A recent suggestion by the Nigerian Army that the killings in some parts of the country (which are acts of terrorism) are sponsored, should be taken quite seriously. Be the sponsors local or foreign interest groups, there must be some underlying purposes or goals. For the President of the country, who is also Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, to suggest that current terrorist acts in Nigeria has something to do with remnants of soldiers of Gadaffi’s Libya, adds strength to the opinion of the Nigerian army.
If we add these facts to an earlier security report that Islamic states terrorists are operating in Nigeria, then it becomes necessary to ask who are the sponsors of terrorism in Nigeria. Without shying away from an obvious suspicion, would it not be logical to say that the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) may have something to do with increasing terrorist activities in Nigeria? Why are terrorist attacks associated with Islam?
An obvious trend in these terrorist activities, associated with Boko Haram and armed herdsmen, is that they have some religious coloration, organized and financed. It is not known that cattle graze inside churches, nor can the killing of priests and worshippers in church premises arise from accidental discharges and stray bullets. Targets and strategies can reveal motives.
It is scary to suggest that a religious war is brewing in Nigeria, but there is hardly any logical alternative line of thinking to disprove the fact that current terrorist acts tend towards a possible Jihad. It was not quite a surprise that the Catholic Church is asking the President to resign, in view of constant attacks on priests and worshippers. We should not wait for the situation to get worse before we recognize that we have a religious war brewing in Nigeria. Vested interests will down-play this.
Those who know Islamic proselytization strategy would say that the Moslem Brotherhood is like an exclusive cult system which takes outsiders as unbelievers who should not be associated with. This mindset is responsible for non-separation of politics from religion, such that submission to a non-Moslem authority becomes an affront that is rarely tolerated.
During the Presidency of Goodluck Jonathan, he admitted to Nigerians that he was given a condition by Boko Haram terrorist to become a Moslem for a fruitful negotiation to become possible. At that time not many Nigerians saw the ominous nature of that apparent joke of giving such to the president of a country. Today, the joke is becoming more brazen under some camouflage.
During the Presidency of General Ibrahim Babangida as a military strongman, Nigerians woke up from sleep to hear that the country had become a member of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) whose motives and conditions were best known to its sponsors. The Moslem world welcomed Nigeria’s membership of the OIC with glee and celebration. The secular state of the Nigerian nation was not taken into account, neither did those who would not separate politics from religion tell Nigerians what the nation would gain from membership of an Islamic body.
Late President Gadaffi of Libya nursed a dream of a unification of African states under the umbrella of the Organisation of Islamic Conference. He also proposed the formation of a United States of Africa, an ambition which he did not live to celebrate its reality. Therefore, President Mohammadu Buhari’s admission that Gadaffi trained some soldiers whose remnants may currently be terrorizing Nigeria, is an indication that the crisis of armed herdsmen is a more deep-rooted issue than what we imagine. How are the terrorists financed?
Similarly, a suggestion by retired General T. Y. Danjuma that the “Nigerian armed forces are not neutral” in the crisis in the Middle-Belt zone, cannot be taken as a joke. The attitude of some service chiefs and security agencies also lend some support to the possibility of some hidden agenda whereby cattle become the harbingers and precursors of some invasion.
Those who think that the Western world loves Nigerians a great deal may not be aware that such “love” begins and ends with economic interests, with oil and the sale of weapons. Therefore, the desire to sell weapons to Nigeria, including military aircraft, to combat terrorism can be cited as an external factor which fuels rather than combat terrorism. We also know what dark and corrupt deals that are connected with arms purchases.
Please, let the few remaining Nigerians endowed with hypodermic vision speak up now on factors that sponsor and fuel terrorism in Nigeria before the situation grows into wider conflicts. There is an immediate need to suggest that all service chiefs should be changed. Also, the Christian Association of Nigeria should demand from the president full details and conditions of membership of Nigeria of the Organisation of Islamic Conference.
Dr. Amirize is a retired lecturer at the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.
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