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Monday, January 9, 2012

Discourse 336. Jonathan and the Security of Nigerian Christians

Discourse 336
By Dr. Aliyu Tilde

Jonathan and the Security of Christians in Nigeria

The latest revelation by the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Oritsejefor, calls for instant comment even as the country braces up for a shutdown by its labour unions tomorrow. I am afraid that this voice will be drowned in the sea of the ongoing protests on fuel subsidy removal. It is unfortunate that the nation has to face the two weighty issues simultaneously due to the incompetence of its leadership. The situation doesn’t allow us to sacrifice one for the sake of the other.

The CAN President addressed a press conference saying that Christians are “taking their fate in our hands”, that “we have decided to work out means to defend ourselves against these senseless killings.” This came in the aftermath of the killings of Christians in Gombe, Mubi and Yola during the past four days. Some, like Aljazeera, have already interpreted the statement as signaling an impending civil war in Nigeria.

It is difficult for anyone not to sympathize with the challenging position that religious leaders find themselves in Nigeria today. On the one hand, Christian leaders cannot be expected to keep mute while their followers are slaughtered. CAN leadership since Arch-Bishop Okogie has never hesitated to call for war at the slightest provocation. We heard it during the OIC, Sharia and Islamic Banking debates. These were mere policy issues. When the issue is that of attacking churches and killing Christians, one can expect another declaration of war from a leadership with such pedigree. Apparently, the government is lagging many kilometers behind Boko Haram. Who would justifiably expect Oritsejefor to keep quiet? He must say something.

On the other hand are Nigerian Muslims who are helpless in the situation are often accused by their Christians brothers of not doing much to stop the attacks by Boko Haram. They wonder what mere condemnation would do in the face of bullets and bombs. In fact, most Muslims whom I discussed the issue with hold the belief, like many of their leaders, that Boko Haram is a conspiracy against Islam and the Muslim North. As evidence, they do not hesitate to point accusing fingers at northern Christians known to have links with Boko Haram and the instances in which Christians were caught attempting to bomb churches. The arrest and interrogation of a Christian called Yakubu Bityong by the SSS on charges of financing Boko Haram also got the Muslims say, "Aha. You see?"

Another source of dilemma for Muslims is that these killings are happening unabated when the top echelon of the country’s security apparatus is dominated by Christians: The President and Commander-in-Chief or the Armed Forces, Goodluck Jonathan, is a Christian, just as are his Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, National Security Adviser and Director of State Security Services; only the Inspector General of Police and the Chiefs of Air and Naval Staff are Muslim, the last two having no direct relevance to the issue of Boko Haram. The Police chief has little to say since the army took over the fight against the group. In fact, he hardly say anything about Boko Haram since the bombings of his headquarters. Meet him on one to one, he speaks about the issue with his tongue in his cheek.

Muslims reason that if these people, on whose shoulders rests the entire security of the country, fail to discharge their constitutional responsibilities for reasons best known to them, how can the Sultan – the ceremonial leader of Muslims in Nigeria, for example, stop Boko Haram killings when he does not command a single soldier or superintend the security his ward? The Sultan and other Muslims can condemn Boko Haram saying that their actions are illegal, un-Islamic, etc., as they have done, but that has not and will not change anything. What will check Boko Haram is intelligence, weapons, police and security personnel and the will to deploy them.

Muslims will also not forget to cite the roles played by Muslim ex-Presidents and Heads of State in suppressing Muslim insurgency. President Shehu Shagari and Maj. General Muhammadu Buhari did not waste time in brutally dealing with Maitatsine in the early 1980s. Both Buhari and President Babangida arrested and jailed Ibrahim El-Zakzaky for preaching anti-government doctrines, even though he and his followers have never carried any weapon or attacked anyone. In fact, he was against the burning of Churches during the Kanfanchan crisis riots. Yet the government found it expedient to use the tribunal to jail him. In 2009 when Boko Haram made its first public outing in retaliation to the extrajudicial killings of their members by the police, President Yar’adua brutally repressed them. In both Bauchi and Maiduguri, they were massacred and their bases leveled instantly by bulldozers, acts that courted worldwide condemnation by human right groups.

However, the performance of Christian Presidents is a direct contradiction of the Muslim regarding religious insurgency and criminal activities. Boko Haram first surfaced as “Nigerian Taliban” during the era of President Olusegun Obasanjo, a self-confessed born-again Christian. He did practically nothing to stop them, so much so that the then Director of SSS, Mr. Gadzama, was baffled at how the administration was adamant in checking a group that was becoming increasingly armed. Instead, it is commonly known that the leader of Boko Haram, Muhammad Yusuf, was twice bailed by Professor Jerry Gana, an elder in CAN and a Minister under Obasanjo. To my knowledge, Gana has not denied the story.

