncommon commotion that tests the nation’s penchant for bestiality. Our situation is far more precarious than we can ever imagine. Ours is a nation where beastly appetite triumphs over humane preoccupation for social advancement. You will be deceived to think that the nation is not at war with itself or that celebration of any kind is a just endeavour to isolate the gloomy atmosphere of fear and thralldom.
We have been here before. The precursor of girl child adoption for sexual exploitation sits atop Bida Emirate, Niger State in no less a person than Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar. Alhaiji Abubakar has been holding tenaciously on to one cherubic Charity for protracted sex escapade to no end. All entreaties to the nation’s C-in-C to rescue the sex victim from the horde of religious philistinism in order to assuage such brutal recurrence in the nearest future fall into deaf ears.
Mr Raymond Uzoechina, a Redeemed Pastor has accused the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar of abducting and hypnotizing his daughter in a bid to convert her to Islam. (Charity) who is now known and called Aisha after conversion to Islam secured admission into Federal Polytechnic Bida to read Public Administration last year. Now she could no longer see why she should not remain in that servile abode of harem where she is routinely pinned savagely to the ground for sex extraction than to read her books.
Since then, (Charity) Aisha Uzoechina has remained in the Palace of Etsu Nupe, for sex curdling activities. This indeed is an example of how not to trivialised a monumental tragedy of immense proportion for political expedience. Take for example that President Jonathan is not seeking reelection, shouldn’t the President have waded into the matter and price free (Charity) from sex bondage. If Charity was remotely related to the President, shouldn’t Mr Jonathan take drastic action to rescue her more speedily just the same way he did with his adopted uncle a few weeks ago. What is the probabilities that Olo and Iria or any other girl in Nigeria will not be adopted and expropriated to serve as sex slaves one day for daring to be liberated through education?
This is essentially the Boko Haram’s anger against organised and civilised society: forbid positive development of minds through western education such as the one sought by (Charity) Aisha Uzoechina and the Chibok school girls. The Boko Haram sect is conscious of the fact that the human mind is as coefficient as the cotton wool since it is the first developmental constituency through which the larger society radiates its illumination, the glow of civic engagement and a potent force towards eliminating crushing poverty.
The saying that the greatest wars take place in the territory of human mind cannot be more vicious and manifest than now. This is the consensus amongst anthropologists that slavery always exist in human mind and it is the offshoot of warfare. Once the human mind is compromised and conquered into the bargain as the Boko Haram sect has done with its adherence, the entire neighbourhood becomes chaotic horror scene for human habitation. The travail of humanity is the deliberate and systematic inferiorisation of oneself as the most potent form of self-denigration.
Physical enslavement can be savage and abusive of human dignity, but self enslavement, because it works insidiously at the level of the mind is even more cruel and exacting. Once an individual’s mind is conquered and enslaved, the dominion and domination throughly extends to the other domains, i.e. politics, education, economy, and even spirituality. The mentally enslaved is thus comprehensively dehumanised, stripped of humanity and humaneness, leads to virtual mental retardation and permanent impairment of such individual sense of reasoning, value and comprehension. Lack of self-consciousness and its ironic possibilities is a logical corollary of mental slavery.
The Boko Hrama sect as a nihilist group is erecting conscious Berlin wall between barbarity and education which is the main trust of civility. They know that education creates flexibilities, crushes childhood inanities, evolves application, critical exactness, sagacity, resource, eloquent, expression, openness of mind, closure of crudity, address, corrects, refines, enables to know, digests, masters and rules as an intelligible watershed for human transformation.
There are one or two things the Boko Haram terrorist seeks to achieve with the adoption of the school girls: erect a concrete wall between civilisation and barbarity through brainwashing, indoctrination and imbue with specific partisan believe system that will justify the girls’ involvement in suicide bombing activities as you have them in Iraq, Afghanistan and other religious red spots of the world. The adopted girls could also be used to expand the dynasty of the insurgents through mass procreation and inculcation of other biases against western education and civilisation.
