Every religion is said to preach peace, love, tolerance and perseverance at all times within and outside the environment that they are situated in. According to Karl Max religion is the opium of the people. Encarta Dictionary 2009 sees it as people beliefs and opinions concerning the existence, nature,
and worship of a deity or deities, and divine involvement in the universe of human life. Also, as a set of personal beliefs, values, and attitudes that somebody lives by. Whether, Christian, Muslim or Traditional religion all upholds these values as their operational code of conduct. Therefore any religion devoid of this, is not worthy of its calling. Often time people have used religion as a vehicle to cause commotion and tension with the aim of self gratification at the end. Who therefore can tell where the sect Boko Haram falls into? Are they religious inclined? Which religion do they belong to or acclaim to be? Their tenets are they in conformity with the said religion? Hence, the need for us to x-ray the operational codes of this group as to ascertain why they do what they do.
The name Boko Haram is said to mean the rejection of western education. In other words, it could be seen as anti-west and development. How did this group come up? What is this group really up to? Or what do they have in the offing? How do they intend to achieve their desire?
There could be an element of fact about the activities of this sect been mischievous, uncivilized, inhuman and brutal as displayed. Some of course are of the opinion that it is a politically motivated association whose modus operandi is to eradicate whoever they feel is acting as a blockade to them.
Part of their philosophy and hidden agenda according to them is to Islamized the nation. Will this be possible? Is worship not a thing of the mind? Does the constitution not give the freedom of worship to its citizens? Why then, must one think of coercing another person against his or her personal volition?
To them, they believe dying as a militia during the war will give them automatic ticket to heaven. Aside that, such a fellow will be given seven beautiful ladies and a crown will be on his head with a star. This spurs them to action. Based on these considerations, they could do and undo. No wonder the dirking actions inflicted!
This orientation infused in them makes them to carry out wanton destruction without consideration for human life. We have had many fanatics who have used the name of religious to cause war not only here in Nigeria but worldwide.
In Nigeria for instance, we have three distinct religious bodies known to everyone both old and young. These bodies are Christianity, Islam and Traditional rites. These three religious bodies are autonomous. Their unifying belief is that of love and care for its adherents. Therefore, they preach love, peace and tolerance. If it is true, the question that needs immediate answer is, ‘What does Boko Haram preach’?
Another prominent question that we cannot shy away from is, ‘Which religious body does this Boko Haram sects belong to? Do they act in consonance with what their religious body believes? What are likely to be responsible for the change(s) observed?
There is deception no doubt. Perhaps some of these religious bodies might have turned themselves to something else. Instead of sticking to their fundamental believes they go at variance with their stated objectives. Whether we like it or not, the Boko Haram claimed to be a religious group fighting for equity, truth and development of the nation. If their claims are right, is it through war that you develop? Though there may be an element of truth in their utterances but how truthful is the truth itself that they hold unto?
Looking carefully at the religious body that they claim to belong to, without sentiment and resentment of any sort, one would make bold to say that even its founder was associated with wars. The religion to an extent could be seen as established on the basis of warfare. Was it not war and war that Mohammed was into? No matter the rationale behind them, but the basic thing there is that he was into war. To the Muslims, war is not a strange thing to them. One of their cardinals believes is that if you die in the war front you will go straight to heaven. Not only that, you also have other entitlements that is given to you. If this is really right, why won’t you expect war or pockets of it every now and then?
Despite this, we have some of them who are very sincere in their deals and honest to the core call. There are still some who are fanatics and use the opportunity to initiate war and in the process resolves to destructive acts. To some a day without war is useless and meaningless.
The assassination of the US Ambassador to Libya was it not on the platform of the same religion that he and others lost their lives? Did they care to investigate the matter to know who acted the film where he was brandished as a pedophile?
The best option was it to carry out a genocidal act. Is that not funny! The harms done, have they been repaired? The conflict of interest and ethnic and religious conflicts observed in the northern parts of the nation is it not as a result of this nefarious act. The attitudes exhibited by the Boko Haram will it not leave such an indelible marks behind? Who is deceiving who?
Where is Osama Bin Ladin today? Will his action be forgotten in the world? The Alcada network is it not still on? This terroristic act, do we need it in our society? Have we sold the core value of our religion? Is God a Creator or destroyer?
Due to the incessant bombing activities of this group many people have lost their lives and properties and others alive are been greatly disturbed and reparation sought. Yet the sects seem not to show concern that something is wrong. Just as nothing done by the Hausas then made meaning to the Fulani’s because of their quest for power and the longing to unseat the emirs. Sincerely speaking, if it was for justice and equity, why the change of the dynasty and reestablishment of a Fulani Kingdom instead of the existing Hausa kingdom? Because of the interest and gains envisaged, they were bent on fighting the war to the end. Little wonder it was so drastic and catastrophic!
Every passing day souls are lost directly or indirectly to this sect of people. Although the Islamic body disowned them but they came out openly to say that they are Muslims indeed. This skepticism to an extent is questionable. To what extent then do we hold them to trust or doubt? Do their utterances and practices not prove it right that really they belong to a group? Have they not said and repeatedly mentioned that until the whole nation is turned to a Muslin nation there will be no peace? Are they not fighting assiduously towards that?
Let us not be misguided and misinformed, the Christians are they not on daily basis been rammed and sent to their untimely grave. Yes it is true that one or two mosques must have been attacked. Couldn’t that have been a mistake and a diversionary act to let people know and think that what they are doing is just? It is left for you to judge for yourself. It is of essence you observe things yourself. But those that are led by the Spirit of God are bound to agree on a point. That is the fact that the Boko Haram could be seen as mischievous, wicked, evil and inimical in all their actions. They likely may not have the moral justification whatsoever to sustain their stand.
What is so disgusting now is that even the people who they assigned responsibilities to are not even free from their hands. Man’s inhumanity to man is unjust. One begins to ask who is deceiving who. The Islamic leaders have condemned the actions of this sect in words but snippets of actions of the body or more of it are seen in them.
To be honest with you, the gory action of deliberate killing of a fellow human being as if he is an animal is it not questionable and painful. It is mysterious no doubt but we must be prepared to fight this battle once and for all.
The execution of about forty eight students in Mubi is it not apologetic! Is there supposed to be carnage any day talk of on Independence Day? Why this must not be easily forgotten and forgiven and perhaps wave aside by Nigerians is the way and manner in which it was carried out. Imagine moving from house to house and ordering these people to come out after which they will pick the ones needed and asked others to go.
During this period of operation, where were the police and what were they doing? Could it be that their stations were far off from areas of operation? Or could it be that they were hypnotized? Or better still put under spell?
The rate of insecurity in this nation is on the increase on daily basis. The security votes of the governor and others what are they used for? If they are not directly affected, are people close or known to them not affected? This is the more reason why we cannot afford to trivialize this matter. It is their turn today, who knows whose turn it may be tomorrow?
If religion that is supposed to be used as a vehicle for break through, unity and way forward in life is now what is been used as a set back and death threat, one wonders where else he could go. We have been seriously deceived and misled by this sect. Should we allow people to hide under the leverage and cover of religion to distort our reasonability and affect our oneness? We must act now or live with it forever as our little cross.
WRITTEN BY IFIDON BENSON