By Abdulmumin Giwa
I read with dismay the display of intellectual bankruptcy by the Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-Rufai in an interview he had with newsmen on Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the Southern Kaduna crises.
In his effort to convince the selected journalists of his reason for outlawing the IMN, El-Rufai repeated the usually fabricated and unsubstantiated lies demonizing the IMN and even claiming that his Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) report s and recommendations guided him towards that decision.
For now there wouldn’t be any need to take on what he said one after the other because the intention of this piece is to tackle his claim that the IMN is a political organization and that the objective of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is to gather enough followers to effect an Iranian type Islamic Revolution in Nigeria. He said that this will lead to crises because Nigeria is not 100% Muslim that you can do Islamic Revolution.
In effect, he is explaining to the journalists that he is fighting against the establishment of an Islamic state through a popular Revolution and that is why he is at war with the IMN.
I have heard a lot of elder statesmen, analysts and political observers saying that the only way out for Nigeria to become a solidly developed nation is a popular Revolution. One of such statement recently came from a onetime Nigeria’s permanent representative at the United Nations, Alhaji Maitama Sule.
I will take on the topic by reminding El-Rufi that he also made the same statement when a team of IMN members went to condole him at his Jabi residence in Abuja when his daughter Yasmin died. He said the only way out for Nigeria is the type of Revolution being advocated for by Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.
It appears that El-Rufai is ignorant about what revolution is that is why he is trying to demonize it to convince people of his reasons for being at war with the IMN.
The issue is about understanding what revolution really is and not the revolution itself. Revolution is not an issue of change of government or establishing a state. Revolution is about the change of conscience, thought and ideas.
There is a difference between reform and revolution. A reform can take place under the same ideology or system whereby some changes are effected for the betterment of the said ideology or system through a popular demand by advocates of that system or ideology.
Revolution on the other hand is a total change of system and ideology by addressing peoples’ conscience and directing it along a new thought and idea. Usually systems are established to manage people’s affairs and life to avoid tyranny and dictatorship.
Revolution has nothing to do with violence but conscience and ideas. That is why it is embedded within the Nigerian constitution to have freedom of conscience and ideas which one could propagate for the betterment of the generality.
On his claim that IMN is a political organization is nothing but a sham because IMN is not an organization but a collection of people of conscience and ideas.
To us as Muslims, Islam is more than what a lot of people call religion which they define as a personal affair of an individual that has to do with one’s spiritual inclination and acts of worship. If this is the definition of religion, then Islam is not a religion because Islam is more than just that, it is a complete system of life. Such a definition could apply to other religions but not to Islam.
In Islam there is a system of worship and spiritualism as well as a system of social, political, economic and judicial inclinations. It is a complete philosophy of life that is accepted and implemented on will and choice and not through imposition or force.
This implies that there is nothing chaotic about enlightening people, raising their conscience and awareness towards positive development without resulting to any form of violence. Once the people accept to change from a bad state to a better and developed state through change of conscience and idea then a revolution is achieved.
It was the same rhetoric adopted by the current APC regime during it’s campaign in the last elections in the name of change but was wrongly implemented because it didn’t address peoples’ conscience and ideas. This is the reason why the regime is stagnant and lacks any idea of what to do and how to do it.
We in Nigeria are witnesses to the state of the nation in which everything has deteriorated and the nation is moving from bad to worse daily. Nigeria is now over half a century old but there is no stable power supply, no roads, no water and no satisfactory health delivery services. Nigerians are forced to be living in hardship and abject poverty and suffering from the repercussions of the misdoings of its misguided elites like El-Rufai.
Not even a solidly functional educational system that can exploit the verse human resources of the country exists in Nigeria. This is worsened by lack of leadership commitment and patriotism. People see themselves as belonging to some tribes or regions before Nigeria in which the general character of the people is that of individualism and greed. This has led to disunity and intolerance among Nigerians with resultant negativities like insecurity.
With all these negativities bedeviling the country, only tyrants and dictators will see a call towards fairness and justice to all as well as unity, understanding and humanity as a threat to national interest. What could be wrong with raising peoples’ conscience and understanding towards creating a better society free of negativities?
