By Awemi Dio Maisamari
The idea that one’s religion is the best and is therefore superior to all others is virtually universal. Most religious faithfuls are able to contain this rather egregious notion farely well. That is why people of almost all faiths (other than Islam) are able to coexist more or less peacefully with minimal frictions and conflicts. But a substantial part of Muslim faithfuls are unable to do so due to some of the fundamentals of their religion. The result is the Islamic triumphalism which has bedeviled Muslims right from the beginning of their religion. Therefore, when a ”supposed” Muslim zealot like Nasir Elrufai showcases this trait, he is only behaving true to type.
2. The myth of Islamic tolerance, justice, peace and protection of non-Muslim rights or interests in a Muslim majority or Muslim controlled society or government is what Elrufai seems to be celebrating in a recent video. Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for him, we are all live witnesses to this horrendous fallacy. But beyond that, there are vivid documentations of perilous non-Muslim and even Muslim life in most Islamic societies contained in standard Islamic historical narratives. The way Elrufai has engaged in and sustained his jihadist political propaganda makes quite some sense only from a Goebbelian perspective.
3. Joseph Goebbels and Hitler, master strategists and propagandists of the Nazi German fame are attributed with the ”Big lie” concept. It says that ”if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” I am sure any discerning individual can immediately deduce from this concept, what has been playing out in Nigeria in general and Kaduna state in particular. The ”Big Lie” agenda is what Elrufai and his jihadist companions have been aggressively pushing through both covertly and overtly.
4. Elrufai’s big lie is that his immoral and undemocratic Muslim dominated government was not just a success but should also be the standard going forward.. The abdication of responsibilities, administrative lawlessness, economic deprivation and pauperization, political exclusion, religious discrimination, oppression, insensitivity, alienation, polarization and anti-people policies are being taunted as the epitome of Islamic good governance. In the Hitler/Geobbel tradition, such a big lie can only be maintained for as long as the State can shield the people from the disastrous consequences. And the state has to also use all of its powers to repress social and political dissent. As long as these are being done, the myth is sustained. But, at what cost and for how long will Elrufai and his accomplices enforce this heresy? Is it sane to maintain such a scourge at the expense of Christian and even Muslim lives, welfare, dignity, happiness, prosperity and progress? And is it worth celebrating as the triumph of the Nigerian brand of Islam over so-called infidels? This, to me is pyrrhic victory: destroying a people and then suffer the same fate or even worst than the victim.
5. The Islamic agenda in Nigeria and SK in particular is not new. The uncompleted Danfodio project of deeping the quaran in the atlantic ocean is common knowledge. The well stated condition for achieving ”Islamic peace” is the total conversion or subjugation of infidels. Remember the Ahmadu Bello/NPC conversions, the Hamid Ali retrenchments and the incessant riots masterminded by Muslim fundamentalists. Definitely, the Buhari/Elrufai catastrophe is just a jihadist revival season. Yet, we are reacting to the video reaffirmation of this two century old agenda as if it is a revelation.
6. While berating Islamic triumphalism, I also view the seeming SK Christian powerlessness as condemnable. We seem to have a penchant to spiritualize our problems without properly anchoring same on simple Biblical principles. A popular Biblical source of hope and inspiration says if the people of God humble themselves, forsake their sins and turn away from their evil ways, God will solve their problems. Turning from evil ways simply means practically doing the right things. Yet, we fast, pray and then expect miracles while continuing to practically do the wrong things. The Jews are not waiting for the God of Israel to miraculously solve their problems. How can we adopted people of the God of Israel, insist that He must miraculously solve ours while we are busy doing the wrong things as usual? A farmer plants bad seeds on poor soil without fertilizer and proper weeding. Should he expect a miraculous harvest simply because he prayed and fasted before and after planting? The secret of Biblical salvation and miracles is to pray as if everything depends on prayers and then work as if everything depends on works. Nothing more, nothing less. In fact in worldly affairs, those who don’t pray (or even pray to what we believe are wrong gods) and yet work as if everything depends on works have more answered prayers than those who pray to the true God without doing the right things.
7. So far, SK has merely been making feeble resistance just to prevent further deteriorations in its disadvantaged status under successive waves of Islamic jihad for more than two centuries. That is not good enough. Nobody makes progress by just defending a disadvantaged position and condition. The combination of non-state esoteric jihadist terrorist groups and jihadist state actors like Buhari/Elrufai & co. are a more formidable force to contend with. We also need more formidable responses than our usual reactionary, uncoordinated, social media, sentimental, emotional, spiritual, rhetorical or academic outbursts and at best occasional physical eruptions.
8. We must thank God for massages like Elrufai’s video. They are unsolicited reminders to us of unattended emergencies. The first is the creation of groups and teams to provide much needed credible leadership for SK liberation and development. The second is the articulation of game changing strategies and ideas for SK liberation and development. And the third is for the mobilization of adequate and sustainable resources, creation of enduring structures and effective procedures for SK liberation and development. Any reactions short of these are simply acts of insanity: Doing the same things and expecting different results. Surely, if the destination that our foes have chosen for us will change, then our direction must change from now before it is too late. And, Elrufai should share the credit for hopefully precipitating the long overdue change in our direction and ultimate destination. This will also be a practical fulfilment of the Biblical prophecy that ”all things (including Hellrufai) work for good for those that love God. Amen.