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Nigeria at 50: what next?
Translated from Hausa by Abdul Mumin Giwa
This is a lecture delivered by the revered leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sayyid Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) during the 6th Annual Conference of the Resource Forum of the Movement, themed “The right perception of Islam” that took place at the Fudiyya Islamic Center Zaria from 29th Oct, 2010 to 31st Oct, 2010.
The topic I was given to discuss is Nigeria at 50, what next? We all know that human beings display a perpetual behavior in such a way that when the human life span is put on a graph in relation to the population it always displays a pyramid shape. This shows that the peak of the human life is 50 years from which it begins to depreciate. It is always such that the base is more spread during the early ages and simultaneously depreciates as the ages rise.
This shows that most people do not live extremely long lives. This reminds me of one of our teachers of mathematics who was 54 years old that sketched the graph for us. His name is Al-Kalam. He showed to us on the graph that the line representing the life span of a person begins to depreciate as it reaches fifty in such a way that when he passes fifty the line begins to go down and when it gets to hundred, if it ever gets there, it will become negative. This shows that the peak of one’s life is fifty and is expected to elapse any time from then. It is rather unfortunate that a lot of people do not see this reality. You will see most of the houses under construction belonging to people who are already 50 and above. Probably they are building it for the coming generation because they are facing expiration.
This is the trend with human life. If we are to compare this with the life of Nigeria as a country we will say Nigeria is close to her death because she is fifty. But the human life differs from that of the nation. It is possible for a nation to last long. It is mentioned in the Qur’an that every nation shall face an indelible end. When its time comes there shall be no delay nor there do any increase for it. It is also mentioned in the Qur’an that there is no nation that will not face destruction or retribution before the day of resurrection. This shall come to pass because it is written in the scripture.
More so, it is also mentioned in the holy book that God Almighty said that whenever He desires to destroy a nation, He makes the worse of them the leaders such that they will lead the nation to destruction with their sinful acts.
This proves that nations also live and die accordingly. We can see this from the Nigeria in which we are living today. It was founded from parts of old kingdoms that existed and are now none existent. They could only be mentioned in history. Some parts of those kingdoms are now in neighboring countries like Niger, Benin Republic and even Mali. There was also the Borno Empire which is now forms parts of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroun and Niger. There were also the Oyo, Dahaomey, and Benin Empire that got their ends with the coming to life of Nigeria. They are all history today. This is what is meant by destroying of nations as mentioned by God Almighty. It does not mean that all the people will be destroyed and .no one would be left alive. It means that a nation that ones existed will become history with the advent of time and events.
There was of recent a discovery made by archeologists who dug into a very big palace beneath the ground. They could not tell who the king that lived there was. They suggested it could be one Jengis Khan. This shows that people lived there and there was a very big empire which history could no be told. There are also discoveries of city walls and deserted structures that prove that people ones lived in those places. But this does not in any way mean that the people were all killed or destroyed. It means that a nation once existed there. Therefore, it is a normal phenomenon that nations to rise and fall and seize to exist.
We have now mentioned the life span of humans and have seen that there is no specific period of time identified as the time of death of humans. People die young and they also die old. In like manner, nations also exist and die out early or last long as do humans. Some nations even exist for a thousand years and more while others last hundreds and others tens of years.
If we are to compare the life of humans to the life of nations, we will say as earlier mentioned that Nigeria has reached its peak at fifty and it is about falling. But it is only natural that there is an end. One day Nigeria is going to end and become history. Now that Nigeria is fifty, what is expected of it? Is it going to continue? If is continues, in what situation?
Let’s start by explaining the difference between a state and a nation. These are not synonyms. They differ. A nation can exist in a state and a lot of nations can also form a state as well. Also a nation can exist without a state because they are not synonyms. The coming of the colonialists has led to the creation of many states which have also destroyed nations as well. Such states were described as nations by the colonialists. There are states that belonged to the same nation of which its people are still proud of. There might be likelihood that some of such states have lost parts of their nations to other states as a result of colonialism. They are now a new state that its nation is proud of its history. An example of this is Egypt. It is an old empire that has existed to which a lot of human developments in various fields are referred. Despite the fact that today’s Egypt is not as the former Egypt, its people are still proud of the history. Sudan and Libya some other parts that are not in Egypt are all parts of the old Egypt.
