By: Nkechi Odoma
Nigeria, my dream land of peace, abundance and prosperity is nearing the boiling point and almost melting for no cogent reasons. That’s my only worry and pains for now. And I wish, like millions of my country men and women, to know anyone with knowledge of such privileged information on how and why we have delivered ourselves to this dilemma to bail us out.
The skies in Nigeria are wide open, but its meta-cosmic capacity proves incapable of absorbing the so much tension and heat in Nigeria currently, over issues that are indiscernible on account of their absolute triviality. But a few Nigerians of different persuasions have capitalized on it to trumpet voices of discord. And the gullible, who share no idealistic affinity with them in anyway have blindly gulp these inordinate persuasions without a second thought.
I know Nigeria has always come out of its seemingly very serious national misfortunes unscathed and thereafter, showcase itself today, as if nothing went wrong yesterday. It is Nigeria’s irrepressible message to the outside world of our envious and proud heritage, which makes us a leader of Africa, a prestige none can deprive us, despite our foibles as a nation.
But must we exercise the tradition of always creating unnecessary and avoidable tensions in our national life, whereas we can devout the same time, lost to flimflams, which create tensions to reflect and devise ways of contributing to national development? No man deliberately sets his house or village on fire or distracts himself from the normal course of life for the fun of it. There must be a force behind it, as Africans have wittingly submitted in the adage, “there is no smoke without fire.”
Increasingly, I am compelled to toe this line of thought about the unnecessary brawl-beating in the country because Nigerians consent and indeed, are the architects of the tensions and strong ill-feelings among themselves.
Without an iota of doubt, I can vouch that a few Nigerians are responsible for the scrap-cards of violence being bandied everywhere in the land; the hate and inciting sermons oozing out of pulpits; the politicization of every issue to a wispy unresolvable dispute level; we delight in the embellishment and propagation of falsehood or deceit and incense one interest against another or ethnicity against another ethnicity or one religious faith against the rival. These are the destructive plots that consume our vibrant energies.
My pain penetrates deeper, upon the realization that it is the same Nigerians who can also domesticate peace for themselves and live happily in their own country. Running to another country for refuge or asylum is consented slavery. Nigerians have the capacity and wisdom to plant the fruits, water it in drought to fruition and pluck the fruits to savour. But we have all ignored it, preferring instead to lubricate the wheels of discord very sentimentally.
I find it hard to believe a few restive Nigerians are acting a script which emanates from somewhere. Day-in, day-out, the disposition and actions of certain categories of Nigerians swear to the veracity of such thoughts.
It explains why some citizens are hell bent on precipitating destructive crises of national magnitude to probably cause an un-amendable disunity, as precursor to the break-up or disintegration of Nigeria in fulfilment of the prophecy of some external forces.
Yes, I see Nigerians acting a drama on the stage of perdition; but I am cork sure, the script is certainly not original to them as playwrights/authors. The flashes of crises everywhere and the unwavering determination of some Nigerians to blow out of proportion, every little problem to national eminence and crisis point attests to this suspicion.
A census of the crises rocking Nigeria presently would reveal a mindset of desperadoes inexplicably angry with failure of Nigeria to break-up in the last one decade since the prediction was aired. The United States of America (USA) through its ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. John Campbell had predicted in 2011 and reiterated several times thereafter that Nigeria would break-up in 2015. He based his break-up theory of Nigeria by forecasting accruable uncertainties such as Nigeria’s cursed democratic transition, an unstable economy and the Boko Haram insurrection among other considerations. But he forget to mention the Niger Delta militancy.
Albeit, later, Campbell’s successor, Ambassador Mr. James Entwistle, on the eve of the 2015 general elections countered the statement on two fronts; first he severed the US government from the statement, claiming it was the author’s personal opinion and secondly, he said, though Nigeria is faced with “big challenges” but they are surmountable, as there are no signs that the country will disintegrate in 2015.
Entwistle, concluded, “Regardless of what someone may have said, the question is that we are now here in 2015: Do we see signs that Nigeria is going to disintegrate or fall apart or something? I don’t know what you think. But I don’t see those signs.”
In spite of the denials, the public expression of such damnable prediction of doom on Nigeria strengthened the country’s foes of state, who had been lurking in the corner to find an excuse or cracked walls to penetrate. These vested interests in Nigeria’s disintegration have tightened grip on the knuckles by near open romance with foreign anti-state interests in Nigeria to ferment crisis.
