In Response to Gaddaffi’s statement on splitting Nigeria

by Kennedy Ihewuokwu

Browsing through comments online about Gaddaffi’s statement on splitting Nigeria, I realized that about ninety percent of the comments supported or praised Gaddaffi for his ‘brave’ statement. What must have made Nigerians lose optimism in one Nigeria? What had happened to the Great Zik’s vision of one Nigeria? Religion has eclipsed any existing or existed fervor to live as a great country. The existence of religion has obliterated instead of creating a peaceful and great land. It is pity that inter-religions riots in Nigeria don’t seem like news to me anymore. I have heard and read about them from my childhood. As a Child, I misunderstood inter-religion existence to be associated with riots and crisis. I was wrong.

In my secondary schools days, we were forced to recite both Christian and Islamic prayers at the assembly ground. We joked about having ‘two’ Gods to bless us every morning before classes. It didn’t end on assembly ground; we were mandated to learn both Christian religious studies and Islamic religious studies. I believe my mates at secondary school at that time were opportune to gain knowledge of how people from diverse religious background could inter-exist. After I read about Gaddaffi’s statement on the partition of Nigeria, I called my long time secondary school Muslim friend for his observation. Just like the comments I read on many websites, people are tired of hearing about religious calamity coming out from Nigeria. Innocent children are now their target. Nothing can be justified about the killing of children for a ‘so called’ religion which none of us living today knew how religion all started.

If I may ask, where is the problem of Nigeria coming from? The problem does not physically exist. It mentally exists. It is in the mind of the people. The people grew up with it. They feel it on the streets. They hear it in the media. The elders are quiet over the issue. It is not a precedence of the corrupt politicians that are active mapping out strategies to nourish their pockets. Nigeria’s problem has long overdue and would take more years to patch up.

Gaddaffi said, Splitting Nigeria “would stop the bloodshed and burning of places of worship.” A Nigerian politician called him a ‘mad man.’ Do mad men care about stopping bloodshed and burning of places of worship? No would be an obvious answer. On the flip side, splitting of Nigeria cannot be a way out from religious riots and bloodshed. We all know it is the dividend of poverty, idleness, hunger, depression, uncertainty, and corrupt government. Nigeria is ‘erroneously’ populated because we don’t have an unfailing government to optimistically make good quality use of the population. Apart from relatives of the people in power, others have lost hope in the government. Most are looking for routes to migrate to another country where they can find shelter and meals on their table.

Where there is no hope from the government, the people turn to religion. Religion would guarantee expectation if members can forfeit their last penny as tithe or offering to the church. The so called men of God would then drive on convoy, escorts, bodyguards and fly on private Jet. When government doesn’t care anymore, religion would definitely heed. It will make them create a Boko Haram to raze off education that might make them have sense of equitable belonging.

In the twenty first century when developing countries are full of activity to attain their 2020 dream, one country is busy having inter-religious battles. Gaddaffi should be thanked for reminding us where our ship is sailing to. The country I pledged to everyday while in primary and secondary school is obviously cruising to disintegration. They are tired of waiting for their own share of the bleeding oil. Drive through the streets of Lagos, everyone is becoming entrepreneurs either on petite or huge size. They are beginning to realize that the population is a greater asset than the deceptive oil. They create their own government. They would run their own water supply either by digging up a well or buying waters. They would generate electricity from a willful noisy machine. The young minds now make good music to at least send a positive message.

There is no time for splitting a country now. The world is going global, bridging up country borders. Nigeria should bridge up her own borders between tribes and ethnic groups. Nigeria must take out religion from politics. The religion we are protecting didn’t instigate from our traditions, it was given to us. The religion our ancestors served didn’t kill their neighbors like it is now. It protected every one. Christianity and Islamic protects one and all if wisely believed.

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