Also, the person widely known to have links with the group during its formative stage, former Borno State Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, was a lackey of Obasanjo. Just few minutes after he met the Boko Haram leader in police cell in 2009 where he spoke to him in his native Kanuri, the former was executed in cold blood by the police. That was just after another top Boko Haram member, Modu’s Commissioner for Religious Affairs was also gunned down by the police on the street to the loud ovation of the public.

After President Yar’adua, Jonathan continued with Obasanjo’s deficit of interest to check Boko Haram. It is unbelievable to see how a government in a digital age would fail to apprehend a few thousand insurgents and their leaders who are using GSM freely to coordinate their activities and communicate with local and international press; how it will fail to prosecute arrested members of the group; how it will refuse to apprehend its known sponsors and associates; etc. It must be noted that so far, of all the thousands arrested, only one person has been prosecuted. He was quickly given a laughable jail term of three years only. This kind of evidence goes a long way to prove that there is a deliberate attempt on the part government to sustain the crisis.

So if anybody is looking for where to place his blame, he should deposit it on the doorstep of the President. I have heard Serah Jibril, David Mark and CAN leadership accusing northern leaders of not being forthcoming in condemning Boko Haram, though they are equally silent on the war crimes committed by Christian militia in central Nigeria. Muslims complain that the Sallah massacre of Muslims at a prayer ground at the end of last Ramadan where their bodies were roasted and eaten by Christians before the very eyes of security agents did not attract any condemnation from Christian leaders, the Nigerian President, or the foreign leaders and press.

If the Christian leadership would be dispassionate, I think they should redirect their criticism at the President, instead of taking the simple path of blaming a helpless section of the Nigerian population. If he is incompetent, let them tell the world, as they would hastily do were he a Muslim President. They must hold him responsible for their insecurity.

Blaming Jonathan, however, is the last thing that CAN would do. Since he became President, he has come to rely on it for support in both politics and administration. It supported his candidature almost 100%. How would it in one breath celebrate his victory and in the next advocate his incompetence? CAN is also quick to come to his rescue on any national issue, no matter unpopular it may be. Some weeks ago, its chairman tried to rope in the Christian community into accepting the unpopular decision of removing fuel subsidy, saying that CAN was supportive of the move. It took a threat from the northern wing of the organization before he withdrew the statement, claiming that he was misquoted.

Jonathan on his part has expressed his gratitude in many ways. He has used the congregation of his church in Abuja to announce important policy statements of his administration and avail Nigerians of his mindset. Today, he made this startling revelation at the interdenominational church service to mark Armed Forces Remembrance day in Abuja:

"Some of them are in the executive arm of government, some of them are in the parliamentary/legislative arm of government while some of them are even in the judiciary.
Some are also in the armed forces, the police and other security agencies. Some continue to dip their hands and eat with you and you won't even know the person who will point a gun at you or plant a bomb behind your house."

Mhmm. Jonathan, the hostage of the invincible and omnipresent Boko Haram, is courting sympathy.

In fact, it was in the aftermath of its meeting with the President after the Christmas bombing at Suleja that CAN leadership threatened to retaliate, before it downgraded the posture to self-defence later.

Let us now examine the implication of CAN’s resort to self-defense. On the surface it loo unavoidable,but cut it deep, it is untenable.

Practically, it will require a massive militia and weapons to stem a credible defense against attack on its members. The problem is that we are talking of defending at least 65 million people. How would CAN go about this? How many hundreds of thousands of militia would it require? How many AK47s would it need?

I live in a predominantly Muslim village with only about 5% Christians. Their population has been dwindling since the beginning of the Jos crisis. Yet there are at least five churches. Each church would require at least 5 rifles to defend it against attack from gunmen, Boko Haram or otherwise. That means 25 rifles would be needed to be manned by a greater number of people. In addition, how would CAN protect them against bombs, for example? By acquiring bombs too?

Now, I guess that as the most religious country in the world, there could be about a million churches in Nigeria, some holding congregations of thousands of people at a time. How many rifles would be required nationwide to defend those churches: Five, ten, twenty million? How many youths will CAN need to defend them? In whose custody will the weapons be? From where will they get the money to purchase them? Will Jonathan provide it from the 2011 security vote that is about a trillion naira? Who will give them the permission to acquire the weapons in the first place? Again, the President?

And what happens on the other side of the divide? Would Muslims sit back and watch every church armed with weapons and militant youths without asking for the same concession to pile up arms against a possible attack by Christians? More than 90% of those killed by Boko Haram are Muslims. Would the President also allow Muslims to take up arms in self-defence?

It is here I see the call for self-defense by CAN as infeasible in any civilized society. Nigeria is not the only country where criminal gangs or religious extremists operate violence. But citizens hardly resort to self-help under circumstances like this. They will depend on government to provide such security. Taking the law into one’s hand by arming members of one’s group will logically lead to civil war in any society. That is how Aljazeerah reached its conclusion that Nigeria is heading towards a civil war. CAN, to the delight of many enemies of one Nigeria, will be starting a fire that it will not be able to quench. And if the intention of Boko Haram or whoever is bombing churches in Nigeria, having failed to get Muslims to support or join it, is to ignite a religious war in the country, then CAN would have easily aiding and abetting that objective.

