Sunday Adole Jonah
In 1986, when Military President Ibrahim Babangida pushed for Nigeria’s membership of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the move was greeted by wild protests. It started with General Domkat Bali, a member of the government and followed by that of many Nigerians. The government then back-pedaled.
The OIC Protocol mandates says the head of government of any member country must be a Muslim, who should promote Islamic interests above everything else, especially vis-à-vis “decadent” Western values. It does not matter if the end result is overall economic stagnation of that country.
After the protest that greeted Babangida’s attempt, leading the government backing down, it seemed that successive governments secretly visited the matter. Yes, how else would one explain that President Buhari attended the group’s meeting in Saudi Arabia, the first things he ever did after being sworn in for second term?
We could recall that when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo became president, a lot of things happened as if there was a protest against a Christian president in Nigeria. During Obasanjo’s government, many states in the North introduced Sharia legal system. At that time, the affected states started chopping off the arms of their citizens and meting out other sundry punishment under Sharia law. But while low class people were being punished, some top shots busied themselves marrying teenagers from Islamic countries.
Also, it was during Obasanjo’s first tenure, sometime in 2002, that Boko Haram formally announced its presence, although it was inaugurated same time the “Sharia Fire” was spreading. When Goodluck Jonathan took over government, after former President Umar Yar’Adua’s death, Boko Haram, which has Islamic connotation, transformed into a killing and kidnapping machine. The Chibok kidnap saga finally broke Jonathan’s resolve and he was finally swept away from office in 2015, thus ensuring the keeping of the mandate of the Protocol.
Today, the OIC matter is back. Nobody has told us the status of Nigeria in the gathering. Those in power appear to be more concerned about the OIC Protocol than building a free enterprise economy. Just watch them on TV and read about them on the pages of newspapers and you’d just want to puke in disgust.
Now, they are telling us to wait for another 10 years in order to “lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.” It does not just work that way. A politics of lies and subterfuge is a politics of regression.
• Jonah is of the Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State