Inspirational and Socio-Political Blog.

Monday 20 June 2011

Boko Haram: Suicide Bombing is Not Our Way of Life.

The first suicide bombing in Nigeria took place at the car park of the Nigeria Police headquarters, Abuja on Thursday the 16th of June 2011, this event has added another bad consternation to the decrepit image of Nigeria. Nigeria has now been added to the list of growing nations with suicidal religious groups. Boko Haram, a religious group, which has coined its name from Hausa and Arabic languages; Boko meaning Animist and Haram an Arabic word for Sin, if put together means 'Animist-Sin'. Boko Haram believes that western education is animist, therefore, it is sin. This group was formed by Ustaz Mohammed Yussuf in 2002 in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Ustaz Mohammed Yussuf was killed in 2009 after his arrest, during a fierce battle with the Police leaving hundred of its members dead. Boko Haram group has a clear mission to change Nigeria to an Islamic nation and, get rid of western education and culture.

Boko Haram has now joined the league of suicide bombers, going in the direction of the Al-Qaeda and Taliban, who are bent on killing everyone not embracing Islam and would not stop their Jihad until the world is changed to Islam. Boko Haram has already declared being affiliated to the Taliban and have the same agenda of changing the world to Islamic rules and massacring non believers. Boko Haram believes that western education is an abomination and seek to impose Islamic rule in Nigeria. The group has promised not to stop their Jihadist incursion until this is achieved. This they believe is the injunction from God to every Muslim and will ensure they have a place in the kingdom of God.

The group Boko Haram started their onslaught through planting of bombs at strategic locations and killing Policemen, their operations is mostly in the Northern states of Nigeria, their northern impingement has led to the death of several innocent Nigerians and the biggest attribute to the group is the October 1st 2010; Nigeria's Independence Day bombing leading to several deaths, however the group responsible for this attack is still sketchy. Several bomb blasts have followed this in different parts of northern Nigeria, claiming many lives. This sad development has now gravitated to suicide bombing, which is reported to be the first of its kind in Nigeria.

Nigeria is a non-sectarian society, with multi-religion, multi-cultural and traditional values. Nigerians clearly co-habit together without any problems, however recent events have proven that not to be applicable any more. Nigerians value their lives and their family live. The late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a legend of Afro-music, said in one of his songs, that Nigerians would rather take any form of insult, than risk their lives through dangerous fights or protests, they would suffer and smile. An average Nigerian despite being poor, still believes when there is life, there is hope. Nigerians do not have history of laying down their lives for any course, however the emergence of religious sects like the Boko Haram, Maitatsine, Darul Islam among others have now introduce a new inconceivable dimension to the once tolerant and conforming society.

I personally have respect for Islam, the level of dedication of Muslims to follow the dictates and tenets of Islam, the dedication to observe their prayers 5 times a day and the willingness to share with the the less-privileged. I have lived and interacted with Muslims all my live and can confidently say that Muslims are lovely and peaceful people to live with, on the contrary, I find it very appalling to see the dimension the religion is going now and the level of irresponsibility and lack of character by this terrorist groups, who class themselves as Jihadist - fighting for God, it surprises me that most of this jihadist, also kill their fellow Muslims through their suicidal practices. This goes to show how insane and inhuman the Islamic tenets has been turned into by this groups.

One of the greatest problem befalling Islam and its followers is misinformation. Muslims only learn to recite the Quran, but do not understand or barely have the ability to interpret what they have recited. It takes a Imam or the head to explain what the Quran has said, this is so because Quran is only acceptable in its Arabic form, so Nigerian Muslims are expected to learn the Quranic Arabic, so as to be able to recite the Quran, doing this, it is believed that the Quran would not be adulterated or the original meaning dissipated. The adverse effect of this is that most Muslim relies on their heads to interpret the Quran to them. Any of the heads with evil-intentions can easily brainwash innocent young Muslims to commit their lives in exchange for a place in Al-Jannah (Paradise). Despite all these killings, an average Muslims still believes that Islam is a religion of peace as stated in the Quran, not one Muslim believe otherwise. However, how do we juxtapose the irony of the daily massacre from a religion with such a peaceful proposition. It might go to mean that this fights for God is hypocrisy or politically motivated and the Jihadist simply wants to make a statement. Until we decipher the true reason for this dastardly acts, the world may not begin to get a solution for the menace.

It is clear that the infiltration of Iraq and Afghanistan by US Army and the security forces of other western nations to get the Taliban and other groups down have only worked to reduce the activities of the groups, but have not eradicated them. After many years in those places, the security forces still continue to count death to their men on a daily basis, it clearly shows this military invasion may not stop this Jihadist and terrorists. How do you stopped a person who is ready to stop himself? How do you threaten to kill someone that has already killed himself. The more force is used on the suicide bombers, the more relevant and important they become and get strengthened to instigate more harms, after all they are already brainwashed to die to become a Martyr.