So unless that is what the whole idea behind Boko Haram is intended for, CAN leadership should put Jonathan on the hot seat and hold him responsible for our insecurity. It owes the nation that responsibility since it is closer to the President than anyone. Instead of blaming Nigerian Muslims, it should press Jonathan to show resolve similar to that of the Muslim presidents we mentioned earlier. I have no doubt that the Nigerian Muslim community will support him overwhelmingly. I hereby ledge my support in advance.

Why is this happening to Nigeria? Perhaps an answer could be found in Part II of this series where we will survey the six or so hypotheses behind what can now be correctly termed as Boko Haram syndrome.

Until then, please join the labour to protest against the removal of fuel subsidy that will start tomorrow. And when you pray, please pray for a peaceful coexistence among the different peoples of Nigeria. Pray also for the President such that he wakes up from his slumber and lead us out of this mess, for the price of failure could be costly. We do not need a badluck. A good one is better.

8 January 2012

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zainab magaji said...

Dr Tilde, this is a master's analysis of the insecurity gridlock we all have found ourselves in. I watched the Aljazeerah newsreport and was greatly saddened. The report in briefly tracing the origin of boko haram deliberately refused to mention that in all of this boko haram nightmare, the muslims have lost more brethren to bullets from the barrels of both boko haram guns and that of the nigerian security forces than the christians ever did. To me, that sounds very very suspicious.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dr,
I want to call the attention of our fellow Cristian,Let them know Muslims are not supporting(Boko haram)in fact they are even condemning their moral attitude. we should remember Boko haram killed many muslims before they start attempting churches. for example in the place where the background of Boko haram initiated, How many Islamic scholars were killed by Boko haram? How many traditional leaders they killed? the number of Muslims killed by Boko Haram are uncountable. just of recent they killed their Late leader's in-low. simply because Obasanjo visited him. any person attempt to say something against them then tomorrow he will found himself in the heaven. because he has no security to secure him. and definitely they will kill him.Therefore this is a govt responsibility to standup to fight Boko haram drastically.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Tilde, the Discourse is a masterpiece and aptly captured the inability of Government to adequately confront the security challenges facing us. The President does not help matters with his utterances. The same goes for CAN President who speaks before he thinks. Boko Haram based on information available tallies with your submissions. I often wonder what security system we have that cannot fish out those distabizing the polity. Unfortunately even journalists are lazy and incapable of indepth investigative journalism. We the poor citizens have only one weapon (prayers) and we will continue to deploy that for peace and justice in the land while we expect Government to get to the roots of insecurity pervading the land of which either rightly or wrongly attributable to Boko Haram.

Anonymous said...

Dr. I agree with some of your ANALYSIS but TOTALLY disagree with the 65million Population THEORY.

Anonymous said...

You're economical with the truth, & mind you self-defence does not necessarily mean taking up arms because the weapons of our warfare are not carnal! Stop being sentimental, if a Christian president was 2 deal with Islamic sects brutally u'll be the 1st to raise alarm on a plan 2 exterminate muslims. We all know the truth but are hypocritical to admit. U have tried in some parts but u goofed in d end sir. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for Nigeria that every issue must be looked at as either North - South or Christian- Muslim.

Who knows where this Boko Haram people live? Is it not the muslims in the north?. So since they have shifted focus to Cristians we can now accept their acts.

gumba kti said...

Dr yours was explicit,Mr go slow is in the traffic jam,by the tlme he is out from that,it may be to late to control the situation.
Gumba it.

Abubakar Bichi said...

Dr. You have excellently clarify the. Those concerned should do what is expected of them. The average Nigerian should be mindfull in assimilating all what their leaders (religious / political) without digest.
You are truely a patriotic, gallant scholar.
More grease to your elbow, Sir!

Anonymous said...

All the NOs are there to make BOKO HARAM in Nigeria, no water, no light, no employment, no security, no good roads, no education (ASUU STRIKE), no fuel subsidy,no justice, no money in the hands of masses, no drugs in hospitals, the what else remain to make BOKO HALAL (WESTERN EDUCATION IS ALLOWED)?Jonathan is the first suspect sponsoring and masterminding the Boko haram in the country.Infact, he is the top leader of Boko haram based on these facts: 1.Deliverately refused taking action on the killings (support isnt it?).2.Instead of concentrating more on the security, now removed fuel subsidy just to add salt to the wound?. A rider to the last point: Boko haram says 'WESTERN EDUCATION IS FORBIDDEN'.Now if prices of transsport, food, education etc, escalate, how could the poor masses afford to acquire western education?thus the government is making BOKO HARAM to the masses and making it BOKO HALAL to their children by sending them abroad, so that they could come back and inherit them on the throne.Again, I agree with you TILDE that the issue of Boko haram is a conspiracy against ISLAM and MUSLIMS planted by the WESTERN WORLD, just to cause religious crisis in the country, so that they can come and join heads with those in power to siphone our oil and other resources, exactly the way they are doing in the middle east,while we would be busy killing ourselves.Our leaders dont care about the lives of the common men, thus they can kill anybody even their own blood to survive the throne.Therefore am not surprised if Prof Jerry support BOKO HARAM to achieve such aims.
Our dear christians and muslims should thus hold JONATHAN as the first suspect.

