Below is the concluding part of Brother Femi Abbas’ response to the Nigerian Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF). The forum claimed a grand design by this administration to Islamise Nigeria. This part is another must read. Enjoy.
The Nigerian Police recently announced that they had arrested five suspected killers of two Catholic Rev. Fathers in Benue State. The names of the arrested suspects are as follows: Manga Husseini, David Akenawe, Agada Tsesaa, Tarza Orvanya and Ngyohov Shin. Each of those suspects has reportedly confessed to the roll he played in that heinous crime. And right now, they are all making further useful statements to the Police while investigations continue.
Among the names of those suspects, which one can be said to sound Muslim? Yet, immediately after that abominable incident occurred, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) did not only call on all Nigerian Christians to embark on street protests in their various localities, it also, characteristically, threatened fire and war brimstone on unsubstantiated allegation of ‘Islamization’ of Nigeria. From its usual view, the dastardly act could only have been committed by Muslims as a way of Islamizing Nigeria. The word ‘Islamization’ cannot be found in any dictionary of English language because it is only a fraudulent coinage by certain mischievous Nigerians whose trade in stock is to intimidate the Muslims in order to subdue them to their own satanic whim.
Now that the Police have come up with the list of the suspected killers of those Bishops what else will CAN tell Nigerians? And when should we expect another protest against Islamization of Nigeria on frivolous allegation?
Incidentally, the main stream Nigerian media that quickly sacrificed the professionanal norm and ethics of journalism while passionately reporting that sad event kept silent as usual when the truth came to the open. What do you expect when Editors of today are competing vigorously among themselves to become Pastors in Churches?
Kudos to Nigerian Muslims
At a time like this when decorum is missing in the utterances and actions of certain religious elements wearing the toga of clerics, Nigerian Imams as well as other vocal Muslim scholars deserve to be congratulated wholeheartedly. Their consistent refusal to join the satanic fray of hate preachings and hate speeches especially through the media, despite implacable provocations from some religious bigots, has further confirmed that Islam is truly a religion of peace. If those Muslim men and women of dignity had been like the hate preachers, they would also have discarded the Islamic decorum in them to join the group of public irritants calling themselves men of god. And if that had happened, perhaps Nigeria, like Atlantis of yore, would have been long forgotten. The coolheadednes of those Muslims is the distinguishing factor between religion of peace and creed of whim. God bless them all.
The Child of Ignorance
If hate preachers in Nigeria had learnt any lesson from history they would have realized the extent to which they are helping the Muslims to spread Islam with their hatred. And from such lesson, they would have changed their preaching tactics. What they are now doing in the 21st century in terms of hate preaching was what the Europeans had done over 500 years ago as their strategy to destroy Islam. But after several centuries of blind hostility to that divine religion which they ignorantly renamed ‘Muhammedanism’ out of hatred, they realized that they were actually the promoters of that religion. Today, Presidents and Prime Ministers in Europe and America are competing fiercely among themselves in promoting Islam by hosting Iftar (fast-beaking feasts) in the month of Ramadan even as Islam keeps widely spreading to the detriment of their own religion. If today’s haters of Islam in Nigeria had known the implications of their hatred for Islam, they would have realized the futility of such hatred. Ater all, the divine religion called Islam is like a surging train which over one trillion dogs cannot ambush or waylay. But thank God that we have such haters in Nigeria. If not for their hatred, the Muslims would have remained in their deep sleep snoring like rabidly sick dogs dreaming of consciousness. It is more than enough that depite the satanic hatred for Islam the population of Muslims in the world today has exceeded 1.7 billion which means that one in every five human being is a Muslim. What else do we need? Is that alone not more than enough to annoy some satanically minded bigots? The arrogant haters of Islam in Nigeria today believe stupidly that they are enjoying monopoly of hate preaching. Yet what was the profit of the Europeans who had done the same before them?
A Catalogue of Facts
One major issue which Nigerian Christians generally take for granted about Muslims is the latter’s liberal attitude of give and take, an etiquette which is an evidence of Islamic discipline fundamentally imparted to Muslims. Thus, any impartial observer of religious trend in Nigeria will notice that as a matter of disciplinary principle, Muslims do not use blockade as a method of religious propagation against their Christian counterparts. Besides, Nigerian Muslims have never blamed any misdemeanor of a Christian on Christianity as a religion because Islam has taught them that crime has no religion.
Therefore, if any religious group is qualified to allege religionization of Nigeria in contemporary times it is the Muslim group. To confirm this assertion, let us take those facts one by one:
1. Public Holidays
Nigeria was a country of six working days in a week until 1972 when General Yakubu Gowon as Head of State cancelled Saturday as a working day and granted it to the Seventh Day Adventist group by fiat, as another weekly religious holiday for the Christians. The population of the Seventh Day Adventists in Nigeria at that time was about 700,000 out of Nigeria’s 56 million population. That made the number of weekly religious holiday for the Christians 104 when there was none for the Muslims besides the festival holidays of four days for the two festivals of each of Christianity and Islam which we shared equally. As a religiously disciplined group, the Muslims did not object to it on frivolous allegation of Christianization. And today, while the Christians enjoy 108 days (52 Saturdays and 52 Sundays) plus four days for festivals, the Muslims enjoy no single day. Yet, the noise of Islamization of Nigeria gets monotonously louder everyday. How else can religious tolerance be exhibited by civilized worshippers despite the implacable hatred of mischief makers for Islamic religion?
