A FEW weeks ago it was Zango, Bauchi, now it is NassarawaGwom on the Plateau: Where would the periodic terrorist attack, misnamed religious/ethnic uprising, next erupt? Just a couple of days before 2009 went into the ages, the Zango area of Bauchi became a hotbed of yet another intifida sponsored by a fundamentalist Islamic sect, the Kalikato.
No less than 50Â Nigerians, among them children and security personnel, had their throats slit like mere goats by Kalikato terrorists hiding behind the veneer of religion.
The casualty figure is at best a conservative estimate. Long schooled in the art of official mendacity even where there is no apparent reason for it, and given our lack of respect for statistics, we couldnâ€™t have been honest in our account of the number of Nigerians who lost their lives in the crisis. Meaning there must have been more deaths than were acknowledged officially.
This came right after the world was yet reeling in the Farouk Abdulmutallabâ€™s fiasco in faraway Detroit. As events unfolded in Bauchi, an alarm was raised by a Christian body in Jos, Plateau State, that an attack similar to the one in Bauchi was being planned for Jos.
In the light of what we now have on our hand in which unaccounted number of Nigerians have lost their lives and thousands have become destitute in their own country, we need to know if the alarm raised was a self-fulfilling prophecy or yet another despicable failure of intelligence gathering.
Whether false, an attempt to cause mischief or not, what was the reaction of the security forces to that alarm? Was there any attempt made to get to the root of the alarm or did they sit back, just waiting until the â€œcomeâ€ came â€œto becomeâ€?
It is answers to questions like these that will tell us whether America was wrong in listing us as one of several nations sponsoring terrorism around the world.
The point being that there are grounds justifying the American position, and we would do well to address them rather than engaging in the impotent rage of a drunken midget challenging a sober giant to a bout of boxing as our misguided National Assembly recently tried to do with its bluff to the Obama Administration to remove Nigeria from its infamous list within a week or- or what reallyâ€¦?
Stuff and nonsense! It is my hope that Nigerians are not as confused as their legislators whose incompetence daily proclaims itself before the world. This would have indeed been laughable but for the tragic dimension to it all.
I truly hope that the rest of Nigerians are not like this clique of time-servers who (accusing America of the same error) define terrorism only in terms of a single Nigerian hiding lethal explosives in his underwear and smuggling it aboard a jetliner with the wicked intention to commit mass suicide, while overlooking the countless instances of millions of Nigerians living in daily fear of attacks from murderers hawking their peculiar kind of religion in one hand and damnation in the other for all who happen to see things differently from them.
For decades, hundreds of thousands of innocent Nigerians have lost both lives and property right in their own country to murderers who proclaim religion with nobody held to account for such crime against man and God. Once the reason given is religion, government and the people lose both their voice and the will to move against the savages gone amok, killing in theÂ 21st century and this in the name of God.
Very often these insurgents are even foreigners from neighbouring countries who know Nigeria has no respect for human life or property and protects neither where especially religion is the issue. Indeed, state officials are themselves complicit in the promotion of religious strife, arming and protecting vagrants who serve as foot soldiers for their criminal activities as we saw as recently as during the Boko-Haram crisis.
Reports of persons armed with military weapons, uniforms and provided escorts to launch attacks against others of different religion or ethnic originsÂ have been on the increase in so-called religious crises in recent times, including the on-going one in Nassarawa-Gwom. Where state officials employ their position not only to promote one religion above another or others sponsor violence against others of different faiths, what is that if not state-sponsored terrorism?
It doesnâ€™t have to be exported to qualify as terrorism with state imprimatur. It is poor thinking to imagine otherwise. If Nigeria sees no reason to protect law-abiding Nigerians plying their business within or outside their home states from their criminally-minded compatriots- if Nigeria would rather pay lip service to some nebulous talk of unity in diversity while some others arrogate to themselves the right to take life and destroy- if Nigeria condones all of this as it has condoned for two months the dereliction of a sitting president, she must not expect same from countries like America that take themselves seriously.
Our faggot is ant-infested and now we have lizards as visitors. Undignifying as it is, full body pat-down and 3D imaging in airports around the world is the least that could happen to us where we have shirked our responsibilities. Terrorism induces fear, thrives on fear and in a climate of impunity.
Its ready army of recruits are to be found in many of those so-called places of religious miseducation as produce the almajiris, no different from the madrasas of Afghanistan and other centres of fundamentalist religion, now proliferating in the Moslem North. Until Nigeria rises to the challenge posed by such breeding centres of radical insurgency and cuts down on both covert and overt accommodation of criminality in the name of religion, she canâ€™t be anything but a sponsor of terrorism.