The rise in mob religiously mis-inspired killings in north Nigeria cannot be overlooked. From Zamfara to Abuja. From Kano to Kaduna, there have been news reports of intolerant killings of Christians and Muslim minorities by zealous misguided youth and even state actors. While outspoken, illuminated Muslim scholars like Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau have in clear terms preached against the gross violations by those who take lives against Islamic rule, the erring killers continue unfettered and unbothered. They and their supporters even make threats and promises to “drink more innocent blood” in the open and online, desirous of justifying their “haram” misguided actions.
Boko Haram Shadow
While Boko Haram is on the retreat, successfully cordoned by the Buhari administration’s return of the army to what it used to be before its procurement department was turned into a suction straw for the siphoning of Nigeria’s billions, the north, no longer overshadowed or constrained by Boko Haram’s usurp of meaningless barbarism, appears to be experiencing a reawakening of it’s age-long noted deadly intolerance.
Could the era of Boko Haram terror have caused the notable lull in diffuse deadly zealot behavior? Were the murderous fanatics cowed by Boko Haram’s superiority in mass massacres or were they afraid of death in the hands of the more wild and wicked terrorists? Or were they possibly filled and fulfilled by Boko Haram’s massive blood spillage and not thirsty to engage in same?
Nigeria is experiencing an economic recession. The indices are bad. There is frustration in the land. Teachers have been reported to have resorted to stealing, while highlighting the debilitating state of small business owners –the largest employers of labor in Nigeria– a mother of three recently reportedly killed herself over the crippling Naira-Dollar currency exchange rate.
Nigeria’s central bank has maintained policies that only favor the wealthy and industrial manufacturers, while the small scale importers who employ 70% of labour are being run into extinction. Coupled with broke state governments, the majority of salary earning masses both in the public and private sectors are broke and stretched thin either borrowing money or lending to others.
While the nation experiences a surplus as the price of oil has remained at an average of $50/barrel, $12 above the budget benchmark, and the recovery of looted billions and high Naira rate, hovering around N400/USD has also put surplus cash in the hands of the government, there is no reprieve for the masses. There is hunger in the land and the people are dying.
But can this suffering of the masses be a factor in the resurgence of northern intolerance? It is hard to evaluate the role of the economic crisis in the “takfiri” intolerance islamist murders and massacres. We are of the opinion that poverty does not cause murderousity. The poor are blessed. Our opinion is that other factors are more to blame for this unusual recurrent, deadly fanatic trend limited to Nigeria’s north and no other country in the world of note.
Some suggest that a northern president has emboldened fanatics to believe they can intimidate, persecute and mass murder religious minorities in the north with impunity. The posture of President Muhammadu Buhari has been clear on instances of targeted killings of Christians in the north: Buhari has condemned the act in unambiguous terms. Even though the Buhari government has itself been accused by local and international organizations and indicted by a Kaduna judicial panel of a mass massacre followed by the secret burial of hundreds of minority Shia Muslims in Zaria, it is unknown if this act and posture has inspired and emboldened fanatic kill-happy Muslims.
Capital Punishment Response
The hanging of persons, civilian or military, rich or poor, weak or powerful, caught directly involved in the mass murder of religious minorities or in the vocal and organized sponsorship of such, according to the stipulations of Nigeria’s anti-terror laws that prescribes death for all terrorists and supporters of them, would send a clear message to maniacal intolerant mass murderers.
It is important Nigeria’s police arrests perpetrators of these sick crimes and that the judiciary, state or Sharia courts rapidly sentence them to death in accordance to the prescriptions of the law. This wills end a string message to the misguided blood-thirsty youth and their radical islamist, usually foreign paid cleric sponsors, who intend to rip Nigeria apart by fueling sectarian strife.
God is with the patient. May the patience of targeted minorities never wear thin.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigerian