• Sunday, December 10, 2023
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Taking ethnicity, religious bigotry to terrible heights in Nigeria

Taking ethnicity, religious bigotry to terrible heights in Nigeria

There is ethnic and religious coloration to everything in Nigeria. Policies of government in Nigeria are also, unfortunately, formulated and implemented along these lines.
These, in many cases, also determine who is voted or appointed into position of authority. Competences are secondary consideration here. Little wonder Nigeria has been going in circles year-in, year-our, without meaningful development.
The situation has become worse in the last six years in the life of the current administration. Bloated with the ego of “we are in power”, some non-state actors with tentacles that run deep into the power fortress in Abuja have arrogated to themselves the power to kill and make alive.

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), for instance, has become another arm of government, even more powerful than the Judiciary and the National Assembly, as it were.
It makes statements that should not be tolerated in a normal society where laws are seen to be both meaningful and potent. They have the backing of government at the centre.

The group has become an unofficial arm of government that speaks for the Presidency on many issues. What is stunning is that they see themselves as above the law and say whatever they want to say without consequences.
On many occasions, the group has accepted responsibility for bloody attacks on individuals and groups. Yet, they were not even invited by law enforcement agents, let alone grilled.

Some other ethnic and religious groups in some parts of the country have turned Nigeria into a lawless fiefdom where they can say anything and do anything and get away with it.
A few days ago, the Miyetti Allah alleged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the United States connived with some Southern leaders to indict Abba Kyari, a deputy police commissioner. It was also quoted as saying that Abba Kyari was going to be the future Inspector-General of Police.

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The group has always played politics with everything in society, targeting perceived enemies.
They are not alone in playing this ethnic and religious card.
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) also reportedly flayed the American Court that ordered the arrest of DCP Kyari, and dismissed what it described as “the attempted intimidation of a police officer right inside his independent fatherland”.
In a statement signed by the group’s National President, Yerima Shettima, it warned that “nothing must happen to him (DCP Kyari)”.

The group also rejected the plan to arrest Kyari, describing the move by the FBI as “totally unacceptable; a slap on the sensibility of our compatriots and a ridicule on one of our finest crack detectives.”
The other day, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a group founded and run by Ishaq Akintola told the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), that it was not yet the turn of a Christian to be the President of Nigeria.
Akintola said his reason was born out of “mathematical exactitude”, from the time Nigeria began civil rule in 1999.
MURIC said while it was not opposed to the idea of a Christian president for Nigeria, CAN must wait for its turn.
“We believe that it is not yet the turn of a Christian to be the President of Nigeria if we want to go by mathematical exactitude from the time Nigeria began civil rule in 1999,” the group added.
“Chief Mathew Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo, a Christian, spent eight (8) years as president (1999 – 2007). Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan also spent five (5) years (5th May, 2010 – 29th May, 2015). That brings the total spent by Christian presidents in Aso Rock to thirteen (13) years.

“Meanwhile, Alhaji Musa Yar ‘Adua, a Muslim, spent three (3) years as president and the incumbent, President Muhammadu Buhari, will be completing his eighth year in office by the good Grace of Allah on 29th May, 2023. By simple arithmetic, this will bring the total spent by the two Muslim presidents to eleven (11) years,” he further said.
It beats one’s imagination why some people delight in fomenting trouble in society. Rather than work for the progress of Nigeria, the likes of MURIC appear to only delight in things that scatter the country.
Speaking with BusinessDay on condition of anonymity, a Psychology lecturer with one of the universities in the country, alleged that there were those whose mandate in society is to cause chaos and that such people were being sponsored from outside to cause disaffection in the country.

“I am not surprised by the activities of certain people in the country. There are organisations, if you trace their activities; there are nothing they contribute to the growth and unity of Nigeria, but chaos and anarchy. They are always on the firing line, attacking other people and issuing threat words. Although they masquerade under religious names and associations, they are only stumbling blocks to progress,” the scholar said.
According to the Psychologist, “What I find difficult to understand is the connection between Abba Kyari’s indictment by FBI and southern leaders as being alleged by Miyetti Allah and some Northern youths. Something is not just adding up. As a good citizen of Nigeria, one should pray that what the FBI said about Kyari is not true, otherwise, it is a big minus for Nigeria, and would further drag our image in the mud. That is what every reasonable person should be concerned about and not looking for scapegoats.”

Farooq Kperogi, an informed public affairs analyst, in his comment on, ‘Five final thoughts on Abba Kyari and Hushpuppi’, condemned the ethnic and religious narratives being given to the Abba Kyari-Hushpuppi issue.

“As with everything Nigerian, the Abba Kyari/Hushpuppi fraud case has taken on a predictably ethnoreligious hue. I’ve read some people claim that Kyari is being targeted by America because he is a Muslim. Ha!” Kperogi wondered.

To put a lie to those who bandy religious sentiment in the matter, he explained: “Well, Hushpuppi is also a Muslim. His full name is Ramon Olorunwa Abbas. Most Muslims will recognise Abbas as a Muslim name but probably not Ramon. Ramon is the Yoruba Muslim domestication of Abdulrahman. Read my July 13, 2014 column titled ‘Top 10 Yoruba Names You Never Guessed Were Arabic Names’ to understand how Abdulrahman became Ramon (which is also sometimes rendered as Ramonu or Raymond). The name is #7 on my list.

Kyari’s replacement, announced earlier today, is a Tunji Disu, another Muslim. Disu is the Yoruba Muslim domestication of Idris. That name is #3 on my list.

“Most importantly, though, the man Hushpuppi defrauded of over $1million— with Kyari’s help— is an Arab Muslim. So, the idea that Kyari is being hounded because he’s a Muslim is silly.”

It is his belief that “Whatever it is, Kyari has lost every credibility to fight crime because it has been shown, with compellingly irrefutable evidence, that he is deeply ensconced in the crimes he purports to fight. If he is the best representation of your police, your religion, or your region, you’re either as morally rotten as he is or you’re an irredeemably hopeless bigot.”