Muhammad NAJEEB. said...

At times we laugh, at times we almost cry...but nothing will make me cry most than the types of comment made by an anonymous on January 9,2012 by 11:32 AM. It is pitiful for an adult to limit his brain to that of a newborn..
If what the doc had disscused in the discourse is sentimental would he have publicized it...or do you think it is only a particular sect that will get access to the discourse? I think whatever that's in your own brain is rather not thought over or you are trying to give a true definition of sentiment by own comment.
Most of what the doc have shared are known facts even to a secondarian. I beg you to learn how to think and understand..if not for the kinds of your comments, my silence would have been audible.
@Dr, a 2nd brain is not needed to understand your efforts and concerns. It's a rare gift to have wits, to talk so that the layman understands and to gather courage to do what most can' are bestowed with this gift..this is an amazing piece.

conflux said...

An attack on anyone of us in Nigeria is an attack on us all - for our fate or destiny or whatever one might choose to call it, are ultimately linked. The sooner we recognize that the sooner, may be, we could live up to our banner -- "peace and progress"

Yasir Ramadan Gwale said...

Your piece on the above subject was very appealing and really heart-rending. May Allah reward you for telling the truth. Ameen.

Anonymous said...

I think this write-up is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to ridicule Nigerian Christians, especially the leaders.

Anonymous said...

What is the relationship between Porf. Jerry Gana and Mohammed Yusuf.

Rabia Husain said...

Thanks again doc for your courage-for it takes a lot of courage for a muslim to speak up in the current circumstances. Our leaders have been intimidated into silence for fear of being label anti government or pro Boko Haram. I hope that they are now fully awakened from their slumber to the reality that whatever the position we as northerners take,we are the targets of a sinister agenda aimed at throwing us out of the country. Take for instance the inciting utterences from other groups on AIT yesterday and open newspaper advertorials in the Leadership all against us. We have become so voiceless and afraid to even state the fact that we are at the receiving end of both sides of the stick. The earlier our leaders and those in government in particular accept their responsibility to speak on behalf of all people oppressed by BH,poverty and bad governance,the better.

Anonymous said...

As d writer rightly said no leader'll c harm metted @ his followers witout respondn so letz b objective here: 1) I listened 2 d statements made by d CAN presido on channels news & at NO point did I hear him mention dat d measure 2 b taken 2 protect Christains was going 2 b done wit riffles, bombs & d likes. So itz preposterous of d writer 2 assume so. In fact d guy called 4 Christains after dat dy 2 set aside 6th Jan 2012 to fast & pray 4 d nation concernn d issue; so there're many ways to have protection not necessarily from riffles & d likes but from the Almighty God who TRULY protects. 2)D so called Boko Haram operating in Nigeria are tagged an Islamic sect, so I dnt see fault in the CAN preso calln on Islamic leaders to play their part in calling d sect to order in line with Islamic injuction. Because we all know Islamic teaching

also propagate peace & is against 1 attackn an innocent person, except in self defence. 3) There was no need of comparision by d writer that most of d security heads are Christains; so they should have been in a better position 2 provide security 4 Christain since during other Moslem lead administrations they had a better deal. My believe is that d security heads are there 2 protect ALL Nigerian citizens irrespective of their religion. 4) I'm a bonafide norther and I grew up in d north. Sincerely, many times when issues of religious conflict arise u hear all sorts of call by Islamic leader on how to treat Christains, honestly most times not good; but we don't usualy bother because we know any TRUE Moslem who has studied his Koran will not be swayed by waves of any kind of doctrine coz we have them as brothers & sisters and we can attest to their conduct.

Anonymous said...

As d writer rightly said no leader'll c harm metted @ his followers witout respondn so letz b objective here: 1) I listened 2 d statements made by d CAN presido on channels news & at NO point did I hear him mention dat d measure 2 b taken 2 protect Christains was going 2 b done wit riffles, bombs & d likes. So itz preposterous of d writer 2 assume so. In fact d guy called 4 Christains after dat dy 2 set aside 6th Jan 2012 to fast & pray 4 d nation concernn d issue; so there're many ways to have protection not necessarily from riffles & d likes but from the Almighty God who TRULY protects. 2)D so called Boko Haram operating in Nigeria are tagged an Islamic sect, so I dnt see fault in the CAN preso calln on Islamic leaders to play their part in calling d sect to order in line with Islamic injuction. Because we all know Islamic teaching

also propagate peace & is against 1 attackn an innocent person, except in self defence. 3) There was no need of comparision by d writer that most of d security heads are Christains; so they should have been in a better position 2 provide security 4 Christain since during other Moslem lead administrations they had a better deal. My believe is that d security heads are there 2 protect ALL Nigerian citizens irrespective of their religion. 4) I'm a bonafide norther and I grew up in d north. Sincerely, many times when issues of religious conflict arise u hear all sorts of call by Islamic leader on how to treat Christains, honestly most times not good; but we don't usualy bother because we know any TRUE Moslem who has studied his Koran will not be swayed by waves of any kind of doctrine coz we have them as brothers & sisters and we can attest to their conduct.

