Saturday, June 4, 2016


I could never have imagined that Boko Haram will be a thing associated with Borno State, until it happened. Even when it happened, somehow I felt Kano State must have something to do with it. Yet, when the few attacks in Kano occurred it was still apparent that the headquarters of the  fundamentalist Islamic group was in Borno State, which has a sizeable Christian population. I cannot now say that I was somewhat disappointed in the fact that Kano wasn't somehow linked with Boko Haram, seeing that it had once hosted something of the likes in the name of Maitatsine group in the 1980s.

Besides that, Kano has never shed its notoriety for religious intolerance, and the beheading of a woman from eastern Nigeria on Thursday evening, for blasphemy with her husband barely escaping with his life could be said to be one in a litany of shameful religious intolerant behaviors associated with the northern part of Nigeria generally, and Kano in particular.

Interestingly, when the former Central Bank governor became the Emir of Kano, I had very little hopes that much will change in that direction, knowing that he was some kind of a zealot when it comes to religious matters, and to now have to be the face of it in Kano, and the second in rank for same in Nigeria. I felt it would further embolden extremists and fanatics in the region, most especially in Kano, and recent events there before this one have done nothing to assuage my fears.

Unfortunately, as with beheadings in the past in Nigeria's north, of mainly Southern Nigerian, Christian victims of both sexes, this will definitely not be probed, with the perpetrators brought to justice, despite the rantings of the Nigerian police, even though ensuring justice is done has the power to at least nip such activities in the bud. It is even more unfortunate, that prominent Muslim personalities and groups have yet to speak up in condemnation of the act of persons purporting to be acting on behalf of them and their religion (of peace).

This is why, when many people say that they are lauding the present government under President Muhammadu Buhari for downgrading the ability of Boko Haram to continue attacking the Nigerian state, I don't rejoice, because the environment that breeds such groups in the north of Nigeria still exists, and enjoys support both at the state and national/federal levels. Therefore, even if the deadly group is defeated now, another is sure to come in its own name to continue where it's predecessors have stopped.

It is no wonder Nigeria can not know peace, with so much injustice in the air, and blood of innocents rising to the highest heavens. It is no surprise why the insular North, especially in the areas of religious fervency and intolerance remain challenged in terms of development, as no sane foreign investor will consider a location competing with the tribal areas of  Afghanistan and Pakistan ideal for serious investment. If only the federal and the Kano state governments, could insist that the Nigerian police should go beyond rhetorics to do it's job, to ensure that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are brought to book, and the religious and traditional rulers of the north, work towards eradicating the penchant of mobs to lynch people accused of blasphemy, then maybe we may begin to see some change for the better. For now it's nothing but gloom.



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