Chibok Parent to Marry Off Daughter to Boko Haram

Chibok Parent to Marry Off Daughter to Boko Haram
By Masara Kim
A parent of one of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, Lawan Zana says he is ready to formalize the marriage between Boko Haram and his daughter still in their custody.
As long as there is love and understanding between the Boko Haram and the girl, they will not be refused their desires, Zana, the Secretary of the abducted girls’ parents’ movement, told The Light Bearer in Chibok, Borno State.
He said, “If they really want them as wives, marriage is an agreement between two families and parents are the major stakeholders.
“I am saying if it is our daughters that they want and our daughters agree, we are ready to formalize it.”
The idea according to him is to foster peace and prevent any further destruction in the troubled northeast region.
“This is because we want peace so our land does not suffer. We have said we have forgiven. If they say it is our daughters that they want as partners, let them come to us and let us iron out the issues and come to agreements, so that we can legalize the marriages,” Mr. Zana said.
The group’s scribe expressed gratitude the Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Shekau for 106 girls released so far.
“We had prayed to see even just one as a sign but by God’s grace we got one by name Amina. We were happy as it gave us hope that they are alive. From there God brought 21 to us and we became even happier.
“And God in his mercies made it that we were called to Abuja that there were 82 of the girls. We went, took their pictures and brought them and gave the parents, and they identified them.
“We were all happy. Mine (Aisha Lawan) hasn’t been released but as a leader I am happy as if mine has been released and I believe God that mine will be released too,” he said.
Women leader of the abducted girls parents, Mrs. Yana Galam also thanks them for taking care of their daughters.
“As a mother, if I will get the chance to say anything to Shekau, I will say thank you. The girls didn’t come with any problem in their health, for taking care of them, giving them food and caring for their health.”
Another parent, Mr. Galam Pogo whose daughter is still in captivity said, “There is nothing I can say than to just thank him (Shekau) since he agreed to honour negotiations and even release our girls, and are even still considering so, we thank him very well. We didn’t expect that he would consider that despite our cries but his heart of compassion is worth appreciating.”
The parents’ group’s chief adviser, Rev. Titus Bona, also from Chibok believes Shekau has a good heart and his reasons for fighting the federal government.
“How I wish I will see Shekau, I will shake hands with him and thank him. I will say thank you Shekau because you know you are a human being. And you know you are a parent, you have a heart and you have children. You took our children and because the parents are crying, you thought it wise and said let me release their children to them.
“He has his reasons why he is fighting the government and the government has to sit down with him to iron out the issues. The peasant farmers in the villages are just victims of circumstances.”
Rev. Bona, a onetime Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Borno State however prayed for the Boko Haram leader “to realize that he is a human being and understand that he is a leader and a father and just as he is taking care of his children, we need to also take care of our children.”

Expect severe hunger with the falling crop prices

Rubbish Nonsense

Oh God save our farmers!!!
They buy fertilizer and other farm inputs as well as labour at exorbitant rates.
They spend the largest parts of their days caring f
or their Irish potatoes and other crops on the farm.
Farmers conveying their farm produce to the market.
Photo by Abraham Mankilik, Sunipa Technologies

They pay for transport which is about five times what they paid three years ago to convey their farm produce to the market.

However, the only reason they smile is that they can get some stipends from the sale of the crops to cover part of their losses.

This is because the crops especially Irish potatoes, the main stay of the ordinary Plateau man have maintained a steady decline in price.

If only we had storage facilities. If only we had processing plants or a mechanism to support those into such.

I know of a boy who is into Irish flour and chips packaging, starch and other processing activities from Irish potatoes.

The much I know a state government had done for him was to give him some few naira notes to complete the painting of a processing plant he built himself.

But I think it should go beyond that. Elsewhere, government would make such a one its asset, seize the initiative and invest heavily in it considering the gains from it for the citizenry.
We must stop talking about investing in the non oil sector or ease of doing business without really working out a framework to really facilitate the success of the policies and programmes.

