Northern Nigeria, chills, vibes and In Shaa Allah

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Former President Muhammadu Buhari cannot stay in Daura without those big guns—Professor Usman Yusuf.

One of the comments to this was; this is what happens when a leader stubbornly keeps the cubs of lions as pets. When the cubs grow, it will become a danger to both the owner and the villager…

The original topic of this admonition was actually Arewa, chills, vibes, In Shaa Allah, and Masha Allah, but because we attach so much to religion and lack spirituality and equally do not have faith, I decided that I was not going to stir the hornet’s nest more than I intend to do here.

In a recent Interview one time CEO of the National Health Insurance Scheme Professor Usman Yusuf clearly stated that the North was experiencing an ongoing civil strife, and in my words, (civil war). Ethnic groups like the Hausas, Fulanis, Tivs, Beroms, etc are at war. Elders, religious, and traditional leaders have failed, and political leaders are concerned with the movement of the Central Bank, and the Federal; Airport Authority to Lagos.

The armed banditry in the north-west and other parts of Northern Nigeria transcends pastoralist insurgency, as evident in the dominant narratives, considering the multiplicity of complexly connected causal factors, actors, manifestations, and dimensions that are present in the threats posed by this development.

We are losing Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Niger and I can go on, in these places there are almost daily attacks. Arewa is not ready for a honest conversation, in this Hausa vs Fulani, Fulani vs natives, the dudes that sold the Muslim-Muslim ticket, where are those clerics, as both Muslim and Christians continue to die in Nigeria, but particularly in the North of Nigeria.

Weeks back, an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in Gubio town, Borno, resulting in the tragic deaths of six Quranic school pupils popularly known as Almajirai. The incident happened when a metal scavenger unknowingly collected and stored various metallic items in a building in close proximity to a tsangaya school, little did he know that among the collected metal was an abandoned undetonated IED.

In 2022 alone the Borno police reported that about 55 scrap collectors were killed by insurgents within a period of three weeks.

On August 14 2023, some 36 military personnel were reported dead in a series of attacks in Kundu and Chukuba communities in Niger State. This generated public outrage; however, the reactions barely covered the plight of the residents of these communities. In these communities between then and now according to reports, there have been no less than 18 raids and attacks by armed bandits, leaving these communities on their own.

Some of these communities like many in Plateau, in Zamfara, battle extinction, leaving their ancestral homes, after days on end sleeping and scavenging in the bush when they escape such raids and they finally move elsewhere.

We are the same people that were hosts to gory story of Deborah in Sokoto, in Kano, I hear that the Chinese man is asking for forgiveness after killing our daughter, the same Kano with Hisbah drama every now and then the same Kano that engaged in some debate of clerics and engaged in sentencing themselves for blasphemy.

Have we even tackled our degenerating wayward kids and wives and husbands, the drug epidemic and the declining morals. All the numerous sects battle and blasphemy war. Boko Haram continues to attack power installation, we have simply forgotten Leah and many of our daughters.

Our farmers are suffering, farmlands are ravished, lie wasted, while the deserts are deserted. Our women and daughters are raped, and killed alongside their daughters, we just move on and forget, it is just a case of chills, vibes and In Shaa Allah as the plunder is palpable.

However, I will not end without offering my ten penny thoughts on how to address the issue of killings and arson in Northern Nigeria, and let me state that I am not saying anything new, but I am only hoping that someone is reading and willing to do something on this matter that requires a multifaceted approach that involves various stakeholders and focuses on both short-term and long-term solutions. Here are some key strategies:

  • Enhanced Security Measures:
    • Increase the presence of law enforcement agencies in affected areas to prevent and respond to incidents promptly.
    • Improve intelligence gathering and information sharing among security agencies.
    • Utilize technology, such as surveillance cameras and drones, to monitor and secure vulnerable areas.
  • Community Engagement:
    • Foster community-oriented policing to build trust and collaboration between law enforcement and local communities.
    • Establish community watch groups to enhance vigilance and report suspicious activities.
    • Encourage community leaders to promote peace and discourage violence.
  • Conflict Resolution and Mediation:
    • Facilitate dialogue and mediation between conflicting parties to address underlying grievances.
    • Engage religious and community leaders to play a role in promoting tolerance and resolving disputes peacefully.
    • Establish conflict resolution mechanisms at the local level.
  • Youth Empowerment and Education:
    • Implement programs that provide education and skills training for youth to address unemployment and reduce vulnerability to recruitment by extremist groups.
    • Promote civic education to instill values of tolerance, inclusivity, and peaceful coexistence.
  • Economic Development:
    • Invest in economic development projects to create job opportunities and alleviate poverty, addressing one of the root causes of conflicts.
    • Support agricultural initiatives to improve livelihoods and reduce competition over scarce resources.
  • Legal Reforms and Justice:
    • Strengthen the judicial system to ensure swift and fair trials for perpetrators of violence.
    • Advocate for legal reforms that address gaps in the justice system and provide compensation for victims.
  • International Collaboration:
    • Collaborate with neighboring countries and international organizations to address cross-border security challenges.
    • Seek assistance and support from international partners in terms of training, intelligence sharing, and capacity building.
  • Media and Information Management:
    • Promote responsible journalism to avoid sensationalizing violence.
    • Counter misinformation and propaganda that may contribute to the escalation of conflicts.
  • Psychosocial Support:
    • Provide psychosocial support for individuals affected by violence to address trauma and promote healing.
    • Implement community-based mental health programs.
  • Policy Advocacy:
    • Advocate for policies that address the root causes of conflicts, including social, economic, and political factors.
    • Ensure that government policies are inclusive and address the needs of all communities.

It’s essential to recognize that each community may have unique challenges, and tailored solutions considering local contexts are crucial. Sustainable peace requires the collaborative efforts of governments, communities, civil society, and the international community

Finally, I will end with this story, (readers discretion advised) only three weeks ago, in a local community they were having a naming ceremony, the guests had arrived, food was on fire and everyone was exchanging banters, it was supposed to be a joyous moment, and with smiles, until the bandits arrived in their motorcycles (bikes that are bought by ransom paid by communities).

They surrounded the community, and as we say in local parlance, to cut a long story short, they picked the newborn baby, cut into the pieces and threw into one of the pots cooking on fire, and when it was ready, fed the mother and several of the guests. I won’t end the story, but let me tell us that this is not a fabricated story but one that happened in one of our communities in the North, we are losing it and cannot continue to chills, vibe and In Shaa Allah think that things will get better if we do not act and act quick—May Nigeria win!

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