Understanding Rev. Bishop Kukah’s frustration!
By Dr Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi
On a Friday, 4th May 2012, in Sultan Bello Mosque Kaduna, I decried the lopsidedness of security chiefs in Goodluck’s government (1). The Muslims were left out at a point when the brunt of ‘terrorism’ was happening in the North. I saw it as a dangerous precedence that can undermine national cohesion and destabilize the country.
I was not oblivious then of the fact that President Goodluck Johnathan was -sorry to say- reckless with power and that the Nigerian polity means less to him as it was ripe in the ‘national chat room’ that his loyalty to the unity of the nation was questionable. The first ‘terrorist’ bombing of Abuja on 1st October 2010 at eagle square which was claimed by MEND was paradoxically reputed by the same president, declaring it as a northern plot against his government. Police detained Raymond Dokpesi, campaign manager for former President Ibrahim Babangida, for questioning over the bombing (2).
By Aug 13, 2012, there was a failed attempt to kill me with an improvised explosive that accidentally detonated in the hands of the two ‘agents’ trying to plant it few minutes on my war to the mosque (3) (4). What unfolded later confirmed that it was the act of some elements in the military intelligence, as the two bodies were carried away by military authorities then, and both the BBC and VOA Hausa correspondents were denied access to information about the victims by the then military officers involved in the case at the scene.
It became evident that; the military was conducting a clandestine operation under the guise of Boko Haram to destabilize the country and kill ‘dissident’ voices or eliminate prominent northern personalities. On Nov 2, 2012, Gen. Mohammed Shuwa (rtd) was killed in his home guarded by soldiers (5).
On Nov 25, 2012, there was another bomb blast in Jaji military cantonment supposedly by Boko haram, which turned out to be targeting the sacking of late Gen. Moh Isah Commander, Nigerian Army Corps of Infantry who was bid to be the next in line to be the next chief of army staff (6) (7).
The fingerprint was evident.
These ugly incidences were only made possible by the lopsidedness of appointments in these sensitive security positions. North vs South, Muslims vs Christians struggles cannot be addressed by unequal representations of such a big divide in sensitive positions.
Therefore today, when Rev. Kukah decries the same lopsidedness that favors the Muslims, he is saying what exactly we have decried long ago, and he’s justified to say so.
The only difference, the reverend gentleman needs to understand is that, when Muslims ‘dominate’, they don’t target Christians to annihilate or kill. It was never on record that any Muslim has used the instruments of government to kill any other Nigerian except probably the accidental killing of Brig. Bako (a Muslim) during the Shagari overthrow by northern elements of the armed forces.
However, Muslims were consistently being traumatized by brutal killings of their cherished leaders by Christians using the instruments of governments without rebutting from reverend people like Kukah, which made many to believe that there is much that meets the eyes than an honest ‘seeking for redress’ from his utterances. I am sure the Reverend Bishop now as a Christian has no fear over his life from the Government, the fear Muslims like me entertain the moment a Christian attain much a sensitive security position.
In the ’60s a Christian Igbo, Major. Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu killed the Sardauna of Sokoto. In the ’70s, a Christian northern minority, Lieutenant Colonel Buka Suka Dimka killed Gen. Murtala Muhammed. Had it been on record that a Muslim had killed a Christian leader of such caliber using the legal weapons of government, probably Muslims would be banned from conscription and enrolment into the armed forces, and that every year, the press and NGOs will remind us of ‘their’ treason and disloyalty.
Another difference Rev. Kukah should know, is that when things were going out of control, we did not insinuate a military takeover of a democratically elected government but rather called for the resignation of the president (8), as some may have deciphered from his recent pronouncements.
Despite all agitations, I don’t believe that any significant section or populace of Nigerians wants the country divided, it’s therefore pertinent, that democracy in full strength should be the cementing factor in our unity. Democracy has proven portent is uniting people of different persuasions, be it religious, ethnic, and socio-economic class difference as we see in the USA, India, and Europe. It guarantees the rights of the minorities and gives every segment an equitable representation in governance, the true basis of stability.
I, therefore, call on all Nigerians to unite under this mode of political dispensation and allow the natural forces of democratic power to come to play. Every Nigerian should have equal opportunity to participate in the power struggle, no preference should be given to religious, ethnic, and socio-economic difference as such practice has been producing leaders of mediocre ability.
A nation like ours needs to abide by the full tenets of a democratic setting whereby every individual is given the right and opportunity to aspiring for whatever position he/she aspires for so long that people are ready to vote for him/her. This is the least required for our stability.
Anything short of it is a recipe for mutual annihilation. I don’t see a winning side.
God bless our Nation and bring tranquility and prosperity to our motherland. Amin
(1) Gumi Wants Security Chiefs Reshuffled; ISMAIL MUDASHIR, KADUNA. https://dailytrust.com/gumi-wants-security-chiefs-reshuffled
(3) Kaduna bomb targeted prominent Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi www.premiumtimesng.com › news › 96484-kaduna-bo… Aug 14, 2012 — Mr. Gumi, who has been critical of Boko Haram, may have been the target of the bombers. Sani Tukur. The bomb blast in Kaduna, Tuesday …
(5) Gunmen kill prominent ex-general, Mohammed Shuwa …; www.vanguardngr.com › News Nov 2, 2012 — MAIDUGURI, (AFP) – A retired Nigerian general, Mohammed Shuwa, who was a key figure in the 1960s civil war, was on Friday shot dead by …
(6) Jaji bombings: Military removes two generals – Vanguard Newswww.vanguardngr.com › Headlines
Dec 2, 2012 — … and Major General Mohammed Isa, Commander, Nigerian Army Corps of Infantry, Jaji – just as Sunday Vanguard learnt that the bombs used …
(7) 11 killed as Nigerian extremists breach military security to … www.telegraph.co.uk › africaandindianocean › nigeria. Nov 25, 2012 — At least 11 people were killed and up to 30 wounded in a double suicide blast at a church in a barracks in northern Nigeria on Sunday, after the bombers breached military … 11 killed as Nigerian extremists breach military security to bomb church … Bomb Explosion in Military Church at Jaji in Kaduna.
(8) https://dailytrust.com/why-jonathan-should-resign-sheikh-gumi ; May 5, 2012 — Dr. Ahmad Gumi said this yesterday while addressing hundreds of Muslim faithful at the Sultan Bello mosque, Kaduna. He also blamed …