There are also nations that are proud of their histories as Egypt is. they see themselves as those who have made up their past history and that they are still in existence. If you have not forgotten, Tarik Azeez has once mentioned the pride of Iraq over America when he said that Iraq was already civilised when Americans and Europeans were roaming about nude. From his thought, he was referring to the old Iraq called Mesopotamia. He is still proud of that although some of the people there might have left the place but the state still exists. So also people in India and China have the same pride. You will see people being proud of their nations in the present age because their state covers the used to be nation of the past. Some of such nations existed two or three thousand years ago and more.
Nigeria differs from those states because it is not made up of one nation as the others are but a collection of past nations. For example it is not the Othman Empire that existed that is now called Nigeria, it is only some part of it that is in Nigeria today. It is also not the past Borno Empire that is referred to as Nigeria but part of it. Had it been it were the past empires that make up Nigeria then we have a cause to take pride in it as our nation. It is the absence of these historic nations that has brought about a Nigeria that is now fifty years old.
The foundation of Nigeria today is not based on an agreement among the various past nations. It was not based on an agreement among the Othman empire, the Benin Empire, the Oyo Empire and the Igbos who are not known to have lived in a nation in the past. We are not the creators or founders of our present state called Nigeria. It is the design of the colonialists. Also the colonialists didn’t design it for but for their interest. The colonialists were only after exploiting our resources and building themselves with it. This is why they founded the state.
This is clear from the history as it is in the scramble for Africa by the western empires that include British, French, German, Portuguese and Italy. Each one of them was struggling to increase its empire by colonising parts of Africa. Each one of them was able to colonise a part of Africa. that was even why Germany was able to colonise some parts of the north-eastern Nigeria that included places like Adamawa, some parts of Borno and even Taraba. If not for the second world war that brought down Germany, places like Mubi, Jalingo and others would have been under the German occupation and speaking German as lingua franca while we here will be English.
Also, not for the second world war, the Germans might have probably taken over other places as well to expand their colonial territories and everything would have been different from the way it kis now. A larger part of that region would have become German colonies. It would be like it is today that most parts of Daura and Katsina belong to Niger Republic today and not Nigeria. So also the most part of the Gobir area of Sokoto is also in Niger. Even Marata the birth place of Sheikh bin Fodio is now in Niger and they the Nigerians are French while we are called English.
The colonialists didn’t consider anything in our interest but rather they colonised places based on first come first serve. More so, it was not because they wanted to create states that they colonised us but because they were interested looting the resources that were largely available. They established their authority in order to enhance the flow of resources. Like the saying of somebody that it was not even an authority they established but “confusion roughly organised”. It could even be seen that it was not their life style that they implemented in the colonies but the life style that suited their immediate interest as colonialists. These include even the buildings they did.
For instance the buildings in the said GRA are a good example
As they do not represent the colonialists traditional pattern of building. They were built to suit their stay here. They built a room up-stairs and a kitchen and living room down stairs with a car garage something they don’t do back home. It was such that he would spent some months here and then travel home for Christmas to see his wife who also pays him a return visit some months after he had returned. We have come to inherit this as way of building our houses which only a few could afford.
Whatever be the case we have now inherited a Nigeria that was established not for our interest or benefit. A collection of crises was made and put together and declared a nation. English has been declared as our language and we are called Nigerians. We have deliberately been separated from our past such that if we are to take pride in our past it would not be possible to do that with the Nigerian composition in which we are. Logically, we can only be proud of our past being the Hausa Bakwai, Othman Empire, Borno Empire, Oyo Empire or Benin Empire but not Nigeria because Nigeria is not in our past history. There wasn’t any Nigeria of the past. Nigeria is a colonial product.
We were enslaved by the colonialists and were subsequently given independence as a result of which we are now 50 years old.