When a one-time Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Ishaya Audu was appointed Nigeria’s Foreign Minister in 1979 by President Shehu Shagari, he quickly requested an official Christian pilgrimage which was promptly granted without any protest or objection from the Muslims; despite the fact that pilgrimage is not a tenet of Christianity. After all, Israel issues tourism and not pilgrimage visa to anybody visiting that country because pilgrimage is alien to the Israelis. It was that initiative by Professor Ishaya Audu that paved way for the establishment (in 1979) of what is known today as Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
3. Muslim/Muslim Ticket
One of the allegations frivolously made in NCEF’s press conference in favour of its alleged ‘Islamization’ of Nigeria was the Muslim/Muslim ticket of the June 12, 1993 Presidential election in which Basorun MKO Abiola was the Presidential candidate while Alhaji Babagana Kingibe was his running mate. General Yakubu Gowon is listed as a member of NCEF. If we may ask him, who was his own Deputy when he was Nigeria’s military Head of State for nine years? A Muslim?
And in the Southwest of Nigeria where the noise of ‘Islamization’ started from and has remained loudest till date, who was Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Deputy when he was the Premier of that region? Who was Chief Ladoke Akintola’s Deputy when he became the Premier of the same region? Even at the inception of Nigeria’s second republic in 1979, who was Chief Awolowo’s running mate as a Presidential candidate? Was Phillip Umeadi, an Igbo man from the Southeast a Muslim? Who was Chief Bola Ige’s Deputy as Governor of Oyo State? A Muslim? Or that of Chief Olabisi Onabanjo of Ogun State, or that of Chief Adekunle Ajasin of Ondo State and others?
Another issue accorded ‘Islamization’ status is the manner of appointments in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet. The allegation by NCEF about those appointments was that it was aimed at ‘Islamizing’ Nigeria. Even when the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo tried to debunk that baseless allegation by saying that the cabinet contained 18 Ministers for each camp of the Christians and the Muslims he was described as an agent of the Northerners. But now, let us see the appointments federal government parastatals when Dr Goodluck Jonathan was president.
1. NIMET – Dr Anthony Anuforom
2. NNPC – Engr Andrew Yakubu
3. NIMASA – Patrick Apobolokemi
4. PENCOM – Mrs. Chinelo Anohu
5. FERMA – Egnr Chukwu Amuchi
6. DPR – Mr George Osahon
7. BOI – Evelyn Oputu
8. NCDA – Mr Ernest Nwanpa
9. CPA – Dupe Atoki
10. NCC-Engr Eugene Juwa
11. NAMA – Engr Nnamdi Udoh
12. NCAA – Engr Akikuotu
13. FAAN – George Ureisi
14. NCAT – Capt.Chinere Kalu
15. SEC – Aruma Otteh
16. SWF – Uche Orji
17. NAFDAC – Paul Orhi
18. FIIRO – Dr G Elem
19. MAN – Oron Joshua Okpo
20. NRC – Seyi Sijuade
21. NTDC – Sally Mbanefo
22. Budget Office – Bright Okogwu
23. NERDC – Godwill Obioma
24. NEXIM – R Orya
25. SON – Joseph Odumodu
26. NBC – Emeka Mba
27. ITF – Longmas Wapmuk
28. NUC – Julius Okojie
29. NESREA – N Benebo
30. MDG – Precious Gbenio
31. Surveyor General – Peter Chigozie
32. Statistician Gen- Yemi Kale
33. Accountant General-Jonah Otunla
34. Auditor General -Samuel Yonongo
35. NOA-Mike Omeri
36. NAN – Ima Niboro
37. NEPC – David Adeluga
38. NEPZA – Olugbenga Kuye
39. BPP – Emeka Ezeh
40. NECO – Monday Joshua.
41. SURE P – Gen Martin Luther Agwai
42. TRCN – Prof. Woekocha
43. COAS – Kenneth Minimah
44. Minister of FINANCE – Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
45. Minister of Petroleum – Diezani Alinson-Maduekwe
46. IGP – Solomon Arase
47. CBN – Godwin Emefuele
48. SGF – Anyim Pious Anyim
49. CDS-Alex Badeh
Yet, the Muslims did not cry foul of Christianization agenda. Was this country meant for Christians alone at the time?
When a trader goes to the market to counter his competitor’s advertisement instead of advertising his own product, will it not be clear to buyers that he either has no product to sell or his product has no sellable value? Yet, ‘Islamization’ remains the song cares not about monotony. Nigeria is a peculiar country with peculiar people.
There are many more facts in the catalogue just opened in this column but readers are advised to wait for them as they will be brought out of the kitty at the appropriate times. God bless you all.