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    Code of Violence

    (Saturday, November 30, 2002)

    By Samuel Onipede, Ph.D.

    Nigeria Miss World Beauty Pageant had come and gone, at least as far as motherland, Nigeria is concerned, it might never return to us in our own lifetime, after all ours is a black nation, a good for nothing country, whence nothing good comes, a nation founded to fail, planted on deceit and watered with treacheries, groomed with innocent bloods, maintained on feudalistic doggedness and pruned on repulsion. The pageant left in its trail violence, brutality, aggression hatred, extremism, radicalism, melancholy, sadness, tears, misery, despair, gloominess and dejection. Motherland is bleeding, charred bodies lining the streets, cries of anguish on the streets and homes, who shall give comfort to the bereaved, how much display of sympathy or commiseration can bring the deaths back to life, how much compensation or damages can equate the lost lives, who shall a mother or father be for those rendered semi-orphans as a result of these diabolical acts, and who shall replace a brother or a sister for the unfortunate siblings whose beloved were hacked down in broad daylight for what they knew nothing of?. The questions go on and on. Nigeria is finished, our motherland is gone, Africa has lost her giant, Black race is mourning the demise of its pride, how do we resurrect this body, is this really the end of an era, is this the end of Nigeria, whither thou the giant of Africa!!! James Earl carter, the former president of the United States of America in his Presidential Diary, was quoted in "Keeping faiths" Memoirs of president, P. 458, November 6 1979 while commenting on Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini, after students in Iran held American diplomats hostage. "It is almost impossible to deal with a crazy man, except that he does have a religious beliefs, and the world of Islam will be damaged if a lunatic like him should commit murder in the name of religion against 60 innocent people". I read with utter dejection and heavy heart of the 'Fatwa' (Death Sentence) pronounced on Isioma Daniel on her apparently innocuous article in ThisDay's publication that has allegedly sparked tensions in the country by the Deputy governor of Zamfara State, Mohamoud Shinkafi.

    What does all this mean, has Alhaji Mohamoud of Zamfara become the Supreme Ruler of the Islamic State with the sweeping power of passing extra judicial death sentence on anyone whose statement the Muslims consider blasphemous without the benefit of trial in the court of law? One thing however gladdens my mind and that is the statement credited to the Information Minister, Professor Jerry Gana that the federal government will not allow such. Wow, the issue now is, what is the guarantee that this declaration will not be disregarded by these bloodthirsty satanic elements; will Isioma Daniel forfeit her young life in the course of executing her professional obligations? Does the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as it is, allow for such foolish and extremist pronunciation? Oh my God, what has become of Nigeria! What is becoming of my beloved country? Who are the sponsors of these religious bigots who have almost succeeded in turning this country to Afghanistan of the Talibanic era? Whence have all these fanaticism and extremism sprouted? Should we just fold our hands and keep hoping that this brand of Sharia will fizzle out as our president once assured us? Do we have duties as a matter of responsibility to the generation yet unborn to call all these mad people to order? What shall become of Nigeria in the next five years if things continue this way unchecked? Where is president Obasanjo? Where is Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, the president of the Senate? Where are the "Patriots"? Where is Chief Gani Fawehinmi, the former Senior Advocate of the Masses and the Oppressed? Where are the responsible and peace loving Nigerians for heaven sake? Where is the Christian Association of Nigeria? Nigerian Bar Association. The Civil Rights Advocates of Nigeria? The moderate Muslims of the North and South? Where are the Media, the Armchair Journalists and Analysts? National Association of Nigerian Students? Will all these people just fold their arms while barbarism is being displayed in its most narcissistic form? This beats my imagination hollow! Where are the Northern Internet Analysts and Critiques of Obasanjo's maladministration? Isioma Daniel's life is in danger and something urgent needs be done, she is somebody's daughter, sister, mother, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, wife, should she be abandoned to die an unwarranted death in the dirty hands of these modern day Ayatollahs? What will the implication be for Nigeria? Are you and I ready to face the wraths of God and the civilized world? I want every living urbane citizen of this country to ponder all these. Nigeria is fast becoming Afghanistan, anarchism is taking over our beloved country, fanaticism is reigning supreme in this land, it might not survive this burden, Nigeria may die a premature death, her salvation lies in our hands and we can't afford to be helpless at this time, we need to cry out, we need to salvage this land and retrieve the future of our children, we need to rescue ourselves, we need to recoup our rights, we need to deliver our land from these vampires that feed on human bloods!.

