We live in a world where many people rarely recognize or care about what is happening at the moment, until the event is past and gone; then would come many analysts with dissecting tools. This is the case with rumours about Islamization agenda, Fulanisation, introduction of Sharia Law in a democracy, etc. A jinx may be called an enigma, and rumours that pass understanding usually pave ways for surprises and intrigues.
The Tide newspaper of Friday, June 7, 2019, had a front-page news titled “Insecurity: Danjuma, Lekwot, Others Drag Buhari to UK Parliament”. Any reader going through that news item with thoroughness would not fail to have a serious concern about the security and future of this country. During the Presidency of Goodluck Jonathan when Boko Haram terrorist group was asked to nominate a representative towards a dialogue, the name of Buhari featured then. Expectedly, he denied any association with the group.
Why was Buhari dragged to UK Parliament by some eminent Nigerians, with allegation of “pursuing a jihad or Islamisation agenda”? Acting under the aegis of Nigerian Christian Elders Forum (NCEF), other members of the group embarked on the mission with UK Parliament are formidable Nigerians. In a preamble to the petition, we hear that “British man on the spot, Lord Luggard, promoted Islam by preventing proselytisation in Muslim areas of Nigeria …” Lord Luggard obviously loved the Northerners!
But the major concern of this write-up would focus on serious allegations by the NCEF which must not be swept under the carpet. Is it not true that “the Intelligence Service is the only organization in Nigeria since independence that has not been subjected to a commission of inquiry “ – Why so! Is there no truth in the statement that that organization “became an instrument for the protection of Muslims and the promotion of Sharia”? When we talk about cabal, crypocracy or “invisible government”, can such not refer to the Intelligence Service?
Is it a mere allegation that “a former Governor of Borno State started the Boko Haram and co-opted the head of Boko Haram set, Mohammed Yusuf, into his cabinet”? Is it a false allegation that “the telephone of a terrorist was discovered to contain numbers of government and top officials in the Armed Forces”? A part of the NCEF memo also states that “it is also clear that it is stealth jihad to have a constitution that prohibits State Police even as money in billions of dollars is voted for vigilantes and religious police …”?
Is there no link between Boko Haram and armed Fulani herdsmen, fuelling the suspicion of conspiracy in some quarters? More worrisome in the position of the NCEF are statements credited to President Buhari over some past years; some of which include the followings:
“I can die for the course of Islam, if necessary. We are prepared to fight another civil war”; “We cannot be blackmailed into killing the Sharia idea. Sharia must be spread all over Nigeria”; “Boko Haram members should be pampered and given VIP treatment but not killed. It is injustice to kill them”; “Muslims should only vote those who will promote Islam …”
If the excerpts quoted above represent true statements emanating from Buhari over several years, they are clear representations of a definite mindset. Let it not be said that Muslims are more zealous about their religion than Christians; rather, the issue is that Nigeria is a secular democracy. It may be said that Lord Luggard fell in love with the Fulanis of his time, but it should not be assumed that he handed Nigeria over to them as a group.
What should be an enigma in the jinxed issues of Islamisation, Fulanisation and the spread of Sharia Law across Nigeria, is the late awakening of some warlords of the Nigeria Civil War, who feature as members of the NCEF. Why is it that issues of Islamisation and jihadist agenda are being recognized now rather than long ago? Did those who took part in the Civil War, especially what happened after June 1966; not see evidence of some hidden agenda?
Is it not possible that the obvious one-sidedness of the “war against corruption” may have some jihadist agenda behind it? May the UK Parliament do justice to the issue brought before it, including the N82bn seized late Abacha loot.
Dr. Amirize is a retired lecturer from the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.