Judging from killings here and there, bombings all over the place, it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between tribal, political and religious altercations.
Yes, anyone may come out and say that the ongoing bombings and daily wastage of lives are politically motivated. Others may disagree and call it a move aimed at secession, while others will argue that it is a religion-motivated fight. The real cause of the fight should however not be based on what the sponsors of the war/fight believe but on what the people carrying out the bombings and killings believe.
The problem of Nigeria is that people who have aims of achieving political goals approach people known to be extremists when it comes to religious matters and use them. They tell them they are fighting a holy war, a war aimed at making others believe in their religion, whereas the sponsors have different reasons.
Anyone can offer solutions, tips and ways to end the Boko haram menace in Nigeria, but the solution lies in the hands of everyone. If terrorism will end in Nigeria, there is the need for a collective attempt at stopping it.
The government is the first place we have to look into. The president himself has made it clear that there are Boko haram members in his government. This is the 21st century, it’s an age where everything you say is on record, so now isn’t the time to hide behind being misquoted or misinterpreted, neither is it a time for flimsy excuses on why it was said. Now is the time to come out clean. Enough of kneeling in churches for prayers, enough of organising prayers when the solution is staring us straight in the eye, enough of shedding crocodile tears when misfortune strikes, now is the time to stop protecting terrorists at the cost of innocent citizens’ lives.
Asides the government, there is the need for religious houses to stop criticizing other religions. It is a common thing for mosques to criticize churches and churches to criticize mosques. There are times where i hear christians and muslims arguing on who’s on the true path and who’s on the wrong path. In a country where the citizens have learnt to accomodate one another’s beliefs and coexist peacefully, these arguments may be healthy, but in a country like ours where everyone wants to assert the fact that their religion is the true one and are actually willing to kill for it, arguments like that shouldn’t be expressed openly. Religious houses should pay close attention to their youths and pay even closer attentions to those who have traits of extremism and curb it when they still can. Religious houses for children(sunday schools, ile keu) should be monitored and the teachings screened by experienced leaders before teaching it to the kids. All teachings that involve religious wars and killings should be screened out to avoid breeding kids with dangerous ideologies.
On the part of the citizens, there is a saying that no one succeeds in isolation. The people who carry out the bombings live with us. But so many people believe that the work of securing our nation lies only in the hands of security operatives, but that’s not true. In a nation where the people provide everything themselves, it’s high time we woke up and realise that this Boko haram issue isn’t a joke and it will continue to thrive until we come together to stop it. Let every street organize people to watch their street 24/7 for suspicious characters. And as for those who allow themselves to be used, let us remember that we are in the age of civilization. Nobody has to force his beliefs on other, everyone has a choice and it should be respected. How many of those sponsoring these bombings would actually allow their kids to die as sucide bombers? Don’t they want their children to have the 70 virgins they say are awaiting these bombers too? Don’t they want their children to die and go to heaven too? Then why use other people’s children?
If there is to be an end to killings and wastage of lives, everyone needs to re-evaluate his/her life, everyone needs to think and stop acting on other people’s instructions without thinking. Above all, we all need to love ourselves, let’s remember that we are one, we’ve fought some battles together, we’ve won together. We fought for independence together, why kill ourselves now? Let’s remember that we are family, and if you won’t take up against your brother or sister, and if you won’t blow up your father’s house, then you have no reason to kill and maim your fellow Nigerians based on Tribal, political or religious differences.
God bless Nigeria
Ogunjimi James Taiwo