I am Masara Kim Usman and I just wanna rubbish nonsense

Chibok: a ‘Forgotten People’, Their Untold Story

By Masara Kim

A South Florida, USA Public Radio and Television website, published a feature by Kierran Petersen, on April 17, 2016 tagged “Getting the Chibok girls home is one thing. Knowing what to do with them once they get there is another.”
The write-up focused on the likely challenges of reintegration facing the abducted girls should they be rescued. This according to the report is sequel to the fact that young girls, “many of whom are returning with children born out of rape face unique and often times more difficult challenges when it comes to reintegration than boys.” Their children the report says are constant reminder of their link to the terrorist group.
This and many more difficult questions begging for answers had The Light Bearer recently visiting Chibok town in northeast Borno State on a fact finding mission. Some parents of the girls interviewed during the mission appeared to be more concerned with the survival of their girls than anything else. Therefore, the question of reintegration might not be an issue as the myriad of other salient issues confronting the Chibok people.
Some Chibok parents carrying pictures of their
abducted girls recovered by the FG: Photo by Masara Kim
Maslow's hierarchy of needs – physiological, safety, belongingness, self-esteem and self-actualization highlights requirements crucial for human survival and effectiveness. But according to the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Chibok Local Government Area, Pastor Philip Madu, dozens of people have been killed on their farms by Boko Haram while trying to make a living.
“They can’t do anything outside farming. But if they go there (farms), these people (Boko Haram) will shoot them,” he said.

‘Limited Farming Distance and Hours’

The establishment of a Military Brigade in the community has brought relief, but due to shortage of equipment and manpower, the military there have designate limited distances and periods within which farming activities can take place. Anything beyond those hours or areas is not their responsibility.
However, the fertile lands that require little or no fertilizer for yield are the farthest which are unguarded. Since government and humanitarian service providers mostly only assist in the area of food supply, any of such needs as clothing, healthcare, toiletries, school fees and among others, farm inputs like fertilizer have to be provided by the people themselves, which in most cases they can’t afford.
That not only leaves them with unfulfilled psychological and safety needs which include physical security, but also needs of social belongingness. This is because despite the international uproar about the community, not much has reached the people in terms of assistance.

‘Nobody has assisted us…even BBOG’

Pastor Madu said, “It is like we are a forgotten people in Chibok. Since these things started, if not one Rev. Titus Bona of Barnabas Foundation that has come to assist just the parents of the abducted girls, and some assistance we got from United Nations, nobody has come to assist us.”
Even the Bring Back Our Girls group has not given any assistance to the affected parents aside the campaign for the release of the girls. Secretary of the affected parents’ movement, Lawan Zana said, “We thank God for all their support in advocating for the release of our girls. But as Secretary of this movement, there is no incentive that BringBackOurGirls has given us as parents. For our children in Abuja in the movement, we thank them for the support but if there is anything that they have given us, I don’t know of it.”

Deadly access road

Their woes are further compounded by the lack of an access road. Not until recently, the 34-km Chibok- Nbalala-Damboa was never awarded. As at March 2017, the road awarded to Cumex Nigeria Ltd was still at the clearing stage. The State’s Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Adamu Lawan, was however quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as saying the project was to be completed in 90 days.
The Chibok- Nbalala-Damboa road is the shortest route to the state capital or any safer city nearby. Nevertheless, between Maiduguri and Damboa, the road is bordered on one side by the deadly Sambisa forest which is nicknamed the operation theatre of the Boko Haram.
Travelers going to or out of the area have to converge at designated points everyday to be escorted in a mass convoy movement by heavily armed military personnel. This is done to ensure the safety of travelers along the road which does not however guarantee absolute security. A soldier in Chibok said, “Even when we are heavily armed, they are not afraid.”

Ambush on travelers

Two days before The Light Bearer’s visit, travelers were ambushed in the military convoy with one civilian casualty recorded. During rainy seasons, the shrubs in the bushes grow taller, providing the insurgents with suitable covers.
Expended bullet shells on the road to Chibok: Photo by Masara Kim
According to another soldier in Maiduguri, the insurgents “erect small shelters under the shrubs such that even a fighter jet cannot detect them”. The soldiers escorting travelers along the road therefore have to keep firing gunshots at various points to scare off the insurgents.
Any vehicle that breaks down due to mechanical fault or the puncturing of a tyre which is usually by bullet shells scattered along the road must be abandoned for another day. This is because if it cannot be quickly fixed before the last military escorts vehicle passes, chances are that the owner would be attacked as the Boko Haram members often go after such vehicles when the troops are gone.
That experience alone is enough to disconnect the people from the outside world. Aside the fear of going in or out of the town, many people do not even believe Chibok exists, neither does its story. That may have added to the travails of the people there. “I am not happy that Christians are saying this thing is a lie. When you look at the population of the Chibok people, we are 95% Christians and I doubt if Christians can tell lies about our daughters,” he stated.

