Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab the infamous Nigerian terrorist also known as the “underwear bomber” who tried to bomb a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas day in 2009, which would have led to the mass murder of 289 persons on board the flight and possibly hundreds more on the ground had the plane crashed in built-up areas, was finally sentenced to life in jail on the 17th of February.
For a depraved and bloodthirsty terrorist such as Abdulmuttalab whose unsuccessful attempt to bomb the Northwest Airlines flight would have snuffed out the lives of hundreds of people, the life sentence is somewhat lenient. Measure for measure, such a soulless person deserves in the least a death sentence that adequately compensates in the strictest possible terms for the premeditated act of mass murder he tried to commit.
It is still however laudable that the American justice system has to a large extent served justice to a man who would never have faced trial in Nigeria. Just recently, Mohammed Ali Ndume, a senator, was revealed to be one of the sponsors of the boko haram group of terrorist mass murderers, but a few weeks later he walked free from detention, granted bail by a kangaroo judicial system. In other parts of the world terror suspects are never granted bail until judgement is delivered by competent courts. Another self confessed boko haram member, Mallam Ali Konduga was sentenced to just 3 years in prison after confessing his membership and role in a group that has been engaged in vicious acts of terrorist mass murders. Nigeria is the only lawless jungle where terror suspects are bailed and mass murderers are jailed for only 3 years.
It is also not a secret that the sponsors and perpetrators of the decades long acts of targeted ethno-religious mass murders in the sharia North are well known to the authorities, but none of such culprits has ever been brought to trial. It is thus against this backdrop that the eternal caging of Abdulmutallab (like the animal that he is) by the American justice system is welcome because he would have walked free in Nigeria.
But yet more tragic and revealing is the mindset and hate revealed in Abdulmutallab’s testimony during his sentencing in which he proclaimed that the “mujahideen is happy to kill in the name of God because that is what the Koran says”. He also alleged that his botched bomb attack is a reaction to the injustices of American foreign policy against Muslims. Interestingly, what Abdulmutallab reveals in his testimony is the mindset that drove the northern jihad and its attendant genocide centuries ago and that is driving the present day acts of targeted ethno-religious mass murders in the sharia north. It provides an insight that “to kill as many as possible in the name of God” drives the boko haram mayhem and all the other organized group of mass murderers that have murdered hundreds of thousands of people in cold blood since 1945 in the North.
Yet again more surprising is the hypocrisy in Abdulmutallabs testimony in alleging the injustice of American foreign policy against Muslims when there is more social, political and economic injustice against the beleaguered masses in Nigeria. The doctrine of leadership in Nigeria is anchored on the twin evils of the “Almajirization” and “Babangidization” of the nation. “Almajirization” quite simply defined as total insensitivity to the citizenry and the abandonment and pauperisation of the masses and “Babangidization” being the institutionalisation of corruption across the nation. These twin evils and doctrine of leadership which was planted and institutionalised by erstwhile Northern leaders from Abdulmutallab’s home turf is responsible for the mass poverty, mass unemployment, monumental corruption, lack of basic amenities and infrastructure such as electricity, pipe borne water, functional hospitals, functional schools, functional refineries, good roads etc that has culminated in the institutionalisation of social, political and economic injustice in Nigeria.
It is thus surprising that in spite of the monumental and indeed genocidal injustices in his own country, Abdulmutallab ignored the log in his own country’s eyes and preferred to see the spec in America’s eyes by choosing to act on injustice in American foreign policy when his own nation was being literarily consumed in the intense heat of injustice. If Abdulmutallab was genuine about fighting injustice, his theatre of war and suicide bombing campaign should have started from Nigeria where he would have had so many targets in his own backyard with the Babangida’s, the Abacha’s, the Abdulsalami Abubakar’s the Umaru Dikko’s, the Adamu Ciroma’s, the Atiku Abubakar’s, the Rilwanu Lukman’s, the Sani Yerima’s, the Dangote’s amongst other Northern leaders in his own backyard who pillaged and brought the nation to absolute ruin.
It neither makes sense, nor is it rational to ignore the fire in your own house while fighting the fire in another man’s house. It is thus evident that Abdulmutallab never sought to fight against any imaginary injustice in American foreign policy, for if he was ever truly driven to fight injustice, he would have started from his own country and backyard. Like all demented and bloodthirsty terrorist mass murderers, he acted only in the name of his Muslim god, who feeds on the blood of innocents as he himself had confessed that the “mujahideen is happy to kill in the name of god”. Fortunately, he will be eternally consigned to a cage and the world will thankfully be rid of such a sick murderous monster.
Nigeria is now at a dangerous and existential crossroad, held hostage by a whole population of terrorist mass murderers and sympathisers who as Abdulmutallab said are ideologically bent on joyfully killing in the name of God. I do not see how the nation can come out of such a predicament except there is a separation between such fundamentalist Muslims and other religions. There is no nation on earth where significant numbers of fundamentalist Muslims cohabit peacefully with other religions. The Abdulmutallab’s and boko haram is only a sign of what is to come. Those who have ears let them hear!
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu