Re: If you do not say something ...
I read Mahmud Jega's column on Daily Trust of January 4th, 2021, and I think he missed the point like many who felt Bishop Kukah recent critique of the President Buhari's administration and the silence of many Arewa actors who should have been hard on him for his nonchalance over killings in the North was taken too far. I think Bishop Kukah's message was delivered at the right time and the effect reverberated all over the nation and sunk well into the Arewa intelligentsia communities. Of course, as usual some of them, and their social media urchins who worship them because they lack depth and are easily manipulated would come out screaming.
They say "action speaks louder than voice," but sometimes the only action is voice and that's why you hear that popular saying, the pen is mightier than the sword. Today the pen has been replaced by keyboard on gadgets, and all you need to do is type something and splash it on social media, you don't even need the conventional media platforms anymore. Or make a video with something as simple as a phone and post it on social media. This is the modern pen. It has a far reaching effect and shakes the foundation of a group, organisation or government no matter how powerful they are.
On a good day Bishop Kukah may not be an ordinary Nigerian. He is a brand and whatever he says or writes about on it's own goes viral. Kukah has never been that person that adds salt and sugar here and there to sugarcoat his words as it has become the culture in Nigeria, he has never been shy away from being called names or controversial. He has never been cowed when expressing his honest views. And that's what makes Kukah to be Kukah.
What has Kukah said that is not true? Of course if a Southern or Christian President is the one in power today and these incessnt killings and kidnappings by bandits is going on as it is today and for then past five years in the North, all hell would have been let loose with Arewa religious leaders and intellectuals spinning from one conspiracy theory to another, claiming it is a Jewish conspiracy to reduce Muslim population, Southern Nigerian plot to disorganize north and Islam, and all sorts of stories as they did with Boko Haram in the heydays of Boko Haram. Mahmud Jega who is quite a social media person must have seen different videos of several Shiekhs from the North tell their congregation this hard truth.
And I will say it, if these whole killings and complete nonchalant attitude to the plight of the people, even disdain for them, from President Buhari, is coming from a Southern President, some Arewa politicians, intellectuals like Mahmud Jega, and opinion leaders would have been talking COUP or separation from Nigeria.
Anytime someone from the Middle Belt express an opinion on the Nigerian project, anyone who is popular, Arewa always come down hard on them using whatever means to blackmail them into silence, be it TY Danjuma, Mailafia Obadiah and today Bishop Kukah. Has the killings TY Danjuma talked about and asked Nigerians to protect themselves not gotten ten times worse since he said it? Are the same people who attacked Governor Ortom of Benue State for suggesting ranching, even the presidency not saying the same thing today? The North Central Governors, some of them who because of politics of tribe and religion once supported all the federal government policies of cattle colony, RUGA or whatever they throw at them have now unanimously agreed with Ortom.
Bishop Kukah message is crystal. If a Southern leader had chosen an all Christian or Southern security chiefs, whether they are the most competent, if a Southern leader had turned and given virtually all the juicy appointments to people from his tribe or religion, the outcry from Arewa would have been thunderous and even Mahmud Jega, my very good friend, would have been part of that thunderous outcry.