By Abdulmumin Giwa
Events that unfolded on the return of President Muhammadu Buhari from a medical vacation in United Kingdom have further exposed the Nigerian government’s public deception and lack of focus.
The level of hardship, inflation, poverty, hunger, unemployment, drastic rise in death rates and diseases and lack of life’s basic infrastructures were likely to defame President Buhari if public opinion is not managed and directed somewhere especially in the northern parts of the country.
More than 60% of the hardships listed and more are in northern Nigeria and this had since been established by the then governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank Charles Soludo when he mentioned in a lecture he once delivered in Kaduna during his reign. If at that time Nigeria’s poverty level was 57%embedded in northern Nigeria based on their statistics, today it is worse as it goes beyond 60%.
The government is sure that there is a time bomb that is likely to erupt that could be too costly for it which must be controlled. The people especially in the north need to be placed on a plain of thought that would keep them away from seeking a way out from the government. This is because the government has nothing to give them as it had lost focus and hope.
The government in its usual hypocrisy and executive conspiracy used its deceit machinery to pull the public towards an artificial thought in order to keep them away from not supporting President Buhari on whose support most of the leaders are where they are today. They are simply exploiting and benefitting from the blind and sentimental followership being enjoyed by President Buhari.
Yes blind and sentimental followership because such followership was ignited by sadism and envy and not as a result of good leadership. The President could clampdown on some people they hate for one reason or the other whether wrongly or rightly using his powers as president and nothing more. They are not following and eulogizing him because he has provided them with social and economic security, nor because they have access to good education and healthcare delivery services or because of availability of basic infrastructure. They only follow him because he can kill their assumed enemies. They are simply celebrating his expression of sadism against certain individuals in the country for no genuine reason or the other.
Even with the level of inflation in the country rising beyond 150% without any reciprocal increase in the level of personal income of individuals, coupled with stringent and unfriendly economic policies that have brought a lot of businesses to a halt, these blind followers still hail and usher support for President Buhari. Definitely this is not a normal situation.
Those in governmentare sure that the Nigerian people are hungry and angry and are likely to erupt any time. They as Nigerian leaders lacked the goodwill and capacity to provide for them due to personal greed and lack of know how.
For fear of that loss in support they decided to kill two birds with one stone by swaying public opinion towards hatred of the Shiites and also blackmailing them. They hypocritically used their machinery to exploit the instituted ignorance of the myopicNigerian public, especially in the northern part of the country, and induce lies in them that it were the Shi’ites that casted a spell on President Buhari and made him sick in their attempt to kill him. These lies were further promoted especially in the social media and in the Wahhabi worship places sponsored by government.
As they induce religious sentiments in the northern parts of the country against the Shiites they also induce sectional sentiments. They make the northerners to see southerners as their enemies because they allegedly hate President Buhari in the same way as they make them to hate the Shiites claiming that the Shiites hate President Buhari as well.
It has reached an epidemic level because anybody that does not like Buhari is termed as an infidel or a hypocrite by government sponsored Wahhabi clerics, and is living under the risk of being attacked by hoodlums.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria(IMN) never had any history of anti-Buhari activities to make them hate or like him. After he clamped down on them in Zaria in December 2015 and murdered many of themone is left to wonder how the IMN members will ever like President Buhari again. He had turned hundreds into either widows or orphans and has shattered many others’ life dreams simply because they don’t share the same religious school of thought with him.
The ignorant public most of who are thriving in extreme instituted poverty have assimilated the sermons and hate speeches by government agents and Wahhabi clerics against the Shiites sponsored by the government and decided to go wild against the Shiites should President Buhari die. They went about saying it publicly that they will kill the Shiites if President Buhari dies. They mischievously mobilized the public into believing that it is the Shiites that made President Buhari sick and not God this time around.
Some of the myopic and half-baked elites amongst them who have the opportunity of writing in newspapers have even gone as far as claiming that the Shiites are suspected of poisoning President Buhari who is surrounded by his closest associates.
To buttress the point further, some state governments and traditional rulers even organized political rallies in the name of praying for President Buhari’s health where they spread the hate speeches against the Shiites and even reigned curses on the Shiites publicly. They did all these before the return of the President and set the stage for another clampdown on the endangered minority Shiites.
The intention of the government and the major stakeholders of the Zaria Massacre are to ensure that the public attention is placed on the Shiites to keep them away from questioning the lack of performance by the regime and at the same time they will have an opportunity to kill more Shiites as they have done before to satisfy their sectarian sentiment and meet their contractors’ bids.
On the return of President Buhari they took to the streets reigning insults and abuses and even harassing IMN member chanting all sorts of anti-Shiah slogans in the name of celebrating President Buhari’s home coming.
They chanted slogans like ‘the god of the north has returned’ (Ubangilin Arewa ya dawo) ‘the killer of Shiites is back’ (Makashin yan Shi’ah ya dawo) and their saint and savior is back. Many things happened in this regard because in some places they even placed a cloaked and turbaned man in a wheel barrow with one eye covered as they dramatized stoning him saying he was Sheikh Zakzaky.
In some places they went to the frontage of IMN Islamic center and staged an all-night party singing songs abusing Sheikh Zakzaky and Shi’ism to provoke the IMN members who simply left them and went to their houses.
In Kaduna like other places, they were paid to attack the IMN members and they went and started a fire on a nursery/primary and secondary school owned by the IMN which was quenched by neighbors.
They blocked roads chanting anti-IMN slogans like ‘Buhari is back, Shiites can die’ (Buhari ya dawo yan Shi’a sai dai ku mutu) and ‘Buhari is back No more Free Zakzaky’ (Buhari ya dawo no more free Zakzaky) and many other provocative statements. In most of the places the hoodlums were carrying dangerous weapons as the security agents looked the other way pretending not to be seeing anything.
The same things took place in Kano, Jos, Sokoto, Katsina and many other places in the north. What is more is that all these took place in the presence of and before the very eyes of Nigerian security agents who were looking the other way and waiting for the Shiites to react so that they could resume killing them.
They exploited the gross ignorance they have instituted in the public to push them into believing that the Shiites are their problem and not the focuslessness of the regime. Definitely the Shiites are not the problem of Nigeria.
With the sense of maturity and responsibility of the members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and their high level of awareness, they seized to be provoked into any form of violence despite the levels of intimidations in which even individuals were directly assaulted by the sponsored hoodlums.
It is on record that in 2011 when President Buhari lost the elections, the same blind supporters took to the streets but their assault was not on the Shiites then but on the PDP and Christians. The IMN was very much there but the hoodlums never bothered to attack them because there was no reason for it then. They were mobilized to launch assault on PDP members and Christians in the North.
The IMN had nothing to do with Buhari and his win or loss in election. If there was any role played by the IMN then it was that of providing shelter and safety for Christians, mostly students of higher institutions that found themselves in the midst of the Buhar’s supporters’ mob actions. They were sheltered, protected and fed by the IMN and even given travel allowance to go home after the crises.
This time around, the PDP is there and the Christians are also there and they were not attacked by the same hoodlums but the IMN members were made the center of the attack. This is enough to show the level of public ignorance that is mischievously exploited by the politicians. They claim to be leading the people while they are exploiting them and leading them astray.
It is as if the Buhari’s regime’s only agenda is to kill Shiites for the Sunnis. That is the general picture and impression they give of the regime which from all indications the regime is comfortable with. They hail President Buhari as ‘the hero of Sunna’ because he kills Shiites and even disgustingly describe the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) as ‘Ayatullahi Burutai’.
I am sure by now a lot of those wicked leaders in government are not happy as the IMN remains unprovoked because it has blocked them the opportunity of stealing public funds in the name of providing security for the public.
Why all the deceit? Nigerians are not after all these proxy wars those in power are fighting for their masters in America, Israel and Saudi Arabia. What Nigerians actually need is true change which the government does not exhibit any signs of providing for the public. IMN or Shi’ah is not the problem of Nigeria because Nigeria does not as a nation harbor any state religion.
Every citizen has the right to belong to any religion of his choice and also has the right not to belong to any religion at all. But unfortunately the short-sighted Nigerian government of the day is making everybody believe that it is a Sunni/Wahhabi government. The government and its agents have induced hatred among citizens, promoted religious disharmony, propagated sectarian extremism and supported state terrorism. This is the only available picture of the Buhari regime.
The government has nothing to show the people and is exploiting their sentiment and deceiving them into believing the wrong things. What manner of government is it that will kill a people in their hundreds by burning them alive, murdering them and burying them alive in mass graves simply because they don’t belong to the same religious school of thought with the President and his governors?
What manner of government is it that will be using such hatred to sway public attention away from its weaknesses and lack of performance? What manner of government is it that does not respect or have any regards for the judiciary and is willing to violate all international human rights standards to satisfy the personal whims and caprices of the President? .… definitely not a democratically oriented government but a dictatorship.
What is worse is the arrogant display of tyranny by the government and total disregard to the Nigerian Constitution displayed in the illegal and unjustifiable detention of the IMN leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky. The shameless government could not provide any reason for abducting and detaining the revered leader of the IMN that it had to lie to the Federal High Court that he is being kept under protective custody. They were disgraced by the court’s judgment that described the government’s action as a total violation of the fundamental human rights of the Sheikh and a display of sectarian sentiments. The government is ordered by the court to release Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzkay, pay him N50 million, build a house for him and also provide him with police protection until what they claim to the court is going to harm him is no more. But the Nigerian government out of impunity refused to obey the court order to release the IMN leader and is scouting for how to prosecute him by all means as there is no single tenable reason or evidence.
Imagine this stupidity, the Nigerian Army led by a Commandant of a Nigerian Army Division launching a terrorist attack on the residence of Sheikh Zakzaky, summarily murdering and burning people alive and burying hundreds in mass graves alive after molesting women, cutting their breasts with bayonets and punching them with sharp objects in their private parts and yet the same government is claiming that they are keeping the Sheikh in protective custody to protect him from harm. Can a government led by sane people exhibit this kind of stupidity? Who is the threat to the Sheikh’s life from which they are protecting him? Why not simply quit the deceit and save Nigerians from hardships. Free Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky!!!
By Abdulmumin Giwa