In truth, anyone who does constructive criticism of Northern Nigeria really loves the region and cares for its progress; if that person is a Northern Muslim, this should not be taken to mean that his has turned “renegade” or “apostate” or that he has been softened by “Western intellectualism” so as to now question the tenets of his religion. Two young men I sympathise with who are victims of such crass line of thinking are Mojeed Dahiru and Farooq Kperogi, both weekly columnists in a couple of our traditional, hard-format news outlets. Each of them, in his own way, cares for Arewa indeed.
Aptly, Mojeed’s syndicated weekly column is named, “Thinking Outside the Box” or some maxim in that line. That “thinking” thing is most appropriate in the context in which Mojeed dissects the cause of the malaise plaguing the Muslim North; the root of that malaise is the mind that has been corrupted and whipped into line, so to say, to reject progress of any kind as, “Western or Christian tricks” to proselytise. Thus, having a stainless flushable potty with toilet paper handy in the home is a “Christian trick” to “soften” the Muslim Ummah, for example.
Well, one would understand if the poor and illiterate masses suffer from this malaise, but it is grotesque to contemplate that this mentality is also prevalent amongst the ruling class, that in its hypocrisy embraces modernisation in private but preaches 7th century hate-filled ascetism when interacting with the poor and illiterate masses. Nearly all the governors of the Muslim North and their superior honchos are guilty of this game of guile. It is refreshing if this point-of-view is espoused by a Nigerian Muslim analyst even in the face of the threat of the “hate speech” bill that is meant to discourage such a radical thinker in the first place.
Really, if one does not “think outside the box,” how could one make objective analyses and conclusions? How could the poorest group of people on earth still continue to yak that they and they alone practice a “superior religion” in relation to the rest of humanity? Reality check is the one event that thoroughly humbles haughty, highfalutin posturing. Mojeed Dahiru is bold to take on the established norm up here North that keep people in perpetual cycles of poverty, and he should be commended. It is also troubling to note that, in its bid to “take its society back,” Northern Nigeria is unfortunately de-Christianising faster than anyone would think, this de-Christianisation aided by the well-organised terrorism systems of Boko Haramism and Fulani ethnic cleansing. If this fact gladdens the hearts of radical Muslims, people like Mojeed Dahiru knows that the process of systematic and wholesome de-Christianisation is the path to self-immolation and self-implosion. True, Christians do not fantasise about wholescale and dramatic mass conversions of people of other religions (how much tithe money is even there to feed a large posse if the Church pursues mass-conversion schemes?); surely, they do their evangelism but they really give you a choice but the good thing about having Christians in your society is the drive for human freedom and free enterprise that they pursue and champion (it is simply not cool in Christianity that one sees himself as slave when that one should proclaim a sonship). The bases of economic growth and wealth of a nation are these ideals of personal freedom to chart one’s course and one’s choice of business for the overall good of the individual and society. Smart nations do not discourage Christianity in their midst and it is a well-known fact that a city that lacks a church isn’t really economically vibrant. Whilst Mojeed does critical thought analysis, Farooq does exposés, all for the good of the Muslim North.
Basically, should the Muslim North allow the Nigeria system to collapse by corruption perpetuated by an assumed “holy man” on account of the fact that he has been declared “favoured” amongst the faithful and he should not be criticised or hold to account for anything? Does this line of thinking make sense? These kinds of rhetorical exasperations are the fuels that power the quills of Mojeed Dahiru and Farooq Kperogi; they speak for us all.
Sunday Adole Jonah writes from Minna, Niger Sta