By Iliya Paul Gindiri
With Boko Haram’s terror now raising more questions about the viability of Nigeria as a nation, Hausa Islamic leaders are calling for peace. Among the Hausa leaders speaking against Boko Haram are Dr. Muhammad Islam Ibrahim of the Islamic Society for Unity and Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar. While reading their press releases, this poignant question surfaced: Where were these Northern leaders, over the past decade, when Hausa terrorist unleashed untold brutality on Plateau residents and the Middle Belt at large?
The two Northern leaders painfully attempted to convince the world that Nigerian Islam is peaceful, yet their documents raised more questions than they provided answers. The first question the documents raised is, if Nigerian Muslims are peaceful, why did they impose sharia law on their fellow countrymen who are non Muslims? Next, why would a peaceful religion force its laws on anyone? Moreover, are they ready to call for abolition of sharia now that we know the law has been a catalyst for violence in Nigeria? The above questions more than require that Hausa leaders call for the revocation of sharia law if they are really serious about peace. Remember Boko Haram is fighting to impose sharia law in Nigeria.
Their silence on sharia law also raised the issue of African patriotism. Hausa leaders have willingly traded Nigerian souls for a foreign Arab religion. In fact, so devout are these men to their Middle Eastern masters that their fatwas often include greetings in Arabic. Is Arabic Nigeria’s national Language?
Such allegiance to Islamism raises yet another pertinent question–why should Nigerians relish nationhood with a tribe that wants political Islam at the expense of their fellow countrymen? This issue is relevant because Hausas will not acknowledge the fact that sharia law is splitting Nigeria. Since they seem incapable of comprehending this fact, maybe this analogy will help them understand. Much as the North would not accept a Nigeria where Christian doctrine is imposed at all cost, many are now advocating for sharing Nigeria apart because of sharia.
While Islamic imperialism has plunged Nigeria into violence, Hausa entitlement to the presidency has also kept the nation in political disarray. Consider this–except under Generals Gowon and Ironsi, Nigeria has never been governed without a Hausa man as head of state or vice president. To date, Hausas continue to demand the presidency or vice presidency whenever power is transferred in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, this claim to the presidency informed many of the excuses Hausas gave for Boko Haram’s terror. According to them, Boko Haram resorted to violence because Nigeria violated a power sharing agreement with Hausas after President Yar’Adua’s death.
Absurd as this claim is, it was echoed by Professor Jean Herskovits and Ambassador John Campbell. Perhaps Campbell and Herskovits were unaware that Boko Haram went on a killing spree when Yar’Adua was still president. Maybe they also forgot that Nigeria is a nation of over 400 tribes and Hausas are not the single largest group.
Suffice it to say, the sultan’s call for peace and Dr. Ibrahim’s fatwa both came too little too late. First of all, they failed to call for the revocation of sharia law, a move that would have isolated Boko Haram. Moreover, their documents did not address the root cause of Nigeria’s upheaval–the Hausa binge for perpetual political control via Islamic imperialism.
Still, I believe Abubakar and Ibrahim were genuinely calling on Hausa jihadists to halt all hostilities but for sinister reasons. First, Boko Haram was exposing the Hausa Nigerian domination agenda especially since the sultan had earlier refused to categorically condemn them. As Boko Haram became bolder, many began to blame Hausa leaders for their crimes, forcing them to condemn the group. Lastly, Boko Haram had turned its guns on the North, threatening to undermine the foundation of Hausa Islamic imperialism.
Now that the sultan and his colleagues are mired in damage control, they must recognize that the bombings of December 25th 2011 have permanently changed Nigeria. Nigerians will no more accept a nation where Hausas enjoy unique political and religious privileges that are conduits of oppression and terrorism.
A word of wisdom to Hausa leaders, if they care to listen: You do not have the old North–you have a smaller North next to an emerging Middle Belt, awoken by the pain of bombs, bullets and swards of Hausa political entitlement and Islamic imperialism. This aggrieved Middle Belt will not participate in containing your oldest victims (the Igbos) should they again choose to depart Nigeria. Your options are limited to withdrawing your irrational entitlements to become a respected Nigerian tribe that is no greater or less than any other group.