    The statement of the great Socialist Karl Marx (1818-1883) in his contribution to the critique of Hegel's Philosophy "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creatures, the heart of a heartless world and the soul of soulless conditions… it is the opium of the people" holds true to the goings on in Nigeria, where the Almajiris who have been brainwashed to believe that killing in the name of Allah is the best defense of their religion and he who partakes shall reap his rewards in heaven is the cause of this national ignominy, they have been brainwashed to seek solace in Islam for their miseries as a result of poverty bequeathed on them by their own elites, self-righteous politicians and ulamas. The onus lies on the government of the day to put a lasting stop to this carnage and national disgrace. Nigeria is now viewed worldwide as a fanatic country, a country where life means nothing and can be taken at the blink of an eye. Is this notion wrong? Of course no, it does not look so and our government seems so helpless, I in all honesty do not envy our poor president, the man is having the toughest time of his life, probably tougher than the fratricidal bloody war of 1967-1970 in which he actively participated.

    Another former United States President, James Madison (1751-1836) once said in the papers of James Madison, Vol. 1, P. 175. "Religion or the duty which we owe our creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed by reason and conviction, not by force and violence; therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience. Also a US Anarchist and Author, Emma Goldman (1869-1940) in one of her writings, Anarchism and other essays. 3rd revised edition, ch. 1 (1917) said inter alia "Religion! How it dominates man's mind how it humiliates and degrades his soul. God is everything and man is nothing, says religion but out of that nothing, God has created a kingdom so despotic, so tyrannical, so cruel, so terribly exacting that naught but gloom and tears and blood have ruled the world since gods began".

    Uhmm, we use God to commit most despicable crimes, we use religions to cause pains in its most excruciating form to fellow human beings; we have little respect for God's works. Didn't the scripture say that Thou shalt not kill? Even it stipulated that the ants that crawl we shall not harm, because we as mere mortals cannot create it, how then do we carry the burden of defending a religion by exposing our hearts to the dirtiest of all crimes, what joy do we derive if we believe in God by bringing sorrow to families, especially when we say we are of the same country! There are zillion questions begging for answers here. Somebody prays to God in the morning and only to go out in the afternoon to commit murder in the name of God, how does such person expects to be forgiven, he who kills by sword shall also die by sword, it's the most natural and comprehensive of karmic laws, you can't escape this, no matter how much time you spend in the church, in the mosque or shrine, the blood of that person hangs on your neck whether you participate directly or otherwise, you are a killer and the punishment shall be meted on you automatically.

    We have in the name of religion and ethnicity turn our country into battlefield where blood flows without end, how do we differentiate ourselves from the cannibals who kill fellow humans for food? Are we any different from the serial killers who get hung on the gallows or face firing squad? Do you think you deserve better if you are so brainless enough to believe what a cleric or ulama tells you about the unbelievers? Who are you to deliver judgment? Doesn't the Qu'ran tell you to desist from judging others for judgment belongs only to him who sees and knows all that is hidden from we humans?

    I cannot imagine myself in this modern age having to be linked with all these heatless butchers, I cannot imagine what is becoming of the country I hold so dear to my heart, and now that heart bleeds uncontrollably. One thing I am waiting to see is the end of all this madness because I firmly believe that politics is the root of it all, there are people who want power at all cost but believe in their hearts of all hearts that only through violence could such be achieved, to these agents provocateur, the following justifies their tactic as well as the concequence President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia when lamenting the violence that engulfed his country in 1980 had this to say: "Some people draw a comforting distinction between force and violence…. I refuse to cloud the issue by such word play… The power which establishes a state is violence; the power which maintains it is violence and the power which eventually overthrows it is violence… call an elephant a rabbit only if it gives you the comfort to feel that you are about to be trampled to death by a rabbit". A US Essayist, Lewis H. Lapham, in the same token articulated "A society that presumes a norm of violence and celebrates aggression, whether in the subway, on the football field or in the conduct of it's business, cannot help making celebrities of the people who will DESTROY it" (Emphasis mine). These aphorisms also hold true that violence begets violence and he who makes peaceful solution impossible makes violence resolution inevitable. What is going on in the north now will only lead to more violence the end result which might lead to the break-up of the country.

