First, I will like to send my condolences to those who lost their lives in the unnecessary, despicable, barbaric, and senseless acts of violence in some cities in this county. It is sad that again, we are witnessing yet another session of totally unnecessary loss of life and property in Nigeria – over an issue that is the least of the problems we face as Nigerians after 45 years of independence. May that Higher Being that we all call unto in our different tongues and faiths, the Almighty One whom some have chosen to ‘fight for’, rather than HE fight for us, may HE rest the soul of the departed innocent victims of these crimes and grant their survivors the strength and comfort in their time of loss.
For decent people everywhere, the latest acts of violence and its attendant loss of life and property at this time in Nigeria [a time when we should be focusing on our internal issues and problems], is repugnant to the point of nausea. This week, starting Monday, the public hearing on the constitution amendments commenced sitting in Maiduguri, Borno State, which unfortunately happens to be the epicenter of the latest religious riots. The future of our country and the desire to ensure that democratic values are enshrined in our statutes should be our priority, not punishing innocent neighbors, brothers, sisters, mothers and other fellow citizens for the offense of a cartoonist across the pond in Denmark.
At a time when the suspicions and rumors are rife that the constitutional review process is part of a hidden agenda to ensure President Obasanjo remains in power after the 2007 limit, one would have thought the average rioter might want to be a part of public hearings or at least make keeping tabs on a process taking place right in Maiduguri city a priority. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Rather we have them burning, destroying, killing and maiming their fellow citizens for the alleged sins of an errant European.
But this is where the role of leaders is important. A role that I believe the Pressure groups and other pragmatic non-governmental organizations should have a part in, since the community leaders in politics, religion and government – in all the social aspects – have failed to do their job in our society and the result of their inaction is the lawlessness that reigns in our country today. One of the worst examples of leadership was demonstrated two weeks ago by the members of the Kano State House of Assembly, who led by the Speaker, came out in public during work hours to burn Danish flags and chant obscenities in public, despite the fact that the Danish government had apologized to the world. This is a public official who represents Muslims and Christians of his constituency in the state assembly.
Then we have the religious leaders who allow or tolerate for lack of a better word here] blood-thirsty zealots who have nothing better to fight for but to kill in the name of their religion at the slightest excuse. No people, no religion has the monopoly of violence and hopefully, those who think they do today won’t regret it tomorrow when the civilized world may see them as barbaric outcasts who have nothing better to offer than tears, sorrow and blood. A time may come when the world might have been driven to the wall and will be forced to fight back with all she has and that will be when those who think they hold the aces in the faculty of violence will realize that anyone can get angry. You just have to be mad enough.
It is time the religious leaders of the faiths that choose the path of violence to look to more civilized ways of airing the grievances in the 21st century. This is a message all pressure groups and stakeholders should be preaching on the pages of Newspapers or in the electronic media, instead of rubbishing themselves as pulpit for injustice as portray by this psychopath in government. The bottom line is that the least we need in Nigeria right
now is an upsurge in violence over some cartoon pictures that many who are fighting, killing and maiming didn’t even set eyes on. There’s poverty, there’s violence, there’s lack of leadership, general insecurity, corruption etc – all issues that better require attention of every Nigerian than a protest over an alien issue. This is what our leaders should be telling their communities. But then, we don’t have real leaders in the Nation. and the vicious circle continues. If most political parties or other stakeholders as I have mentioned before are truly a breeding ground for future National leaders, it is time we too up the role. There cannot be a better opportunity to make our voice heard than NOW. May God Almighty empower our true leaders; whenever they are born.
God Bless Nigerians, God bless the federal republic of Nigeria. My earnest and profound regards to all enlightened Nigerians, and I pray that those I have offend will have cause to pardon me as a result of the letters I have been sending on this site.
Over and Out !!!