There is no pride in being a Nigerian unless if one is going to be proud of being a slave of the colonialists that was enslaved for 100 or 60 years and was given independence and called Nigerian. The colonialist have been here since beginning of the 1900s although they have passed by before that time. But they actually colonised the place around that time. That was even why Lord Lugard marched up north to ensure that they were fully in power. This is testified by the saying of David Muppet who said that there was no need to go up north to Sokoto but Lugard did that to ensure that they destroyed the Empire and are in full authority.
That was why he chased the fleeing Emir to Borno and killed him there. This happened in 1903 when he made heap of the corpses of our ancestors. Lugard entered Sokoto on 15th of March 1903 and said that just as the Fulanis invaded them and established their authority, they the English have invaded them and have the right to establish their authority as well. This implies that the forceful take over of Sokoto was to establish the colonial authority because there wasn’t actually any need for it at that time. More so to ensure that they have actually destroyed the Islamic Empire then, he followed the Emire to Borno and killed him.
The implication here is that they destroyed an empire to establish another. Hence if we are to take pride, even though there is nothing to be proud of, as a Nigerian one can only boast of being a freed slave of the colonialists.
I have mentioned this in Bajoga in the recent past that we as a Nigeria have been denied any history to be proud of. And this is the basic problem of Nigeria.
From their definition, a nation is defined as a people with a common history. By this definition, Nigeria is a nation because it shares a common history of being colonised by the British at the same time. If any nation will take pride in its .past history I don’t think this is a good history to be proud of. What pride is there in being colonised and enslaved for about sixty years? Nobody can ever be proud of being a freed slave. This is what has removed the possibility of pride in us as Nigerians.
Whatever be the case we are now a nation called Nigeria and we are Nigerians. We share a common history of being colonised at the same time for sixty years and we are English. The issue now is what next? We are now fifty. What has been our experiences in the last fifty years?
If we can all recall, only six years after independence, the country was held in a military coup that led to a subsequent civil war as a result of what the colonialists have instituted. The colonialists knew that they met different types of people with different kind of histories. But they made the nation such that one part becomes superior to the other. The colonialists were aware that there are a people that will definitely go back to their past history if they are allowed the chance. So they deliberately instituted a system that will suppress all their efforts. This is the reason why a system of education that will suppress the Muslim north and institute the south as superior was founded. There is a statement attributed to Lord Lugard where he said and I quote, “to educate the north or to destroy Nigeria?” This implies that educating the north who are a people with history will definitely take them back to their past. Lugard didn’t want a Nigeria that its people will go back to their past. This was the reason why he felf that educating the north would destroy his plan.
There was also a saying that I heard that there was a feast that took place among youths of the south and north during which they could even dance with white ladies. They were dressed in suits wearing bow ties with fine hair cuts. They could even drink wine. They realized the presence of people like Tafawa Balewa and Ahmadu Bello at the feast. They saw that Tafawa Balewa and Ahmadu Bello didn’t dance and didn’t drink wine unlike people like Zik and Awo. When they realised that the duo were not with them in the feast they approached them insisting that they danced and drank wine but they refused. They then said that there is going to be problem in this country.
The colonialists’ concept of Nigeria is a Nigeria that will not go back to it past history. This is because going back to the past history will subsequently destroy the Nigeria of their dream. That was why they instituted a system of education that placed the south above the north. Even the amalgamation was to benefit the south nd not the northerners. It was such that in the north, in the elementary education the northerners hardly go anywhere and they get employed and given a traditional office to hold. Whereas in the south the sky was the limit for them. They could even go to England to study. This is because they had a deliberate plan. This is even why during the first election they did to the parliament they pick only those from Lagos. They then picked those from the west before they picked the northerners.
The arrangement became such that those from the south were more than those from the north. Those from the north protested saying the parliamentarians are representatives of the people and that they were less represented. They then conceded and allowed them more seats in the parliament. This is what happened in the first government where Tafawa Balewa became the Prime minister in 1955.
Gradually, a one man one vote system of election was implemented that gave the north an upper hand. This is because the northerners are more populated than the southerners and also they have more land mass than the west.
Although they have now created what they call geo-political regions saying that they even have south-south, this is none sense. These so-called geo-political regions don’t exist and even if they do they are not fair. But when in the past they founded north and south there were clear and existing differences between them that included their past histories.
