By Abdulyassar Abdulhamid
Nigeria today is on an incitement-to-hatred mode. Vested interests, for various reasons, are into play to make sure that advocacy to hatred to incite violence, discrimination and hostility is well played out – example are galore: herdsmen-media, Dangiwa’s letter to President Buhari and Kukah’s continual inciting statements.
One may have assumed that the “herdsmen-media” have reached the apex of their evil plan against the country by succeeding in clothing every act of criminality perpetrated in the south in the garb of Fulani herdsmen attack.
The media have now made the scapegoat of Fulani herdsmen for every crime like rape, patricide, communal clash or robbery and whatnot. The ethnic group has been demonized. In some communities they are lynched in broad daylight, their cattle hacked to death or rustled with the aid of state agents.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. The unethically biased media have conjured up an almajiri-invasion-of-the-south card to set their unsuspecting readers, better the south, against the ‘Muslim north’.
The fear is that when the total easing of the lockdown comes into effect, only God knows when, many will continue to bear the brunt of this ethnic profiling, however law-abiding they may be.
Northerners are simply portrayed as potential carriers of COVID-19 at this time when the spread of the disease in the country is growing at a child’s Christmas wishes.
There came the sentiment-induced headlines: “Almajiri invasion of South, M-Belt threat to security”, “Leaders, stakeholders ask S’South govs to stop invasion”, COVID-19 Southern, M-Belt leaders raised alarm over invasion by almajiris”, Almajiri invasion of South, biological warfare”, “Ogun intercepts truck carrying 30 almajiris”, etc,.
What is new? The practice has been entrenched and is celebrated. Tribal bigots and regional jingoists are now very experienced in using the veneer of journalism to execute their evil agendas and get paid for that.
If the herds-media were really concerned about the lot of the allegedly invaded states, better if the media sincerely wanted to keep the state governors in check and by so doing improve the living condition of the governed, befitting of a typical watchdog, they should have asked them to rise up to their responsibilities. They should have given them a hot chase until they accounted for the huge sum they collect from the federation account. The last time I checked Delta State received N18.32bn, While Kano State with its huge population and 44 LGAs received N6.95bn.
Alas! They are not after good governance or orderliness. The intention is to subject the “Muslim north” to attacks and discrimination, once more, through ethnic profiling, as they have done of Fulani herdsmen brouhaha.
It is simple. State governors, as directed by the Federal Government, have unanimously agreed on the restriction imposed on inter-state movements to curb the spread of the deadly Coronavirus. The task at hand is for the governors to fiercely, and even jealously, guard their boundaries and violators punished accordingly without giving the crime any ethno-religious colouration. The north, too, intercepts trucks on a daily basis.
The above notwithstanding, unpatriotic elements are everywhere. Some people, even among the supposedly intellectual elite, can sell the only state or country they call theirs for a pittance. They don’t care a hoot if that invaluable possession were to implode or be run aground.
Such people think their only gateway to power, or the only means for their acceptance in the wider society, is to humiliate and disparage their own people; example of ‘Dangiwa Umar’s letter to President Buhari.
For years some local government areas in Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto States, and some parts of Kaduna State, have been under excessive bandit attacks. Thousands of souls have been wasted, hundreds of villages razed to the ground, scores others sacked, millions of naira in ransom collected and hundreds of thousands cattle rustled.
Nigeria has recently limped out of recession but price hike is the order of the day. Amidst this, Coronavirus came with a debilitating impact on the country’s economy and the result is that many employers have to cut jobs and may workers sacked.
To Dangiwa Umar and his co-travelers, the huge loss of lives and property, the harrowing picture of the impact of the measures taken to curb the spread of the virus in the country and its devastating effects on the populace and the economy are trivial. The whole scenario does not deserve a sentence to the president.
What is important to him, and which threatens the survival of the country, is President Buhari’s “lopsided”, as he termed it, appointments in favour of the “Muslim north”, although the claim is not based on factual evidence.
The states mention above have forgotten how political appointments taste. They would have welcomed anyone if the hard time they are in were to ease off over-night.
Dangiwa is clever by half – typical of those “In their hearts is a disease (of doubt and hypocrisy) and Allah has increased their disease. A painful torment is theirs because they used to tell lies” Qur’an – as he was quick to measure Buhari administration’s appointments on Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa’s scale; but skillfully circumvented the Obasanjo and Jonathan administrations.
Whatever the case, those familiar with Dangiwa’s stance on the “Muslim north”, especially during his days as the military administrator of Kaduna State, can testify to the fact that nothing has changed all this while – it is a case of a person who so much hates the people upon whose back he wants to ride to power.
Incitement to hatred appears in different guises. Some hide behind the cloak of activism or nationalism to instigate violence as in the case of the said letter. Others choose pulpits and some other political parties to achieve the same aim; example of Mathew Hassan Kukah.
One of the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Mathew Hassan Kukah’s latest dramatic stunts is an attempt at re-writing history classic of his hate-filled writings aimed at besmirching the “Muslim north”.
As soon as the news of the capture of a beastly kidnapping gang, who allegedly kidnapped and killed two Seminarians, Michael Ndadi and Bolante Ataga was made public, the Bishop-turned activist went on rampage, lacing his argument with the most spiteful words available to accuse the “Muslim north” of a plot to perfect a long-held plan of establishing Muslim north hegemony, even though he admitted that the 45-man gang of kidnappers and bandits, to which one Mustapha Mohammed, a 26 year old man is a member and upon which he (Kukah) built his argument, “has recklessly robbed, kidnapped, tortured and killed many people along the 180-kilometer stretch of road between Kaduna and Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, for the last four or so years”.
One thing capable of bringing Kukah’s hypocrisy to the fore is the recent mid-night attack at Wurbo Village in Bali Local Government Area of Adamawa State.
On Friday June 5, 2020 an attack by a suspected Jibawa militia, which is a sub group of Jukun ethnic group, claimed the village head of Bagona, the imam of the village and three other persons, as reported by Daily Trust of June 6.
In 2018 the remains of Major-General Mohammed Alkali was exhumed from a shallow grave in Dura-Du or “no-man’s-land in Gwuchet Village in Shen District of Jos South LGA of Plateau State.
Later in the same year, the police paraded 19 suspects (all of them Christians) in connection with Major-General Alkali’s murder and to date nobody has accused Christians of conspiracy to wipe out Muslims despite the numerous high profile killings in Jos, Taraba and Adamawa. Has any?
Ultimately, the authorities concerned should not relent; instigators (whether on pulpits or in the street, wherever they are) should be charged to court to pay the price of their evil machination against the country.
Abdulhamid wrote via email@example.com
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily