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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Discourse 348. The Contribution of Muslim Leaders to Insecurity in Nigeria

Discourse 348
By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde

The Contribution of Muslim Leaders to Insecurity in Nigeria

At a joint meeting between the Special Task Force (STF) and representatives of Muslim communities of Jos and Barikin Ladi in Plateau State, the Muslims yielded to the appeal by the STF not to pray at their usual Eid praying ground at Barikin Ladi. A day earlier, the Izala group has also acquiesced to pressure from the STF not to pray at their Eid ground at Unguwar Rukuba, Jos, where many of its followers were killed and cannibalized last year. Muslim prayer is becoming impossible in Plateau State. The impossibility is aided by a federal government outfit, the STF, which misdirects its appeal at the victim instead of the assailant. But this is not even our point of discussion today.

In my conversation with one of the Muslim representatives just after yesterday’s meeting with the STF, he expressed his distress over the unhelpful behavior of top Muslim functionaries in government in the following words:

“Honestly, our leaders at the top are not helping matters. We could not reach any of them since yesterday; neither the Inspector General of Police (IGP) nor the National Security Adviser (NSA). Their lines have been switched off. One cannot but feel helpless and abandoned in situations like this.”

I have noticed that there is always a deliberate attempt by Muslim leaders and top functionaries in government to distance themselves from their fellow Muslims whenever the latter are faced with a crisis, when they need them most for guidance and advice. One of the leaders the Muslim community in Yelwan Shendam told me the pathetic story of how they were failed by Muslim leaders.

Since 17 February 2004, Muslims expelled from the villages around Shendam started converging to Yelwa for safety. Yelwa itself was eventually attacked on 24 February 2004. The attack did not succeed as intended. The Muslims were able to chase and kill many of the attackers, including some who, the Muslims claimed, were using a church as a hideout. Since then, a dusk to dawn curfew was imposed on the town and it remained so until it was attacked for the second time on 2 May 2004.

Sensing the worst might befall them when they are attacked the second time, given the revenge that the then governor Joshua Dariye promised, Muslim leaders of Yelwa took the pain to tour the North for thirteen days after the first attack, appealing to Muslim leaders in the region to persuade the federal government to beef up security in the area. Among the several Emirs they visited, only those of Birnin Gwari and Dutse promised to take their complaint further. The Emir of Kazaure would have been the third, if he were in the country, said the leader of the delegation. The Emir of Zaria out-rightly dismissed them as incapable of living peacefully with their Christian neighbors, as if he is able to live peacefully with his Christian subjects in southern Kaduna. Blaming the victim is his own way of escaping any involvement in the issue. The Emir of Kano consigned the Yelwa delegation to his Sarkin Fada, meaning that the matter did not even qualify for his attention. The Sultan was not in the country. Babangida, according a member of the delegation, “played us his maradona, without committing himself to anything.” Etc.

And the worst came.

When the end of 28 April 2004 approached and the campaign by the majority Christian tribes was about to commence, all policemen withdrew from Yelwa, saying that it has become “Afghanistan.” Only one Muslim police officer remained in the town. He was allegedly shot by a mobile policeman colleague when the attackers returned to Yelwa.

After they were informed that Christian forces were seen heading for the town, the soldiers stationed in Yelwa withdrew on 2 May 2004 – the first day of the second attack on the town – under the pretext that they are going to seek for reinforcement. They never returned. The Muslims were thus abandopned to their fate. Luckily, they suffered only eight deaths on the first day. If the military had stayed or returned with the reinforcement as they promised, the massacre that happened the following day would have been avoided.

Monday, 3 May 2004, the Muslims lost close to 570 lives. Hundreds of their girls and women were captured from their hideout at the house of the Galadima by the Christian tribesmen. They were carted away literally into captivity and slavery. That day, it took the braveness of a youth who drove through the roadblocks mounted by Christian youtand to inform the soldiers at Shendam of the massacre that he left taking place behind him in Yelwa. If it were not for the intervention of one Col. Femi and his troops, the entire Muslim population of the town would have been wiped out. He had to “clear” a number of Christian youths at the roadblocks on his way to Yelwa. Thanks to another brave mobile policeman in the team drafted to the town after the crisis, most of the slave women were retrieved after they have been subjected to weeks of unprintable abuse that has been documented by many human rights groups. As a side note, I must say that nobody was arrested for any of these crimes.

Also, when the Fulani in Riyom and Barikin Ladi local governments were given a quit notice by the STF last month, I immediately got in touch with the Sultan, the supreme commander of the Fulani in Nigeria, to register my disapproval of the order. To be fair to him, he took me into confidence and said he would appeal to the President to withdraw it. Meanwhile, he agreed with me that the Fulani should disregard the order. I conveyed his stand to them.

The Sultan contacted the President, who was attending an AU conference, and the Vice President in the following hours. We kept in touch until when it was clear by the evening of the first day of the quit notice that the Chief of Defence Staff has resolved that the operation must be undertaken. It then became clear to the Sultan that there was no going back. What would he tell the Fulani then? He never got back to me to advise us on what to do. Twice i called my commander, and twice he refused to pick my calls. I have not heard from him since.

As God would have it, Saleh Bayari was released that evening and together with Miyetti Allah leaders in the State we visited the STF the following morning and began to sort out how the Fulani would vacate their homes in the five affected communities. We agreed on a number of things with the STF and headed for Mahanga with a detachment of some soldiers and its deputy Commander that evening to explain matters to them. The rest is now a story which I was updating my readers on throughout the period of the crisis.

The operation has ended without any casualty. We thank God that the plan to use the soldiers to drive the Fulani out of their communities forever or “finish” them when they refuse to vacate was carefully foiled by the vehement outcry of the Nigerian public, especially from the civil rights groups and international humanitarian organizations which instantly responded to the apprehension we expressed online. As a result of that pressure, the federal government backtracked and instructed the soldiers not to kill anyone during the operation.

Throughout the period of that crisis, like in every other one during the past two and a half decades, not a single northern politician, traditional ruler, governor or government official – Muslim or Christian – made any public statement condemning the federal government for its actions. In their silence lies one of our greatest security problems in the country.

Muslims in the country are always left on their own under such situations. Unlike the Christians who would trust the Christian Association of Nigeria to speak on their behalf (though many times its leader speaks only on behalf of himself), Muslims have no voice to echo their grievances. The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs are practically government mouthpieces because its core members – the Emirs – and their president – the Sultan – are officials of their respective state governments. They dare not say anything unpalatable to government otherwise they will soon be met with the wrath of their emperor-governors. The JNI branches in the states are mostly dysfunctional, made up largely by ulama are that are too weak to stop crises when they are set to happen.

What happens to the ordinary Muslim under such situations when he has nobody to refer to for guidance and no one to fight his battle in the security councils at state and federal levels? Take the case of Plateau for instance. There is not a single Muslim in the entire security council of the state – not among its federal representatives like the Commissioner of Police, Director (SSS), STF commander, Commander of Civil Defence, and, of course, not among representatives of state government like the Governor, his Attorney-General, Permanent Secretary (Security), etc. But if Muslim officials elsewhere cannot come to their aid, how would they expect any of the above officials to protect their interests during any crisis situation?

Muslims, being left on their own, are thus pushed to taking the law into their own hand in many instances. And should they take any move to defend themselves, the security agencies will promptly pounce on them with arrests, torture and prosecution. The press for political reasons will twist their story and blame them. Since the crisis on the Plateau started, many Muslims have been convicted – like the eleven convicted Fulani after Dogo Nahauwa reprisal attack – or are awaiting trial in jails, but there has not been a single Christian prosecution. This kind of injustice does nothing but feeds Muslim anger and complete feeling of estrangement from government.

This takes us to another dimension when government and the Christian leadership in the country would compel Muslim leaders to condemn their followers or appeal to them to remain calm or keep the peace even in situations where Muslims are at the receiving end. The result is a total disregard for the appeals of such leaders. Boko Haram is one such case. So much disconnect exists between Muslim leaders and their followers that their calls for dialogue and their condemnations have woefully failed to persuade the group to stop their attacks for a day. Two Emirs, the Shehu of Borno and the Emir of Fika escaped death from Boko Haram suicide bombers by a whisker. That was a powerful message.

And when Muslims suffer casualties or disaster, their leaders are the most unwilling to help them. In the donations we received for Fulani IDPs and the recent Jos Flood victims, apart from the Sultan sent a paltry sum of N2million to the flood victims through JNI, not a single donation came from a notable Muslim leader, top government functionary or politician even though hundreds of Nigerians including Christians and southerners sent in their donations. What crop of leaders are these who cannot defend the interest of their people, be with them during crisis or assist them during disasters?. How can they command the respect of their followers with this blatant abdication of responsibility? Nobody is asking them to carry any sword as their grandfathers did. We are only asking them to speak out; yet that too is not forthcoming. Kai!

The complacency of Muslim leaders when the rights of their followers are violated has thus become one the greatest sources of instability in the country. It has allowed the boat of our internal security to be pedaled by only one side – the Christian side, while Muslim leaders continue to keep their own pedals on their laps. No wonder the boat is tilting to the safety of one side, albeit temporarily. If Muslim leaders had pedaled their own side too, the boat would have moved straight in the desired direction of our collective safety when he government will be compelled to guard the rights of all citizens equally. Inevitably, the boat will capsize. In the end, the complacency they think is a service to government is turning out to be a great disservice to it. Today, it is evident that most of them can no longer be relied upon by government to calm anybody.

The Muslim communities in Barikin Ladi and Jos are therefore on their own. I doubt if any of them is able to reach the Sultan, the governor, the IGP, the NSA or the President. But for how long would they continue to yield to the STF appeals at the expense of their right to worship, just because there is a "security report" claiming that there will be trouble if pray for not more than an hour on a ground they bought and have been using for decades now? For how long would they continue to remain passive without learning from their Fulani brothers? As I set out to write this article this morning, I was told that the Berom have killed three Fulani and injured one as they were riding their motorcycles home from Barikin Ladi yesterday. I will not shade tears for them. I am sure the killings will not go unanswered.

And to Muslim public officials who toe the line of injustice by their silence and making themselves inaccessible to their Muslim constituency during crisis, we only need to remind them of the temporary nature of their seats. Boko Haram alone has brought down two IGPs and the most connected NSA in the Jonathan administration. With time the occupants of those seats will suffer the same fate. No amount of complacency will save them.

Back to Jos. If the STF commander, Major-General Ayoola, and his team are too weak to secure Nigerians in their place of worship for just an hour, I cannot see the reason why he should not be redeployed. This is incompetence at its worst. Some of the STF sector commanders are even conniving with the very Berom youths who instigate these crises. In the meeting yesterday, the STF commander was told about the connivance of the field commander of Sector 5 in Barikin Ladi, Col. Victor Ita. The Fulani have bitterly complained that he led the team of soldiers who demolished their houses using armoured personnel tanks just after a MOPOL was killed by an unknown assailant. He just could not wait to verify the murderer. Both the Fulani and Hausa accuse him of supporting the Berom in every instance. In the meeting between Muslims leaders and the STF commander yesterday, unknown to the STF Commander, Col. Ita smuggled two Berom youth leaders into the venue. The commander became clearly disappointed. Yet, I will swear by my honour that the sector commander will not arrest the assailants that killed the three Fulani in the area under his command yesterday. I will also not be surprised if he launches an attack on the victims' community soon, should they retaliate in any form. How could there be peace?

Such a person is not needed to command our soldiers. If he wants to fight the Fulani or the Hausa, let him remove his uniform and join the Berom camp. Then, I am as certain as my death that he will get a good run for his money. He thinks his actions are helpful to the Berom while in actual fact it is hurting them. It was his demolition of Fulani houses that led to the escalation of the crisis in many communities in Barikin Ladi and Riyom local governments last month. Many of the Berom have been living in self exile since then. They are too scared to return to their homes. If not for the aggression of Col. Ita, Senator Datung and House member Danfulani who lost their lives in that escalation would have been alive today.

I will appeal to civil rights groups to redouble their effort in fighting for the rights of the minority groups in Plateau State. Denying people worship is going too far: it could be a tipping point. Last year, at the Unguwar Rukuba ground, over forty Muslim worshippers were killed and cannibalized under the watchful eyes of the police. Despite the preponderance of the video clip, nobody is arrested to date. This bias cannot be sustained. It will not yield peace. The trend must be opposed by all well-meaning Nigerians.

The federal government, as I emphatically made it clear before the President at our meeting with him last week, must rise to protect the rights of minority Nigerians wherever they are in the country. It has for too long allowed its personnel to be used in the pursuit of narrow chauvinist agenda, especially in Plateau State. The hands of the chief architect of the crisis in the state – its governor, Jonah Jang – are very clear in every posting of security officials made to the state. The federal government in whose hands is entrusted our entire security and law enforcement apparatus must wake up to its responsibility. Otherwise, it must be prepared to handle crises worse than Boko Haram soon.

And, finally, I turn to you Muslim leaders in your palaces and government offices. Contrary to your belief that your silence is helping matters, it is further subverting the security of Nigerians and allowing the tree of intolerance and hate to grow and blossom. It emboldens the aggressor and pushes the victim to the state of despair where he must, in compliance with the natural law of self-defence, resort to his own devices. That is your despicable contribution to the insecurity of this country. I have come to your defence in the past when your name was unjustifiably dragged into the mud. But not in this. You must wake up and serve the nation boldly by speaking against injustice.

Please accept this article as my Sallah gift to you. And what a pleasant one!

18 August 2012

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Basheer Sa'ad said...

Dr Tilde,You actually scratched where itched me.Our leaders must realize their roles and play them as and when dua. Jazakallahu Khairan.

Mannir said...

Blunt, fearless and succinct! I knew Dr Tilde through his writings for over a decade, but never knew he could be so blunt. I have always felt he was too 'soft' on our leaders in most of his previous views in the past. However, I now understand, that being too considerate and accommodating is not out of fear. Now that Dr Tilde is making direct shoot at the targets and calling spade by its name, I am highly excited. At least we are now in the same school of thought that our leaders dont deserve such niceties. The only language they understand is harsh and blunt response from the followership. The next step now is to sensitize all the followers to know that they are on their onw! They should expect nothing from the leadership, as the little they sometimes get is getting fewer. So they must stand up and take back their Ummah from the so called leaders. Thank you Dr, may Allah increase you in knowledge, wisdom and courage.

Mohammed Khurso Zangeri said...

La haula lokku'ata illah billah.What a situation.May Allah ease it

Anonymous said...

Dayyab Babangida Nothing but the truth
49 minutes ago · Like

Ibraheem A. Waziri Let's c how many of us the so-called social media vanguard for justice will also share this article or comment on this issue
25 minutes ago · Like

Anonymous said...

Dr Tilde May Allah bless you. I think is high time we the muslims especially the youths stand up to defend ourselves and not to wait for all these useless leaders to come to our rescue as they will never do.

Anonymous said...

Abdullahi Adamu Yusuf: You have spoken the minds of millions of Nigerians. I pray that this will serve as a WAKE UP CALL to our "leaders" .
25 minutes ago via mobile ·

Hamisu Danladi: is so sad!
4 minutes ago via mobile

Nigerian Economics said...

Well said Dr. Tilde. Allah ya biyaka da alherinsa.

Anonymous said...

Jazakallah Dr. this is just in time Nasiha (Jayyid). May our leaders harken to the voices of reason echoed in this discourse and elsewhere for the common good of all.

"Fa intatawalau yas tabdil Qauman ghaira kum - thumma laya kunu amthalakum: if ye turn back (on your duties to Allah and to the our society) then be assured you will be replaced by good people who will not be like you" in your complacence etc

Barka Da Sallah from - Salihu Garba

Anonymous said...

Nura Ali Dr you have spoken the truth. Max GOD reward you abundantly.

Anonymous said...

Mohammed Khurso Zangeri La haula lokku'ata illa billah!

Anonymous said...

Jazakallahu bi khairan kaseeran

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Eseoghene Al-Faruq Ohwojeheri This piece is WONDERFUL

...A nice articulation of how we are the problem. I concur!

Anonymous said...

Eseoghene Al-Faruq Ohwojeheri This is one piece I intend to continuously quote from

Anonymous said...

Bashir Mande Now u are talking Dr. Our so-called leaders enjoyed ur immunity in words and action for too long. Allah ya bamu ikon self-defence

Anonymous said...

Mohd Bashir Garba We wish you well. We will continue to say thank you.

Anonymous said...

Basheer Adamu Gobir If zakat proceeds could be utilized in funding muslim emirates making them independent of public treasury, that could give them some confidence to act. but with the present decadent system, such is virtually impossible as even the few that give out zakkat prefer to manage it directly for fear that it would be diverted.

Anonymous said...

Yahya Musa Shuaibu Allah kar ka sa mu yi wannan mummunan gado na rashin kishin arewa wic our so called elders wanna left as legacy 4 us 2 follow. indeed tilde is a gr8 hero har yanxu we still hav sardaunans lyk nd happily Sir tilde u re 1.

Anonymous said...

Prince Bello: Thumbs up Dr Aliyu U. Tilde

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde said...

Please comment without abuse.

Anonymous said...

Kamaludeen Kabir Allah yasa su gane ya kuma bamu ikon gane gaskiya, gaskiyace ya bamu ikon bin ta

Binaliyu said...

MashaAllah, thats the price we are paying for vouching for corrupt hypocritical sycophants for a paltry short term monetary a word is enough for a wise. May Allah guide and protect the innocent.

Binaliyu said...

MashaAllah, this is indeed an eye opener for those who seek truth.

Anonymous said...

Thank you doctor for speaking the truth. May Allah(the almighty) guide and protect us.

Hammadu Kakara said...

Thank you Dr Tilde. Well said and well articulated. I think the solution to this lie with us. We must come together and reassert our identity, and find a way forward. The current "leaders" are too complacent and lethargic. I stop here for now.

Mohammed Bello.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde said...

Let us not make the mistake of thinking that our leaders are only the Emirs. No. Where are the politicians that sought for our votes as gubernatorial and presidential candidates, and especially those we voted for? Why are hey not speaking out for the truth? Why are they silent? Where is their aid and donations? Why are they not visiting our IDP camps in Mando, Rim, Diyan and Dogo? Why have they failed to commiserate even with victims of the flood? Why should people vote for people that shy away from identifying with the troubles of their people?

Anonymous said...

You've Spoken the minds of the NIgerian Muslims. May this touch the hearts of our leaders and as a result rise to their responsibilities for the sake of Nigeria, bcos when the Muslims are pushed to the wall, they will have no any other choice than to fight back.
May Allah forgive all your sins and admit Us all into Al-Jannah.

Anonymous said...

Satmak Dapar Thanks Dr. For unearthing the hidden truth. Your vision is extremely inspiring. You have not replied my initial email sir. I am still waiting.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde said...

Please help me push this LINK to this article to all your friends. The emails are just not going as before:

The Contribution of Muslim Leaders to Insecuroty in Nigeria

Anonymous said...

Yes minority rights not only when Hausa Fulanis are affected but also in Kano, Kastina, Sokoto and Maiduguri should also be respected. Let minorities be allowed freedom of worship and teach their religious studies in those stetes.

Anonymous said...

Husaini Shitu May Allah bless you and may he bless us wit courageous people like you.until the truth is out spoken and the needed action is taken ,peace is only going to be seen on the piece of paper.

Muhammad Abbas said...

Dr Tilde,
Thank you for initiating a crusade that will liberate our people from the shackles of our so-called leaders.
I think it is most obvious that we subject our selves to these selfish individuals. we will be liberated only when we treat harshly whoever works against our common goal. It is only in Northern Nigeria that one will harm the community and be hailed just because he has money.
The first line in success is self cleansing, let us cleanse ourselves of the moles amongst us and the enemy will be squarely defeated otherwise we will fight a war without success.
We must clearly show that the only way we would regard anybody as being of substance amidst us is when he/she is a benefactor of our common goal.
power, they say belongs to the people and we must exercise it for us to live out of bondage

Alhassan Sagir said...

Allah ya saka da alkhairi likita, ya biya ka da Jannatul Firdaus for all ur effort during dese crises,ameen. Really d Umma is in dire need for people like u, Allah ya bamu dubunka! Its high time we look beyond our so called leaders dat are ashamed of even identifying with us in crisis situation but keep on coming for our votes all d time. To dis, doctor I think u have started something, and all muslim professinals should join hands with u to chart d way for our ummah. Wallahul musta'an!

Usman El-Nafaty said...

Jazakallahu khairan

Omar .M Tilde said...

problems in double dimention. May the verdict of history be upon our leaders, politician and the so called traditon leaders. But u should all know that one day the blood will speak against you. Inocent lives are been killed in daily bases, what a so called leadership is this? Allah ya isa mana.

Omar .M Tilde said...

time will tell

Anonymous said...

thank u dr,i don't know what is d problem wit our leaders,let them know dat there no way we can suffer and they wil enjoy.

Mustapha Garko said...

This indeed should serve as your(Dr Tilde) eid sermon to our muslim leaders. May Allah guide and protect you so you can continue to open up on issues affecting the Nigerian Muslim communities and the Nation as a whole.


Wallahi, Tallah,i Billahi, The said & so called leaders must agree that d situation has come to a point of yield. This selfishness & 'fear' of loss of comfort or perpetuation of relevance, al-bait, b4 d authority, is only but temporary. Allah knows best. Amma kuma "wanda baiji bari ba, yaji ho ho". A juri zuwa rafi!

ajafuntua said...

may god bless u and ur family Dr tilde and these are the fact that we have been long waiting for people like you to bring to our notice and to the notice of both our muslim leaders in the country, the plateau state security council and the federal government. how on earth is it possible in the whole security council of a state to have no muslim representative this most be a deliberate action by the state govt. i want to use this opportunity to call on our muslim politicians and leader for their immediate intervention to bring to an end to this plateau situation

Engr. Abdurrazaq Nakore said...

Likita, na fahimci irin zafin da zuciyarka ta yi a game da halin ko un kula da wadannan shugabanni namu a kan abubuwan da su ka bujurowa musulmi a sassa daban daban na Arewa. Dubi asarar dubban rayuka da dinbin dukiya da aiyukan taaddanci suke haddasawa. Dubi abubuwan cin zarafi da suke faruwa ga yan uwanmu musulmi a Jihar Plato da kudancin Kaduna da Tafawa Balewa. Dubi yadda tattalin arzikin Arewa ya durkushe. Wane uzuri shugabannin musulmi, sarakunansu da yansiyasa da yankasuwa da maaikata suke da shi na kin taimakawa yan'uwansu da suka fada cikin masifa? Wadanne matakai suka dauka wajen warware matsalin?

Ashiru Hamza said...

Dr. Allah Ya saka da alheri. You've said it all and I believe enough is enough for the wise.

Anonymous said...

Alhamdullilah doctor. You have brought our clesrly the disconnect between the leaders and the led. Every section of the country has leaders who voice out forcefully the feelings of their people. only northern muslim leaders continue to tow the path of ' appeasement'. may be to keep their monetary links with govt. May Allah give us selfless leaders and do away with selfish ones. Amin.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Really muslim's leaders contribute 90% to insecurity in Nigeria especially North and their silent on the toutor and killing of Muslims is a sign that shows they are welcoming the killing of muslim. About the government we know they are behind christian.

Abdurrahman said...

If anybody want to know what a TRUE JIHAD is,this is it!Jihad is all about the liberation as against the elimination of the people!
Sir,I'm BEGGING you to continue reporting the stories as they happen.The news we hear on national T.V. does not go this far,what they do is tell us half truth or lies at times.
I would also suggest that you set up a bank account by which well meaning Nigerians can contribute to better the lives of the victims.And to fellow readers of this blogs,play your role by sharing this on whatever social media you might be part of,be it twitter or facebook or both!Let's share this piece with our friends nationwide.People are suffering in silence,let's help tell their tale to the world!
Thumbs up for the doctor!

bello garba said...

Dr., may Allah continue to encourage you more to speak out the voices of the voiceless in critical moments of this nature.
To the Sultan, IGP, NSA, Emirs, I say to you your forefathers were never like you! If you doubt me, go back and read their individual history!!
A word to the wise is enough!!!

Anonymous said...

You are not telling the truth. Since the 80s. Christians have been killed severally in the North. Muslims lived and still live peacefully in christians states. Whats the diffrence between us. Muslims love bloodletting. Is it becos xtians and owners of the land are fighting back in jos. Whinh xtian or non hausa can own an LGA in sokoto and be visible in all spheres of life. TeLl the truth doctor and stop fermenting trouble and supporting boko haram. Am sure u are boko haram.

Anonymous said...

Dr tilde im short of words seriously.....I cannot thank you enough for this amazing write up....we as individuals can also contribute.....The so called emirs should go & read the history of Amirul mu'uminin salahudden Ayuba may be they will be inspired.....GOD bless u.

ayobami oluwatosin said...

I am a yoruba christian and I like to say that the article is obviously one sided.if you are championing the interest of muslim minorities in plateau and turning a deaf ear to the concerns of minority xtians in other parts of the North you are not far off from a religious bigot.


While I commend you for speaking out against inept leadership,if you are going to be biased as you obviously are then people like don't deserve a space in the social milieu because you will end up fouling it.Your efforts could have reasonably sensitized the muslim leadership and followership to the plights of muslim minorities without the nauseating religious colouration.

Injustice anywhere in Nigeria is injustice everywhere.

A. A. Yusuf said...

Dr Tilde,May Allah SWT reward you for calling a spade a spade. Words they say is enough for the wise. It's so unfortunate that our leaders had let us down.I remember a piece you wrote sometime ago where you express your dismay over the lack of leadership in the North. You cautioned us then that, a society without leadership is as good as doomed. Unfortunately, things had gone from bad to worse since then.

Anonymous said...

