Politics, sectarianism and extremism

By Abdulmumin Giwa
Following his state broadcast on the Eid-el-Kabir celebration, the Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-Rufai made some statements that touched my heart not because of the sense of the statement but because of how he is at variance with what he was calling on the citizens to do.
I mean because his dispensation as a governor differs completely from what he was preaching to the people of the state.
He said “Let us reject the negativity of the demagogues who seek to turn us against each other just because our faith and tongues may differ.”
He also added that “Humans cannot be wiser than Almighty who bestowed the joy of diversity.”
The speech was full of calls towards respecting human rights, living in peace with one another and coexisting harmoniously.
It started by reminding me when I watched him through the glass screen between the editing room and the main studio of the Freedom Radio Kaduna when he was having a live interview on his campaign being anchored by a self-acclaimed enemy of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also heading one of the departments in the Radio station.
The anchor of the program deliberately asked the governor whether he was a Shi’ite or a Sunni by putting his question sarcastically asking the Governor whether he had joined Abdullahi bn Saba. Ignorant of what the question really was about, the Governor asked the anchor who Abdullahi bn Saba is. The anchor then explained to him that Abdullahi bn Saba was the Jew that founded Shi’ism.
Immediately, the Governor could not control his emotions and declared that he was not a Shi’ite while he explained that he was being framed by his political opponents, who have printed posters of his condolence visit to Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky when the Nigerian Army murdered 34 members of the IMN including three of the Sheikh’s biological sons.
He explained that what happened to the Sheikh was wrong and every human should sympathize with him. He added that imagine killing not one of your sons but three at a time and that was why he went there to show sympathy and also condole him.
But he didn’t leave the talk there he said “Allah ya isa” (seeking God to avenge) on those who spread the rumor that he was Shi’ite.
He was of the opinion that it was abusive for him to be termed Shi’ite thereby displaying where he belonged even as he was seeking the votes of Nigerians irrespective of their faith and tongue.
I personally expected him to be intelligent enough to use the opportunity to call for unity through understanding and tolerance after explaining that he was not Shi’ite and explain that Shi’ites are also Muslims and Nigerians as well and we should shun such things that seek to divide our ranks in our quest for national developmental progress. But he didn’t probably because he want expecting as much votes from the Shi’ites as he is expecting from his Wahhabi brothers.
He was afraid of losing votes from the Wahhabis who will not vote for him if he was Shi’ite and was willing even on radio to identify with them while he dissociates himself from the Shi’ites. It was actually a trap by the anchor and his Wahhabi brothers which he fell into as the anchor is known for his negative comments on the Shi’ites on radio.
Just ten months after the Zaria massacre where the Nigerian army murdered over one thousand IMN members burning some alive, shooting others at close range and abducting and detaining others, the Governor is now here calling on citizens of the state to reject the negativity of demagogues who seek to turn us against one another on the basis of faith and tongue.
It is worth asking here, which negativity of demagogues led him to playing a role in the Zaria massacre where a said minority faith is castigated by some sectarians with which the Governor identifies and subsequently attacked?
It appears that the negativity of demagogues has influenced the Governor by turning him into a sectarian and extremist that he cannot accept the other people’s religious understanding.
He was furnished with fabrications and lies labeled against the IMN by those whom he trusted as belonging to the same faith with him while he castigated and blackmailed the IMN to justify the Army massacre.
He falsely claimed that the IMN had placed residents of Gyallesu under bondage for years, that the IMN took over lands illegally, that the IMN seized mosques from other Muslims and turned them into their and so on an so on.
It must have been the same negativity of demagogues that influenced the Governor into demolishing the worship places of the IMN, burial grounds and the residence of its leader Sheikh Ibrahem Zakzaky and ferried the rubbles away.
It was the same influence that blocked his eyes and mind from understanding that those attacked and killed are human beings and Nigerians as well and have the right to choose what faith to belong to as ordained by the freedom of religion in the Nigerian constitution.
More so, after the massacre of innocent unarmed citizens in Zaria by the Nigerian Army, in his position as a politician and acting under the influence of negativity of demagogue he joined the Army in mass burying the victims of the massacre. This influence made him to contravene religious laws, state laws and the Geneva Convention where they buried men, women and children some of who were alive but only injured and then buried.
He was soon to establish hatred and enmity between himself and IMN members as he is seen to be acting the script of the Wahhabi extremists who see every other Muslim as an infidel because they differ in understanding of the religion. He is happy being a hero of the Wahhabis who praise him for partaking in what they call the jihad of eliminating Shi’ites.
His saying that “Humans cannot be wiser than Almighty who bestowed the joy of diversity” is also at variance with his benchmark so far. The Governor cannot be wiser than Almighty by making himself an opponent of the IMN as his heart cannot tolerate the IMN not to even talk about understanding its concepts and ideas. All he knows about IMN are the lies he had been fed with by some Arabic speaking idiots who are the fanatics of Wahhabism.
All these and many more make me doubt the idea about the elite describing himself as an accidental civil servant now a politician, and becoming more inclined to the statement of the former president Olusegun Obasanjo that the elite is a pathological liar.
I wonder what the Governor’s position now is that he played a role in the killing of another set of three sons of the IMN leader after going to condole him when the Army killed the first set of three during the President Goodluck Jonathan’s regime.
What is the rationale behind the earlier humanitarian gesture and the current active crime against humanity? Could it be that it is that feeling for which he said “Allah ya isa” when he was called a Shi’ite that is manifesting or a way of proving to those Wahhabis that he is one with them?
Everyone would say that his statements and actions during the campaign that led him to Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky were simply political. This is so because now that he is part and parcel of a government that murdered innocent unarmed men, women, and children and also killed another set of three sons of the IMN leader condoled he is not mincing any words or actions in castigating and blackmailing the IMN.
Not only politics is involved in the Governor’s action, other factors like the influence of the negativity of the demagogues he is preaching against has eaten him up and is now acting like a sectarian in the most extremist manner forgetting his earlier position of being human.
I wonder the eyes with which the Governor would look at the revered leader of the Movement his Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) when next they meet. What then would he tell him? On the contrary, will he continue to make all efforts to ensure that he never meets the IMN leader again for the rest of his life? If so then how does he hope to achieve this?
One thing I know about the IMN leader is that he has a very big heart of gold and has the power to forgive and pray to God positively.
Anyway, I will close with a hadith from the Sunni source and in fact from the An-Nawawi collections where the Prophet SAWA is reported to have said there are three signs of the hypocrite, when he speaks he lies, when promises he fails and when he is trusted he betrays. How best would we describe Nigerian politicians?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s