Government’s rebuilding programme

Chibok just as many of the communities in Southern Borno have not witnessed any of the government’s reconstruction program. The state government was in 2016 reported to have reconstructed about 11 Christian worship centers in Maiduguri.
Children fetching water from
a well shared with cattle near Chibok: Photo by Masara Kim
Only Dalori and a few other remote towns and villages which have been worse hit by Boko Haram have benefitted from the rebuilding program. An international NGO was however recently launched under the hashtag #EmpowerBorno to mobilize funds for the reconstruction of destroyed villages to fast track the return of the thousands of displaced persons in the state.
The concern however is likely not about the reconstruction but the safety. Nigeria’s Acting President, Yemi Osibanjo had in his 2017 Democracy Day broadcast claimed that Boko Haram had been defeated in the northeast. Military sources in the region however say the JTF is under-equip to execute the fight against the group. They even accused some of their top officers as well as politicians from the northeast of frustrating the fight.

Masara Kim in modern Ron music

Rubbish Nonsense

Why all the court cases in our traditional institutions?

Rubbish Nonsense:
Virtually every traditional stool in Plateau State today is faced with one litigation (court case) or the other.
No one even in the traditional circle believes failure is his.
As a matter of fact, they will all tell you they have been anointed divinely or they had seen visions.
This brings the question then: if God or whosoever has chosen you especially when such a one is a supreme supernatural being, why not take the matter to him rather than the courts?
And for you who have cheated your way to that stool, enjoy it while it lasts. For no kingdom foun ded on lies and deception ever thrives. In fact, curses are upon you and your unborn generations if you don't repent. Read and understand the scriptures and other events in history.
I am Masara Kim and I just wanna rubbish nonsense

Rubbish Nonsense: Plateau First, Not Individuals or Parties

Gov. Solomon Lar may have been more concerned with inclusive governance and socio-cultural development but less of human capital development.

Tapgun may have prioritized unity but without the protection of state wealth,

Gov. Dariye may have prioritized human capital development also without protecting state resources and promoting staff welfare.

Gov. Jang may have done well with infrastructural development excluding unity, welfare and human capital development.
Lalong may have prioritized or be prioritizing peace and staff welfare development with less of unity or human capital development.

However, each of them has and is still doing great in the interest of the state. The greatest among them perhaps is the one that doesn't undermine the efforts or integrity of the other.

I am Masara Kim and I just wanna rubbish nonsense

Nigerian securities might first spark civil war in Nigeria and it would begin with inter-agency battles if care is not taken

With the way some security personnel behave in this country, if the professional ones among them don't rise to counter the bad image of theirs being portrayed, civil war fit happen oo and na among them e go be.
In 2012, I remember STF personnel in Jos north torturing a young man to death for driving in a wrong lane.
Same year, my cousin was tortured by Policemen from the Anglo Division in Jos for using a cellphone near them during a civil operation to mob up motorcycles from ...Jos.
Around the same time a youngman was killed in Riyom for sharing a girlfriend with a security guy just as another in Nasarawa.
In 2015 or so, a youngman was shot by DSS men in Hamaz for an offense that still can't be ascertained.
A similar incident occurred around the same area as reported but this time involving the killing of a military personnel dressed in mufti by STF, that was late last year.
The latest of such indiscriminate acts is the killing of another soldier in Kano by men of the DSS after a misunderstanding or so. He was equally in mufti.
Now I remember several instances of security to security clashes in Jos between 2014 and 2016.
This fit occur in a monumentally devastating manner if the unprofessional personnel who only go into the force in search of jobs or undeserved respect or even vendetta are flushed.
Thank God the military in Portharcourt recently convicted one of its men for allegedly assaulting a Nollywood actress.
The efforts must be sustained and replicated in all the other agencies to avoid the dreaded.
I am Captain Masara Kim Usman of the Yan Banga association and I just wanna rubbish nonsense

Alh. Sanusi and the One Wife Law

So the Emir if Kano, Alh. Sanusi is considering a law to limit marriages to one wife per man in the State.
If only this was long thought of and embraced by all especially in the far north, the problem of overpopulation which results in unhealthy competition thus giving room for poverty, hunger and insurgency would have long been checked.
Perhaps our own Gbong Gwom Jos should consider same. Enough of many marriages and child births without the economic capacity to cater for th...em.
I am Masara Kim and I just wanna rubbish nonsense

When it comes to the dirty jobs, na Christians dem deh use for Aso rock abi?

