Northern Nigeria And The Extremist Theory

June 14, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Akor Emmanuel

It was first envisaged in 1914 that the life span of the then to be created entity called Nigeria was 100 years. In October 2014 that period elapsed and at the time, the problems bedeviling Nigeria were overbearingly large with the issue of the islamist terrorist group ‘Boko Haram’ taking center stage.

A National Conference was called for to help chart a new road map as to where the country was headed, and on this course, the Nigeria entity was judiciously reviewed from whence a resolution, which affects all areas and sectors of the country, was made.

In 2015 the presidential elections was held amidst conspicious signs of the country’s impending division, had it been that a particular candidate from the North did not emerge as winner. Equivocal treats of blood bathing was openly given to northern Christians and those from other regions resident in the north, in a case where this candidate was to lose the election not forgetting the fact that at several points in Nigerian history, the country has faced pressures to be turned into an Islamic state from forces both within and outside. The election came and went and we are still living together.

It is now a year since the Buhari administration came into power, and Nigerians are experiencing what would be regarded as the most wide spread case of religous extremism and intolerance in the country, with inscessant attacks on unsuspecting farmers by Fulani herdsmen, with that of Agatu in Benue state, North central Nigeria been the worst so far with a death toll reaching over 300 people including women and children.

On the 3 June 2016 the public woke up to the horrendous news of the irrational killing of one Mrs Bridget Agbeheme, a Christain in the Wambai area in Kano state, by a mob of religious fanatics for preventing a Muslim brother from carrying out the evening prayers in front of her shop. Just some days after this incident, on the 9th of June 2016 the news also broke that Mr Francis Emmanuel, also a Christain, was beaten and stabbed severely in his carpentry shop at Kakuri, in Kaduna state, for taking his breakfast during the Ramadan fasting hours by a gang of young men all rumored to be Muslims. This and many other unreported cases of religious extremism have been met with deaf ears by the incunbent administration despite of the outcry by well meaning members of society.

It would be recalled that in May 2016, the governor of Kaduna state, Nasir-El-Rufai, issued a ban on all religious institutions in the state from carrying out public envangelization except wih a permission from the state government, a move which was met with mixed feelings. With the constant jihadist move by religious extremists in the north, it is evident that Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gun powder and unless something is done urgently, another civil war is imminent. This therefore is a call on the government to stand up to its responsibility of providing security for all citizens as it protects their right to freedom of self expression and religion.








Akor Emmanuel

AKOR EMMANUEL is a Nigerian poet, critic, book reviewer and researcher on African literature.


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