Magaji Galadima posted to Aliyu U. Tilde (1)
My senior brother and well respected colleague Dr. Aliyu Tilde published a very interesting and thought provoking piece in his syndicated column 'Friday Discourse' titled ' The Contribution of Muslim Leaders to Insecurity in Nigeria'
Dr. Tilde's brilliant weekly articles always represent my innermost feelings as an average Muslim Northerner, I therefore naturally I share Dr. Tildes anger and position on the continuous abdication of responsibility to protect live and property of citizens by those constitutionally saddled with the task of doing so.
Elected representatives who annually collect whopping amount in the name of security and give us zero in its stead deserves more bashing in a more stronger terms than what was meted by Dr. Tilde.
In times of confusion and uncertainties, emotions are bound to run wild. When illuminating the plight of Yelwan- Shendam Muslim leaders who run from pillar to post trying to get support from Northern Muslim leaders, when they visited the Emir of Kano, Dr. Tilde asserted that "The Emir of Kano consigned the Yelwa delegation to his Sarkin Fada, meaning that the matter did not even qualify for his attention." this I believe is very unfair to the Emir and most certainly there must have been a mix up somewhere. .

Anonymous said...

Magaji Galadima (2)

The Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero has been acknowledged to be in the fore front in the struggle for peaceful co-existence in Nigeria and I stand to be contradicted if today there is a single individual in this country that has stand more for the welfare and protection of the ummah in the last half of a century more than the Emir of Kano.
We must go down memory lane to remember and acknowledge the crucial roles he played in dousing various crisis from the civil war to numerous religious cum political upheavals. Any body familiar with events and protocols in Kano palace can attest to the fact that anything than concerns Islam and Muslims is given special attention by the Emir.
It should be noted that the Emir has been battling with his health more especially in the last couple of years, many a times he brave up to attend state functions against the advise of his doctors and at the detriment of worsening his condition. As a human there are times when it is not even possible for him to stretch beyond limit, the Yelwan Shendam delegation could have possible called at one of those times.
Also let it be noted that referring a matter to any Hakimi or title holder in Kano palace doesn't mean that the matter is not worthy of the Emirs attention. In terms of pulling strings, one title holder in Kano can do what most other Northern Emirs cannot do. Most of us can remember in the late 90s when the Saudi authorities decided not to admit pilgrims from Nigeria because of a reported case of outbreak of cholera in Sokoto state. The Federal Government sent delegation upon delegation to appeal to Saudi but all to no avail. The Federal Government then sought the assistance of the Kano Emir on the matter, he didn't go, instead he sent the Galadiman Kano and Matawallen Kano Aliyu Ibrahim Ahmed and within two days Nigerian pilgrims were allowed to fly to Saudi Arabia.
I am definitely sure the Yelwa delegation were not referred to the Sarkin Fada, this type of issue is handled by the senior councillor and Wambai of Kano Alhaji Abbas Sanusi, or Galadima of Kano Alhaji Tijjani Hashim or Wali Alhaji Mahe Bashir or Jarma Professor Isa Hashim. In any case, the Sarkin Fada of Kano, Alhaji Sule Gaya has been indisposed for more than ten years, he doesn't even go to the palace, ride in durbar, or attend public functions.
Despite their political incapacity, the Emirs do intervene individually and collectively in trying to end this crisis since it started, this high level talks rarely get reported in the media.The traditional institution in the North like most bodies in Nigeria, is going through some trying times, relentless campaign to strip it of power since post colonial times by the political class is taking its toll on the once powerful institution . Power universally revolves around two structures, political power and economic power, the Emirs have neither, they should therefore not be blamed if anything goes wrong. We should go back to the basics and trace from where did thing started going wrong. Meanwhile, Alhaji Ado Bayero needs our prayers now rather than blame. Barka da Sallah

abduljalal muaz usman said...

As a matter of urgency,honestly Dr,you need to consult Dr Ahmad Gummi in Kaduna because you are the real legacy Sardauna has left for this region.And your reply to this comment is needed pls.

Anonymous said...

This article shows how Dr tilde is part of why there is crises in plateau. so biased and inciting, he did not mention the indegene's innocent children and women killed. Dr tilde did not mention how other minorities and non-indigenes are killed in his home state Bauchi and other parts of north. Dr tilde is a clear of example of how education could not change the instinct for killing in some people.

Anonymous said...

Mal. Magaji,

Thank you for your contribution. Please let me add the following:

I know the limitations of our emirs very well but I also know their capacity as the people who can get the government do the right thing if they are determined. That is why we still think of them first before anyone outside the top hierarchy of government. Of course governors and other elected officials are there but who trusts them? Do you think they command a tenth of the respect we have for the Emirs?

If the entire Emirs will register their disapproval strongly before the president on the violations of Muslim rights on the Plateau, the President wouldl listen and act. But not the same weight would the voice of governors, senators and house of reps carry. The Emirs may not have the economic power but they still command a good amount of political power that is sufficient to put some things straight. I appeal to them to start doing so soon. The voice of the Sultan, who has been trying on many issues, alone is not enough.

Certainly, things will not continue this way. I have never heard anybody prevented from worship in any place he legitimately owns throughout the North except on Plateau. This cannot continue. And I am glad that the STF itself has acknowledged the unsustainability of these concessions and has promised to do something about them before the next sallah that will come in two month's time.

