By John Dania – Internet Constituency.
So much ado about the violent sect in Nigeria, Boko Haram, I would rather say that the sect’s capacity for havoc is overrated. No doubt, they have caused havoc in Nigeria and beyond, but are their activities sufficient enough to threaten the existence of millions of Muslim brothers in this country and beyond?
A young man trying to board a taxi sees a Muslim male and changes his mind about travelling with him. A lady standing beside a woman in hijab and she’s all scared, ‘what if she’s carrying an explosive device,’ the lady wonders, eyeing the hijab woman suspiciously.
Politicians and businessmen who are Muslims are also prone to being unfairly tagged as sponsors of the violent sect. Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, General Ibrahim Babangida, Aliko Dangote and others have not escaped this hate campaign.
What happened to the days when Muslims and Christians lived in peace in the same neighbourhood? My best friend for about 15 years is a Muslim. I used to visit him and his family in their house and have a good time but that has stopped now as I do not want the secret service agents to come knocking on my door.
The unfortunate reality is that Nigeria is divided! I doubt if the phrase, “The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vein”, as contained in our National Anthem is still true any more. Christians are running out from their states in the North while Muslims are fleeing the states where they have found comfort because of the stigma caused by Boko Haram. For instance, in June some governors in the South-east who vowed they would not harbour Boko Haram elements, began a clampdown on some northerners they suspected were members of the sect. It would be recalled that on June 16, 2014, hundreds of such persons were arrested along the Enugu–Port Harcourt Expressway by soldiers attached to the 144 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Asa Ukwa West Local Government area of Abia State. What a sting on Muslims!
Barricades and checkpoints on roads are now the order of the day as insecurity worsens in most parts of the country. Although it is bad enough to victimise Muslims for the offence committed by a few bad eggs in the Islamic world, there is the need to tolerate ourselves as we embark on the race to achieve peace.
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