The one man one vote gave the nporth an upper hand in the polity but because of the educational system adopted, then the south had an upper hand in the civil service. It was such that the political aspect was dominated by one part while the civil service was dominated by the other.
This was the problem the colonialist founded and left behind and it was the same problem that led to the first military coup in 1966. The southerners saw that they had the upper hand in the military but had no strength in the political aspect and so they used their military strength to oust the then government. That led to the three years of civil war.
This is the result of a diluted democracy concocted by the colonialists. From then on different military regimes came to power and on and on to date. A lot of confusions were founded such that people even assume that the multi-lingual and multi-tribal nature of the country is the problem of the nation.
Enough of history for now. Lets accept the reality that we are now living in a nation that was not made out of our consent or idea, a nation that is imposed on us. It is true that we are now a nation. The question we should ask is, ‘Are we ready to accept to create something that we can be proud of despites our miserable foundation? There are nations that have united and become one. In our own case can we continue as a nation. We can sit on a round table to decide our future. We can then decide on how to continue and under which system as well. We can decide how to live as a nation but unfortunately this is what has never been done. All the efforts hat have been made in creating a constitution were all influenced by some interests. The people have never been allowed to decide what they want it had always been an imposition on the people.
The people have been stopped from establishing their political parties. During the first republic, people were allowed to establish their political parties but such parties a now decided for them. After such parties have been established for them and they join them the people are not allowed to elect their candidates. The candidates are selected and imposed on them. Also, when its election time they are not allowed to vote for whom they want, a candidate is selected and imposed on them as the winner. They will announce him as winner praising the people for exercising their democratic rights whereas the people didn’t vote for him.
It is such that the system is not the choice of the people, the political parties are not established by them, the candidates are not elected by them nor are they elected as leaders by the people. They .started by adopting the parliamentary system which they later changed to presidential system and copied the American constitution word by word. When a president is elected he selects his vice and if he gets re-elected the vice remains vice president automatically and the same for the gubernatorial as well. America has 52 states and Nigeria has 36 after starting with 12. I don’t know whether they will make them 52 also. There was somebody that suggested Nigeria becoming the United States of Nigeria since America is called the United States of America. We are always looking on to the USA. We have been unable to produce any thing or idea of our own that we can proudly call ours.
There were even people that suggested that the Nigerian map be drawn with straight lines as they are in the USA. They are blind of the fact that the USA has no history and there were no nations that existed that they are proud of. Due to lack of past history, the USA went to London to buy what they called the London Bridge to use as part of their archives thinking that it was the Tower Bridge.
I am mentioning all these to express the point that our people are very apologetic and have no thought of their own, they are highly submissive to the whims of others. It is so unfortunate that they see the whites as god, they emulate and eulogise them. That is how they think. They see the world as being from the whites. What is more unfortunate is that some of those who suffer the myopia are educated. There was someone we had a discussion with who asked whether we had dresses before the coming of the Whiteman. I said we had dresses maybe you were the ones going naked. When the Whiteman came he met us .in our dresses. His thought was everyone was going about nude as he was when the Whiteman came.
They see civilisation and mordernisation as beginning with the coming of the Whiteman. The colonialists made them leaders despite all these short comings. How could people with this myopia represent the interest of the people. I remember somebody going to UNESCO and saying that we have a system of education in Africa whereby when the men go to farm the women wait behind in the house to teach the children. This is very myopic.
They feel because they don’t have any past history, there is no way they can accept the past of others as worthy. This went as far as creating a phobia in such a way that they are against .anything that is not from the west and America. That was even why Obasanjo removed the ‘Ajami’ alphabets on the Naira notes and changed them with English alphabets. He sees the ‘Ajami’ as the heritage of a particular section and so it was removed. He will be taking the heritage of others and refusing ours saying that such heritage is neither theirs nor ours.
They refuse and oppose anything of heritage that is ours and accept what is from the west only. This is how inferior they are. It is based on this that they blocked their eyes and call us a nation. They say we are one nation one destiny and that there is no difference of religion or tribe as well. They say that we are a nation and that we came to life with the coming of the colonialists. They even reject the Hausa language and refuse to allow it to be effective. They call Hausa a tribe like their tribes whereas Hausa is not a tribe.
