By Dr Ayo Owoade
What goes around comes around. Reason saner Nigerians are required to ignore and reject attempt by some lost-out political elites in the country hiding under religious activism to launch “Fulanisation and Islamisation” sentiment with intent to distabilise the system. This is further backed by a concerned Nigerian in his submission below. This is however adopted via MBO Strategic Group platform, by Prince Bashir Adefaka’s WAKE UP column to add weight to its content. Excerpts:
I will be the last person to deny that kidnappers are on rampage however, seeing it as an act perpetrated by Fulanis or as an agenda to Islamize Nigeria is where the narrative starts to get ethnic and religious undertone. We should see criminals as criminals instead of using the calamity to generate unnecessary sentiments.
In the last few years, more than a dozen of my colleagues in PH (Port Harcourt) have been victims with ransom paid. About six weeks ago, two of my colleagues were kidnapped on East-West Road in daylight while on official duty with one of their police escorts killed.
“In 2015 when ijaw/ilaje boys were on rampage around Lagos, kidnapping school children in Epe, ikorodu and Arepo Turkish school, we treated them as criminals and no tribal or religious agenda attached to it.”
Night life in PH has practically disappeared. But we see and referred to perpetrators of this horrendous act as criminals, not Ijaw or ikwere or Kalabari kidnappers or people with ‘Christianisation’ agenda.
In 2015 when ijaw/ilaje boys were on rampage around Lagos, kidnapping school children in Epe, ikorodu and Arepo Turkish school, we treated them as criminals and no tribal or religious agenda attached to it. Why do we now have double standard in treating criminals operating in Nort West axis of the country by stigmatizing their tribe and assumed religion.
In our desperation to run our beloved country down, we even have to import videos and pictures from troubled and war torn neighboring countries to push ourselves to despicable intolerant level.
The Fulanisation and Islamization agenda being championed by some of our politically spent and expired leaders, who are the greatest beneficiaries of our lopsided system, and who unfortunately, have lost out and become politically vulnerable, and who are now exploiting the opportunity to become tribal warlords, do not in any way have facts to back it up.
The first reason being that we have more southerners living and striving in the Hausa / Fulani traditional enclave than we have the latter in the southern part of the country. If there is anything close to that, it is the southerners that are making more inroad into northern territories. There are more southerners with physical assets and flourishing business in the north than northerners presence down south. Also, the just concluded election in Abuja is a clear example of how southerners are making there presence felt within the northern political landscape.
The islamisation agenda being championed by these leaders is something they either never really reflected on or they are just being mischievous about it and I am going to use my immediate environment to drive home my point. I moved into this estate 12 years ago. As at mid 2007 when I came in, there were about 4 or 5 mosques along this road to Ajah with less than 10 churches but as at today, I still see those 5 mosques but the number of churches have gone up geometrically.
When I drive along Lekki Epe Road, and indeed any other part of Lagos, I see more of Christianity footprint than Islam. Likewise Lagosb-Iadan Expressway, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Abule Egba-Sango-Otta-Ifo-Ewekoro-Abeokuta road, sagamu ore Benin Express way, Ibadan ilesha akure owo Benin road, gbongan osogbo ikirun inisha erinle offa ajase ipo road, omuaran egbe kabba lokoja road, Ibadan oyo ogbomoso ilorin road.
Even my village, ilorin, with 99% Muslim natives, is not spared in this modern Christianity tsunami. I am sure there are more churches in ilorin now than Muslim worship centers. The outlook is not different in other parts of the north, we have more churches springing up everywhere. The south south and south east of the country also have their own share of rapid expansion of churches, while the number of mosques in those regions would hardly be up to 100. In contrast ilorin alone, which is a Muslim town has more than 100 churches.
These are facts that are verifiable and one continues to wonder the sources of misinformation being propagated by these divisive ethnic and religious bigots. The only conclusion one can deduce from their utterances is that these criminal elements ravaging the north who are being branded as Fulani jihadists seem to be working for these expired leaders. Because I may not know how to Islamize a society but common sense tells me that it cannot be achieved by committing genocide against your own people who are predominantly Muslim and using the few converts on your side to blow up the so called ‘infidels ‘ within your vicinity. This definitely does not add up.
In fact if there is any group of people that requires reawakening, it is the Muslims in this country. Most of the land being used for building churches in the northern and south west part of the country are sold off by Muslims. I wonder how many Christians will in good faith sell their land for mosque to be erected on it. They are the ones being aggressively overrun by the other faith, yet the predator is claiming to be the prey. It is looking like a winning tactics now but like any other thing built on falsehood, it will definitely collapse in not too distance future.
For those of us who are genuinely concerned about the level of insecurity in the country, we need to be careful not to sail in their wind. It is important to channel our collective effort to help government in subduing this menace otherwise, the gravity of the precarious situation will be lost if it is anchored on tribal or religious sentiment just to score cheap political blackmail.