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Mubi Massacre, 52nd Independence Anniversary and the Problem with Nigeria

Mubi Massacre, 52nd Independence Anniversary and the Problem with Nigeria

-Masterweb Reports
 
From 2009 till date, celebrations to mark Nigeria’s Independence and most national and public holidays have been marred by bomb explosions and killings of innocent citizens. On December 25, 2009, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian man then, educated in Mechanical Engineering at a prestigious University College, London launched Nigeria into international spotlight as a terrorist state, when he failed to detonate a bomb to blow-up a US Northwest Flight 253 with hundreds of passengers on board traveling from Amsterdam-Schipol airport to Detroit, Michigan, USA. Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, we later learned is the sixteenth and youngest son of a wealthy Nigerian in the name of Alhaji (Dr.) Umaru Mutallab, a staunch member of the Northern Oligarch and one of the huge beneficiaries of Nigeria’s oil wealth. Today, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab is spending time in the U.S. prison instead of working to give back to the nation that spent millions of tax payers’ money and oil wealth educating him in British universities.

 
Since then especially during most national holidays, Nigerians wake every morning worried and afraid where the next bomb explosion will go off. These bombings and irrational killings have been going on since Dr. Jonathan Ebele Goodluck, a southerner and Christian replaced late president, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua in May, 2010 and subsequently elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in April, 2011. In that same year, October 1, a bomb explosion almost derailed the 51st Independence Anniversary and two months later, on December 25, 2011, Boko haram sect unleashed the most deadliest, dastardly and despicable terrorist assault on innocent Nigerian Christians at the Saint Theresa’s Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger state and other coordinated bombings of churches in Jos, Plateau State and Damaturu, Yobe State, that killed many parishioners and injured hundreds beyond recognition. One horrifying photo showed the brains of a young baby totally blown out. Boko-Haram chose the most Holy Day of Christianity to inflict the worst evil, vile, barbaric, and satanic massacre of innocent church worshippers. It was not just an attack on Nigerian Christians but an assault on Christianity in general. It caused an outrage and provocation on the part of the Christian community, until today, many bombs explosions and killings have occurred and yet no meaningful arrest or dialogue has been made.

 
And so this year, even though the 52nd Independence Anniversary was celebrated with low profile in the confines of Aso Rock, which is unusual, yet the jihadist sect went on rampage in at-least three northern States including the massacre at the Federal University of Mubi, Adamawa State, where 46 students were shot dead and several stabbed to death - all linked to the dreaded Nigeria's Islamic Jihadist sect known as "Boko-haram," which means "Western Education is Evil." The group is agitating for an Islamic-Sharia for the 19 States in the north.

 
The Christmas massacre and the U.N. bombing were deadly, but I think the Mubi massacre is probably the vilest and deadliest. It is sad that these kinds of internal terrorism currently assaulting northern Nigeria are sponsored mostly by outsiders. From al Shabaab- a radical group out of Somalia that is linked with al-Qaeda to Mali and Libya in the North - these countries are now besieged by al-Qaeda militants killing innocent people at random and the nations' security forces are unable to tame them.

 
This brings me to make this point that the real cause or root of Nigeria’s problem is religion. Many Nigerian writers, commentators, pundits and leaders of thought have proffered reasons for Nigeria’s problem and underdevelopment, such as poor leadership, corruption, amalgamation, ethnicity, tribalism, lack of patriotism, intolerance, ignorance, and others. I agree with all that and I have written extensively on those topics. But the more I read and study Islam, its core theology and beliefs, which are entrenched in Islamic political and economic life, and Muslim fanatics, the more I’m cautious to say that the real cause of Nigeria’s problem is deeply rooted in religion, religious ignorance, and religious intolerance.

 
Religion is the root cause of Nigeria’s failure as a nation. However, it does not undermine the other reasons that have been advanced for Nigeria‘s woes. I think those reasons are just the offshoot of the root problem. Currently, I’m working on a book entitled: “The Problem with Nigeria,” will seek to expand the discussion and include thorny subjects such as the origins of the inhabitants of Nigeria, ethnicity, tribe, culture, values, social norms and off-course religion and faith as some of the reasons behind Nigeria’s social, economic, political problems. But for the purpose of this piece, I’ll limit to the issue of religion and faith.

