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In The Name Of God, Stop The Killings - A Grim Appeal To The Political Class - Politics - Nairaland

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In The Name Of God, Stop The Killings - A Grim Appeal To The Political Class by Sahaabah: 9:56pm On Aug 02, 2014
In the Name of God, Stop the Killings – A Grim Appeal to the Nigerian Political Class

 

By Abu Bilaal Abdulrazaq bn Bello bn Oare

Imagine you're travelling by road and you come across a ghastly accident scene that leaves one person lying dead on the road, with his body mangled beyond recognition. The sight of it is so terrifying that you had to look the other way with great nausea and irritation. Now imagine if the dead bodies that litter the road as a result of the accident are up to seven or ten, each one drowned in his own pool of blood. Finally, imagine if the bodies are up to two hundred or more. No doubt you would want to discontinue the journey, as this entire world with all its glitters and embellishments would immediately cease to make sense to you.

In contrast, however, these are the figures we hear every day from the incessant killings that take place in different parts of our country, without provoking any real sense of dread in us. The labels may differ, but their main characteristics are the same - senseless, wicked, inhuman, and ungodly. Be it the appalling Boko Haram carnage in Borno, Yobe, Kano, Abuja etc., or the so called Fulani Herdsmen chilling butchery in Benue, Nassarawa, Plateau, and the southern part of Kaduna, they bear the same hallmarks and share the same characteristics. The one that is killed does not know why he is killed, and the one that kills does not know why he kills. It’s just a senseless killing spree. It is a reflection of how callous and evil the heart of man has become.

We must know that the first and appropriate response to an evil should be to take adequate actions to correct it. Where that is impossible due to some incapacitation or incapability, then the next resort should be to speak (or write, as the case may be) against it. And if this is yet impossible, then the last resort should be to abhor it in the heart. That is the least level any discerning human being can fall to. Below that, it simply means the heart is completely deadened. That is to say, it takes a heartless person not to feel anything in the face of evil.

The wanton annihilation of innocent lives by so called insurgents has become so rampant that the average Nigerian has become seriously desensitized about it. In fact, rather than abhor these killings in our hearts, which is the least we could offer if we were unable to stop them or speak against them, we subtly celebrate them. This is especially so when the victims do not speak our dialect, or when they do not pray to the same deity as ours. So, for instance, when it involves a Muslim, the average Christian feels like "O, it serves him right", and when the victim is a Christian, the average Muslim feels the same way. Except we choose to ignore the facts, the value of a Nigerian life has been ignominiously reduced to mere ethnic, regional, religious, and political nomenclatures. The side of the divide you belong to determines your value in the eyes of your fellow countrymen. And this divide is constantly been widened by the political class, which is largely peopled by selfish, self-aggrandizing kleptomaniacs who are profiteering from these wholesale killings. In order to ensure the continuity of this unholy profiteering, they have blindfolded the ordinary Nigerians to see these mishaps as a “them versus us” thing.

What we fail to realize is that what binds us together as ordinary citizens of this crisis-ridden space called Nigeria, is far stronger than the ethno-religious lines that separate us, and that is POVERTY. It knows neither religion nor tribe. Poverty in Bama in Borno state is as vicious and ruthless as poverty in Otueke in Bayelsa State. Just as the masses in the remote areas of the Southern part of Nigeria are dying with doctor's prescriptions in their pockets with no money to buy the prescribed drugs, so also the talakawas in the remote areas of the Northern part of the country are dying of various ailments, with no money to see a doctor, let alone to get a prescription.

From the desert areas of the far North to the oil rich Niger Delta, the vast majority of Nigerians suffer the same level of lack and want. Yet we, the poor, allow the rich to recruit from amongst us to carry out dastardly acts that further impoverish us and exterminate our fellows, in a bid to satisfy their political and occultist lusts. Yes, I mean every word of it. Just take a look at this analysis. For every bullet that is fired by a poor man recruited by Boko Haram to sniff out the life of an innocent student resting in his dormitory in Buni Yadi, a rich man pays. And for every bomb that is detonated at places where poor people gather – like match viewing centres and motor parks – a rich man's account is debited to offset the bills. These "rich men" feed from the flesh and blood of innocent people. They're not ordinary citizens. They're not civil servants who have to wait for their monthly salaries to make ends meet. They're politicians who have access to public funds, and immodestly siphon every kobo of it for personal use, fearing no accountability or penalty.

Now and again, we’re told that Fulani Herdsmen invade various communities with Automatic Kalashnikov rifles and kill tens and hundreds of inhabitants. But the big question is: how profitable is the business of cattle herding, that herdsmen, after taking care of their basic needs, still have enough leftover to purchase expensive weapons and ammunitions running into millions of naira to carry out mass killings? The same nomads we see roaming the bushes and forests, who live in tents, and basically feed on local dairy products? The same herdsmen who live and die without experiencing the luxury of owning a car in their entire lifetime? The same herdsmen who hardly have good clothes to wear? It simply does not add up. Everyone knows they cannot afford more than the daggers and sticks they use to comb the bushes and forests to pasture their flock. Rather, it is those people who have unfettered access to our collective purse and have been addicted to financial malfeasance that are certainly behind this widespread carnage that have turned our country into a Baghdad of some sort. They are the main lifeline of this cannibalistic assault on innocent Nigerians, apart from a few other obvious sources of funding like armed robbery, etc.

Therefore, as many have written to call on Boko Haram to stop the decimation of innocent lives, I am writing to call on the Political Class to stop wasting the lives of Nigerians in order to score some political goals or undo some political opponents. The killings taking place in our country are not natural disasters. They are man-made, and the looters and plunderers of our collective wealth are behind them. I have decided to direct my call to them because fighting a fire from the flames would never extinguish it. You have to aim at the base before you can even hope of achieving any success. The blood-thirsty Abubakar Shekau and his co-evil doers are only the flames of the fire. The bases are their sponsors. If Shekau gets killed today, he’ll be replaced pronto by someone else – just like Muhammad Yusuf, the former leader of Boko Haram, was promptly replaced after he was extra-judicially executed by the Nigerian Police Force. It will in no way stop the mindless bloodbath. Who knows, a more heartless demon may even succeed him. God forbid!

The fire of Boko Haram cannot be extinguished without targeting their sponsors. In fact, more efforts should be tailored towards cutting off their sources of funding by smoking out their sponsors, than in confronting Abubakar Shekau and his foot soldiers in the Sambisa Forest. We don’t need a billion dollar loan to achieve that.

May Allah save our country from the jaws of destruction!

 

Abu Bilaal Abdulrazaq bn Bello bn Oare

Kaduna, Nigeria

sahaabah@aol.com

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