Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Is this true? Northern Christians afraid of a Buhari victory

The two personalities that personify anti-Christian campaigns in northern Nigeria are the former Zamfara state Governor, Ahmed Sani Yerima and former military head of state, General Mohammadu Buhari. Muhammadu Buhari called for the introduction of ‘total’ Islamic law across the country. In series of speeches and seminars he said that the strict Islamic law code known as the Sharia should be introduced in full across Nigeria. According to him, “I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the Sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria. God willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the Sharia in the country. Muslims in Nigeria should redouble their efforts in the promotion of the full implementation of Sharia law all over the country. There will be bloodshed should sharia be stopped from being the law in Northern Nigeria. Nigeria will cease to know peace should sharia be stopped.” His
inflammatory rhetoric panders to religious extremism amongst northern Nigerian Moslems and encourages their anti-Christian violence.

Since the introduction of the Sharia penal law in some of the northern Nigerian states, violence towards Christians in northern Nigeria has increased dramatically. Commenting on this reality, Rev. Musa Asake, remarked, “What we have is genocide against people of the Christian faith. Anti-Christian violence across Nigeria’s northern and Middle Belt regions has continued to rise in both intensity and frequency in recent years.” Adding a new dimension to anti-Christian violence is the fundamentalist Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. According to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), “Boko Haram has become the primary perpetrator of religiously-related violence in northern Nigeria, targeting churches and individual Christians. The truth is that Boko Haram is waging a Jihad, a religious war against Christians and the government, with the intention of establishing an Islamic state.” Since 2009, thousands of Nigerians,
mostly Christians, have been killed in the resulting conflict. 

Buhari’s ties to Boko Haram have never been in doubt. He is a fervent supporter of Boko Haram. The terrorist group appointed him its spokesman in a proposed negotiation between the group and the Nigerian government. And he repeatedly spoke out against government attacks on Boko Haram. He once proposed a general amnesty, financial rewards, jobs and political appointments for Boko Haram terrorists. He assailed the Nigerian army for killing Boko Haram members and his supporters celebrated Boko Haram attack on Nigerian soldiers. 

Lately, Muhammadu Buhari, as the APC presidential candidate, is his desperation to win the upcoming presidential election is frantically recasting himself. He is changing his real image of a tribal jingoist and a fanatical Islamist. He wants to be seen as a national and unifying leader. Not surprisingly, he has lately been seen in public events donning Igbo, Yoruba and Ijaw outfits. He is also posturing as a proponent of freedom of worship, and thus, denying his devotion to a radical Islamist agenda. On 6 January 2015, Buhari said “Because they can’t attack our record, they accuse me falsely of ethnic jingoism; they accuse me falsely of religious fundamentalism. 

Despite his recent denials, Nigerians still cannot trust him; understandably, they are very suspicious of him. His antecedent has proven, beyond a shade of a doubt, that he is, both in words and deeds, a violent man. And Northern Christians are deeply disturbed and frightened by the prospects of his winning the upcoming election. Undoubtedly, his electoral victory will bolster the movement for the imposition of the Sharia law across the country and encourage the mass murder of Christians, especially in northern Nigeria. 

It is important to note that following the 2011 general elections, Buhari’s Muslim fundamentalist supporters killed at least 10,000 Nigerians in northern Nigeria. They targeted northern Christians, indigenes of southern Nigeria residing in the North and employees of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) including youth corps member. Lamentably, General Buhari did not condemn the actions of his supporters and did not console the bereaved families and the maimed and the disfigured. 

A Buhari victory in the upcoming election will be disastrous for Nigeria. With his victory, he will attempt to achieve his goal of Islamizing Nigeria and imposing the Sharia law all over the country. And his fundamentalist Moslem supporters will intensify their forced conversion of Christians and mass murder of Northern Christians. Northern Christians are therefore justifiably afraid of the prospects of a Buhari victory in the upcoming polls. Buhari needs to be stopped. Nigerians should reject him again in the polls, that is, for the fourth and final time. Most southern Christians are opposed to him and will definitely vote against him. It be-hooves northern Christians, also, to vote against him. 

Written By Lloyd Ukwu

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