“This is utterly reprehensible and unacceptable, for hooligans and way-wards to hold a whole state (Zamfara) to ransom to no avail. Where is the government? Where are the security agencies? Where are the political, community and religious leaders? Where is our conscience? Where is the humanness in us? Above all, where is our Islam? Where is the Qur’an and its pristine teachings? Where is the Prophetic guidance in his Sunnah? Equally painful is the return of insurgency in some parts of Borno and Yobe states, with wanton destruction of lives and properties. Why must all these bloodletting be allowed to resurface? All these re-occurring acts of terrorism, dehumanisation, sacrilege of sanctity of life and all forms of wickedness are utterly and unreservedly condemned in their entirety and government must go beyond mere condemnations” – Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, Secretary General, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI).
Yet despite my relief that they have done a “you turn” on President Muhammadu Buhari and finally acknowledged the fact that he has lost control of the security situation, I am constrained to make the following observations.
During the presidential campaign in 2015 I warned Nigerians that it would be an utter disaster if Buhari was elected President.
The Lord gave me insight and foresight, He took me to the top of the mountain and, by His grace and the unction of the Holy Spirit, He showed me what many others could not see.
Sadly few listened and due to my unrestrained opposition to and virulent attacks on Buhari, one or two notable members of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), the umbrella organisation for all Muslims in Nigeria, went as far as to accuse me of being anti-Islam and anti-north.
Needless to say nothing could be further from the truth but sadly up until today a few misguided commentators still suffer from the erroneous misconception that I hate Muslims and all core northerners.
They find it difficult to make a distinction between opposition to Buhari on the one hand and opposition to Islam and the core north on the other simply because, to them, Buhari alone represents Islam and the north.
Consequently, by their twisted logic and in their perverted minds, an attack on him or his policies and government automatically translates to becoming an attack on Islam and the entire core Muslim north!
It is in the same way that the same people believe that an attack on or condemnation of the evil activities and atrocities of the terrorist Fulani herdsmen is an attack on or condemnation of the entire Fulani race!
Such retrograde, myopic and intellectually-barren thinking has put us in a terrible bind. It has no place in a modern, civilised society let alone in a serious and purposeful debate but sadly it appears to be the norm in some circles in our country.
Yet the truth is that whatever they think about me does not move me one way or the other: I simply could not care less. Servants of truth have few friends and, more often than not, they are subjected to constant misrepresentation, hate, deceit, betrayal, falsehood, blackmail and both friendly and enemy fire.
I have learnt to live with it and I will not relent from speaking truth to power no matter how unpalatable that truth may be to some.
In any case if that is the price that I have to pay for being the voice of the voiceless then so be it.
I am delighted that JNI appears to have now seen the light when it comes to the inadequacies and shortcomings of Buhari and it has enhanced my respect for them as an organsation.
Yet, if the truth be told, I blame them and indeed ALL those that supported Buhari in 2015 for the bloodfest that Nigeria has endured over the last 3 years and six months.
I blame them for Buhari’s failures, blunders, indifference and wilful acts of cruelty because they assisted in foisting him on us.
I blame them for the repugnant and heinous harvest of mass murder, ethnic cleansing and genocide that has plagued the land.
I blame them for the oceans of tears that the widows and orphans have shed for their loved ones that were so cruelly cut short by men of blood.
I blame them for the grieving parents that mourn their infants and children after they were sent to an early grave and a brutal and untimely death by evil and callous men.
I blame them for the wholesale butchering of thousands of Christians all over the Middle Belt and the south by the Fulani terrorists and their Janjaweed militias.
I blame them for the fact that the courageous young lady known as Leah Sharibu remains in the hands of Boko Haram today simply because she has refused to renounce her Christian faith and because Buhari has refused to insist on and effect her release.
I blame them for the barbaric carnage that the Sunni Muslims of the core north are now being subjected to by Malian Fulani terrorists, ISIS West Africa (ISWA), Boko Haram and all manner of murderous and homicidal criminal syndicates and gangs.
I blame them for the criminalisation and mass murder of hundreds of Shiite Muslims in Zaria, Abuja and other parts of the north by Buhari’s security forces.
I blame them for the demonisation and ethnic cleansing of thousands of IPOB members, including women and children, all over the east by Buhari’s military and police.
I blame them for the resurgence of power of Boko Haram and I ask them what else they expected from a man who said, in 2014, that “an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the north”?
I ask again, what else did they expect from a man whose Minister of Information once said that it was unjust and unconstitutional for President Goodluck Jonathan’s government to proscribe Boko Haram and to declare them as a terrorist organisation?
What else did they expect from a man who was once nominated by Boko Haram to be their spokesman and chief negotiator in proposed talks with President Goodluck Jonathan’s Federal Government?
What else did they expect from a man who once said that if he did not win the presidential election that “by the grace of God, both the dog and the baboon will be soaked in blood” and that he “will make Nigeria ungovernable”?
What else did they expect from a man who once said that “Muslims should only vote for Muslims”?
What else did they expect from a man who once said that “it is not the business or concern of Christians when Muslims cut off one another’s limbs in the name of sharia”?
What else did they expect from a man who once said that it is his intention “to spread sharia to every state in the nation”?
What else did they expect from a man who once said that all women, including his own wife, are only good for “the other room”?
What else did they expect from a man who is the Life Patron of Miyetti Allah, West Africa and one that has consistently pampered, supported and protected the murderous Fulani herdsmen.
What else did they expect from a man who has ensured that the head of every single military, para-military, intelligence and security agency in the country except for the Navy is headed by a northern Muslim?
