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Who is a terrorist ?

By Kunle Oyetomi
Nigerians are furious that America has given us a name which does not belong to us. According to them, Nigeria is classified amongst countries that sponsor terrorism. This is outrageous!!! Really, who is a terrorist? If a man or a nation throws a bomb on a community killing dozens of people for whatever reason, is that person or nation a terrorist?

If this act is done by a Christian nation or  individual on a Muslim of whatever shade of opinion, is it terrorism? If it isn’t, why should it be terrorist for an Islamic State or person to do the same to their Christian counterpart? It is beginning to be very confusing what this terrorism is all about.

There is something un-nerving about the recent American classification that included Nigeria  as a state sponsor of terrorism. All the countries listed except Cuba are either Islamic  partly so, as in the case of Nigeria. So, the only terrorists there  in the world are largely Muslims? If this is  so by implication or the reality on the ground, isn’t it time to stop a while and rethink? The ordinary definition of the word terrorist does not restrict the act of terror to a particular religion; so how come the preponderant terrorists are being depicted as Islamists “extremists”?

What about the terror, killings, bombings and massacres going on the Middle East?  Do the killings and destructions, murder and “targeted killings” any less terrorist for reasons of course and effect, or religious background or affiliation of those involved?

There must be something more fundamental to this phenomenon which we are not addressing. It is the question of violence and the use of force-whether sophisticated or crude-to achieve peace. It is a human thinking on planet earth that has led mankind to the brink than brought it anywhere near peace over the centuries and millennia that man had surfaced on earth. In the ordinary sense of the word, a terrorist  is anybody who causes fear and extreme trepidation to another creature, community or nation and in the process kills, destroys or devastates!!

If you agree with this definition, then mankind generally is growing into a community of terrorists. But the tragic irony of this situation is, certain countries think that when they use violence and murder for so-called “peaceful” ends, they are not terrorists, simply because of the sophistication of technology with which they kill, destroy and terrorise others. Sorry, only the shallow-minded is taken-in.

Although the Christian western hemisphere is at pains to convince itself that this war is not against Islam, it is failing ever more so horribly in convincing young Muslims that such is the case. The case of our own Farouk ‘Mutallab is classic demonstration that some of the world’s so-called terrorist get converted more easily in places like Britain than in a country like Nigeria!! Remember that this young man became “different” in Britain, not in Lagos, Abuja or Togo!!

Well, the Americans talk about sponsors of terrorism; what about those who breed them? There is something unethical and unjust about this labelling procedure.

Just in case you are not yet following my train of thought, it is totally irresponsible to classify Nigeria as a State sponsor of terrorism on account of ‘Murallab, who became disoriented in Britain, and to leave Britain out of it, where our boy was “injected” with the “virus” of violence as a means of settling scores!!

Well, one may ask, is it because Nigeria is part Muslim and Britain Christian-Western and sophisticated in weapons of violence? We are unfortunate to have been labelled. For the benefit of those who care to listen, Nigeria has nothing to do with breeding terrorists.

We reject the label and we dare say that until he got to Britain, ‘Murtallab had no inclination towards so-called Islamic extremism. If anything, that youngman was a typical Nigerian who loves life and so couldn’t be a terrorist. It was the reason he failed to fulfil a terrorist mission!! So if ‘Murtallab is not a terrorist, why smear his country with this hopeless label.

Mind you, since this tragic labelling of Nigeria, our citizens have become victims of indecent harassment at airports across the world, including our own airports in Nigeria!! That is the extent to which this “subtle act of terror” against Nigeria has gone. It is totally unacceptable.

But did I hear you say “Boko Haram” and ‘Maitatsine”?, So? What about the fanatics in Europe killing Africans at will and being treated as if they are any better than the terrorists they actually are? Why are such European countries not listed as sponsors of terrorism?

Simply put, if the world has gone mad with violence, the greatest culprits are those countries with technologically advanced weaponry of mass destruction. And right now, they are the most active on the world stage of carnage and destruction of human lives. Fault me if you can.

Yar’Adua:We are  Still Waiting

Earlier in the week, discussions about the absence of the President of Nigeria from the country and his duty post shifted from the ‘streets”, so to say, to the courts. The legal pundits are in disagreement as to the “normality” of the president’s absence or its violation of our constitution. There is no evidence yet that we could have a quick solution to this crisis until the courts decide.

Much as we all empathize with Mr President over his failing health and wish him a quick recovery, the nation cannot continue to drift without a person directly in charge of affairs in Abuja. This is the crux of the matter.

If as the ministers are saying Mr President is well and strong enough to be in charge what, for God’s sake, is he still doing in hospital? Please, Mr President, if there is any way of this desperate call reaching you, come home to do your job, or if you still need a little while to re-cuperate, why not authorise someone to represent you in performing your function as president? Even if it is for a couple of days, don’t leave this country leaderless. We are suffering as a result of nobody being directly in charge in Abuja.

If your advisers are saying anything different, they are misinforming you. The whole country want you back and in charge!! We are still waiting impatiently!!


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