 
Religious belief has everything to do with a nation’s social, cultural, political, and economic development. It also impacts a nation’s core value system and patriotism. Religious intolerance and religious conflict is a big threat to the security, unity and prosperity of any country. Religious ignorance and intolerance breed violence. Religious ignorance, intolerance and violence are a big problem in Africa. In the continent of Africa, religious violence and ethnic cleansing are enormous. Religious violence has decimated more lives in Africa in the last 50 years than hunger, disease, accidents and even wars combined together. Africa and Middle East have been properly called a "Bloody Continent." They are a battleground between Islam, Christianity and traditional religions. Muslims and Christians kill each other in Egypt, Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Senegal, Rwanda, Kenya, Mali, Burundi and other places in Africa and the world.

 
In addition to the bloody violence and conflict between these widely known religions, we have the pagans and African traditional religions with thousands of fetish shrines all around the country. These Fetish priests use hypnotism and witchcraft to deceive ignorant, debased and hopeless people looking for quick and magical ways to achieve success or solve their problems. Some of these fetish priests kill and slaughter new born babies for rituals. This same religious ignorance and intolerance is also rampant among Christians.

 
I’m truly convinced that the root cause of Nigeria’s crisis is religion, religious intolerance, religious ignorance and lack of national identity. Nigeria has no national patriotic values. Nigeria is simply a bunch of empires and kingdoms lumped to live together without any parameters to define what the new nation is or will be. In a nutshell, Christianity and Islam cannot cohabit – not in Nigeria’s case. There is no nation like Nigeria in the world with regards to practice of faith. Nigeria is apparently described a secular, multi-cultural and multi-religious pluralistic society in words but not in action. Sadly, the north sees and wants Nigeria to be an Islamic State.

 
Interesting, around the world, most Muslim countries that have oil resources with deep and respected religious beliefs and practice are advancing and prospering beyond measure – for instance nations like Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar and others are developing using 21st century technology, modern economic theories, first class management and leadership techniques, sound work ethic, and interestingly Western education to advance their nations. Why is Nigeria’s case different? Why is the so-called giant of Africa risking disintegration and on the brink of collapse? Why are we killing in the name of Allah? Why are Muslims and Christians killing each other in northern Nigeria? Can Nigeria survive as a united nation? Is Nigeria cursed because of oil and religion? Are these ominous signs of an end of Nigeria as a united nation?

 
I have written several essays and articles and presented several papers to explain the biblical root cause of this hostility between Christianity and Islam in Nigeria and especially in Africa. I’ll reproduce portions of it to remind us again, that the problem of Nigeria – in fact, the root cause of the Nigeria’s woes is simply religion, intolerance, and ignorance. Nigeria’s problem is not about poor political leadership per say or corruption or even ethnic hatred, but purely religious ignorance and intolerance.

 
Here is a portion of an essay published in May 2010. Read on!

 
Before Mohammad died in 632; he managed to unify Islam and the Arab empire into a powerful religious and political force. So for Muslims, there is no separation between religion and politics. One cannot function without the other. The introduction of Sharia in the North is a powerful and perfect example. Sadly enough, it is Christians that continue to separate religion from politics. Woe to you for your biblical and theological ignorance.

 
The irrational killings of Christians in Northern Nigeria is filled with deep-seated animosity and hatred because of the fundamental and distinctive religious, doctrinal and theological beliefs that separate the two biggest world faiths. For the purpose of this article/paper, I will deal with the resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism, which calls for the sixth pillar of Islam faith – Jihad.

 
Please let’s understand that no world religions today – Animism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Marxism, New Age Movement, Secularism, Shinto, and Taoism, etc are in such horrifying conflict except unfortunately Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism just like Islam is. In fact Christianity and Islam are brothers. Christians claimed to have descended from Abraham through the line of Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus. Muslims, in fact, its founder Mohammad claimed his descendant from Abraham through Ishmael. Isaac and Ishmael were two sons of Abraham, Isaac being the son of promise and Ishmael, the son of Haggai, the Egyptian slave who served in the household of Abraham, Sarah’s maiden. Realistically, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are family members. Christianity is the spiritual son of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Muslims are also the spiritual sons of Abraham and Ishmael.

 
But the question is why they are in such hostility today. Why are there deep-seated rivalries, animosity and hatred between Muslims and Christians? There are biblical, historical, theological and religious reasons for this hostility. But for the purpose of this article, Let us review the sixth pillar of Islam faith to find out the reason for this ferocious orgy to kill Christians.