This is Nigeria and we are Nigerians and we want a better future for our children and children’s children which people like El-Rufai and his likes don’t have the capacity to provide, so what if we call on Nigerians to seek a better Nigeria by changing their conscience and ideas for the better?
Lastly, there is this issue of scaring people away from Iran, this rhetoric is engaged in by the global imperialists who deceive the world by demonizing Iran. El-Rufai and his anti-IMN sponsored propaganda team have also taken to this idea.
But what is wrong with Iran? Yes there was a Revolution in Iran in 1979 that led to the emancipation of the country from American control and exploitation under the ousted king Shah Reza Pahlavi.
America did everything possible to bring down the new Iranian system which has destroyed a lot of economic concessions they have signed on oil with the ousted Shah of Iran. In fact the oil riches that made Iran the forth oil richest nation of the world was to come under complete control of America when the revolution took place.
America started by imposing a war with it with Iraq later referred to as the Gulf War. The intention was to take over Iran within eight days but the war lasted eight years without taking over eight kilometers of the Iranian soil. They supplied Saddam Husain with cluster and chemical bombs which he used indiscriminately on Iran but still lost the war.
Notwithstanding, America imposed tens of political, economic as well as religious sanctions on Iran to bring it down in addition to spreading phobia against it across the world through its effective propaganda machinery. Since that revolution in 1979, Iran has always been on sanctions such that it withdrew its economy from relying on oil and exploited other avenues.
In the last 35 years Iran was able to become a nuclear power, leading in the field of medicine, science and technology as well as military might. Iran developed in such a way that more than 80 percent of women in Iran are educated and most of them are in the fields of sciences and medicine.
With the Iran phobia propagated by America and her allies Iran was forced to take some stance on the global platform to protect its own interests. It became the voice of nations being oppressed and exploited by America and Israel especially Palestine.
All these developments that made Iran a power came while Iran was under total sanctions from global imperialism. Iran is now a power to reckon with in the globe. More so, Iran is running one of the most functional democratic states in the world where not less than 90 percent of registered voters cast their votes during elections. Yes it is an Islamic system but not in the Saudi fashion of societal segregation and monarchy but with every section including Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians all represented in its parliament.
Unlike America which has started not less than 86 wars in other sovereign nations that has led to the deaths and displacement of not less than 20 million people across the globe, Iran has never attacked any nation. America has used atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and has founded terrorist organizations like Taliban, Al-Qaeda and ISIS which it is co-sponsoring along with Saudi Arabia and is also protecting Israeli illegal occupation of the Palestinian lands.
On the other hand Iran does not have any of these negative trends. Hence the question why would one hate Iran? Iran doesn’t have any bad records to refer to. Those who castigate and demonize Iran do it only because America hates Iran which is a very stupid reason. Iran has diplomatic ties with Nigeria and Nigeria has more to learn and benefit from Iran than from America even as it is politically older than Iran. Nigeria is 56 years old while Iran is only 37 and has become a global super power while Nigeria is still left behind striving to provide electricity, water, roads and other infrastructure due to bad leadership and lack of focus and true patriotism.
It is too cheap a propaganda for El-Rufai and his team to be using Iran to blackmail IMN. Despite Nigeria’s loyalty to America and its interests, that include Nigerian leaders fighting anti-Iran proxy war in the country, Nigeria cannot boast of benefitting from America in terms of general development of the country. Nigerians are suffering and are in hardships as a result of pro-American policies introduced by Nigerian leaders.
Hence, if calling for an Iranian type Revolution in Nigeria is what will save Nigerians from untold hardships, retrogression and under-development, by calling for unity and brotherhood among Nigerians irrespective of tribe, region or religion then so what if we call for a Revolution? If such a call is a popular demand of Nigerians, then who are you to stop it?
If there will be any crises in Nigeria as claimed by El-Rufai then that crises is from him and his likes that are contracted to kill their people to satisfy some foreign interests but not from Nigerians disagreeing with true emancipation from foreign domination and control.
By Abdulmumin Giwa