Anonymous said...

Its unfortunate that we are in this sorry situation with no one to help. The international community is in a way behind the Govvernment .I ve being saying it before now, Government is behind this Boko Haram thing. What I believed happen is this Government / security agents were able to infiltrate in to Boko Haram .They hijacked it with the support of foreign governments thats why I said the international community is just watching and doing nothing to rescue the situation. My candid advice is for peace loving Nigerian to stand in prayers,Allah answer prayers of those that called him with sincerity.he will certainly create an exit for people.he is the only one to protect us like you said,all the security agencies are headed by the christians,see what happened in kano yesterday no newspaper reported it correctly,about 29 protesters were killed on the first day of the strike.

Chibiyayi Sadiya said...

May Almaighty Allah bring peace 2 our dear contry. Doc dis pieces is absolutely truth, let GEJ know dat wat dey r planning ll neva b hiding in D Eyes of All-Seeyer (Allah). Tanks doc.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Tilde u have said it all on this has been said 'for evil to prevail good people must keep silent.' The truth requires no adornment...and an unbiased mind needs no guide...I only want to say to our brothers and sisters whether xtian or muslim that we have no other country than Nigeria...if we build it we secure the future of our offsprings n if we destroy it we jeoparide our n their future. May Allah help us to build it.

Anonymous said...

Dr well done for the ridicules u ve made to the Christians and their Leader. The Northern leaders particularly muslems are using BOKO Haram to destabilize Goodluck led Administration bcos they conceived Him to be using
their turn. Why do boko haram says: "Bombing to stop in 2015" because Goodluck said He is not going for second term. Also those boko haram- Are they not Islamic sect? Why can't Sultan/Emir call them to order? Muslems claim they don't know them. Are they not living among? The truth is that Nigeria is a false country and what will end these blood shed is DIVISION so that if ur are dying U die in peace than in the hands of the ruthless, aimless and useless entity called boko haram. Many facts have pointed that Nigeria cannot stand. A situation where one lives in fear because there is no love for coexistence. It will be better that we divide in peace than in pieces to avert all these blood sheds, mistrust and recurrent sectarian crisis. The earlier the better.

Ali Kano said...

This an excellent piece Dr. But it is unfortunate that at anytime one presents a fact they close their eyes and begin to turn things up-side-down,if one is to be honest let Jerry Gana come out and deny the allegation labelled against him for over a month now but yet they will come-up with different sentiments and tribal views, May Allah brings the end of this country so that everyone will go his own way.

Anonymous said...

The doc's analysis of the 'self-defence' issue is so simplistic, it is actually ridiculous. These issues ate too serious for such biased comments. Follow by email? Thanks, but i'll pass.

Anonymous said...

My dear brothers and sisters first of all there is no boko haram as most people think, of course there are a few insignificant extremists who do not have the capacity to go beyond their native Borno. This is just the "NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER" holding the drunken fisherman called Goodluck who also doubles as the president of Nigeria, to ransome. The CAN president is nothing but an accomplice, an accessory to the crime of slaughtering our fellow Northern Christains. Incidentally incase you haven't noticed he is also from the OIL rich south-south.

But please have comfort in the following words, "kaikai zai koma kan mashekiya" bi 'izinillah in the not too distant future. Until then keep up the good work of prayeing hard and sincerely. All this will come to pass insha Allah.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde said...

Let me appeal to commentators on this article to please show restraint and not use derogatory names on the President, the NSA or anyone. We are just trying to understand what is going on in our dear country, after realizing that the truth is more than what we are told by the authorities. Neither is there any intention to ridicule Christians as two commentators have charged. Those who know me will attest that ridicule is not my habit. I am a friend of so many Christian men and women,in and outside Nigeria. They mean a lot to me. I follow the footstep of my father. I will not ridicule them. Never. However, I find them different from the CAN leadership, whose war rhetoric has never helped matters.

Anonymous said...

Dr is very wrong for u to assume dat its only weapons dat can be used as self defense.dats a very outrageous comment nd very wrong.I hav lived all my life in d North nd I no ow volatile religious comments can become.d truth is dat most muslims esp in da north r overtly sensitive.we cant fite dis unless we leave bias nd tackle d truth.there some truth in wat u hav said,but ur analysis of self-defense is very very very very wrong!!