 
In Islam faith, there are 6 pillars of namely:

 
1. Shahadah – the creed of witness
2. Salat – the creed of rigid and ritual prayer life
3. Zakat –the creed of almsgiving
4. Saum – the creed of fasting
5. Hajj – pilgrimage to Mecca, and
6. Jihad – Holy War to kill infidels

 
Jihad or Holy War is the sixth and most important religious duty for any serious Muslim. The Kharjites, a powerful sect of Islam raised Jihad to a sixth pillar of Islam in the early days of Islam. Muhammad himself declared it is the duty of every Muslim to subjugate the whole world to Allah, if need be by holy war. When the situation warrants, men are required to go to war in order to spread Islam or defend it against infidels. One who dies in a Jihad is guaranteed eternal life in Paradise. All male, free and adult Muslims must become involved in Jihad if they want to go to heaven. Jihad is a holy war against those who are non-Muslims, those who do not believe that Allah is the only God and who do not believe that Mohammad is a true prophet of God. Jihad is regarded as a divine institution, and it is used to advance Islam and repel evil from Muslims. Muslims who die fighting in a holy war are assured of a place in paradise and special privileges there.



 
The Islamic faith is deeply rooted in violence and Jihad in the name of Allah. The call for Jihad has always been used to conquer people, land, territories and nations. The radical Muslims who perpetrate terror, behead, kill, participate in suicide bombing, or kidnappings etc always justify their actions from Koran, the holy book of Islam. Mohammad, the founder of Islam claimed he received “revelation” from Angel Gabriel, while meditating in a cave in Medina. Many Islamic and Arabic Christian scholars question the validity of his revelations and off-course his writings. There seems to be many fables and borrowings from biblical texts of Jewish and Christian faiths.

 
Let me stay on the Jihad because how Islam began, its founder, its spread and conquest by sword, conquest of Africa, its doctrines, beliefs and its holy book, Koran are not the purpose of this piece.

 
Why do Muslims hate and kill their Christian brothers? Why do they also kill their own Muslims brothers when they renounce Islam?

 
The answers to these questions are found in the pages of Koran. Dr. Anis A. Shorrosh, a Palestine Arab Christian scholar and eminent professor Emeritus of world religions at my alma mater, in his masterpiece book, “Islam Revealed” brilliantly and eloquently explained the driving force behind the root causes of Islamic fundamentalism and fanaticism. He argued that one couldn’t understand the tensions, attacks, and violence and continuing explosion of Islamic fundamentalism until one understands the contradictions and intricacies that form the basis for Muslims' beliefs. In fact the Koran itself gives many passages that advocate, promote and justify violence and killing of infidels – anyone who is non-Muslim, who does not believe that Allah is one true god and who does not recognize Mohammad as prophet. Examples of such are found all over Koran. In Koran, 9:5 teaches, “Kill those who join other gods with Allah wherever you shall find them; seize them, besiege them, and lay wait for them with every kind of ambush: but if they shall convert, and observe prayer, and pay the obligatory alms, then let them go their way.” Other passages that call for killing infidels are: 2:92; 2:245; 2:276; 3:27; 4:102; 4:143; 5:56; 8:40; 9:29; 9:74; 9:111; 9:123; 22:39.

 
The Koran also teaches, “And if you shall be slain or die on the path of Allah, then pardon from Allah and mercy is better than all your amassing; for if you die or be slain, verily unto Allah shall you be gathered. “And they also who have fled their country and quitted their homes and suffered in my cause, and have fought and fallen, I will blot out their sins from them, and I will bring them into garden beneath which the streams do flow ((3:151-52; 3:194). Koran further states, “Fight the infidel and you will go to heaven. Turn way, and you will go to hell. In all of Islamic theology, this is the only way a person can know for sure that heaven is his destiny: wage a holy war and give up your own life.”(8:12-18)

 
I have read and heard some modern, moderate and conservative Muslims teach that Islam is a peaceful religion and that Koran is opposed to violence. I know there are many sects much like Christianity, but Christians are not going around, at least not today killing other people who disagree with them. It is true that students of history especially biblical historians cannot forget the Crusades – Roman Catholicism bloody warfare against Islam or Islam against Hinduism, the Catholics against Protestant, Lutherans, the Irish Catholics, or even the Holocaust, etc, which were all religious and political motivated warfare. The truth of the matter is that human history has been dominated with wars - religious, political, economic, social, ideology, race, classicism, sexism, etc. All kinds of warfare have been waged throughout human history. But none of these had been divisive and destructive than religious wars. Fortunately, today, humanity has made progress and such wars have been minimized and replaced with tolerance, freedom, peace, progress, scientific and technological advancement, etc except only Islam that continues to wage blatant warfare against Christianity.