When it was time to defend the shifting of Aso Rock Chapel, it was Pastor Osibanjo that was used. When it also came to defend the new petroleum pricing regime, it was Osibanjo.
When there arose controversies on the President's style of appointments, it was Femi Adeshina and Ita Enang that were used for the defense.
Similarly, when it was time to explain the grazing reserve policy, it was Audu Ogbe that was used.
Now again, despite being the Junior media aide to Sani Shehu, Femi Adeshina is the one constantly being used to present and defend issues regarding the President's health even to defend Ademola's 500K saga.

How many less controversial issues have these people been used to speak on?
Is anybody seeing what I'm seeing?

I am Masara Kim and I just wanna rubbish nonsense

Lai Mohammed again? N650K?

Isn't Alh. Lai Mohammed just the best Minister Nigeria has ever had?
In 2012, Plateau State government nearly closed a Ministry for generating less than N10million as IGR in a year.
Today however, an entire Federal Ministry, the Ministry for Information and culture, invariably two Ministries coming together as one generating N650,000 as IGR in a year.
And Lai Mohammed has the guts to say the Ministry wasn't designed to generate revenue? Was it designed to split the revenue or fill a vacuum only?
This Ministry has some of the best potentials in Nigeria - the culture and entertainment (mother tourism) sector. If you lack ideas on how to make the best of it, why not ask?
You are not even ashamed. What happened to all the Hollywood, Music etc that are somewhat top among their peers?
Isn't cultural imperialism or better still marketing that the likes of India and Philippines are dominating our airwaves with that our people now pay everyday to watch them on Zworld, Telemundo etc?
U deh produce 20 times less than you consume in a week and u no deh shame? Last year no be 10million you apply go China for just a week? and una deh fight poverty and financial mismanagement?
How much NCC, NTA, FRCN, NAN deh charge as subscription fees and others?
Sir, I am Masara Kim Usman and I want to personally rubbish your nonsense. Apologise oo

Rubbish Nonsense: You wanna die for your boss who wouldn't do same for you?

One of the reasons a young msn will fight or even attack me for speaking against his political icon or god father is that he or she fears that if the politician concerned loses their position as a result of my criticism, they (youth) would equally lose whatever they benefit from them.

However, If I write to say the politician who is supposed to attract a road project to your community has failed, and you openly harass me for saying such, what message would you be sending to him other than that which says you have no such needs?

And if you succeed in telling him you have no such needs and he continues without doing it till he leaves office, who is the loser?

Make una deh think well as una deh fight for una ogas.

I am Masara Kim Usmn and I just wanna rubbish nonsense

Rubbish Nonsense: The Now Known ‘Unknown Gunmen’ in Southern Kaduna

By Masara Kim

When it was reported last year that some high valued mineral deposits had been discovered in parts of Southern Kaduna, many critical minds began foreseeing the possibility of a dead end to the quest for peace in the troubled Southern Kaduna region.

This is perhaps not unconnected to the fact that most areas that have been found to be rich in minerals have often experienced one form of conflict or the oth
picture source unavailable
er. Jos for instance started as a mining community. Till date, the city has not recovered from the upheavals of the recent past. The Niger Delta is yet another region just as many other oil-rich areas of the world.

In 2015, many including John Campbell, senior fellow for Africa Studies and former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, contemplated the possibility of the Middle-Belt crisis being connected to resource control. In particular, desertification in the north and erosion among others in the south were thought to be pushing people towards the Middle-Belt thus exerting undue pressure on the region.

The Southern Kaduna crisis which began gaining popularity in late 2015 followed many similar land resource related conflicts in parts of Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue and a host of other States in the Middle-Belt. Just like the aforementioned States, the Southern Kaduna killings were often reported to have been carried out by unknown gunmen.

Even when all fingers pointed towards Fulani herdsmen with more daring evidences being revealed, hardly were any of the influential people among the Muslim population in Nigeria willing to admit it was Fulani herdsmen that were behind the attacks.

In fact, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, in July 2016 claimed that herdsmen carrying guns and killing people are foreign terrorists and not necessarily Fulani. However, soon before we knew it, a number of Fulani armed men were in the news reportedly agreeing to maintain peace.

Again, on the 16th of August, 2016, a chieftain of Kaduna state Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Dr.Haruna Usman, said that the sacking of Ninte, and other villages, in Jema’aLocal Government, was in response to the killing of a Fulani ardo in Ninte.

Similarly, the Jema’a Foundation, Miyetti Allah and Mobgal Fulbe Development Association in another Press Conference in Kaduna on November 7, 2016 made statements that suggested Fulani and Hausa Muslims were behind the ethnic cleansing and destruction of villages in Southern Kaduna.

