Save Nigeria: Stop the Islamic Political Agenda; An Open Letter to President Mohammed Buhari

Southern Kaduna in the Diaspora (SOKAD), USA                                                    Email: gurarakaduna@yahoo.com

                     Web site: sokadusa.com

 

Last month, a coalition of 20 major Christian groups in Nigeria drew the attention of all Nigerians and the world to the most serious challenge currently facing our beloved country since the civil war.  The clarion call was appropriate and timely.  The scourge of Islamism, which was well defined in the press release, is a global menace that has brought untold suffering to millions of people around the world and is affecting peoples of all religions.  That radical and violent political ideology appears to have reared its head in Nigeria, first in the beastial activities of Boko Haram, and now in the civilization jihad of the current APC-led government at different levels.

As the PR correctly and accurately pointed out, a vast majority of the key appointments in the federal government have gone to people from just 3 of the 389 ethnic groups.  In addition, many of those appointees are avowed Islamists.  In the security sector, for example, the IG of police, chief of army staff, ministers of defense and internal affairs, director general of the state security service, national security advisor, and commandant general of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp are all of the Hausa-Fulani Muslim extraction.  The same is true of the presidency, where the chief of staff, ADC, CSO, principal, and private secretaries are also of that extraction.  In the judiciary division, the chief justice of the federation, head of federal courts of appeals, registrars, and principal officers are, likewise, mainly from that group.  Strangely and interestingly, for a group not known to value education as compared to other groups, they also head the councils of higher institutions, including universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, and admission boards, including JAMB.  Of the 48 crucial appointments made by the president, more than 50% of the appointees came from 1 of the 6 broad geographical zones; the Northwest zone produced 25 of his 48 appointments to critically important offices, while the Southeast, for example, had none (zero).

In his inaugural speech on May 29, 2015, the president stated the following:

“With the support and cooperation he has given to the transition process, he has made it possible for us to show the world that, despite the perceived tension in the land, we can be a united people, capable of doing what is right for our nation. Together, we cooperated, to surprise the world that had come to expect only the worst from Nigeria. I hope this act of graciously accepting defeat by the outgoing president will become the standard of political conduct in the country.”

The perceived tension that the president alluded to is worse and more palpable today than when he was inaugurated.  This is not only because of the severe economic hardship that average Nigerians are subjected to these days, but also because of the unmistakably strong agenda that he is pursuing against the rest of the 386 ethnic groups in Nigeria. There is a palpable sense that the country is being pushed to the brink.

The rise of Islamic terrorism by jihadists and Fulani herders mostly targeting lush communities in the middle belt is being fueled by what is seen as tacit support from the APC government at the three levels of government.  No meaningful effort has been made to stop the endless killing of innocent women, children, and the elderly during their most vulnerable and defenseless hours—while they sleep.  The affected communities have not been provided any assistance to defend themselves.  After the attacks, survivors struggle to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, with no help from any level of government.  We note, with dismay, that the federal government promptly responded with a robust security program to combat cattle rustling in the Northwest, but is unwilling to develop a similar response to protect human lives in the middle belt states, southern Kaduna, and farming communities in the Nigerian south, that have suffered the barbarism of Fulani herders.  Instead, these states are being coerced, and with totalitarian tactics, their ancestral lands are being hijacked for grazing reserves.  Incidentally, the proposed grazing reserves in Kaduna State, for example, are said to include permanent structures, including schools for primary and secondary education, as well as bore holes and dams, among other facilities.  This is hardly a sensible way to squander limited public resources on a single minority group who are at liberty to use the existing educational infrastructure available to all other Nigerians.  The history of Nomadic education in the last 30 years has been a colossal failure; billions of Naira have gone into the pockets of the domesticated Fulani, with no significant improvement in education attainment or social evolution in the targeted group.  But a government that buys into the political Islamic ideology would not care less about the stewardship of public resources, even if it carries a progressive label.

The political Islamic agenda of President Buhari must be discontinued henceforth, as a practical step toward demonstrating a willingness and readiness to pull Nigeria back from the brink of what would be an unmitigated disaster.  The president must recalibrate and move toward the ideals expressed in his inaugural speech—he should be a president for all, not just for a few.

The federal appointments so far are unfair, unjust, and ill-advised. SOKAD suggests that federal appointments reflect the federal character, as enshrined in our constitution. The appointments should also reflect religious balance across the country, since the president is president for all Nigerians.

Aminu Likita, MD, MPH, President

Freeman Kamuru, PhD, MD, Secretary General

Ibrahim A. Maikori, M.Ed Financial Secretary

 

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