AN EGG, WHEN BROKEN, takes miracle to put the broken pieces together. The current discuss on state of insecurity along religious line in Nigeria, has been of concern. Christians Association of Nigeria, CAN, leadership, recently alluded, that death causality from Boko Haram insurgents in the country, weighed more on Christians, than Muslims. Nigerian President Buhari, in his reaction, in an essay published in a foreign Christian magazine, Christianity Today, disagreed with CAN.
Buhari’s essay, stated that over 90 percent of Boko Haram’s killings in the country are Muslims. Unknown to the president, his ratio of 90 percent Muslims killings over Christians, opened up fury and floor gate of unhealthy religious debates, capable of overwhelming the country. This has generated diverse reactions. At the helm of this debates is undiplomatic leadership utterance.
The lives of Nigerians, be they Christians and Muslims are valuable. The country’s federation does not adopt state religion, neither does it discriminate the lives of Christians against Muslims. Religion needs not lead the country’s citizens to blind passion. According to former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, President Buhari should not “rationalise” the increasing killings of people, and classify them Christians death and Muslims death.
Atiku Abubakar tweeted in his personal handle, @atiku, that killings by any misguided group was wrong, and should be condemned. His words: “We must not rationalise killings. Whether Christian, Muslim, traditionalist, or atheist, the killing of any human being, by Boko Haram, or any other misguided group, is wrong and should be condemned unequivocally. There is no compulsion in religion.”
Nigerians are disillusioned with the state of insecurity and governance failure in the country. They are unimpressed, particularly, with President Buhari’s style of governance which, they said, have become “insensitive” and “unperturbed” about the plights of the citizens. Out of grave concern, they now seek divine intervention in churches and mosques. Almighty God, they forget, is not a politician. He permits human leaders, but does not get involve in partisan politics. Otherwise, which political party will God support, and which party will he be against?
Leadership is about the choice people make. And will continue to make, in choosing their leaders. When they fail to make the right choice of leaders, due to blind pecuniary gains; or are ruled by ethnicity and religious consideration; they pay the prize. And very costly, in most cases. Citizens of advanced countries, and some developing nations, do not go to churches or mosques to bemoan their leadership misfortune. Only in Nigeria.
Demands of good governance requires strong and inspirational leadership that motivate followers and citizens. This, often, leads to quality results that benefit the people. Successful governments, constantly, thrive on this. If, or when, President Buhari takes the seat of a national leader, and drives leadership in the country with inspiration – shown in his words, actions and body language, Nigeria’s tense politics, economy, social and insecurity situations will improve.
About five years on, in Buhari’s presidency, the ruling political party, All Progressive Congress, APC, needs to reinvent the president’s style of leadership. Urge the president to move away from leadership of exclusion to leadership of inclusion. The questions to ask will include: What characteristics should an inspirational leader have? What is wrong with the present (old ways) of dealing with the deteriorating situations in the country? What changes, to reinvent new leadership are necessary?
Religion, often, is said to be the “opium of the people”. To Christians, they follow Jesus Christ, and build their faith and teachings on the holy book, the Bible. To Muslims, they follow Muhammed, and build their faith and teachings around the Koran. If a Christian assumes public office, he swears to the Bible to always do what is right in the eyes of God and man. And a Muslim will swear to the Koran, to always do what is right in the eyes of God and man.
The present rising wave of insecurity in Nigeria, that has resulted in wanton killings by Boko Haram insurgents, terrorist herdsmen and kidnappings, amongst others, are mounting pressure on President Buhari’s government. Will the God, who a Christian or Muslim public office holder swore, to always do what is right before God and man, tolerate, accept and accommodate the bloodletting in Nigeria?
Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, Wednesday, through its Director of Administration, Yusuf Nwoha, in company of Salisu Shehu, Deputy Secretary-General, and Aselemi Ibraham, Head, Media and Communications, addressed a press conference, in reactions to the state of insecurity in the country, as well as CAN and the Presidency position on the killings by Boko Haram, and called on Nigerian government to “declare state of emergency” on the state of insecurity in the country.
NSCIA said: “The level of insecurity in the country has reached an unacceptable crescendo that declaring a state of emergency on it appears not only necessary but also pressing. Therefore, the NSCIA stridently calls on the Federal Government and all its agencies (including the military) to use whatever means possible to arrest this descent into anarchy. Nigeria cannot just continue like this with the blood of the innocent being shed unjustly and human security being at its lowest ebb.
“The situation of Nigeria today is desperate and desperate situations require desperate measures in the collective interest of well-meaning Nigerians. Let the monster of insecurity be tackled actively and proactively with the full weight of Nigeria’s security and defence capacity”, the organisation added.
NSCIA said those assigned to guarantee external security should not wait until there would be no nation to secure. “The time to arrest the insecurity in the land is now and we repeat our call to President Muhammad Buhari to combat the current spike in insecurity with candid decisiveness.”
It did not, however, agree with CAN that more Christians have been killed by Boko Haram insurgent than Muslims. More Muslims, including Imams, had been slaughtered, displaced and dismembered than Christians, by Boko Haram, NSCIA said.
“It is, therefore, the height of insincerity, wickedness, falsehood and hypocrisy to suggest that Boko Haram is a ploy to eliminate Christians, a dummy being promoted by some dealers camouflaging as religious leaders to their followers and the outside world,” it added.
United States government, Tuesday, in Washington DC, advised Nigerian government to do more in protecting Nigerians and humanitarian organisations assisting the country in the war against Boko Haram insurgents and other religious and ethnic violence. Michael Pompeo, US Secretary of State, gave the advice at joint media briefing, with Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, after US-Nigeria Bi-national Commission meeting.
Pompeo stated, “We know that these issues are hard. We know that they’re complicated. But I strongly encourage the Nigerian government to do more to protect its civilians, including religious communities and the humanitarian organisations, seeking to assist them.” He said Nigeria’s recent $500m purchase of 12 US-made A-29 aircraft, was an indication of US security cooperation with Nigeria.
“The United States has already invested in the training of Nigeria’s military on human rights and the Law of Armed Conflict. Nigeria was one of the first African nations to join the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. America is now supporting the Nigerian fight against ISIS’s largest global affiliate, ISIS-West Africa – a dangerous threat to both of our countries.
“In part due to this terrorism threat, on Friday, President Trump announced the suspension of immigrant visas for Nigerians because Nigeria has room to grow in sharing important national security information. I am optimistic that’s going to happen. In the proclamation, President Trump highlighted Nigeria’s importance as a strategic partner in the global fight against terrorism and recognised the government’s commitment to improving information sharing with us,” Pompeo said.