Jos Crisis: When Christians go berserk
It doesn't matter who started the recent violence in Jos, or which of the contradictory narratives one believes; the wanton massacre of Hausa-Fulanis at Kuru Karama by genocidal Berom hordes is unpardonably atrocious. Kuru Karama is several kilometers from Jos, way outside the theatre of conflict. Yet hundreds of hapless Nigerians - men, women, children and elderly - were slaughtered and their corpses dumped into wells all because of violent clashes several kilometers away in Jos which they were not part of.
Similar pogroms of Muslims were reportedly perpetrated in Forom, Gero and Sabon Gida. Even Muslims in Federal institutions like the Veterinary institute at Vom were not safe but reportedly hunted down for elimination.
This is the kind of savagery we non-Muslims globally have come to know Muslims for, but for some Plateau Christians to degenerate to such animalistic butchery is revoltingly unbecoming. Granted that it is unreasonable for Hausa/Fulanis in Plateau to demand full citizenship rights that is not accorded non-Muslim “settlers” in the Hausa/Fulani Islamist core North, it still doesn't excuse wanton massacre of ordinary Hausa folks who's only offence is ethnic kinship with Hausas in Jos.
A violent clash in Jos should remain in Jos, rather than become an excuse for wanton violence elsewhere. If it is alright for Berom ethnic cleansers to wipe out Kuru Karama because of the conflict in Jos, then there is nothing wrong for Muslims in Kano or Sokoto retaliating against Christians up there. And before you know it the whole country would be in flames because Southerners will respond in kind to killing of their kinsmen up North.Little wonder there was palpable tension in some major urban centres up here in the core North, because of fear of revenge killings.
Quite disturbing is the sadism of some Nigerian Christians and Plateau indigenes in blogosphere. Several of them are nonchalant about the carnage, while others gloat about it…serves them right. Al-Jazeera and BBC have been pilloried for exposing or highlighting the mass murder, while Muslim commentators like Daily Trust's Mohammed Haruna and Adamu Adamu were severally lambasted for rightly making an issue of the pogrom. No one disputes the massacre at Kuru Karama but because the victims are Hausa/Fulanis, the carnage is alright. The history of wanton Islamist violence in the core North is no excuse for condoning the attempted genocide of our fellow compatriots.
If reports that the Christian assailants defaced some Muslim houses with “Jerusalem” graffiti are true, then these “onward Christian Soldiers” can be aptly described as Crusaders. In essence, we Black Africans are stupidly fighting a senseless proxy war - killing, maiming, persecuting and discriminating against each other at the behest of two mutually antagonistic, bogus alien white dogmas (Christianity & Islam) with which our people have been brainwashed. It amounts to unintelligent disingenuous casuistry for government and religious propagandists to claim that a conflict in which mosques & churches were deliberately attacked by opposing adherents, is not religious but just about citizenship rights.
But for the alien religious differences between Muslim supremacist Hausa-Fulanis and crusading Christian irredentists; settler/indigene dichotomy in Plateau would not have degenerated into the intractable fratricidal conflict it has become. This religious antagonism prevents intermarriages that would have blurred ethnic distinctions after living together for well over a century. Instead there are segregated Hausa-Fulani Muslim enclaves like Kuru Karama that was devastated by rampaging Berom Crusaders. In essence the mutually antagonistic alien creeds (Islam & Christianity) our people have been brainwashed with, prevent meaningful settler-indigene integration not only in Jos, but elsewhere within our quasi-nation. The invidious north-south dichotomy that continues to bedevil Nigeria's unity is largely a Muslim/Christian divide.
Governor Jang must come off his high horse and tender unreserved apology for failing abysmally in his constitutional responsibility to secure life & property in Plateau. He must also fish out those of his Berom kinsmen who perpetrated the heinous atrocity at Kuru Karama and other outlying Muslim communities; otherwise allegations that the carnage was orchestrated from above will continue to undermine meaningful reconciliation for lasting peace.
Human life has become very cheap in Naija. Whether it is Kuru Karama or the recent video-exposed wanton killings by our Police & Army who are supposed to protect us; this repugnant impunity must stop.
On their own part, Hausa/Fulanis in Jos must desist from violent protests against any real or perceived misdeed by the indigenous majority. Violence only plays into the hands of their bloodthirsty detractors who want to exterminate them.
Whether it was for a rigged election as in November 2008, or because a Muslim returnee was prevented from rebuilding his house in a Christian neighbourhood; Jasawa should avail themselves of civil methods of resolving disputes. If peaceful efforts fail, they should swallow the injustice silently as do non-indigenes in other states. It is better to endure injustice than be exterminated.
As has been rightly pointed out by several commentators, the indigene/settler quagmire in Jos cannot be resolved in isolation, but must be in the context of citizenship rights for non-indigenes throughout our defective federation. With our prostrate economy neither constitutional amendment nor Sovereign National Conference would suffice to guarantee citizenship rights. After all section 42 of our constitution already prohibits discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or creed.
Lasting solution to these incessant ethno-religious clashes lies in our inept leaders at all levels (federal to local) rising to their leadership responsibilities and markedly improving our under-productive economy. This will create abundant job/educational/business opportunities for all that will render ethno-religious discrimination pointless, thereby allowing for healthier communal relations.
Furthermore, productively engaged youths are unlikely to go rioting, unlike the present army of disaffected unemployed with nothing to loose. Unfortunately with our epileptic electricity supply, high bank interest rates, widespread insecurity and other frustrating disincentives to job creating investment, significant economic improvement is unlikely anytime soon.