By Joshua Jang
Something is cooking in Nigeria, and if utmost care is not taken, the country might seize to exist in the nearest future. There is an ongoing campaign to paint a picture of genocide against the Christian community. I recall that in recent times there has been a series of campaigns targeted at undermining the efforts of the government in addressing the various security challenges in the country.
Of course, I had always waved the insinuations off for lacking in merit in all ramification. However, I was alarmed when I stumbled on a news report by CBN News titled “Terror Target: Nigeria, one Nigeria for where? Southern Nigeria are sleeping”. The story indeed confirmed my fears about the grand plot by some foreign interest to cause the disintegration of Nigeria. The news report was very ineffectual, so much so that one could easily see the mischief intended.
It’s instructive to state that no doubt that Nigeria is experiencing some security challenges due to the activities of the Boko Haram group and as well as the actions of other militant groups in the country, but twisting the narrative to a religious one now is most insensitive and callous on the part of the promoters of such disturbing actions.
I am also disturbed that the bulk of the accusations have been coming from outside the shores of Nigeria. First, it was the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and now the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) where it alleged that Christians in Nigeria are being targeted for execution by “Fulani Terrorist” in an attempt to convert Nigeria to an Islamic country.
The news by the CBN was very despicable and unprofessional. One could easily decipher that it was indeed intended for mischief purposes with the wild allegations that ordinarily defeats common sense. I took time to watch the almost five minutes video, and I almost puked out of disgust for the way and manner the report was packaged.
One of the areas I found very worrisome is the nonsensical conclusion that the bulk of Nigeria’s security personnel are Muslims hence their refusal to protect Christians. I am not sure those behind this unwholesome campaign against Nigeria are human beings because you can only get confused and lost with the allegations in the news report that is not a fraction near what is happening Nigeria.
The truth is that the news report made all of us Nigerians look like foreigners in our own country because what they were trying to promote is the fact that Nigerians are not aware of the mass killing of Christians in the country because probably we have been hypnotized by the same Fulani terrorist not to be able to speak out, so much so that it is now the foreigners that may have never stepped their foot on Nigerian soil are the ones informing the whole world of the plan to commit genocidal acts against Christians and also force the conversion of Nigeria to a Muslim country.
This sounds like an old rhyme. Yes, it does because we heard it over and over many years ago on how there is an Islamic agenda in the country and whatnot. The interesting thing is that this always happens whenever Nigeria has a Muslim president which, in my opinion, is the handiwork of mischief makers that do not wish that Nigeria experiences peace and unity.
Back to the CBN news report, it is indeed sad that what the promoters of the campaign against Nigeria attempted to do is to send frenzy to the Southern part of Nigeria where you have most Christian communities to believe that their lives are in danger and the need for them to take the laws into their hands and carry out attacks on non-Christians within their communities.
I guess we are all seeing the objectives? And we must indeed admit that Nigeria is in trouble and the drum of a sectarian war is beating. The beats are resounding in North Central, South West, South East and South-South Nigeria. Even though I still one or two reservations about the voice of Major General Dagvin Anderson, commander of the U.S. military’s special forces in Africa in the news report, I would, however, give the benefit of the doubt. Though unconvincingly.
This is not a funny situation because I am beginning to slap my face to see if I am still in Nigeria and if it was ever possible that genocidal acts against Christians were ongoing and the majority of Nigerians are not aware.
We must ask critical questions in this regard else we might wake up one day and see a wave of religious killings across the country motivated by the fact that people have been misled into believing what it is not and taking laws into their hands. If indeed we come to terms with the realization that this campaign against Nigeria is real and it would be worse than the Boko Haram crisis if we don’t begin the urgent process of countering the plans of those against the interest of Nigeria.
And it must be expressly stated that farmers-herders conflict which was used as the background for the acts of genocide against Christians has no religious undertone but rather the struggle over grazing land, and scarce resources over the years resulted in perennial and growing violent conflicts in terms of frequency, intensity and geographic scope.
Expectedly, with the depletion of arable land for subsistence farming largely as a result of increasing urbanization and the adverse effect of climate change, there is increased struggle between herdsmen and farmers – leading to violent confrontations and conflicts, deaths and forced displacement, as well as the destruction of agriculture and livestock. This is indeed the case and not any acts of genocide against Christians in Nigeria.
I would at this point strongly suggest to the promoters of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) to desist from this despicable plot to ignite a sectarian crisis in Nigeria because it is inexcusable to put in the public space information that are false and highly misleading. For example, the insinuation that the President of Nigeria has refused to act because he is a Muslim is very insulting to our collective sensibilities as Nigerians regardless of our ethnic or religious affiliations as a first. And to also boldly assume that the bulk of the Army and the Police are Muslims is funny, but calls for concerns as regards the level of desperation of the promoters of this campaign against Nigeria.
This threat is real, and the government must act and in quick time as Nigeria cannot survive a sectarian crisis, and not with the wounds of the Boko Haram crisis still fresh. Our religious leaders, as well as our community leaders, must come together and protect the relative peace in their various domains. I always wonder what our offence is in Nigeria that some foreign vested interest would not rest until the country disintegrates. It is just a shame.
Jang, a Peace Ambassador wrote from Jos.