By Yemi Ogunsola
Who will tell them the truth? What they really need is Psychiatry –— the study and treatment of mental illness, emotional disturbance and abnormal behaviour.
Whoever considers the slaughter of women and children an act of service to a loving God or to Allah or a passport to a blissful paradise (Aljanna) is not on this side of sanity.
Amnesty does not cure that.
It is quite different in the case of the Niger Delta. Militants of the region despite occasional excesses, are not insane. They are genuinely aggrieved. They have a genuine grouse against the Nigerian nation which eats their food then farts and defecates on their plates.
That’s what we do when we, in collaboration with foreigners, exploit the oil on their land, then leave their environment devastated. We are the ones who, as a nation, need to have our “heads” (leaders) examined. The offer of amnesty to the Niger Delta militants was a face-saving move born of the realization that we have really, really wronged these people. It was a redemptive gesture as much for them as it was for Nigeria.
Boko Haram is different.
It is savagery. Raving insanity. And all those secretly associated with the menace are sick to hell.
Given the chance, Boko Haram will slaughter all Christians by reason only of their faith; and all Southerners by reason only of their tribe.
Nowhere in Islam nor in its founder is the slaughter of innocents condoned. But the entities that people Boko Haram are not moved by the wails of babies nor the pleas of their mothers.
Amnesty, both in its spirit and its letter is totally incompatible with such psychos. It will in no way cure their blanket hatred of all Christians or southern Nigerians. Nor will it cure their appetite for bloodshed. Forgiveness is not for unrepentants.
It is with disdain that the sect will regard any “forgiveness” from “unbelievers”.
Again, amnesty invariably involves granting some demands of the beneficiaries. In the Niger Delta, such demands included stopping environment degradation and then providing infrastructure. That’s sensible.
What are the demands of Boko Haram?: That everybody in Nigeria must wear turban or hijab —- including the CAN president, Oritsejafor and Pastor Enoch Adeboye. That’s insanity.
Hear Boko Haram again:
“The Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state.”
Are those advocating amnesty for Boko Haram not aware of this?
Or are they speaking tongue-in-cheek? Laughing at the rest of us when we turn our backs? There is indeed evidence that this is the case.
Hear the Emir of Zamfara, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad, while expressing his doubts over the idea of amnesty:
“Where were our leaders when the Boko Haram were going to receive training outside the country? Let us check (examine?) ourselves; if there must be justice, we must go back to the basics…
“As a traditional ruler who lives with the people, I have come to the conclusion that if the so-called common man is left alone, there is going to be peace in the land.
But any place you find crisis, just look, around, you must find the involvement of these two classes—- the elite and the politicians.”
Who are these elite and politicians of the North? The Babangidas, the Ciromas, the Tukurs…
There is hardly any society totally free of pockets of insanity. But they are kept in check by sane social forces —- the law, opinion leaders, public attitude. etc.
The North has failed to do this. Rather, it has wittingly harboured and nurtured the madness that has blossomed into Boko Haram. It has made its region fertile ground for psychopaths and allied loonies.
Even as you read this, Fulani herdsmen, armed by the same northern forces, continue their genocidal raids in Jos Plateau butchering women and children in their sleep.
A i pe k’omode o ma h’eyin ganngan. Ngba ti o ba r’ete fib o o, oju re o ja a —-you don’t dissuade an obdurate youngster from growing a buck tooth, when he discovers too late that he lacks enough lip flesh to cover same, he would have learnt his lessons…
The North deserves no pity.
But let’s pity the North. That is, the teeming masses of the North who are victims of their own elite.
If at all Boko Haram has to do with poverty, as some claim, then northern youths should go after their elite and politicians —- those who have kept the masses of their own people impoverished despite years of “fower” and ill-gotten wealth.
Today, its pathetic to see our brothers from the North line streets all over Nigeria like human rags…
The solution? A revolution spearheaded by enlightened northern youths. Possibly the Arewa Youth Forum. Shehu Sani should be helpful here. There should also be massive enlightenment campaign by both government and religious bodies against anti-social religiosity. They should be enlightened that the greatest act of God worship is care for man. They should know they are being used as cannon fodder by unscrupulous elites and politicians.
Then, henceforth, a state of emergency should be declared in any northern state that records any further attack.
There should then follow free psychiatric treatment for many so-called northern leaders first…. then Boko Haram members who voluntarily submit themselves for such.
I would have suggested exorcism too. But I won’t. I won’t because I suspect that involves taking Christian names. For instance, Adamu Ciroma will become Adams Christopher while Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida becomes Abraham Badmus Barnabas (not Barabbas please!).
Not bad really, if you ask me; but there should be no compulsion in religion. Let’s all just be the best we can under our different faiths —- good Muslims like Nuhu Ribadu, good Christians like Dora Akunyili and good traditionalists like Wole Soyinka…
Won’t that be marvelous?
NB: News just broke now, as we mark Good Friday, that “they” have killed another 20 men, women and children in Riyom, Plateau State.
Source: The Guardian.