Nigeria: Is This a Battle for 2015?
By Kabir Mato,Daily Trust
There is a growing theory emerging amongst several elites of Northern extraction. They allege that the violence that seems unabated in several parts of the region is merely precipitated by the powers that be in order to keep grip on power come 2015.
The theory suggests that some callous politicians and possibly people in power sponsor the bombings in places of worship in several cities so as to continue to broaden the gap that currently exists between the major groups in the North.
It is argued that the attempts that several people from the Muslim and Christian communities in various parts of the area to come together and forge ahead as a people is seen as a major challenge by certain political forces. Therefore the only way any such efforts at ensuring peace and unity amongst the various peoples in this part of Nigeria could be thawed is by intensifying bombings and evocation of sentiments on the major fault lines that exist amongst the peoples up North.
This conspiracy theory in the ordinary shouldn’t make any sense but the fact that a curious run through the history of Nigerian politics in relation to ethnic and religious relations may lend credence to the emerging thesis. This is especially when viewed against the backdrop of the spontaneous insurrection that sections of Northern Nigeria have suffered over time.
The bomb blast that killed several people at a Catholic Church Unguwan Yero, Kaduna including the wife and a child of Yohanna, one of my assistants, was one of the most horrifying experiences in my life. I am sure millions of others who live in the segregated city of Kaduna, the headquarters of the old Northern region. On Sunday and throughout, life and activities were almost paralyzed in the city.
The tension, concerns and worries were visibly seen all over the place. Faces of both Muslims and Christians readily told the picture of the degree of hopelessness that everyone has come to find himself in. Anger, sympathy and apparent helplessness were the major items on the agenda.
As a social theorist, I do believe that social disequilibrium in any society results in social conflicts but the nature and character of such conflicts often misplaced and misemployed are identified in their contours and sometimes the form the take. The incessant bombs thrown on worshippers cannot in anyway be related to any expression of social disadvantage in the Nigerian case.
It is therefore becoming phenomenal and the task is that efforts must be made to unravel the pogrom immediately before the roof falls on us all. Why would anybody drive on explosives only to kill unsuspecting public? Does it make any sense to continue to imagine that an enemy exists in the society without diversifying strategies of unraveling mysteries that have the potency of disintegrating the society?
Is it sufficient to continue to pile blame on suspected targets in the heat of increasing fatalities in the community? Is it not wise to devise multidimensional approaches in unraveling these mysteries? Certainly there are issues that agitate the mind as far as this protracted mayhem is concerned.
Does it make any political sense for someone to reduce the sanctity of life to the attainment of simple ambition? Is it worth the trouble? Why should anybody kill others just because he or she desires to inflame disharmony as a tool of attaining political objectives? Is it really possible?
It is necessary that all issues must not be treated on the surface. It is critical that every available clue ought to be thoroughly scrutinized and investigated so that this crime is arrested. I do not believe that there is anybody up there who desires human blood just because he or she wants to prove some point. The matter is taking a greater dimension.
In my view, one fast way to get to the bottom of this issue is through a Muslim/Christian unity in the affected areas. I appreciate the response of the Christian community in Kaduna on Sunday and the aftermath: calmness in anguish. The message is that those who are responsible have only succeeded in shedding blood of the innocent but not in perpetration of violence.
The moment the bombs are detonated and we respond violently, the perpetrators are successful and will continue in their campaign of violence. People must come together to face the common threat to our collective existence.
If bombs and violence are the sure way to electoral victory in 2015, the call to Nigerians should be that those who may be responsible are likely unsuccessful because the good will always live over the evil.