    ThisDay has apologized times without number, although not that I see the necessity for such apology as the futility of it is so glaring, nevertheless, these monsters would not desist from their bloodthirstiness, they continue to howl like famished lion that is in need of fresh blood to quench it's hunger, they continue to bask in the vulgar applause of their fellows-in-terror.

    Mullah Mohamoud Shinkafi and his immediate boss, Ayatollah Sani Yarima in their quests for global recognition in Islamic radicalism have thrown all cautions and basic knowledge of their professed faith to the wind, turning the Qu'ran upside down by hurriedly and enthusiastically declaring fatwa on Isioma Daniel. They should go and bury their heads in shame as a result of the criticisms that have been trailing their radical pronunciation, especially from the Saudi's department of Islamic affairs which reasoned that such called was unnecessary as the lady in question and the offending newspaper have tendered apology and showed remorse. Our own brand of Sharia in Nigeria does not believe in forgiveness, the apostles do not believe in compassion, they are thirsty for blood and until it is shed. What if such pronunciation is proclaimed on Mullahs Sani Yarima's and his excitedly devoted deputy's daughters, how would they feel, I cannot help but also wonder if these people really understand the meaning of the Qu'ran they claim to read?

    I was in a chat room recently when another Nigerian remarked "These Islamic fundamentalists are the excess luggage in the Nigeria's vehicle of progress that need be discarded, the albatross on the neck of our national unity that better be taken care of if we have anywhere to go, the clog in the wheels of our unity and aspirations" I figured he can't be that far from the truth. Now, I have started to reason that as long as we have a southerner as the president in Nigeria, these lunatics will continue unless they are placed in their rightful place. I believe that should a northerner again become a president, we shall experience relative calm, Sharia as currently fanatically practiced might even magically fizzle out but not as long as a southern Christian occupies Aso rock, be it Obasanjo, Ekwueme, Ikechukwu or whoever. The act of destabilizations has been invented and perfected to make life unbearable for any president from the south that dares to win an election to rule Nigeria.

    The last time I checked, Nigeria is yet to be an Islamic country, neither have we resorted to theocracy nor accepted to be governed by edicts rather than constitution. When 'Shariacracy' was introduced, we were told that it would only apply to Muslims, now Isioma Daniel is a Christian, where does she figure in the scheme of this fatwa, Isioma Daniel did not commit the alleged blasphemy in Zamfara, which makes me more suspicious or even better convinced that this Sharia bears every hallmark of external sponsorship. Where are our intelligent agencies in Nigeria, The CID, SSS, et al? are they yet to discover who these external financiers are, Have they probed the culpability of Libya and Saudi Arabia in this, is Sudan despite her own internal calamities innocent? The administration of Obasanjo better sits tight and begins a thorough job of locating all these external saboteurs and lodging a complaint with the United Nation Security Council.

    The administration will also do right by beginning a thorough home cleansing exercise. These entire agents provocateur better be rounded up and dealt with accordingly. Starting from Zamfara's Yarima and his cohorts by making them face charges and trials for treasons, economic and social sabotage and conspiracies to commit murder under the federal constitution and in the federal courts of law. The government of Zamfara state be forthwith suspended and caretaker committee setup to administer the state until new elections are conducted. Any uprising as a result of these mass arrests should be met with superior force. It is then relative peace can reign in the country until we eventually hold the much desired National Sovereign Conference. Government's verbal declaration of opposition to the fatwa alone is not enough, as it will definitely go unheeded, real action is what it has to take in this matter before it is too late in the day if not already.

    Samuel Onipede, Ph.D.
    Charlotte, NC. USA.

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