I can remember being at the Interrogation Center in Lagos when I was arrested during the Buhari regime. We were discussing with some people called Orike who was a one time Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice of Rivers state, Chief Alakija and one Rufa’i Ibrahim. While we were waiting and all of us were from different parts of the country, it was suggested that we had a discussion on whether there is the need for Nigeria or not.
Chief Alakija started by saying that there is no need for a Nigeria because no one can accept to be dominated by the other.” We are tired of this domination” he said. He added that there isn’t any need for a big country like this. He mentioned that there are small countries like Liberia and Sierra Leon that are not as big as a state in Nigeria that are existing as a nation. There is really no need for Nigeria to remain he added.
They then turned to me and asked what my own opinion is. So, I said to them my own opinion is that we enlarge the size of Nigeria by bringing in Niger, Chad and Cameroun so that we have a very big nation. That was where the talk stopped because they were expecting me to support their view of dividing the country. I said that I do not see any difference between us and Niger, so why don’t we all join together and become a nation.
Any way that was by the way. I recalled this talk because of the saying of Alakija who referred to Hausa as a tribe. I said Hausa is not a tribe. He said then what will I call it. I said Hausa is a language and a people and not a tribe. He said that if I say there are Hausa people and there is Hausa land and also Hausa language then Hausa is a tribe. I then said that is not the meaning of tribe. I explained to him that a tribe belong to the same genealogy. When a people come from one person in their past history they are said to be a tribe. But the Hausas are not from one individual. I told him that he could also become a Hausa if he so desires. All he needs to do is to speak the language and adopt the culture, that’s all. I explained to him that there are a lot of people that have adopted the language and culture and are now Hausas as a result.
He refused to accept my point. I then quoted a historian called Adetoro who brought the same point in his book. Adetoro said that there is no Hausa tribe. So, seeing that I quoted a Yoruba man like him he then fairly accepted the point. Tribe has blood links unlike Hausa who are not linked by blood.
They have refused to accept this reality because they believe that since they were linked by blood the Hausas must also be linked by blood. Therefore they are still referring to the Hausa as a tribe. Despite the fact that we have been together for almost 100 years we still have problem understanding one another. That is why some of them have the belief that Nigeria is going to divide one day.
I was interviewed by the Press TV of Iran during my recent visit to London. It was on the 50 years independence of Nigeria. They asked me several questions one of which was the suggestion given by Ghaddafi that Nigeria be divided into two to resolve its sectional problems between the south and the north which he said was between Christians and Muslims. I said that Ghaddafi and his likes do not understand the nature of the country. They do not understand the composition of the country. They see the country as if the Muslims are in the north and Christians are in the south while it is not so.
There are Muslims in the south and there are also Christians in the north also. The north is not synonymous to Islam nor is the south synonymous to Christianity. There are indeed Christians in the south but the south-west which is mainly Yoruba is dominated by Muslims. Three-forth of those in Lagos are Muslims. Therefore dividing Nigeria into north and south does not in any way resolve the Christian-Muslim problem of Nigeria.
The interviewer went further to say that why wouldn’t that be a solution when the same has been applied on India where Pakistan was founded. I then said to him that it has not resolved the problem of Pakistan in the long run. Firstly there is the issue of Kashmir which was divided between India and Pakistan. Secondly there is the issue of division between the east and west of Pakistan that led to a civil war from where the east formed part of Bangladesh. So in my own opinion if Nigeria is divided between north and south on the bases of Christian/ Muslim, it will not solve the problem because a new chapter of problem will be opened between the Muslim dominated south-west and the Christian dominated south-east and yet there will still be Christians in the north.
He then asked for the solution and I said that we have to face the reality that we are not one nation. We have our differences. We should run a federal system that will allow every region to operate its own system. We can come together on issues that are common to all of us. But it is actually deceptive to continue saying that we are one nation one destiny because we are not. We are different.
