It started in Zamfara State. The initiator was Ahmed Sani Yerima. The target was President Aremu Mathew Okikiola Olusegun Obasanjo. What started was Islamic fundamentalism; Shariah extremism and politicisation of Islam. The motive was unholy, and the act was ungodly. It was political shenaniganism, electoral hooliganism and Islamicized capitalism. The poor were the cannon fodder. The Christians were the buffet takers. The Moslems were the battle ram. And the rich were the puppet masters. The Talakawas of Northern Nigeria never had it so bad. The Nietzscheic opium were administered them in gargantuan quantity. Dividends of democracy a la Zamfara State. Nay. Dividends of democracy a la Yerima State!
Then, it was so attractive. Obasanjo was jolted. Christians were slaughtered. Yerima was exulted, exalted and later exhausted. Soon, governors were imitating him like a wiz kid. Then, anti-obasanjonism was a fast sell. Shariah extremism spread through the North like bushfire in harmattan. The dialectic moment was inexorably set in motion. The metamorphosis was begun. The magic stick had started working. No one could control it anymore.
Musa Jangedi lost his arm. He was accused of stealing a cow. The man denied it fervently. No lawyer defended him. No court of competent jurisdiction found him guilty. He was not granted any right of appeal. Musa Yerima wanted to show Obasanjo that he was damned serious. An expendable energy was needed. Poor Jangedi! The poor are always the cannon fodder. That is the price of being poor in Nigeria; a country where injustice is justice; criminality is a cherished value; and exalted leaders are exulted thieves! Amina was condemned to death. Her crime: she committed adultery. Perhaps, with herself for no man was charged as any accomplice. Even the Shariah put stringent requirements for the establishment of such a ‘crime’. That was not the issue. Musa Yerima wanted to prove a point to Olusegun Obasanjo. But pray, which Nigerian politician is chaste?
As the dialectical stone started rolling, unanticipated consequences started throwing up. Reprisal killings in the South. Impassioned agitation for the Biafran State in the East. Resource control which graduated into very violent militancy in the South-South. Today, the North is the region working hardest for the continued corporate existence of Nigeria as an entity. Has irony another name? But the dialectical magic stick is still working. Extremist elements have been empowered in the North. At first, they were blank heads. Today, some funny but not so funny idea has flown into their hitherto blank heads all the way from Afghanistan! Do you know the definition of danger? A passionate idea in an impassioned blank head! These are dangerous times indeed. These elements had appropriately reasoned: why go through it the half way? Let’s go the whole hog – a pristine undiluted Islamic state! Hence, BOKO HARAM. The Western ways are bad. These extremist elements know nothing about the politics of oil economy nor the dynamics of the unholy Nigerian wedlock. The Talakawas had risen. They no longer wanted Arabic schools only. Now, they want power plus other things. Therefore, the ruling class in the North were genuinely threatened. Who else epitomised the Western ways? Boko Haram, true to their fathers, the Talibans will surely do away with the Sarautawa in order to entrench their suzerainty. It happened in Afghanistan. Not just Christians but also the Northern establishment would be the targets of their attacks.
Hence, the establishment swiftly rose against them and ruthlessly crushed them. Is the discerning mind not surprised? Which religious crises has ever been nipped in the bud in the history of Nigeria? It is not unlikely that things went that way because those who could prevent the attack were the prime targets of the attack. When this logic is used in the reverse, the conclusion is shuddering. A lot of questions are begging for painfully unavailable answers. Why was the leader of Boko Haram murdered by security agencies even when photo evidence shows that the man was hale and hearty when he was captured. Was a soldier or a policeman handsomely paid to cover up somebody? The captured mouth of Yusuf, the leader of Boko Haram, surely, could be politically dangerous. Which mouth can keep a secret better than a dead one? The Borno State commissioner for religious of affairs was also brazenly murdered by security agents. If such a man could be brazenly murdered by security agents even when major newspapers have pictures of his arrest, then some very, very big men have paid very, very much to be shielded. The commissioner did not control security votes. Such mischief as Boko Haram are always sponsored with security votes. It happened in the Niger Delta. It could also be true of the North.
But has the dialectics come to an end? I pray so but doubt much. Today, Sani Yerima is Obasanjo’s buddy in the PDP. When the former EFCC terror, Ribadu, published the list of thieving governors, Sani’s name was not absent on the list. Those in his class steal billions; not in naira but in pounds and dollars. He had been playing hide and seek with the EFCC, all the time enjoying all the benefits of the law. Musa Jangedi was only accused of stealing a cow; mind you accused not convicted, yet billionaire thieves have their limbs intact cavorting in the PDP bed. Who says the animal farm is not Nigeria?
Ebo Chigbo Socrates, Awka, 08064641470, [email protected]