Imagine this adoptions happening to your daughter or mine and you cry out to seek the help of the ‘Number One Citizen’ and all you get is incoherent responses that suggest that the pedophile Emire is above the law and a president of his own country within the Nigeria political space. Imagine that you are on the streets of Abuja, protesting the lack of action on the part of the president to rescue your daughter and you are confronted with an opposing protesters – mothers inclusive – calling on President Jonathan to contest the 2015 presidency. That was the impression you get from several articles penned down to exonerate the vicious rapist and sexual deviant by his Bida brother, Haruna Mohamed in his weekly column with The Nation Newspaper that ‘Aisha is free to be adopted for whatever reason provided the adoptee is happy with her adopter’, or words to that effect. That is how brutally insensate President Jonathan’s Administration can get at a time he should be signing his resignation letter for abandoning the people’s welfare.
Haruna Mohamed on his part cannot claim ignorant of the fact that mere conversion from Islam to Christianity attracts death penalty and slit of throats of such converts like ram. This is a daily occurrence in all the theocratic Islamic countries and major part of Northern Nigeria. In Egypt last week, a Muslim faithful kill his wife, the breast feeding baby and their 8-year old daughter for reading the Holy Bible. I’m yet to think of what fate would befall Haruna Mohamed’s daughter or son who will contemplate converting from Islam to Christianity.
The February 26th, 2014 incident in Ibadan is a classical example of the issue discussed above. Mr Isiaka Dauda had killed his daughter, Miss Kausara Isiaka for converting to Christianity in Ibadan. The Oyo State Police Public Relations officer, DSP Olabisi Ilobanafor confirmed that out of the four who suffered from machete cut in the church where the girl had taken refuge along with Reverend Daniel Olamide and two other church members only Miss Kausara died of machete injuries inflicted on them by the deceased father.
Perhaps, Mr Isiaka was obeying commandment. Muhammad commanded: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished , yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of then, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali as well as the other four schools jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaheriyyah, Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-lthna- ashriyyah, Al-ja’ fariyyah) agree that apostate must be executed.”
There is only disagreement over whether the law applies only to men, or to women also – some authorities hold that apostate women should not be killed, but only imprisoned in their houses until death. Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the most prestigious and influential institution in the Sunni world, certifies as a reliable guide to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Muslim community a manual of Islamic law that states: “When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatises from Islam, he deserves to be killed”, (Reliance of the Traveller o8.1).
Although the right to kill an apostate is reserved in Islamic law to the leader of the community and other Muslims can theoretically be punished for taking this duty upon themselves. In practice a Muslim who kills an apostate needs to pay no indemnity and perform no expiatory acts (as he must in other kinds of murder cases under classic Islamic law). This accommodation is made because killing and apostate “is killing someone who deserved to die” (Reliance of the Traveller o8.4). Qaradawi even said last year: “If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn’t exist today.”
The confession of Isiaku Nazir, 27, who was a member of the fierce bloody militant Islamist movement, Boko Haram, is a particular striking example of the havoc, horror and the soullessness of the inhuman ideology propounded by the group. After converting to Christianity, Nazir confessed on August 21, 2013 to drinking Christian victims blood to prevent their ghost from hunting them in the dream. My heart sank and I practically grasp for breath to stay alive after browsing through the horrific confession of that blood besotting scoundrel.
Again, Nazir confirmed what was already know about the group: “Our leaders prepared us psychologically by undergoing brainwashing, to put us in a condition to fight the Christians, because they were the enemies of Allah. We were told that the more we kill Christians, the greater our chances of entering paradise of Allah”. I know all is lost in this country when Nazir detailed how Political leaders, past and service Governors, Military, Police and other security agencies assist Boko Haram in cash and with training in Aghanistan and other Islamic country by Taliban and Al-Qadar.
All the Senators from the affected states who spoke on the adopted girls came down heavily on the Federal Government and the Military as if on a mission to rehearse Isiaka Nazir. Senator Ahmed Zannah (Borno Central) groaned thus: “Their number is not that much as being touted and without cooperation from certain group of people within the security agencies, there is no way these people will survived like this. “But when we talk, they will say we are demoralising them; we are exposing their troops. These are the facts”.
