Is Kaduna Synonymous with terror?
Kaduna town has now become notorious for mass murder and useless destruction of property by those who regard themselves as anointed owners of the town. Anointed because they feel obliged to defend the ‘legacy’ of their father, Sir Ahmadu Bello, and great grandfather, Usman Dan Fodio.
Although Kaduna ceased to be capital of a non-existent region, the trouble makers still believe it is the capital of a Northern Nigeria!! Their common refrain is that once they start in Kaduna, they will not only receive support from ‘northern’ states, other emirates will do likewise, and they have not been disappointed so far. At least Zaria, Bauchi and Kano enjoy such bloody support.
It was Kano that was infamous for rioting, mayhem and tribal elimination, and the eternal victims are Igbos, Yorubas and Middle-belt ethnic groups whose hard work and prosperity had always elicited the envy of their Kano hosts. Now, Kaduna is competing with Kano, for the prize of the most hostile town in Nigeria?
One would have suggested that Kaduna be taken over as a Federal Capital Territory if that step will douse the war and return sanity to the inhabitants, but for some reasons which one cannot gloss over. Kaduna, in the first place, is not a no-man’s-land as it originally belonged to the Gbagyi. Through the religious scheming of the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Kaduna became the favourite town for the resettlement of some nomadic people from the Northwest who are now fraudulently claiming ownership of the town.
Again, if each time a town develops the symptoms of trouble, the federal government is asked to take it over, how many towns will be added to the federal capital territory? Even the virus of riots have now caught up with Abuja as shown by the mayhem visited on the town in November 2002 by some religious ‘holy’ men. And so, how many federal territories shall we create for Nigeria? Obviously, taking over Kaduna cannot stem the tide of religious anarchy as the anarchists are everywhere in Nigeria, especially in the minds of some clerical hoodlums.
If not, tell me how a sentence by an innocent girl in a national but Lagos-based newspaper could be read by those who are stone-dead illiterates? How can a Miss World contest strip all Nigerian women naked except in the evil and corrupted minds of trouble-makers? If some religionists are undisciplined enough to keep their eyes off the television screen from seeing beauty queens, what guarantee have we that they will do so from the girl next door?
But for some merchants of blood money and bloody property, how does a statement by a journalist equals to a statement by the Church or by Christians? Is the newspaper published by the Church?
Is the publisher the Pope or the Arch Bishop of Canterbury? Did any almajiri confirm that the female journalist was a Christian and that she was instructed to write what she wrote by the Church? If an individual or a group is offended, isn’t there a cultural, or religious or legal procedure of seeking redress?
Can an almajiri even understand or answer any of these questions? Oh my God! The fact that leaders of the hoodlums failed to make known their grievances to appropriate authorities but decided to vent their unjustified anger on people other than their own people, suggests that the mayhem was planned attack on Christianity. The article in Thisday newspaper provided the murders the excuse to execute their evil intention. It also suggests that the arsonists were angry, not because of any article, or because of beautiful girls but because they are hungry men, a hunger for power and not for food. It is their own way of expressing their inability to wait for their turn to take over power. It also means that they will never lack excuse to riot until they install one of their own in Aso Villa.
But for how long will these human butchers lay siege on Kaduna? If government is serious, can’t this trend be arrested? It appears that the government is enjoying the carnage, otherwise why have they reacted so weakly? If nothing serious is done, a day will come when a quarrel between one almajiri and his wife will be an excuse to attack Christians and burn down Churches again. In August 2002, a peace treaty was signed at Murtala Muhammed Square in Kaduna between Muslim and Christian leaders. Where were those Muslim signatories to the peace treaty when their followers, in November, made a burn-fire of churches, homes and property?
I asked my Muslim friends if it is a law in Islam that once something is suspected or assumed to be against Islamic practice the next reaction from Muslims should be jungle justice. They answered that assumption and suspicion are not enough ground to embark on Jihad but that if there are people with jungle minds then they may, on the basis of assumption, apply jungle justice on the object of their suspicion.
It is time we separate assumption and suspicion from our religions otherwise a time will come when Muslims or Christians may not find people interested in their religion again.
Editor’s Comment: Mr. Kazah should please get in touch with the Editor whenever in Kaduna. Thank you.
Culled from Our Vision magazine, Vol.4, No.2, 2013