What else did they expect from a man who has insisted and ensured that every single key management position and critical department in the NNPC is headed by a northern Muslim?
And finally what else did they expect from a man that has the audacity and impudence to go before the National Assembly and, as they were booing him on live television before the entire nation, raises his arms and does the terrorist Rabia “four-finger on two hands” Muslim Brotherhood sign with a sheepish and wicked smile on his face?
For those who may not know the Muslim Brotherhood is a Muslim fundamentalist group which is associated with terrorism and which has its origins in Egypt and Turkey.
Hundreds of thousands of innocent and defenceless people, including women and children, have been slaughtered all over the country as a consequence of the massive encouragement and support that JNI blindly gave Buhari over the years.
They were blinded and fooled by his seductive and unashamedly religious agenda and their collective quest to subjugate and dominate the rest of Nigeria. Now that the beast has turned on its own they are complaining.
Yet one has to ask once again, what else could they have expected when they helped to put the 21st century’s equivalent of Transylvania’s Count Vlad the Impailer, better known as Count Dracula, on the throne in our nation? Are they not aware of the fact that a wild beast has no master?
Some of them even went as far as to attempt to threaten, intimidate and make life hell for the Vice President when the President fell ill and left the country for over six months two years ago simply because he is a southerner and a Christian who, in their myopic and perfidious view, was unfit and unqualified to take over and lead the nation in the event of the President’s death. That is how divided our country is today.
The question before us now is not who will win in 2019 or who we should support and vote for. The question is whether one can really say that there is still a country called Nigeria left. If anyone doubts that I urge them to read the New Years Day speech of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of IPOB, to his Biafran people.
He has threatened to “paralyse Biafraland on election day” by implementing a total boycott of the presidential elections and believe me when I tell you that he is quite capable of doing so.
I do not agree with him on everything but whether
you like him or not Kanu represents the thinking of the overwhelming majority of the Igbo youth and he remains the single most potent and powerful voice and force in eastern Nigeria today.
And there are millions in the younger generation from the south-west and south-south who secretly share his views about self-detemination for their respective zones and people and the quest for independence from Nigeria.
Simply because they do not express it openly, like Kanu and IPOB, does not mean that the sentiment is not strong and it would be a monumental mistake to think otherwise.
For those that dispute this I say the following: let either the APC’s Muhammadu Buhari or the opppsition PDP’s Abubakar Atiku (an infinitely better, more urbane, more moderate and more civilised man) come to power in 2019 and refuse to restructure Nigeria and this notion will be put to the test.
I assure you they will find out the hard way that the floodgates have already been opened and that, when its time comes, freedom and independence cannot be succesfully resisted or easily denied.
Such is the damage that Buhari has done to our collective pysche and our sense of national unity and cohesion. He has completely destroyed Nigeria in the name of ethnicity and faith and in his deternination to subjugate and enslave others.
I repeat, JNI has a share of the innocent blood that has been spilt over the last 3 years and 6 months on its hands because of their consistent support for the Buhari regime.
Worse still, whether they like to admit it or not they owe the Nigerian people an apoology for conspiring with others to foist this monstrous tyrant on us in 2015.
Until they offer that apology I refuse to be impressed by their new-found observations and submissions about the obvious failures of Buhari and neither can I trust them.
Permit me to conclude this contribution with the following observations which are related to the issue under discussion.
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state (of Chibok fame) and Governor Bello Masari of Buhari’s own Katsina state have both echoed the sentiments of JNI and lamented the fact that the security situation in their respective states is terrible.
Shettima went as far as to say that things in Borno are now worse than they were when President Goodluck Jonathan was in power and that his strong attacks against the former President were borne out of frustration.
On his own part Governor Abdul-Aziz Yari Abubakar of Zamfara state has declared that the security situation in his domain is so bad that he is “ready to vacate” his seat so that the Federal Government can declare a state of emergency in his state.
The point is further driven home when one considers the fact that Zamfara state is the home and state of origin of Buhari’s Minister of Defence whilst Borno is the home and state of origin of his National Security Advisor and Chief of Army Staff.
The situation is tragic and every single right-thinking person ought to condemn and deplore the massive and unrelenting slaughter of innocent souls and the taking of human life in those states and zones by ISIS West Africa (ISWAP), the newly-formed Malian Fulani militias, Boko Haram and any other group of bloodthirsty, blood-sucking, violent, desperate, fundamentalist and sociopathic terrorists and psychopaths.
Yet one cannot but point out the fact that all three of those governors are staunch allies of Buhari and their respective states constitute a large part of his strong north-western and north-eastern political base.
There is no gainsaying that they brought this mess upon themselves and their people by supporting Buhari in 2015 for ethnic and religious reasons even though they knew that he was wholly incapable of doing a good job and even though they were fully aware of the fact that he he had a hidden agenda and that he was bound to attract nothing but division, strife, carnage and chaos.
Worse of all is the fact that each of them was utterly scathing, vicious and unrelenting in their misrepresentations, lies, insults and criticisms of Jonathan in 2015 and indeed over the last three years and in their advocacy of the nebulous and perfidious suggestion that Nigeria must be led by Buhari at all costs in perpetuity.
Given their lamentations about what is going on in their respective states and zones today the following questions have to be answered.
Do they still love Buhari? Do they still believe that he is the undisputed leader and champion of the core Muslim north? Do they still believe that he must never be criticised or challenged? Finally do they still regard him as being Nigeria’s messiah?
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 runs a syndicated column on The Trent. He tweets from@realFFK.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.