 
Today, Islam is the main persecutor of Christians all over the world. Thousand of Christians are dying under Islamic persecution, especially in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In the continent of Africa, religious violence and ethnic cleansing are enormous. Africa and Middle East have been called a "Bloody Continent." Africa is a battleground between Islam, Christianity and traditional religions. Muslims and Christians kill each other in Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi. Religious and ethnic killings have decimated nations like Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Somali, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Liberia, etc. Muslims with the help of repressive government have decimated their Christian population in Senegal, Rwanda, Sudan and Algeria in order to make their nation a 100% Islamic state. Islamic fundamentalists kill and execute hundreds of women every year for unveiling their face or any sensitive body publicly. Women who commit adultery are stoned to death while Muslim men marry as many wives as they want or can afford. This is purely insanity.

 
For fanatical Muslims, it is pure joy to kill and be killed for Allah. Radical Muslims believe that they have a mandate from Allah to wage jihad against Israel, America and anyone who oppose Muslims. They believe what they are doing is for a righteous cause. Moreover, if they believe that by doing this evil they are serving Allah, nothing will dissuade them from doing it.

 
Today, Muslim fanatical sects are recruiting and training young people in Africa, including camps in Nigeria to carry out Jihad on the West. Currently, there are Muslim sects like Maitatsine, Boko-Haram, Kala-Kato sects, and now Hausa/Fulani herdsmen located in Jos, Kano, Maiduguri, Kaduna, Sokoto, Bauchi and other major Northern regions training and educating the young people to hate America, Israel and kill anyone who is non-Muslim, who oppose Islam, Muhammad and Allah. Last Christmas, Nigerians were shocked to read that one of her citizens, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab attempted to detonate some explosive powder in a way of terrorist attacks on US Northwest Flight 253 from Amsterdam-Schipol airport heading to Detroit, Michigan.

 
Religious conflict is a huge leadership challenge and a major threat to the security, unity and national progress of Nigeria. Religious ignorance and intolerance breed violence. Religious violence and war have decimated more lives in Nigeria in the last 40 years than hunger, disease, and accidents combined together. Northern Nigeria especially has been a battleground between Islam and Christianity. Since 1960, Nigeria has had some many incidents of religious extremism and Islamic fundamentalism in its attempt to Islamize the nation.

 
Islamic fundamentalism, fanaticism, terrorism and jihads are a big threat and enormous challenge for our nations’ leaders. I call upon Nigerian government, political leaders, religious and civil leaders, Imams, clerics, Islamic scholars, moderate, modern and conservatives Muslims and business leaders, to work together in resolving the imminent threat to Nigeria’s unity. Nigerian religious leaders must work together to ensure that Christians, Moslems and paganisms become partners in this 21st century rather than enemies in solving the social, economic and political obstacles facing our nation. They must work together to hold our politicians and government leaders accountable to the promises and principles of fairness, justice and equity.

 
They must be involved in shaping public policies, laws and decisions that hinder Nigerian people from fulfilling their God-given purposes on planet earth. Our religious leaders must work together to educate their followers about tolerance and peaceful cohabitation? As human beings we cannot accomplish much in isolation rather we develop, mature as people and achieve greatness in the context of love, relationship and fellowship. And until we learn the cardinal principle of Islam and Christianity, which is forgivingness and reconciliation, we will never live in peace. Without genuine forgiveness and reconciliation, there cannot be unity and peace. Without love, another cardinal truth of Christianity and Islam, we cannot have genuine relationship. Relationship is the most vital aspect of life. Genuine relationship and love are the greatest human assets and the essence of every major faith in the world. Christians and Muslims must understand that they are brothers from the same great grand father – Abraham.

 
Let’s surrender to the true heir and heritage of Abraham – if not let us divide peacefully and go our separate ways. This co-habitation, amalgamation or unity of Nigeria does not make sense anymore. It’s time to have serious dialogue and path forward for Nigeria and Nigerians. Enough is enough!

 
Rev. Dr. C. Kingston Ekeke reports.

 
Rev. Dr. C. Kingston Ekeke is a public theologian, author, and leadership scholar. He is the president of Leadership Wisdom Institute.

 
Note: The second portion of this article was taken from my new book in the making entitled: “The Problem with Nigeria.”

 
*Photo CaptionAn assault rifle. *One of the tools of evil in Nigeria and around the world.