In their claims, they reportedly said the attacks were necessary to entrench Muslims’ rights to practice Islam, alleging they were being marginalized in Southern Kaduna. It didn’t stop there. On the 31st of December, 2016, Dr. Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Assistant National Secretary of Miyetti Allah also echoed the same position, that the Fulani were carrying out reprisal killings.

Payment of Ransom to Fulani attackers by Elrufai

Until then however, Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State was quoted as saying he had paid some Fulani herdsmen identified to have been behind the killings in Southern Kaduna in order to appease them to stop the attacks.

One would have thought bringing them to justice was the best thing but of course as one of the reports quotes him as saying, he is a Fulani like them and has no problem paying compensations for cattle lost during the 2011 post-election crises. In any case, the compensations were paid to the supposed foreigners who were on a ‘pay-back’ mission in Nigeria. However, the killings never stopped. Meanwhile he had said they had accepted his terms and agreed to let go.

El-rufai was all along quiet on the issues just as President Buhari. Buhari had in his 2016 Independence speech acknowledged the reality of the farmer-herdsmen crises, saying, “This Administration is firmly resolved to tackle these challenges and to defeat them.”

Instead of living up to his words, he now claims he is silent because Governor El-rufai was on top of the situation in the state which therefore didn’t call for his interference. Meanwhile, he had in April 2016 directed a crackdown on Fulani terrorists by security Chiefs. That was after the attacks spread to Southern Nigeria’s Enugu State. One wonders if the President didn’t know about Governors existing and/or working in Enugu and Benue.

El-rufai on the other hand broke his silence when the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and a host of others began calling on citizens of the affected region to defend themselves. To him, self-defense is hate speech.

Buhari and El-rufai are however not the only leaders and/or influential people whose comments condemning the attacks would have gone a long way in stemming the crisis in that region. Such like the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), National Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) as well as the Council of Imams and Ulama of Kaduna State are equally highly influential parties.


However, while the National Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) had last year while reacting to a bill that seeks to protect the interests of Christians in Nigeria said it was recipe for anarchy, it seems not to see the injustice being meted out against the indigenous people of Southern Kaduna.

The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has joined Gov. El-rufai and the Council of Imams and Ulama of Kaduna State to condemn calls for self-defense. The Council of Imams and Ulama has in fact demanded the arrest of Rev Zacahriah Gado of 19 DCC Fellowship, the CAN President, Samson Ayokunle, CAN Secretary-General Musa Asake, John Danfulani, and Solomon Musa, SOKAPU President over self-defense issues.

This therefore brings the question; who are truly the people behind the attacks in Southern Kaduna – foreign terrorists, aggrieved parties or local insurgents? When the Fulani herdsmen seem to be succeeding in their conquest, the concerned parties will either keep quiet or claim the gunmen are not Nigerians. But when the issues of arrest or self-defense come to the fore, they begin to speak out.

And we dare ask again, are they speaking out in their favour as their own brothers or as concerned humans? If it is as their own brothers, it means then that they have the solution to the problem. This is because they know them and they can either stop them or hand them over to security operatives for prosecution. This is even more crucial given that the Muslim attackers are battering the image of the religion.

If on the contrary, they are merely speaking out of human feelings, does it mean that the lives of the natives being slain on daily basis do not matter? These perhaps are the reasons the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) said, “It is obvious that these Imams are part of the evil network desperately trying to decimate the Christian population of Southern Kaduna and the taking over of their lands by Islamists herdsmen terrorists.” No wonder the recent calls for the creation of Southern Kaduna State to safeguard the interests of the local populace there.

It is heartwarming that the United Nations (UN) has promised to look into the killings in Southern Kaduna and ensure that justice prevails following a petition by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP. However, to the political and religious leaders that have remained unconcerned on the issues, this does not mean anything. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s image is being battered before the international community.

After Ransom, what next?

Perhaps as Professor Wole Soyinka has humorously said, the reason President Muhammadu Buhari was silent on the killings may have been because he was waiting for Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, to first appease the killers with money so that they can stop the killings despite the reported death of over 800. He was however swift in condemning the death of five in the Unimaid mosque bomb blast.

On the Southern Kaduna issue, now that the insurgents have been settled however, why can’t the government go after them since they wouldn’t stop the killings? That has always been the practice after amnesty when government announces monetary rewards for repentant criminals. Those who refuse to show up during the grace period are usually and ideally clamped down upon.