Anonymous said...

Wht a disappointment from a learned man. What really was the message in your piece? You intended to show how incompetent the government was at tackling insecurity but ended up bringing religious sentiments in.

Why write insanely? Why foster division among Christians and muslims with this? Read your write up again and see for yourself how you ended up condemning Christians... See the comments underneath and see how quickly it has taken a religious tone. For your information no Christian ever tot boko haram was after Christians,.. Up until the threat that christians should leave the north and a follow up killing of targeted Christians and churches. And was it so much for CAN to ask their followers to defend themselves. Ur all knowing mind knows they are already planning to get rifles and bombs(smh). When muslims were killed by the sect you think Christians didnt sympathise and condemn the acts too. Ur followr mohammed najeeb or whteva is already rainin abuses (what you intended i guess)

Kindly think before you write next time. Ur exposé wasnt really necessary... Itz not really d CAN leader's speech that could spark up a religious or civil war, it's the write up above

S T Abdulkareem said...

The name boko Haram appears to be a household name in Nigeria, but who are they, where do they live and why is the Nigerian security so helpless against their mayhem? The Name or caption BOKO-HARAM does not portray the reported trend.
Something tells me certain group are hell-bent on creating chaos in our Country. I hope they have another country they can call theirs.

B J Bulama said...

Whilst I agree with some of the points raised I do not however subscribe to the comparison of how past Muslim leaders have handled religious crisis as against their Christian counterparts. If anything, the answer to the seeming inability of christian leaders to deal decisively with religious crisis in the north is simply because if they do,the muslims will cry 'blue murder'. We all know that it is alot easier for a muslim leader to deal with a muslim insurgency like Boko Haram just like it is easier for a christian leader to deal with a christian insurgency. I give you an example - Obasanjo found it easy to declare a state of emergency in plateau state without much ado because he was a christian. When Late Yar'adua was at the helm of affairs the killing in plateau state became even far worse than it was during Obasanjo yet Yar'adua did not declare a state of emergency. Have you wondered why? The reason is not far-fetch- religion in Nigeria has assumed a dangerous dimension that whatever action a leader takes, people of the other religion will give it a religious colouration. Consequently, you find leaders trading carefully. Whilst I am not making any excuses for the failure of the current leadership of GEJ to rise to the ocassion to protect the lives and property of Nigerians,I nevertheless find your comparison along religious lines untenable. Your submission, if anything, smacks of what one would rightly describe as the ego of a typical hausa/fulani muslim who believes he is better than every other person. I rest my case.

Husaini Usman said...

A gud observation, bt the comments ar nt mostly academical, it clearly shows hw divided we ar bcos instead of undstnding and making useful contribution we end up blaming each other. The underline issue here is 'action and utterences of leaders if nt clearly checked may lead to chaos in the Society'.
And non of us wil deny that, the President is biased, he has neva visited a scene where Muslims ar killed (neva visit Jos, Maiduguri or Potiskum) only went to Madalla, wat manner of a leader.

Unknown said...

In response to Anonymous January 10 (8:51PM). Firstly I will like to thank Dr for explaining the situation at hand. I think some Nigerian such us the one I am responding now can not think beyond their head. Is there anything in this write up that is not clear to you. Even primary student will understand the content of this article. Prof. Jerry Gana many time bailed Mohd Yusuf from police custody quote me anywhere and I have the proof for that. Please use your head before you make commend. Recently you heard the person you are backing (Mr. President) make it clear that this BOKO HARAM issue is made up of all arms of goverment why can't he fight them? Is he afraid? Is he not the president? If it is not plan I thing Jonathan is boko haram member by implication.
Dahiru Sani Shu'aibu

Anonymous said...

Well done Dr!I really appreciate Ur write up 'cos is a reality happening in d Country.More grease to Ur elbows pls!

Anonymous said...

In response to d last writer, itz obvious you are an extremist dr. Shuaib, d writer of d post you are condemning didnt back the president as you assume, what you didn't note was he asked d writer not to spark of a religious war with his article. If you were a right thinking and patriotic Nigerian you would read the message properly and see he wasnt taking any stance but saying people should not stir up strife with what they write. Ur advice abt thinking clearly should first be taken by you. And while you at it polish your grammar.

Anonymous said...

