I share tears each time I see or hear people kill others for religious reasons. I think it’s the God that one serves that should fight for one not otherwise. A God that can not fight for his worshipers is not worth calling a God.
It is sad to see that because one does not belong to another’s religious group, he or she automatically becomes an enemy and a threat. And yet, it is said that we are one in a nation of such hostility. Is this really true? Are we really one? Well, I live this question to my opponent to answer as they would say in a debate. Religious violence want to tear us apart. Nigeria is a multi- religious nation : the Christians and the Islam and others, and not any particular one is superior to the other. By history, we are told that the Christians and Muslims which are the two major religion in Nigeria are both from the same ancestor – Abraham. But this fact is almost always absent when there is a disagreement. A lot of souls have gone through this means – it is sad.
Religious violence stated in 1953 in Nigeria. The Ibo massacre of 1966 in the North that followed the counter coup of the same year. Also the death of Muhammed Manwa in 1980 which is now known today as Maitatsiner riot.
In 1991, the German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke attempted a crusade in Kano, causing a religious riot leading to the death of about a dozen people. In 2001 there was a riot between Christians and Muslims over the appointment of a Muslim politician as local coordinator of the federal programme to fight poverty. Another such riot was in October 2001 in Kano State.
In 2002 a Journalist Isioma Daniel wrote an article which the Muslims believed was blasphamous as it affected Prophet Muhammed there was a demonstration and violence that caused the death of over 200 in Kaduna as well as a fatwa placed on her life. In2002, the Miss World Contest was moved from Abuja to london as a result of religion as a particular group saw the contest as unholy and therefore should not hold.
Also the reaction to the Prophet Muhammed cartoons brought about a series of violent protest in Nigeria clashes between rioters and police claimed several lives, with a reprisal attacks in the South of the country particularly in Onitsha more than a hundred lives were lost.
Then the deadly and blood- thirsty Boko Horam saw and still see Western education and Christianity as bad omen and a bad venture to be indulge in by any people in Nigeria hence the killings and destruction of thousands of lives and property. And there has been different crisis and violent killings by Herdsmen in Pleatue, Benue and other parts of the South of the country. There is a recent case where a woman in Kano was stoned to death by some overzealous muslims in the presence of the late woman’s husband because to them she has blasphemed against the holy prophet Muhammed and this almost cause another round of violent if not for the prompt intervention of the state governor.
The question now is when will all this troubles, killings, destruction of property and mayhem end in Nigeria? The most worrisome of this is that when this trouble is brewing, certain leaders would begin to say things that would best be described as unfortunate. And our leaders instead of quickly stopping this ungodly moves, would keep mute and allow the situation to degenerate to untamable monsters. If the country must exit as one, the leaders of different tribes, religious groups, sectors and in different spectrum of the society must urgently come together to discuss genuinely the way this country can move forward. And not some claiming the born- to – rule and the oil – is – our – property way of solving issues which might trigger unpalatable violence. The truth should be said to ourselves and rightly too. The heavy power concentrated on the centre should be decentralised and let the different States control their natural resources and a particular percentage given to the central. Let the government remove their hands from religious activities. Let any person vying for any position first ‘renounce’ their religion and be a Nigeria first and foremost and not claiming any particular religion. Let everyone practicing any religion practice it in their closet and not in the open in order not to disturb the sensibility of othrrs. Let every religious leaders always preach to their followers the way of peace and not otherwise.
Putting this in focus, we would move forward and make progress. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.