Even if they cannot be tried in Nigeria because they are not Nigerians, they can either be handed over to the governments of their home countries for prosecution or even taken to the International Criminal Court (ICC) where they international laws apply. Now that this has not been done, it is likely that the claims of some individuals and groups that he may have given them funds to go and buy arms with which to keep terrorizing the people can be hardly refuted.

This therefore brings to bare the timeliness of the Senate’s resolve to investigate the killings although quelling the crisis is more important which the Army has finally after much destructions and public outcry has moved to take care of.

The senate’s move must however be done with sincerity of purpose, fast and in the interest of all. Any attempt to bring sentiments into it would only lead to another dead end which could lead to another outbreak of violence later in time.

Those reportedly identified and paid ransoms equally need to be brought before the law. Criminals cannot always be treated as brothers against the constitutional provisions which forbid taking the laws into one’s hands and taking another man’s life illegally. The constitution indeed is greater than any man or woman, group or tribe and it must therefore be applied on all, without fear or favour in line with the rule of law which forms the basis for democracy worldwide. For those “arbitrarily” arrested, particularly Southern Kaduna indigenes who are supposedly victims of the attacks, justice must be ensured for or against them depending on what the courts come up with after they must have been timely referred to them.

Rubbish Nonsense: Why Government Must Set Up Proper Project Evaluation Mechanisms

One of the greatest shortfalls of the past administration both at the federal and state levels is lack of proper monitoring and evaluation of projects especially roads.

As a result, projects that were meant to be completed within two years for example doubled their tenures in some cases. Again, quality was greatly undermined due to inconsistencies in followups and supervision.

Lalong might be doing well and probably likely to break Jang's records in infrastructural and staff welfare development.

However, his administration's quality assurance mechanisms appear too weak to give him that.
It is good that he has placed his field supervisors on good rewards for delivering on quality. But those are mere structural arrangements.

Technicalities however require technicalities. Field supervisors who do not have the requisite qualification or experience to test and ascertain the quality of a project might only deliver temporary results.

And because most times poorly constructed roads don't show signs of damage until after about 4 years, you are only likely to realize the shortfalls when you have left office. By then, your image would have already fallen as a or result.

Why not rework it then?

I am Masara Kim Usman and I just wanna rubbish nonsense
A highway road construction on-going...source -