Boko Haram is just one of the aspect of security challenge pose by the northerners to the nation. the major issue is ethno-religious differences.Dr T. i agree with some of your points but you diluted it later on with some other points with spoilage tendencies.For many years now Christians lives have been witnessing abbreviation in the north.If there is a call for self defense now why will you be against it.may i ask you what was done to rebuke the CPC presidential aspirant when during his campaign he and his followers threatened to fight back if he does not win. An act they eventually carried out killing innocent Christians and burning churches as if the election was conducted in the churches. Moreso, his deputy is a christian.what was your analysis concerning that.when he was interviewed on Ajazeera that his boys have taken to the street, he said they were fighting for their rights when there was no evidence that the election was guys could easily dissociate yourself from BH claiming it is not Islam against Christianity so, i ask in the issue i raised above what was it for? kaduna in 1987,2000 and 2002 were not triggered by BH. what was behind it. In 1987 out of the many churches in Zaria, report have it that it remained only one that was not set ablaze.It was not BH. so CAN leadership to me was looking at the issue holistically. during the sharia crisis in Kaduna a former head of state, a muslim, said he had read in the bible that if Christians are slapped on the right cheek they should turn the left, making fool of will be totally wrong for you to think it is only government that can solve the issue of crisis in that region as an analyst.the northern elites have more roles to play here if they are interested in doing so. Do not pretend not to know this fact. During the sharia crisis in Kaduna the Emir of Zazzau went round Zaria begging his people not to ignite any trouble, and during this period in zaria ask anyone as much as there was tension there was no crisis in zaria. in the south west there are practitioners of both religions, i have Muslims in my immediate family and you can not hear that one is killing the other. in the north even yoruba Muslims face the sword. so let us not deceive ourselves. I do not support some slackness of GEJ in handling important issues but all these are happening because some power drunk individuals want to make the nation ungovernable for him.Nigeria will never change until Nigerians change.

farida musa said...

Ananymous! Pls stop beating aroud d bush an trying 2 manipulating issues, if u will open up an tell us u ar in support of ur fellow christians, it would have be easy 4 us 2 understand. Many of us had d CAN talking abt defending dem self if d gov't can't defend dem an by saying dat we all understand wat he means. U claim dia ar other ways of defending such as fasting an praying, hw many fasting an praying did u knw dat was announce by d muslims in Borno st both silently an outspokenly agains boko haram? I also had so many christians saying dey need foreign aid, 2 come 2 dia rescue. It ought 2 b a lesson 2 all Nigerias knwing dat foreign aid wil do nothin bt instead wil worsen d situatn, Iraq war is an example, 4 eight yrs in Iraq dia wia foreign aid bt dat didnt stp d war instead d war bcame worse dan expectatn.

Emeka said...

I salute you Dr. Tilde. As a non religious,free minded follower of your articles and thought, I find this present article "Jonathan and security of Nigerian Christians" disappointing. My disappointment is borne out of the angle of your argument. For the fact that you stooped so low to the point of assuming the number of churches in Nigeria and how difficult it will be for Christians to defend themselves. You went ahead to compare the Muslim leaders from the north and Christian leader from the south, this is most surprising to me cos the present volatile situation in Nigeria does not call for this kind of sentiments and least expected it from somebody of your integrity.

Although one does not know your objective in this article, but certainly reconciliation and peace is not one of it. You sound quiet contented that Nigeria is failing under southern Christian leadership.

This brings to mind your assertion in one of your publication titled "ICC and the Mladics in Nigeria". In this article you claimed that, "Since the Kafanchan crisis of 1987, there has been efforts to depopulate certain areas in Central Nigeria of Muslim populations" by who? Sir,don't you think that, you stand being accused of fanning religious hatred.

I am not in support of present structure of Nigeria. As I have stated before, Nigeria in its present form, cannot and will not survive.Wetter it will take BH, Massob,opc etc to bring it down is yet to be seen.

Nobody has a monopoly of violence, I would rather opt out for a peaceful dissolution of present Nigeria than killing innocent people for just no reason; this is primitive.

Dr. John H. Boer said...

Brother Tilde

Assuming your facts to be correct, this is a very interesting analysis. If your analysis is correct, Christians, along with Govt and Muslims, have a huge job to do, but everyone should start at home. I have circulated your article to a lot of Christians for their consideration. De godiya ba iyaka!

Henry Omaduvie said...

Dr. Tilde, No one can doubt your intelligence or the beauty of your articles on national issues but my problem with you is that you do not write as a nationalist. You always see things from an ethnic or religeous prism which is unfortunate of a writer of your standing.
It is the duty of the police primarily to maintain law and order in any society. Call a spade by its name, the Nigerian police under Ringim has failed and Nigerians have lost faith in the police. For you to say that the police is helpless as the army took over its function because you want to accuse christian security chiefs as incompetent is pure falsehood.
If Jonathan or Obasanjo had used brute force to suppress these islamists as other Muslim leaders did in the past you will be the first to accuse them of genocide. You wrote an article on the activities of the JTF in Borno state some time ago about the high handedness of the task force in dealing with these senseless killings in that state and then again you abused the " incompetent Jonathan" of delibrately causing atrocities in the North and called for the withdrawal of the JTF. In that article you called for the replacement of JTF leader with that "fine officer General Maina" the former commander in Jos to take over in Maiduguri.
CAN calling for self defence will never be a call to arms because the bible tells us that the weapons of our warfare are not physical but are able to uproot mighty obstacles and strongholds. The day Boko Haram started to kill innocent christians marked the begining of their journey to extinction. The Church has woken up to prayers and Boko Haram will soon be history because our GOD will avenge for us as we call upon his name. No trues christian will harm a Muslim.
I want to close my response to your article with a question, why is that their is so much bloodshed associated with Islam in Northan Nigeria, are the Muslims in the South not reading the same Koran with thier brothers in the North? If Christians in Jos killed Moslems in the North it should be condemmed by all, that is what good men should do. Those involved in this killinge be brought to justice.

yakubu idris said...