The effrontery former Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria, Saeed Koozachi threatened Nigeria with fire and brimstone over the detention of Sheik Ibraheem El Zakzaky in support of the lawless IMN or Shiites tormentors in Nigeria narrows the evidence closer home. And the biggest of the plot is that Iran has also not concealed sponsorship of Boko Haram Terrorists in Nigeria as confessed by its factional leader, Abubakar Shekau.
My suspicion swells in the direction of external or western anger against Nigeria, for defeating BHTs, which they manipulated through foreign media propaganda with a few local media allies, to appear as a religious war or Muslims killing Christians. This was after they fruitlessly schemed to frustrate the suppression of terrorism in Nigeria by the refusal to sell arms and ammunitions to the country to battle insurgents.
But if the activities of Boko Haram insurgents are targeted at Christians, why are their bombs also exploding in mosques? Or do Nigerian Christians also worship in mosques? President Buhari himself narrowly escaped death in their hands when they bombed his convoy in Kaduna in 2014 and the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi also missed terrorist bombs by a stroke of providence when they struck Kano Central mosque. What about the recent bomb blast at a mosque by fleeing terrorists in the University of Maiduguri?
But since these external interests could not suppress the courage and resilience of Nigerian troops in defeating the BHTs, they have decidedly ganged-up to “hire” the services of the international media to consistently portray Nigeria as a failed state and the Nigerian Army as the worse violators of human rights abuses on earth. It is designed to frighten the army deep enough to weaken their resolve to tame other criminal insurrections in Nigeria, which regular civil security cannot contain.
And the stories from the contracted international media are coined in a manner that compel even other nations to restrain from selling military hardware to us or by denigrating the institution and its leadership through bogus allegations of unfunded human rights abuses. The various insurrections in some parts of Nigeria since soldiers defeated BHTs have the imprimatur of western influence, which have found disgruntled and demonic elements in Nigeria as foot soldiers and accomplices in the cause of destroying their country.
The obduracy of IPOB secession agitators, who have deployed criminal, dubious, and devilish methods, or resort to unconstitutional and unconventional means to pursue the secession agenda is not gleaned by sound minds beyond a sponsored destabilization plot against Nigeria. When they organized solidarity rallies in support of America’s President Donald Trump, it leaves no doubt about where these secession hooligans have sourced strength to terrorize Nigerians. Of course, Nigerians are aware of Trump’s bad blood against Nigerians residing in the United States and his white supremacy doctrine.
It is the pursuit of the same agenda which informs the negative and unnecessary politicization of the herders/farmers crisis in the country. These external forces have decided to baptize it with the garments of a religious conflict, instead of its true and advertised cause as the struggle over farming and grazing land, which is purely economic.
The Fulani herders and farmers clashes is also annoyingly coloured as jihadists persecuting Christians. But Fulani herders also strike their own kinsmen in Zamfara or Kebbi in remote villages over grazing land. How can this be explained? But in the Southern Kaduna incidents, it is being propped to appear as the cleansing of Christians, just to spark an infectious national crisis in order to brand Nigeria, a failed state.
This is one temptation we must keep our eyes wide open as Nigerians to avoid and resist, so as to continue to live peacefully together despite the various stories being peddled around by false preachers and self-anointed Apostles of gods. The United Kingdom even banned one of such preachers from its shores, after he failed to double money as he has promised during a crusade in England. That’s a wakeful country!
But these are the new set of recruits they intend to use against the state all in an attempt to bury the country once called Nigeria. Having realized that majority of Nigerians are hesitant to embrace their evil plots on the country, these external forces concoct and circulate on social media gory/obscene of mass killings of Christians in Nigeria to make it look damn serious and worse.
The new strategy is to unflinchingly paint Nigeria black, in the prelude of the Somali experience they have plotted to reenact in Nigeria. So, the narratives whether back or front is targeted at the same goal – there must be war on Nigeria! But they have failed at the outset and should relapse into their cocoons of evil and ferry it elsewhere.
Nigeria is not the only nation in the world bedeviled by peculiar internal problems and challenges of development and peaceful co-existence. May these forces know that Nigeria’s greatness is not necessarily hard work alone, but God Almighty has destined it this way in Africa. So, they cannot repress it from ascending atop the ladder as leader of Africa, no matter how hard they attempt because God will intervene at the eleventh hour. No man or county or conspiracy can bring Nigeria down unless Nigerians consent and for now, there no is such evidence.
Odoma is President, African Arise for Change Network and writes from Abuja.