My source regarding the Emir of Kano did mention Sarkin Fada. I am sure of that, but he might have mixed up the title with another as you rightly mentioned. What matters is that nothing came out of that effort, in spite of speaking to Emirs who, as you mentioned, wield influence even in foreign lands. The second attack came and the people of Yelwa were left to their fate. That is the issue here.

There many ways that the Emirs can enchant themselves to us and regain our full confidence. Imagine the flood that just happened in jos. We received goods from Kano twice, and donations from many Nigerians. Why didn't we get it from our leaders? Nothing from former heads of states, governors, politicians, emirs, etc? And we all know fully that the state government, unlike others in the region, will not come to their aid with a dime. That opportunity, like many others before it, was allowed to slip away. A friend in need is a friend in deed.

May God guide us.

Anonymous said...

The ranting of a schizophrenic mind. Nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Are you from Plateau State? How much do you know of the issues on the Plateau? I pity your sense of judgement and reasoning.

Anonymous said...

the journalists and men of letters who by the hate dripping from their pens incited the rwandan genocide are today cooling their heels in prisons in the netherlands
i think we finally have our own version of that in Dr Aliyu tilde
You use your pen to purvey hate rather than reconcilation
The rights of minorities in the Shariah north has for years been abused and yet you make no comments on that

Instead of seeking reconcilation between the warring tribes in the plateau you are busy taking sides
There is a reason the far north remains backward and retrogressive as it is
If its intellectuals can only come up with articles as this rather than how to better the lot of its citizens then we have a long way to go
Muslims cohabit with christians in the southwest with little fuss
I wonder why that is so difficult in the North

Hammadu Kakara said...

Allah ya sa wadan nda aka yi abin don su, su ji, su gyara. Ameen.

Let me state that the greatest problem to us is ourselves.I know some us might not be comfortable with what maybe posted here. But say, we have to say. I know for one during the Fulani Evacuate saga, a very senior retired public servant arranged for me to meet a Senior Currently Public Servant to put the case for the Fulbe in Jos and the wider implications for the Transhumant Fulani existence in Nigeria. I was feried to meet him at 11.00pm. After explaining to the gentleman for about 30 minutes, his response was 'spirit killing'. "Tho sai a yi hakuri da abin nda zamani ya kawo. Ka san kai yaro ne (I am 45), baku san yanda abubuwa ke tafiya ba. sai ku yi hakuri. Ka san Sarki goma, zamani goma". These were his words. I left determined to fight the unjust policy through other mediums and mobilising massive international against to it. I later called the 80 year octogenerian elder statesman and told him that the response of his contact was to use the most polite words "that of a timid coward". These are the leaders we have now.

Next is the issue of the primitive desire to accumulate wealth and ostentatious living of most Northern elites, whilst the majority of our people wallow in abject poverty and disease. I remember once at an iftar at the home of a member of the who is who club in Northern Nigeria, my history teacher looked at the dinning table and remarked to me "You know Bourgeois don't eat?" I asked how? My teacher replied; "Any meal for a bourgeouis, is a feast. Look at the meal on the table, the meal for three is enough to feed 30 people this evening." The point I am trying to make is, we accumulate more than we desire. Call 10 almajiri kids on the street, their names will likely be Nura, Muhammadu, Suleiman, Ibrahim, Aliyu, Abubakar and so on. Yet the bigest and most expensive cars on the streets of Kaduna, Kano, Minna, Sokoto etc are driven by another set of Nuras, Muhammadus, Suleimans, Aliyus etc. Why? It is only in Northern Nigeria that you can find the most etreme riches and the most extreme poverty. All the human development index in Nigeria point to a lowly live in the Northern Muslim states. Count it, maternal mortality, infant mortality, infectious diseases, massive school failures, lack of access to basic health care, violent conflicts etc. One can go on and on. Yet our leaders live in self denial of these facts. If you dare raise these issues in their presence...their hangers-on... (yan maula and yan fada)...will tell that you have upset Maigida and I bet you try as you can you not have access to him again. The Northern Bigman (maybe not all) will prefer you to come with..... my wife has put to bed, my baby is sick, I cant pay school fees, I dont have sallah ram bla bla. No institutional and infrastructural development. Only things that will make you a subservient cowing hanger on. This is the mentality of most our political leaders. The Mallams will tell you that it is your destiny to be poor and poor you must remain because it is your destiny. Do we now wonder why 15 year olds are turning to suicide bombers? We require the US to tell us that Boko Haram is a manifestation of leadership failure and socio-economic problem. Yet our leaders live in self denial.

If we think we can continue like this, we are deceiving ourselves. It behoves on Young Northerners to take the gauntlet and break out of the vicious trap that the 2nd, 3rd and now 4th generation of Northern Leaders have held us. We must come together and articulate a vision for the future. We must strive to participate in the political space, even though the masses sometimes are a problem unto themselves. But as General Buhari had shown, once the masses believe in your uprightness, they can make great sacrifices, take great risk and if cheated extract a good measure of revenge. If we dont do this, then history will record us as an indolent and lethargic generation too.

Happy el Fitr.

Mohammed Bello.

Yunusa Aliyu Abubakar said...