Tanx.doc.Beware, the president is not in a slumber,i believe it is an agenda and he is part of it

U mar Batu re said...

Dr. well done, you are among the few that are not afraid to speak the truth.I pray may God give you more wisdom. Those that are accusing you are not honest, they are people full of prejudice.

GOD IS WITH US said...

Dr. Tilde, from all indications, especially from the tune of this right up and the falsehood you tried to bring forth here, I will not be surprise if you, yes you are one of the sponsors of this cowardly group, Boko Haram. Here yourself. Doesnt your conscience prick you over this show of same and unpatriotic stand here? Go tell your Muslim brothers, that we know all they do behind to encourage these people. Will you tell us that you don't know any member of Boko Haram? Then you are a liar. YOUR TIME is near.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

It is true that when someone failed, the blame usually shifted to other person. To some extend nigeria is a failed state. Datz why we alwayz end up pointing accusing finger to one another.

But it is a known fact to evry1 dat ethnicity, tribilisism, religious sentiment/violence, violation of human rights, existed in nigeria for decades. Had any so-developed dev country ever intervene or invade to end these atrocities? That means they are d engine of most of our problems coz they have target for it.

From my point of view the west have contributed to our failure. They implant boko haram as a tool and agenda to fight islam and robe nigeria.

Anonymous said...

Intelligently written treatise but tainted with smacks of religious bigotry. Boko Haram is not synonymous with Islam fighting Christianity and neither is it North against South. Cluelessness has got nothing to do with religious affiliations and that in my opinion is where your inherent bigotry came afore and led you away from what otherwise would have been an excellent piece.

Anonymous said...

I dont know why the Christians r putting up blind arguemenr. Let me just add 2 what Dr wrote abt killing of Christians (Ibos) in a Church in MUBI & YOLA which was claimed by BH. The killers were all arrested, they r not only Christians but Ibos from the south. Do U know why there was no comments on this incident from the Northern Christians? Bcos it was Ibos killing Ibos. What do U think would have happened if the pple killed r northern Christian & same ppl r responsible?

James Pam said...

My comment on this article was too long to be accommodated here so I sent it via email to It is titled, "Fanning The Embers of Religious Intolerance". Readers will find the article published at http://www. and at my blog, Just like many commentators, I expressed disappointment at Dr. Tilde this time round and accused him of provoking religious intolerance. I also accused him of unfairly attempting to push the proprietorship of Boko Haram to Christians. Dr. Tilde, by his words and style, disowned Pres. Jonathan. He treated as a President for Christians only, thus reminding us of the post-presidential election violence of April 2011. I agree with a commentator, Emeka. He said that what we need is a peaceful rather than violent re-structure of this country since it appears we can never agree ti live together the way it is now. Dr. Tilde, kindly publish my response if you received my email. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I think the analysis in terms of the level of incompetence of the security services and infrastructure highlights a wider problem of insecurity even before the advent of BOKO HARAM. As a muslim I think that there is a level of tolerance of extreme views in the Northern Muslim community that have the tendency to provide a foundation for groups like BOKO HARAM. We therefore need to make sure that the lower level of intolerance to avoid high level extremism. There equal level of extreme view in the Xtian coomunity in the North, i will leave it to some honest northern xtians to comment on these.

Anonymous said...

Please commentators that are against the analysis of Dr. TILDE read what it means by Self Defence and its provision in the Nigerian Constitution. Is self defence to fold your hands and be quiet to be killed by your enemy. Be matured enough when commenting.

Anonymous said...

If U people want the truth, ask Jerry Gana. It is OBJ programme, pay back 4 been jailed. When the programme couldnt comeup to the stage he need, he asked 4 3rd term in office, when it couldnt get thru the senate he picked on a Very Sick candidet so that he may die & surely he can sell the idea 2 the VP who is a Christian from south. Programme pertarns: 4 the northern christians, it is a religious war on Islam, Muslums will be the target, 4 OBJ, the coumtry will split & the south will be Independent, 2 the Eeaterners, let the north go 1st then they can send the west within 6months, At the end, only the Northern Muslums are wise because they know that they are the target. It is a game of decits, doublecross & cheats. N900billion is suppose 2 complet the project but nay it may fail cos very soon some will start confessing right from CAN. All those arrested are to be used in tanishing the image of the Northern Muslum elders like IBB, Atiku, Buhari, Dume & many more but can never appear in court. JUST WAIT.