Jonathan, Boko Haram and Islam

As the debate on whether or not to grant amnesty to the terrorist group Boko Haram goes on, I wish to repeat my article published last year on one of the demands of the sect. Let's go: What do you make out of the recent condition given to President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorists to either resign as the president of the country or convert to Islam, if he wants peace to return to the country? The presidency through the spokesman has since described the demand as laughable. Fine! At last, this terror group that has murdered thousands Nigerians and foreigners has laid their demands on the table. It is political as well as religious. They and their sponsors want to take over government and also Islamize Nigeria. Before now, the federal government has been admonished virtually by every known voice to dialogue with the group to see how this mindless daily slaughtering of innocent Nigerians could end. Now, I hope these proponents of dialogue will have something to cheer about? President Goodluck to convert to Islam or hand over to Boko Haram terrorists and their backers. And this will precede the wish to totally Islamize the country! Beautiful wishes!

But this is not the first time these terrorists are making such demand. In January, the group through its leader Imam Abubakar Shekau, while rejecting the suggestion by President Jonathan for dialogue, asked the president to convert to Islam. He also threatened to continue killing security agents, government officials and Christians. Shekau said that negotiations suggested by President Goodluck Jonathan between the sect and the government will not happen. Listen to him, "He's lying. He cannot do it,' Shekau said. "If Jonathan does not repent as a Muslim, even if I die myself, Jonathan's going to see. He's looking at me like I'm nobody, but he'll see.' '"We're killing police officers, we're killing soldiers and other government people who are fighting Allah and Christians who are killing Muslims and talking badly about our Islamic religion. I am not against anyone, but if Allah asks me to kill someone, I will kill him and I will enjoy killing him like I am killing a chicken" Shekau said. Imagine such an idiotic, satanic, childish, and truly laughable thinking!

Let's leave the president and the Christians for now, so, it is Shekau's 'Allah' that has asked him to kill the Emirs Borno and Fika and hundreds of fellow Muslims in the North; even in the Islamic holiest month of Ramadan? What of the Muslim soldiers, police men and government officials that his group is slaughtering everyday? Does he know how many Muslim families he has thrown into perpetual sorrow, pain and tears? All hail Abubakar Shekau and his Boko Haram brethren. These are the servants of 'Allah' indeed! Confused blood-thirsty liar!

As I write, the Deeper life Bible Church in Okene, Kogi State was attacked two days ago. 20 worshippers were killed and the death toll is still rising. Ironically, the head of this church Pastor Kumuyi has constantly preached forgiveness for these terrorists. Yesterday, about 6 soldiers and 2 civilians were killed by a suicide bomber in Borno State. Today 07/09/12, two police inspectors at Kano -Yobe road. Few days before these recent attacks, two respected traditional rulers - Emirs of Borno and Fika narrowly missed being blown up by suicide bombers while coming out of the mosque. Thanks to their security details who defended the monarchs with their own lives. Can you imagine the North burying these prominent traditional rulers in a week? These murderers who claim to be fighting for Islam could not even respect the holy month of Ramadan. This daily destruction has continued for about two years now. From the Police Headquarters to the United Nations building, police stations, churches, schools, etc. Christians, Muslims and even foreigners have been killed in these attacks.

Now the scope of these destruction and the current demand of the sect make nonsense of the opinion of those who suggest dialogue and others who have maintained that high-level of poverty, unemployment, lack of education and infrastructures in the North are at the root of this terrorism acts. I believe the likes of the United States Assistant Secretary for African Affairs and other officials should stop canvassing such opinions and call the Boko Haram terror group its right name. The group should immediately be listed and treated by the US and other nations as foreign terrorist organization (FTO). This is exactly what they are. After all, it has been established that they have links with other international terror groups. Nigeria must immediately be helped by everybody to track down these terrorists and their sponsors, so they can face charges for all these crimes against humanity. And who knows their next targets and goal since their name mean abhorrence of western education and lifestyle? They sure will soon go global.

Or what does the conversion to Islam and resignation of a president who has stayed barely one and half years in office have to do with the development or no development of that region? This violence escalated immediately Jonathan; a Christian from the southern minority won the presidential election; which the whole world adjudged to be open, free and fair. In fact, the freest ever conducted in the country. If it is really about development, where were this sect when their kits and kin who lead the country for most her independent years were looting and dumping the country's wealth in Swiss and other foreign banks? The former military and civilian rulers from that part of the country and the associates are known to be among the richest people in the world. Why didn't they revolt or were they better-of then? Are they not the same people that stole the country blind and left our hospitals, schools, roads, youths, industries and other infrastructures unattended to?

But why should somebody unleash, sponsor or aid such level of mayhem against his own country just for political and religious reasons? Everybody (Christians, Muslims, and friends) must join hands with Nigerian security agencies and the government of Goodluck Jonathan to battle and defeat these enemies. Well, we all wish that the amnesty if granted will solve this problem. I pray! Till next week, God bless!

Rev. Agbo is the author of the book Power of Midnight Prayer and a minister with the Assemblies of God Nigeria. E-mail: [email protected]

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Articles by Gabriel Agbo