Official Islamic Declaration Falling on Nigeria by Independence

By M.K. Usman

Perhaps for a very good reason, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto, Saád Abubakar, and a Maiduguri-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ibrahim Saleh recently made the list of the world’s 50 most influential Muslim leaders. The Muslim 500, an annual publication of the World’s 500 most influential Muslims, recognised the three Nigerian leaders in its 7th edition published late last year.
The publication measured influence some Muslims have on other Muslims to include: any person who has the power (be it cultural, ideological, financial, political or otherwise) to make a change that will have a significant impact on the Muslim world. The impact could be either positive or negative, depending on one’s point of view, it said.
It added that the influence could be of a religious scholar directly addressing Muslims and influencing their beliefs, ideas and behaviour, or it could be a ruler shaping the socio-economic factors within which people live their lives, or of artists shaping popular culture.
“The first two examples also point to the fact that the lists, and especially the Top 50, are dominated by religious scholars and heads of state. Their dominant and lasting influence cannot be denied, especially the rulers, who in many cases also appoint religious scholars to their respective positions,” it said.
From the foregoing, it is not surprising that Buhari is among, even appearing ahead of the Sultan of Sokoto, at number 20 and 24 respectively. Indeed, the influence President Buhari has had on the Muslim Ummah are enormous.
Gen. Ibrahim Babangida took the rap for Nigeria's sneaky upgrade to full membership of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in 1986, but according to a study on Nigeria funded by the US Defense Department in the early 1990s, cited in Uzukwu (2010), “it was actually Buhari who without any regard whatsoever for the sensibilities of Nigerians of other faiths, submitted the application to upgrade Nigeria's membership from the observer status it had enjoyed since the Gowon regime to full membership.”
Recall that the first major conference President Muhammadu Buhari hosted since his emergence as civilian President in 2015 is the International Islamic Conference on Peace and Stability at the Musa YarÁdua Centre held in Abuja in March 2016.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu also represented Nigeria at the General Assembly of the Fifteenth Session of the Committee on Science and Technology, COSTECH, of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) from Tuesday, May 31-Wednesday, June 1, 2016 in Islamabad, Pakistan.
President Buhari has equally signed MOUs with the OIC for the facilitation of various projects in the northeast region, approved and consolidated Nigeria’s membership of the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Against Terrorism, Eight Developing Islamic Countries (D8) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
While these memberships are still being contested in the court, the bill for the amendment of the 1999 constitution at the National Assembly (NASS) which seeks to include the Sharia Law into the country’s criminal law is still heating up.
Similarly, under Buhari’s watch, Gov. El Rufai of Kaduna state is thought to be the first to pass an anti-religious bill into law. And of course, it is on record that only ‘non-Muslim’ Nigerians break the law and get punished. Hence, the law may have not been in the general interest of all as claimed.
Furthermore, the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) under Buhari recently approved the collapsing of Christian Religious Studies (CRS) and Islamic Studies (IS) as well as Social Studies, Civic Education and Security Education into one subject known as Religion and National Values (RNV) at the primary school level.
Despite the fact that CRK and Islamic Studies would have different teachers, it is known that ‘non-Muslims’ are hardly employed or deployed to work in Muslim communities. Thus, even where there are non-Muslim pupils in such places, a Muslim teacher might be the one to teach CRS. But can a Muslim effectively teach Christian values or a Christian teach Islamic values?
Remember, CRS and Islamic studies according to the curriculum are compulsory since they come as one. This makes it difficult for any Christian school to avoid having an Islamic teacher, after all Christians are traditionally known for their peaceful disposition as exemplified by Jesus Christ.
Talking about peace, the Federal government has continued to push for the establishment of Grazing Reserves, even allegedly smuggling funding for it into the 2016 budget. This it says would promote peace and security between farmers and herdsmen.
Although it is said to be for all, it is known that no ethnic group in Nigeria rears cattle as Fulani who are majorly Muslims. And since the bill doesn’t say cattle rearers should benefit from the grazing reserves available in their home states, the fear of a repeat of the Usman Danfodio Sokoto Jihad of the 17th century is eminent.
While that is still being discussed at the NASS and other levels, with some states already keying into it, while some have explained it as ‘ranching policy’ (wherever it is written in the 2016 budget that it is ranching), the Federal Executive Council in July 2016 approved a new agricultural policy.
In the new policy, farmers may have to pay for the Federal Government to provide them with security against intruders. The National Grazing Reserve Bill makes provisions for punishment against intruders into the area marked as the reserve. Adequate security will be provided with funding from the FG. As for the farmers (who are mostly minority ethnic groups) however, whose lands are going to be acquired for grazing with little or no compensation depending on whether they have title papers or not, they will have to pay for their own security.
A commentator refers to the security tax as Jizya which he describes as the Islamic protection tax payable by Christians and Jews in order for them not to be killed. It therefore means that Muslims will not pay, more so that they are mostly cattle herders and businessmen, not farmers.
Again, since only Christian communities have been experiencing large-scale attacks, only Christians will have to pay. However, there have been several attacks particularly in the Middle-belt where security personnel were indicted. This therefore leaves more questions than answers.
Meanwhile, thousands of students from various states in the north are currently running various programmes under government scholarship in Sudan and other eastern countries. Sudan alone had about 4000 students from Nigeria as at 2014.
A particular university in Sudan is reportedly owned by Nigerian government. Its main objective, just as many others is to train Muslim students from Nigeria to world class standards so that they can come and take over the productive sectors of the Nigerian economy.
