All over the place, the drums of war are sounding irresistably. Some of the dancers are perfecting their dance steps, ready to stepout for the dance. And nobody is restraining them. But if perchance the war eventually breaks out, God forbid, everybody will suffer for it because nobody knows what will be the outcome.
There are some people who believe that this country belongs to them alone. If they are in power, there will be problem, if they are not in power, there will be problem. Nobody knows what to do to satisfy them. They have continued to instigate trouble here and there.
In 2001, Sani Yerima, the then governor of Zamfara State, threw overboard the constitution of the country and declared sharia law in his state. In spite of various protestations by well meaning Nigerians that sharia is an assault to the secularity of Nigeria as enshrined in the country’s constitution, most states in the North followed suit and declared sharia in their various states. A helpless President Olusegun Obasanjo could not do anything. He merely declared it “a political sharia”, which, he believed, would soon fizzle out. But it never did.
Commentators like the inimitable Ali Mazrui, said sharia was introduced in the North, which had held power for long, as a protest against political power shifting to the South. According to Marzui, “One of the triggers of shariacracy movement in some northern States was northern resentment of being the periphery of the periphery”. In other word, the North could not come to terms with political power shifting to the South as well as the Islamic North being ruled by a Southern “infidel”.
It was this group of people that ensured that Goodluck Jonathan had very rough and difficult time when he assumed the Presidency of the country following the unfortunate death in office of President Umaru Yar’Adua.
They bagan with the “baboon must lick the blood” statement of a certain presidential aspirant, if he did not win the 2011 Presidential election. This resulted to the killing of eleven national youth corps members on election duty in Bauchi. Till today, none of the perpetrators of that heinous crime has been apprehended, much more prosecuted.
When that presidential aspirant failed to win the 2011 election, Boko Haram was released on the country which unleashed havoc and mayhem on the people. This tasked to the country’s security architecture and caused sleepless nights to President Goodluck Jonathan.
Not done, the group swore that they must hound Jonathan out of office. And they succeeded in doing it.
Now, having removed Jonathan from office and assumed political power, they are still not satisfied. They want the entire Nigeria to belong to them, to become their estate, as a place where they can do anything they like.
That is why they have released the Fulani herdsmen, people from Chad, from Niger Republic, and from other neighbouring countries, to come to Nigeria, to maim, rape, butcher and slit the throats of hapless Nigerians. They want everybody to kowtow to them. They want everybody to worship them. They want everybody to become their vassals.
But there is a limit to the insult one can tolerate or endure. How do you handle these people? Power shifted to the South, they began to complain, declared sharia and unleashed Boko Haram on us. We supported them to take power, they sent Fulani herdsmen to us, to kill us, and to decimate us.
What do we do? To surrender to them so that they can annihilate us? I don’t think that will be possible.
There is a limit to everything. When insult becomes too much and intolerable, people will begin to resist. That was what caused the “Tiv Riot” of 1962-65, which snowballed into the military takeover of government invJanuary 1966 and the then, Nigeria-Biafra war.
Did I hear one professor from the far north claim that Benue State belongs to them, that Benue is part of Sokoto Caliphate? Well, it is up to Benue people to respond to him.
I pray that the authorities should rise to their responsibility and nip these simmering problems in the bud before it becomes too late. They should no longer sit on the fence while the drums of war are sounding. They should no longer pretend that all is well, when all is not well. There is trouble in the land, therefore they should not play the ostrich.
I strongly align myself with those who think that Nigeria should be tinkered with, or restructured if we must continue to live together as a nation.