Femi Fani-Kayode: A Call To The Christian Faithful And A Warning To The Bigots In Our Midst [MUST READ]
An evangelical Christian, Femi Fani-Kayode anchors his article on the repudiation of these words by the top Muslim cleric, “Christians commit more wicked crimes than terrorists….they commit crimes against humanity.” – Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto, Benin City, August 15, 2016.
It is welcome news that Mr. Anjem Choudary, Britain’s “most hated man” and the radical British Islamist who pledged an oath of allegiance to the leader of ISIS, Amir Abubakar Al Baghdadi, has been jailed in the United Kingdom.
This was a man who encouraged islamic fundamentalism and terror and who has spent many years on the international television networks trying to justify the actions of Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, Boko Haram, the Taliban, Al Shabab, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Daesh, Abu Sayyaf and all the other evil muslim terror groups in the world that believe in the establishment of a new world caliphate where sharia law is imposed on everyone.
If the truth be told there are many Anjem Choudarys in Nigeria: as a matter of fact many of those that think like him now run the affairs of our country and that is our major challenge.
The fact that Nigerian Christians have been so accommodating, tolerant, and restrained in the face of what has been going on in the last one year is a glaring testimony to their maturity and decency.
It is not a sign of weakness but rather evidence of true strength.
I say this because it takes courage not to retaliate when you are consistently marginalised, insulted, cheated, pillaged, raped, murdered, singled out for destruction, and treated like filth.
Yet, it is not just about being restrained even in the face of the worst type of provocation.
The children of the Lord, the believers and the faithful still have so much more to do in order to protect ourselves from the relentless onslaught of the Islamists in our country like Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen and from the excesses of a federal government that is hell bent on turning Christians into an endangered species and second class citizens.
Anyone that doubts that this is the case would do well to read the seminal and well-researched contribution made by the elder-statesman Chief Solomon Asemota SAN a few days ago which was titled, Discriminatory Appointments Against Non-Muslims In Nigeria.
Though much of the Nigerian print media, out of fear of the authorities, have refused to publish it, the essay is all over the Internet and it can be accessed there.
Today, more than at any other time in our history, Christians must be united in our country.
Anything less than that would lead to our collective defeat and destruction and it would feed into the narrative of those who wish to Islamise our nation.
It is for this reason that I am a little concerned by what appears to be happening in the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN.
It is very important that the Christian community in Nigeria keeps a united front and supports the new leadership of CAN.
No matter what our differences may be, the attempt to discredit and destroy CAN by threats of breaking off from it by any group is counter-productive and dangerous to our collective cause.
When the Muslim fundamentalists and Fulani herdsmen kill our brothers and sisters, when the federal and core northern state governments discriminate against us and persecute members of our faith, when the Sultan of Sokoto says that Christians indulge in more wicked acts than any other group in the world and when you have a religiously partial man as your president who says that sharia law should be spread into every state of the federation, you do not split your ranks and give room to your collective enemies.
This brings me to another point. Other than yours truly no-one has made the point that the Chibok girls are virtually all Christians.
First of all Boko Haram abducted, raped, killed, enslaved and Islamised them and now our Muslim-controlled and Muslim-led military are carpet-bombing them from the sky and murdering them.
I watched the video on CNN today and I wept-especially after I watched the interview of the mother of the young girl that spoke from captivity. Those are CHRISTIAN girls and just look at what they are being subjected to.
Regardless of their faith, whether they be Christian or Muslim, no child should be subjected to such atrocities but the truth is that the fact that virtually all the communities and towns that Boko Haram managed to torment, capture, or hoist their evil black flag over the years were predominantly Christian communities like Mubi, Biu, Chibok, Dikwa, Bama, Gwoza, Banki, and Potiskum.
This is a point that is relevant but that is purposely underplayed and ignored by the Nigerian and international media for obvious reasons.
President Jonathan may not have been able to rescue the Chibok girls but at least his army and air force did not carpet-bomb them. At least he did not order that they should be aeriel-bombed to death and slaughtered if they can’t be rescued.
And you can bet your bottom dollar that if those girls had come from a Muslim community and not a Christian one like Chibok, the government, and more likely than not Boko Haram itself, would have been more restrained and they would not have bombed and killed them in the way that they are doing.
Yet the Bible says “vengeance belongs to the Lord”. It says that He “will repay”. I have little doubt that in the fullness of time He will repay the powers that be for what they are doing to the Body of Christ and to our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Meanwhile, I sincerely hope that the northern Christians will not break ranks with the rest of us and that we maintain our unity.
I sincerely hope that the Judas’ in our ranks and all those that are being used as agents of division and destruction by the government in return for a fee think twice and retrace their steps.
That is the only way that we can win in what has become, to all intents and purposes, a religious cold war in Nigeria. It is a spiritual war. It is a war of attrition and it is a fight for the very soul and future of our nation.
It is a war that will be long and subtle and in which there will be many casualties: yet it is a war that must be fought and must be won. Everything depends on it.
Permit me to end this contribution with the following. When a few misguided individuals from the south, who are obviously suffering from what is commonly referred to as “Stockholm’s disease”, clap for men like the so-called elder-statesman Alhaji Lawal Kaita when he says “the north will not allow the restructuring or break- up of Nigeria” and that “those that are calling for either of the two are calling for a second civil war” it amuses me.
In their slavish attempt to fawn over their captors and to please the “master race” they forget that Mr. Ken Saro-Wiwa and Mr. Isaac Adaka Boro, two great and patriotic sons of the Niger Delta who swam against the tide of the people of the old Eastern region at the time of the civil war, who fought against the quest for self-determination by the Igbo people and who, together with the rest of Nigeria, resisted the quest for the establishment of the sovereign state of Biafra, were both executed by northern heads of state who presided over the affairs of a united Nigeria at the time.
The first was General Yakubu Gowon and the second was General Sani Abacha. The same set of northerner leaders conspired with others and jailed Chief Obafemi Awolowo and President Olusegun Obasanjo on false and trumped-up charges simply because they resisted their hidden agenda and exposed their excesses.
This ought to be food for thought for every Southerner and Middle Belter worth his salt, especially those who make a habit of sitting at the feet of our collective oppressors and worshipping them.
We must learn from history and we must not repeat its mistakes. If, God forbid, there is another civil war in this country people like Kaita and those that he represents will be confronted with a very different adversary when compared to the one that they faced before and they will rue the day that they ever threatened or sought to impose their will on the rest of us.
If, God-forbid, it were to ever happen again, this time around, the South, the northern minorities, and the Middle Belt would be united in their resolve and the core Muslim North would be driven into the desert and into the waiting arms of the Republic of Niger and Chad.
Someone should make this point to the Lawal Kaitas of this world and all the other arch-conservatives and hegemonists who are still living in an inglorious past. The word today is that either we restructure Nigeria or we break her. Simple as that.
This is a battle between a child of perdition and a child of promise. It is a struggle between the sons of Kings and the sons of slaves. It is a struggle between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. We cannot run from it and we cannot shun it.
We must stand up and fight it with all that we have got. We must secure our liberation and we must ensure that our children and our childrens’ children have something to look forward to and something to live for.
To the faithful I have only the following left to say: the battle belongs to the Lord and our victory is assured.
Femi Fani-Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th 2006 to May 29th 2007. He tweets from @realFFK.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.