One of the benefitting students revealed in confidence that all the students under such scholarships have a mandate to make 2.1 in their results. In time, the FG will pass a law to only recruit graduates with such certificates.
Those with lower certificates will thus be wiped out of the civil service and other sectors giving way to these top class international students of Muslim background. These revelations were recently corroborated by Borno State Government’s warning in May 2016 to some of its students studying medicine in Khartoum, Sudan, to brace up or have their scholarships withdrawn.
Recall that hundreds of service officers, believed to be majorly Christians were recently retired with more still on the line. A source in the Nigerian customs told our correspondent that a secret fund has been earmarked to be disbursed to Customs personnel who agree to join Islam. This set of people will not just access the fund but also have their files secured against any industrial action.
Many more heads of government agencies and parastatals are gradually being replaced by ‘Muslim appointees’. The easiest defense would always be as usual, “merit”. This is evident in the recent Ambassadorial nomination as well as the appointments made into various parastatals in the Ministry of Education.
For want of time and space, let us skip the discussions on the appointments, anti-corruption fight and response of the Buhari government to security issues in various parts of the country and review some of the purported objectives of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, formerly Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).
The organization founded on 25 September 1969 allegedly aimed to ensure only Muslims are elected to all political posts of member nations, eradicate in all its forms and ramifications all non-Muslim religions in member nations and ensure the ultimate replacement of all western forms of legal and judicial systems with the Sharia in all member nations. Equally, the organization has the mandate to ensure the appointment of only Muslims into strategic national and international posts of member nations.
“It is part of the history of Nigeria, that General Olusegun Obasanjo, as the successor of General Murtala had problems with pushing through the Islamization Plan. The believers in Murtala's Islamization plan in the Supreme Military Council – Shehu Yar'Adua, Babangida and Buhari were not powerful enough to push the plan through.
“They had problems with the avid defenders of the secularism in the Supreme Military Council led by the Service Chiefs – General T.Y. Danjunma (Army), Commodore Isa Doko (Airforce) and Rear Admiral Adelanwa (Navy),” Prof. Omo Omoruyi, Research Fellow, African Studies Center, Boston University observes.
Nigeria has remained a full-fledged member of the OIC since 1986 but has continued to be recognized globally as a secular state. Part of the conditions necessary for the full recognition of the country as a Muslim country is for the OIC charter to be implemented to a reasonable level which Nigeria has done with the appointments and other policies instituted by Buhari.
Other conditions are for the prospective member to have pro-Islamic words such as Sharia, Islam or Muslim mentioned 73 times in their constitution. Such words are already mentioned nearly 80 times in the Nigerian constitution while Christianity, Church or Christian is not mentioned at all. The OIC had been approached for the official conferment of the membership status on Nigeria given all of these indications but the exercise was placed on hold, sources say.
Now that Nigeria has fulfilled all the obligations to be absorbed into the Islamic League, there are rumours that the official declaration of the country as a Muslim state would be done on 1st October, 2016. This would be done alongside the official announcement of ‘economic recession’ which would pave way for international (Arab League) intervention.
Should the plans succeed, Nigeria would no longer tolerate the ‘freedom of religion’ enshrined in the constitution under the fundamental human rights as only Sharia might gain impetus.
How to avert this is not known. More so that when The Light Bearer posed a question on a possible Islamization move by President Buhari on the front page of its April 2016 edition, its worse criticisms came from the same people it aimed to enlighten.
No wonder, Abdul'rahman Mohammed, a ‘so-called’ Muslim – Christian convert wrote in one of his epistles, “Letter to the senseless Christians” that Muslims would not need to use a violent jihad to Islamize Nigeria. “Christians themselves will be used by Muslims to Islamize Nigeria,” he alarmed.
When people started speaking against ‘lopsided’ appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari, it was the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, that dismissed the insinuations. However, out of the six appointees in the batch named by Buhari on August 27, 2015, Enang, who defended the lopsidedness, was the only one from the entire southern part of the country.
Again, when debates started arising following the perceived preference for the North to the South under the new administration later on, it was Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina that told the critics that persons appointed were appointed on ‘merits’ even though we have had ‘qualified’ ambassadorial nominees who could not sing the national anthem and recite the national pledge. Be that as it may, like Enang, Adesina was the only southerner in his own batch.
In the same vein, when the Aso Rock Chapel was shut down by Buhari, it was Pastor Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, the Vice President that explained it just as he was the one who announced the new price regime for Premium Motor Spirit that generated heated debate. Recall also that Kemi Adeosun has been the one defending every economic blunder on the part of Buhari just as Benue’s Audu Ogbe, the Agriculture Minister, and his Plateau State brother, Gov. Simon Lalong have been in the fore-front in the campaign for Grazing Reserves.
This is not to talk of the fact that it was Osibanjo that exonerated Buhari over the alleged Islamization agenda where he accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of being the first President to attend OIC meeting.
Perhaps the fear of losing their political privileges necessitated such defenses against obvious realities but how does one place the alleged dismissal of a Pastor by his General Overseer for producing an “offensive” audio material that sought to ‘expose’ the Islamization plot of Buhari prior to the 2015 elections?
Recall also that it was at an “Episcopal” Town Hall Conversation with representatives of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria in Abuja that the then presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) got his biggest Christian endorsement.

There are so many more instances like that where those “willing tools” have effortlessly been used to defend any perceived anomaly. Thus, any preconditioned prejudice against this piece even from its headline could be understood, but as the scriptures say in Hosea 4:6, “my people perish for lack of knowledge.” A word is however enough for the wise.