Senator Zannah went further: “Their number is few and there is no equipment to march their opponents. Every time we budget trillions of Naira for defence but I have not seen any new equipment on ground. Their armoured vehicles are those of 1950s.” Chairman, Senate committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnnaya Abaribe fiercely took the battle to the Presidency: “While we ponder about this, I joined Nenadi Usman to think about these children and the fact that a few things have happened in the world, people have disappeared and we saw the frantic efforts by those countries to get to the root of the matter to the extent that some people resigned. What manner of ineptitude is this.”
There is no end in sight that the adopted school girls will return to the warm embrace of their parents or guardians anytime soon. The militia groups are said to have divided the girls amongst themselves and cross them over to Chad, Niger Republic, Cameroon and several other Islamic countries for purposes I have enumerated earlier.
The only offence committed by Charity and the 270 Chibok school girls was that they chose to embrace western education which the antagonists say is “HARAM”. This is where the two opposing religions – Christianity and Islam – the actual givers of education, – any education – gave themselves away as mere exploitative tools in the hands of the minders to burnish the social stand of their religious leaders. While the Emire of Bida is quoting some section of the Holy Quran to justify his adoption of his priced trophy, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN and the Redeemed Christian Church of God where Uzoechina pastors have all buried their heads in the sand like the Ostrich. The last we heard of (Charity) Aisha Uzoechina is that she is about to be betrothed to her Islamic Sharia lawyer.
Unfortunately, the President of Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritshejafor has functioned more as President Jonathan Public Address System, PAS than ministering to the needs of Nigeria Christians. On the other hand, the Redeemed Church has busied itself with purchasing Bombardier Jets with a hanger at the International Airport for its General Overseer and blocking Lagos-Ibadan Express Way with nasty traffic tailspin than to cater for the welfare of its members.
There is no better time than now for these religious bigots to acquire for themselves a space ship that will convey them to some other planets – where all things being equal – will find their kinds of equal devotion, equal zealotry, equal compatibility, equal exploitation, equal deception, where no hate or killing is contemplated amongst themselves. Even if it occurred, their venial sins would have been obliterated at the purgatory. It’s truly debasing that the – “Moral Majority” – the religious institutions in Nigeria cannot constitute itself into a genuine bulwark in defence of state against hostility from groups or individuals chauvinist. It’s unfortunate that they have perilously constituted themselves against nation becoming.
How did we get here? No one can deny the fact that there has not been a collective atrophy towards the degeneracy of the Nigerian state from everyone of us. Steadily, Nigeria is as close to hell as it can get. The nihilist group already has the nation within its riffle sight. The geographical expression is gradually becoming a historical casualty in the hands of the Boko Haram before our very eyes.
We wouldn’t have been in this precarious situation today if President Jonathan did not insist in ruling the roost with brass-knuckle politics. The pain is that Dr Jonathan refused to come to term with the challenges the office he occupies posses. He is more concerned with the continuation of his tenancy in Aso Rock than to commit himself to the mandate invested in him. As orgy of violence rules the land the only consolation I have is that nothing lasts forever in human affairs. We may yet opt for revolution if the Boko Haram’s scourge leads to more damning and pounding bombardments.
Even as President Jonathan is insisting on the inviolability of his presidency from relinquishing the post midway, we know that there is nothing sacrosanct about his claim. What President Jonathan tells himself is what most liars tell themselves. The Prime Minister of North Korean has just resigned from his office over the death of the country’s citizens in a ferry accident who were mostly students.
Again, President Jonathan came shy of offering concrete hope to Nigerians last night with his Presidential Media Chat. It’s the same old listless, spineless and sluggish President battling with unfeeling impulses and vagueness while the interview section lasted.
It seems not to have occurred to the president that, if he truly have right to occupy the office as it is, that same right includes protecting the people or take a walk. After all, the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti said: “We don tire”.
Erasmus Ikhide wrote in from Lagos, Nigeria
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