Nigeria Government needs to be very diplomatic in handling this situation before it completely escalate to unbearable level. This is a big challenge to our security forces to do their job and nip this in the bud. We do not have time to wait and let more suicide bombers be recruited. Nigeria Police needs to know the importance of their jobs now and stop their indifference, they need to stop taking bribes and concentrate on their jobs. Our Police needs to develop their intelligence to disarm these terrorists and help us live in better safety. Suicide bombing is not in our culture, Nigerians prefer to live than die, this is what we want and this is who we are.

Sunday 5 June 2011

How Not to Make Money In Nigeria

You command so much respect in Nigeria when you have money to spend, you get all the attention you need and can get almost anything you want done within a short time-frame, you get the necessary attention from the police to the public sectors, command respect from friends and neighbours, even the street urchins identify and protect your interest. It had been well easy to break into any circle and get the information you require in Nigeria when money is involved. You can be sure to get the attention you need and get anything you want done when you have the money to spare. You are the best friend to the biggest people in the corridors of power, you also occupy front sit position in our religious places. People treat you with respect and nobody cares to know how you got the money, as long as you have it to spend.
There has been reports of ritual killing and kidnapping for money and mutilated bodies are seen daily on our roads. Everyone wants to be rich so as to be accorded the respect. Its a race for reckoning and recognition. These race for money anyhow we can, have got to the point that we need to put a check to it and retrace our steps before it gets to the 'breaking point'. Our security forces are the worst culprit, they are easily taken aback and turn the table of justice very easily in favour of the highest bidder. Our Police exhibit the craze for money publicly on the street and easily kill anyone not cooperating with their demands, sometimes they easily rope you into crimes you have not committed. These trends have not shown any sign of abating, which does not show a positive sign for the nation ready to develop.
Nigerians are people who love to express themselves and show-off what they have, we love to show our wealth and impress ourselves about how well we are doing. An average eighteen year old is already dreaming of buying and riding big cars and wearing the best designers, planning a party that is talk of the town, planning to spray their money like there is no tomorrow, they go on a spending spree and paint the town red. They want to make statement in the mind of their peers, some of them get desperate to achieve this aim, they rob, cheat, or even kill to live that kind of lifestyle. A lot sees buying and showing off all these things as living a good life, most of this habits are born out of poverty we can see and smell around us, everyone needs to break-even anyhow they can, irrespective of what impact this lifestyle is having on themselves and their neighbours.
These type of lifestyles are made worse as a result of poverty that have eaten deep into our economy causing a very wide-gap between the rich and the poor and there is no immediate plan to bridge the gap. There are so much unnecessary competition for relevance, which is well impacting on our national growth and we coordinate several avenues to get our nation's image continuously battered in the international community through 419, Frauds, Scam etc. There are better ways we can create wealth for our selves, with no recourse to violence and fraud, Nigeria is a land of opportunities with equal number of intelligent people to bring the opportunities to life. If we commit half of the time we spend creating schemes for scam on working on our opportunities, our country would be better for it.
It is important for us as Nigerians to start learning to respect and coordinate our daily affairs in a respectable way, with less recourse to our financial status. As much as money is important in every human endeavours, we must be careful not to put our generation to come on the 'cutting edge', because of this increasing trend to be rich at all cost. We need to pay less attention to financial status of people and learn to respect ourselves on the basis of individuality, personal achievement and self esteem. Everyone is important and money should not be a yardstick for relating to ourselves.
We can continue to clamour for our leaders to perform, but until we also purge ourselves individually from this get rich any how trend, our country does not stand any chance. Even if our leaders postulate change and put in place mechanism for the country to progress, we can only make the progress work if we take away greediness and undue respect for money. In every thing we do, we need to understand that life is a two way process, just as we have debit as a complement of credit in the book of account, so also is the management of any group. We all blame our leaders for corruption, but a lot of Nigerians are not doing better. Every Nigerians need to shorn violence and play their own part in moving the nation forward.
In most part of the western world, it is most difficult to know who is rich because every one is treated equal, the CEO is as important as the Janitor in the place of work, your next door neighbour maybe a millionaire and yet very polite and respectful and not showing any sign of his or her wealth. The right to life should come first before the right to wealth, we need to start showing respect and care to ourselves based on self esteem and quality of the person irrespective of the financial status, this will help us more to develop a nation of realist and will reduce the rat-race for cheap prominence currently inherent in our polity. Our lives will be more secured and we can sleep with our two eyes closed. The best way to secure our carrot is not to dangle it before a horse, it is very important to coordinate our lives out of value of oneness, rather than individuals financial strength.