Also there was another time I was on the one on one program of the NTA and I mentioned to them that there is a limit to which the Muslims will continue to be told that their religion is not good enough for them. We are Muslims and we see ourselves as Muslims. This is our history. There is a limit to hich we can be denied our right to religion. We have an entity called Islam. We are not refusing Nigeria but it must not exist at the expense of our religion. Lets face reality. We have differences so we should face our differences and address them. We here can run an Islamic system while they on the other hand can run any system they so desire while we unite on common aspect of our federalism. But not to over look this reality saying that there is no difference of religion, it is very deceptive.
They started with a federal system in which every region had its own constitution but now we have 36 states in the country but under one single constitution. No single region is allowed to run its own system in the country. Although they claim that there is a central government but actually in Nigeria the state governments are more of local governments and not states from the way they are run.
This is good for those in the south who wanted a strong central authority and weak states authorities because they want to curtail the north assertion of their identity so that they don’t grow strong and dominate over the country. They claim that it should not be allowed for there to be a region that is richer than the federal government.
Usually the under the former system the federal government had aspects reserved for it alone. These include the currency, armed forces, natural resources and others. On the other hand the state governments own the rights to run the traditional authority and local government while there are others they share with the federal authority that include education and agriculture. There is then the issue of regional allocations. This is what they detested because the north had more and was stronger than the federal government. So they called for unity and did away with that system. From the indication of things, they are becoming successful in their plan because they want power to their region and they are slowly getting it. They want a situation whereby the north will not be able to rule again. When they achieve this they will then forcefully do away with anything they see as a threat to their interest. This could lead to another crisis because it is like one region trying to dominate the other.
What we are saying is that we are not interested in dominating over anybody. We are not trying to force Islam on anybody or impose the system on any one. This is not our intention. Our intention is that we as Muslims live under the Islamic system. If this is what will lead to division then we accept that the county be divided. There is no way we can continue to accept that there is one nation one destiny and that we are united and one whereas everything that is refused, rejected or disallowed is ours all in the name of one nation.
If you are to bring something that has to do with the Christian or western concepts it will rightly be accepted whereas if it has to do with Islam they will refuse it and say that it will divide the nation. But the one they have brought .they claim is for everybody and does not divide the nation.
Though it has not been mentioned, the Nigerian system is such that it is willing to accept anything but Islamic.
I recall a State Security Service officer that told me that when they were on camp training, the Christians had an association and were attending their services and others there b ut the Muslims didn’t have any. So he decided to call together the Muslims that were also training to come together and form an association as well but he was warned not to by the authorities. When he challenged that saying that the Christians are also doing it they warned him not to dare it because it is a security issue. So that is it, security no Islam. He was shocked that the Christians could do it but Islam is a threat. It is such that anything Islam is seen as a threat to the security of the nation. This is the same as the concept of the colonialists and it has been sustained.
I used to ask the security what exactly they are securing. Is it that they are securing the colonial legacy to ensure that the nation remains as the colonialists established it because that is what they seem to be doing? They are forcing the nation to remain the way the colonialists want it. They are fighting against anything that will take us back to our actual history and heritage. They could accept people to go back to traditional and fetish heritage but not Islam. They are fighting against Islam. They don’t want anything to do with Islam. They are even trying to do away with our history and make us believe that our history is that of the Nigerian nation and its colonial masters. You see them referring to Sheikh Uthman bin Fodio as a Fulani warrior instead of an Islamic revivalist. They don’t want him to be seen as an Islamic scholar that fought for the establishment of the Islamic system but as a warrior that fought and became a king. There are those who are working hard to see that they maintain what the colonialists have established.
My own view on this issue is that for as long as Nigeria continues on this same system it will benefit others but not Nigerians. This will continue until when Nigerians decide to sit and derive a way out that sits their composition and not depend on the colonialists concepts.
It is true that we have been colonised and we are now a nation. But we are now free to choose what we want that suits us. If they insist that we follow the colonial legacy then we will call for a vote on the issue. We can have three boxes to vote into. We will place that of the colonial legacy, that of the traditional heritage and that of .Islam and see which will collect the highest vote. Even if they refuse to accept this, they can place one box of colonial legacy to see whether everyone will vote for it against his past legacy irrespective of what it is.
