Boko Haram and the Northern Elite by Adamu Muh’d Usman


``The Truth is that the story of the Muslim (Ummah) of Nigeria has become synonymous with poverty, illiteracy and squalor and wasted opportunities while some amongst us live amidst plenty, the majority of us live in abject poverty.'' v --- Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, Kano state governor at the opening of the first Nigerian Islamic summit on June 29, 2009).

The recent religious uprising in some parts of northern states has baffled me and I was traumatized for the occurrence of such happening because it displayed or exposed the lapses of northern leaders for their failure to salvage the region from its predicaments that it suffers for decades.

The religious mayhem that took it course last week was strongly against the teachings of Islam. Because, Islam does not at all preaches enmity, hatred, violence and negligence by the leaders of the mandate and trust bestowed on them.

Islam is word derived from one of the names of God `Salam' which means Peace. Islam is not only a religion but also a universal civilization and natural way of living. The doctrines of Islam inspires Mankind with ideals of love, obedience, truthfulness, kindness, tolerance, understanding, humility, politeness and the struggle of common goal and pursue of education among others.

The point in time, the Borno, Bauchi, Wudil etc religious havoc was truly due to poor leadership which was attributed to lack of giving qualitative and free education, lack of societal security, abject poverty, job opportunities and selfish interest, corporal desire, infatuation, covetousness and I don't care attitudes by the elites of the region.

In line with our discussions, I am of the opinion to disqualified and disagree with that declaration and believe of those that undermined the call by Islam to Muslims seeks for knowledge or Islam ignores Western education. Islam and Islamic countries have contributed greatly to the world civilization. The first thing God created was pen. Pen stands for or entails reading and writing. Also the first commandment by God to Prophet of Islam Muhammad (P.B.U.H) through Angel Gabriel (Jibril) was to read.

So, Islam emphasizes the pursuit of knowledge through any other means, acquisition or struggle of knowledge is where we northern Nigerian lag behind. It is because of lack of education and abject poverty resulted to what has happened in northern states.

The standard of education is very low and ignorance level is very high, and it was attributed to abject poverty and lack of given priority to educational sector that is why you can not compare Nigeria with Western world because more than 26 per cent of their budget goes to educational sector with strong believes that education is one of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua seven points agenda that has no focus at all.

Education is the key to enhancing the capacity of human as individuals and as a resource for peaceful coexistence, mutual understanding and for national development as a whole. To be candid, northern Nigeria is lagging behind in almost all the human Endeavour's. Truly since the demise of Sardauna , Premier of northern region and other leaders of the first republic, our region have not had genuine leadership that committed itself to uplifting the standard of living of the poor masses.

To this end, the Northern leaders, Royal Fathers, Elites, Scholars, Religious leaders, Business men etc all hands must be on desk to go back to drawing board in reorienting the people, restructuring the Islamic schools (Tsangaya), checkmate the activities of any religious sects, implementation of a programme to realign the world view and moral values of the society in Islamic context, eradicate poverty, provide job opportunities to mention but few. If the above mention were not considered, may be such of it kinds may surface some where, some how. May God forbid and protect.

Bear in mind that, a leader is expected to have genuine concern of the miseries, hardship, condition and welfare and well being of his people and humanity in general. The care of human lives, progress and happiness and not their exploit, anguish is the only legitimate object of any good government or leader.

On the side of moral virtues, Islam and Christianity teaches Justice, honesty, commitment, courage, bravery and truthfulness have always elicited praise and history does not at all record any period worth the name in which falsehood, selfish, injustice, dishonesty, neglect, I don't care attitude, greed, breach of trust, ignorance many have been upheld.

Love, tolerance, patience, fellow feeling of compassion, fidelity, boldness, generosity, politeness and magnanimity have always been valued, appreciated and cherished, most especially shown or demonstrated by a leader, while cruelty, destitution, selfishness and bigotry have never received the approbation in the human society.

People have always appreciated perseverance, determination and courage and have never approved feeblemindedness, cowardice and imbecility. Restraint, stateliness, graciousness, unfussiness, humbleness, agreeableness have counted among virtues, whereas snobbishness, carelessness, rudeness, delinquency, malingering have never found recognition as good moral qualities.

Person having a sense of maturity, understand and devotion to duty and commitment to responsibilities have always get the highest regard, respect, prayers, consideration of people, like the premier of northern region late Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir, Ahmadu Bello {Now rested} receives on daily basis. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Amen.

“No body has ever been honored for what he receives but rather what he gives”

The life of this universe glides on an unstable plane. Some people may however go through discontinuous condition of prosperity and paucity, health and sickness, gladness and sadness, boom and gloom and so on and so post. Alas! All the above mentioned they indicates or represents actual form or nature of human life.

Finally, am appealing to the Christians and Muslims in general, to be steady in prayers for peace to reign in our blessed country Nigeria to have good leaders, those that can conduct free and fair election that will enable us to have peaceful coexistence, mutual understanding, societal changes, political stability and national development. May God help us and guide us aright.

Adamu Muh'd Usman
Kafin-Hausa, Jigawa State, Nigeria
[email protected]

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