Islamization of Nigeria! By the Bandits or the Sadists?
If not for want of evidence, one would have said the geographical boundary which came to be known as Nigeria was purposely created and populated by people who are doomed to live a life of ‘we versus they’ and ‘us versus them’. These religious and ethnic cleavages are becoming too wide. On anything that leads to progress and development, we invariably disagree to agree and agree to disagree. We only agree to agree on ethnico-religious bigotry which leads to general chaos, disarray, and suppression of common sense.
The noise of Islamization and Christianization agenda became more deafening suddenly after the transition to democracy in 1999. Since then, the ethnic and religious category of presidents in power determines where the noise comes from. When Obasanjo and Jonathan were at the helm, it was Christianization. Now that it is Buhari, we shout Islamization. What complicates that of Buhari’s in comparison to Babangida’s OIC is that the former has a blend of Fulanization. That makes it sound like ‘Fulasmization’.
Don’t forget that Decree no. 34 of 1966, also known as Unification Decree, was construed to be an Igbonization—and at the same time Christianization—agenda by some. And sure, one event led to the other which ultimately plunged Nigeria into civil war that lasted for 30 months.
I won’t be naive to discard these religio-ethnic or ethnico-religious agendas as if they do not exist. Both Christians and Muslims are guilty of it, if it is an offence. Those who might not be guilty are the traditional idolaters—the animists. For I have never heard of traditionalization, animisation, or idolization agenda. But can they even be exempted? Are the animists not the support pillars of these so-called Christian and Muslim politicians who are trying to religionize Nigeria?
It may not be out of place to say majority of Christian and Muslim politicians (if not all) patronize these animists. Oh! Someone would say: ‘I only visit my pastors or mallams for electoral victory’. If you think your mallams or pastors are what you think they are, ‘your name na sorry’.
Come along; let’s think together. How would a religious leader or a man of God pray for your victory in and yet you have no achievement to show for it? You won quite right; but you governed badly. Instead of democratic dividends which should have been reasoned to be the outcome of the prayers of these men of God, what we see is DEMONcratic dividends—evil spirit in Aso Villa, unemployment, poverty, insecurity, banditry, terrorism, unprecedented hardship, cholera and diseases of different kinds.
It is high time Nigerian masses, elites and politicians abandoned religionization agenda—pushed through state power—and started thinking of industrialization, progress, and sustainable development agenda. This is 21st Century—thinking should change. Political religionization (by extension, ethnicization) has not done Nigeria any good. Right now, Plateau State, is bleeding—courtesy of ethnicity and religiosity. Plateau is not alone.
Now let me tilt my discussion to capture the title of this article ‘Islamization of Nigeria! By the Bandits or the Sadists? Though I have admitted above that religionization agenda cannot be said not to be part of Nigerian politics, but not Buhari’s regime. Is it the bandits that will Islamize Nigeria or the sadists that we elected? For the bandits, they are, in their majority, stark illiterates who do not know anything about Islam. Not only that, Islam is never their agenda and they never made any pretence about it.
While one should not err to underestimate the power of the bandits (with the recent NDA attack in mind) in overrunning or tanking the country (God forbids), it is preposterous to think their activities are geared towards Islamization. Take for instance the case of a female student who escaped from her abductors. She recounted how she became their teacher—teaching them (the bandits) the Qur’an—and thus, was allowed some freedom which she exploited to escape. This shows their level of literacy; or rather, their zero literacy. We can make reference to history to assert that those who proselytize religion or attempt to impose their religion on people are religious ideologues. These bandits are not in the least.
This aside, what kind of Islamization agenda is pursued by President Buhari’s administration as alleged? Himself, never a religious ideologue. If he had ever claimed to be a Sharia man or promised to implement it, it is an empty political promise to woo the northern electorate and coast to victory. There is nothing I know about the President that makes Islamization allegations attributed to him plausible.
An Islamist, a Sharia compliant president, or any dedicated Muslim will not allow medical doctors to down tools under his watch while he travelled abroad to seek best health service—his Islamic conscience will not allow him. A Sharia compliant president will not organize for his son that kind of outrageously extravagant marriage when the kidnapped Islaamiyah kids are rotten in kidnappers’ den.
How can Islamically conscientious president be in a happy mood to allow such kind of marriage when the masses are suffocating under the jackboots of excruciating poverty for none of their faults. This amounts to ridiculing the masses. The President should have made it a low key marriage to disappoint the ‘who is who’ and sympathise with the ‘who dem be’ (the masses) in this hard time. Anyway, may Allah bless the marriage.
Plus, if this government actually pushes for Islamization agenda as alleged, it would have rescued these kids and over reacted in its aggression against the bandits and stamped banditry out of the ‘Islamic caliphate’ completely. Can bandits desecrate the Qur’an by kidnapping its learners—and go scot free—under a government that has Islamization agenda? Enough of this absurdity.
The government has failed, there is no doubt, but its failure should neither be hurled at our precious religion (Islam) nor should it be explained through the lens of Islamization. People should study the life history of the Prophet (SAW) and great political/religious leaders like Abubakar Siddiq, Umar ibn Khatab, Uthman ibn ‘Affan, Ali ibn Abu Talib, Umar ibn AbdulAzeez’ and a host of others (RA) to understand good governance and the process of Islamization.
I have gone too far, let’s read the 928 pages biography of our first Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa, by Trevor Clark titled ‘A Right Honourable Gentleman: Abubakar From The Black Rock’ to understand good governance and exemplary leadership.
If our Muslim political leaders would embark on real Islamization where justice prevails, the non-Muslims, while sticking to their religions, would abhor living under any government if not the Islamic government. If I am right in my assessment of Zulum in Borno State as a performing governor, then he should be accused of Islamization, not these sadists who unleash poverty on all of us but themselves. You will also be right if you accuse Oloyode of Islamization for his illustrious performance in JAMB. May Allah continue to guide these two learned Professors and their ilk. May He make them to be successful in their righteous endeavours and end in success.
I just cannot understand how a democratic government in Nigeria will Islamize or Christianize the country. If Gowon, Murtala, Obasanjo, Buhari, Babangida, Abatcha, Abdulsalam could not achieve it as military rulers when they had unrestricted brutal force at their disposal, is it President Buhari in his democratic babban riga that will achieve it?
Nigerian politicians! Please, give us justice and do us justice. We need progress, development, opportunities, industrialization, standard education, good hospitals. Government should make Nigerians proud of themselves. Government should treat us with dignity and respect. Clerics, preachers and teachers of religion can go on with their Christianization and Islamization agenda; it is none of government’s business.