We are not refusing Nigeria as a nation, we can even make it bigger as I have earlier mentioned by bringing in neighboring countries. We are not refusing belonging to a nation called Nigeria but not at the expense of our religion. We will not sell our religion for Nigeria. We can accept to live as a nation with our religion. We are not imposing it on anybody. If there is anyone that has a religion he wants to practice is free to. We can have things that are common to us and unite on them. This is what has not been done, instead our religion is pushed aside and something else imposed on us.
As I have mentioned earlier, there is a foreign interference in this. America has plan of making Nigeria ungovernable by the year 2013 such that it will give them room to occupy it. They are thinking of how best to occupy the nation. They don’t want it to be direct but rather, they would use other countries in occupying Nigeria. They want to use Ghana and South Africa for this. They want to have access to the natural resources in the country by all means. They are planning to do for Nigeria what they did for Afghanistan and Iraq. They intend to use the same methodology of fighting against terrorism in Nigeria. Currently, they have more strength in the nation than us because they approve of anybody that become the leader in the country. And if such a person violates their interest they immediately do away with him and replace him with another stooge. This is part of what has stopped us from moving forward. The inferiority and defeatist mentality.
We on our own can find a way out for ourselves without any interference from interest groups. On our side, I mean we that are calling for the establishment of Islam believe that we can sit and resolve our problems. There is a misunderstanding about Islam. They see Islam as something that has to do with tribalism which is not. They see it as something that has link with blood which is not. Islam is the message of God Almighty to mankind and it can be practiced by any tribe or race and in any age. There is also no other way out but this. Moreover mankind has tried all sorts of ‘isms’ all of which have failed. Why not try the Islamic system and see. They will then start saying Islam has failed in the past because they have seen several empires that have been established that are no more today.
To this we will say yes it is possible for those empires to be established by those emperors and be called Islam but they do not actually represent the interest of Islam. Islam is a universal message that is not meant for a particular tribe or race, Arabs inclusive, but to the entire mankind. If they say that we are trying to make everybody Muslim we say not actually. It is the system that is Islamic. If they refuse to accept the system then we say they are free, but we as Muslims have the right to practice it.
I know that they are aware of something that when the religion is established a lot of other people will run to it and accept it. They are only doubtful because they have not seen it glamour and strength. But this might not necessarily be so because we have been colonised before and that has not changed us to Christians. In like manner the establishment of the Islamic system will not make everybody a Muslim except he who wishes to. If they refuse that, we have our right to practice our religion.
They don’t have the right to deny me of my religion even if they see it as not acceptable by their system. I have the right to my religion and you have the right to your own. It is not your right that I drop my religion in as well as it is not also my right that you drop yours. Ones right cannot deny the others. If we can accept this reality then we have a way out.
Still yet, if we go back to the question of how many religions there are in the country it will be mentioned that there are three. There is traditional, there is Christian and there is Islam. If the traditionalists are ask whether Islam should be established, they will say no problem for as long as they will be allowed their right to practice their tradition. Then we ask the Christian whether there is anything like politics in their religion. They would probably say no there is nothing like that. In their religion you only go to church for service.
Then we will say each of your rights shall be given. When the Muslim is asked he would say that his is a complete system of life that has to do with both religion and politics. Incidentally there is what they call democracy that has to do with majority rule and minority rights. Hence, when Islam is established it is democratic because there is majority rule and minority rights all observed.
Where then is the problem, what is the trouble? Why refusing Islam when it allows you to practice your Christianity? Islam will not stop you from practicing your religion whether Christian or traditional. But it is not right for you to insist that you have right and that your right is that the majority keeps aside his own right. It is not the right of the minority for the majority to follow him.
There is an end to everything there is n end to the continued suppression of Islam. I know there will not be that round table decision on the way out for the country but definitely when the time comes Islam shall be established. We cannot possibly continue to stay like that whereas the Qur’an is there instructing us on what to do and we are believers in Islam. Whether you accept or not, Islam is on the rise and you cannot stop it. This is the reality and you cannot fight against reality. By the grace of God Almighty Islam is the destiny of this nation and this shall come to pass.