By Bitrus B. Kaze
Only recently, on 24th July, 2011 in Arewa House, Kaduna, the Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria (SCSN) President, Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmad vowed that Muslims would defend the implementation of the Islamic banking system “with the last drop of their blood.”
“Jaiz bank has come to be and there is nothing they can do about it and if we have to go to war on this, we’ll go to war… Whatever they call themselves, whether archbishops, priests or whatever they are, let them stop disturbing our lives… We’ll meet fire with fire if they make the Jaiz bank impossible.”
Not quite long thereafter, again in Kaduna on 28th July 2011 the Alh. Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto’s made his first public reaction since the emergence of the Boko Haram Islamic fundamentalists, “Most of the crises in the Northeast are not caused by Boko Haram sect… Stop blaming every violence on Boko Haram” he said.
However, on the Christmas day bombings in the country JNI and SCIA headed by the same Sultan of Sokoto claimed that “The perpetrators of the Christmas Day blasts in all parts of the country have done their evil acts not on behalf of the Nigerian Muslims or Islam. Boko Haram that claimed responsibility has done so on their own not on behalf of the Nigerian Muslims.”
I am not surprised by these attacks at all, certain prominent Nigerian Islamic leaders have been beating drums of war. It doesn’t make any difference if Boko Haram massacred innocent worshipers including women and children on their own behalf or on the behalf of Nigerian Muslims or Islam. Not all Nigerian Muslims are Boko Haram but all Boko Haram are Nigerian Muslims and the Leader of Nigerian Muslims is the Sultan of Sokoto. It is certainly contradictory for the Sultan having absolved Boko Haram of any violence to turn round and say Boko Haram did not act on behalf of the Nigerian Muslims or Islam. Why was he defending them in the first place?
Also, I find divisionary that the Sultan is calling for implementation of past Judicial Commission of Inquiry reports on Jos and the North East violence. What have reports on the Jos Crisis and crises in Northen Easter got to do with massive killings on innocent worshipers in a Church in Madala? What is the Sultan’s interest in the Solomon Lar report and not say the Bola Ajibola Judicial Commission of Inquiry Report headed by a fellow Muslim and a Jurist of International repute?
Their lame attempts to down play religion when nobody has accused them is ridiculous to me, the several Churches that were bombed were attacked on Christmas day. Why for example has the Boko Haram never bombed any Mosque on Sallah day? Nigerians now know better and we are being vindicated by the day, the Jos crisis is not really about indigeneship/settlership dichotomy nor is it because about poverty or unemployment.
I concur with the Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor who said, “Let us not deceive ourselves, as good as religion is, it can be a terrible thing because it is only religion that can give a man the conviction to do this kind of thing.” How else can one explain the Madala massacre?
Bitrus B. Kaze
Member, House of Reps
Representing Jos South and Jos East