Yunusa Aliyu Abubakar ... This is what i can describe as the truth and nothing but the truth. Our Muslim leaders are the problem. They should wake up and have a blue print for the future of Muslim umma , it is a duty to all of us .

Yunusa Aliyu Abubakar said...

This is what i call the truth and nothing but the truth. Our Muslim leaders are the problems . We should wake up and have blue print for the future of the Muslim umma.

Anonymous said...

How come there are no no divergent views here? You shut out all those who do not support you. Thats the highest form of hypocrisy

The Nigerian Citizen said...

One must agree with you Dr. Tilde. You have skinned the goat and it is a shame that our leaders are playing ostrich even though it is clear that this crisis will surely consume them one by one. There should be peace in the plateau occasioned by justice and fair play. God save Nigeria.

Dauda Lawan said...

may Allah bless you brother Tilder

Chedi said...

The problem of northern Nigeria especially Hausa/Fulani is becoming something else. I think it will not be out of place to say that the two tribes are past becoming extinct occasioned by the hatred and genocidal act targeted at them by other minority groups in the country as a result of bad leadership entrenched in their socio-cultural structures. The life of Hausa/Fulani can be taken by any minority tribe with impunity and be rest assured nothing will happen. At times, I am tempted to think that all is not well with our culture due to the preponderance of so many negativities bedeviling us as a nation. We just stay quite even in the face of annihilation. Dr. has just revealed so much that we need to know to stand up and fight for our collective freedom and dignity. We need to organize our selves, articulate our thought and coordinate our effort. @ Magaji Galadima: It will serve no purpose to begin to depend some of our leaders at whatever level or try to exempt them from the blame. They are directly or indirectly responsible for the situation we found ourselves today. OUR FUTURE THUS LIES IN THE HAND OF. OUR EDUCATED YOUTHS. We must act now.

Ishak Abdul Hamid said...

Thanks Dr. For pointing your discouse at this direction, the time is ripe for the truth to be told and that is the northern Muslims are in dire need of leaders that are answerable to them, this is why I am in agreement with the advise given by AbdulJalal (on his comment above) that you meet Dr. Ahmad Gumi, for me, this is the second time within a month I got convinced that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the likelyhood of new awareness within the Muslims Umma is obvious so long injustices meted on them are exposed by people with sincere intention like you, and thanks God, people like Dr. Gumi are already putting peacefull measures to counter the injustices, May God help us all.

Anonymous said...

What the North needs is massive re-orientation. Even as far South of the North as Kwara, what you find are governors that distribute 200naira per head per month and feel that they have "delivered" on their mandate to d ppl. you drive round Kwara and notice that NOTHING (zilch!) is going on in terms of development. Our only pride is the "harmony" in which we live.
Our leaders are only terrible bcos d followers do not know their rights. They do not know that for the N200 they receive they are being denied 2,000,000 annually in infrastructure. As a citizen in Nigeria, u have to grade ur roads 2ce annually or pay toll through your nose to a concessionnaire, dig ur borehole, have and maintain 2 generators, employ vigilante and still bribe policemen when they come blaring sirens at your doorstep 2ce every week, pay for private waste disposal, buy petrol on black market, pay for expensive private schools, pay for every health expense, even (when you have applied for NHIS 3years prior), and so on. And because you took N200 from your governor or president, u are already compromised and would dare not complain.
The only way our elected Muslim leaders will sit up is if they are aware that d electorate will not take nonsense anymore; for instance I heard that the Emir of KAno wa stoned publicly once! This would have been considered sacrilege in d past, but it shows d discontentment is growing. Next, Emirs of Fika and Borno were targets of the amorphous group Boko Haram. Also, d many attacks on Namadi Sambo's house in Zaria is proof that even the average subservient maula-seeking,almajiri/dan daba on d streets of Northern Nigeria is wising up. Let us keep our cool and meet all these leaders at the polls come 2014.
On the part of the Northern Emirs, what can a toothless bulldog do? Do you think they got to spend 50 or so years on the thrones of their fore-fathers by ruffling feathers? Just ask the deposed Emir of Gwandu

Mohammed Sadiq said...

"The Emir of Zaria out-rightly dismissed them as incapable of living peacefully with their Christian neighbors">...
I think this emir had some point. Otherwise how would the Once Peaceful co-existing entities suddenly start fighting over night?
Maybe our People need to actually learn to respect and live in peace with the Christians.



Sulaiman Ibrahim said...

Malam, thank you very much for this truth-telling. Hausa people say, 'The blind man doesn't know you can see him unless you touch him.'

But as for the two million Naira that the Sultan gave as his assistance to those in need, please don't call it 'paltry'.

Since the Sultan is a civil servant on a salary and not a successful business man, we shouldn't assume he is very rich.

As Danmasanin Kano, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule rightly pointed out, we, the people, are also guilty of making our civil servants corrupt by demanding a lot of cash from them.

The Sultan is someone from whom a lot of people ask for financial assistance. And, I am aware, for example, of similar assistance he gives to those in need.

We can fault his other failings so that he sits up and take note, but not his personal financial contribution.

In fact, for a civil servant, we should consider that amount significant and urge others to emulate him without even mentioning the figure. That would encourage him and others to do more next time.

May Allah reward you for your efforts and may He forgive our errors. Amin.

Anonymous said...


Lukman Abubakar said...

An interesting article by Tilde,i hope the leaders and their defenders are listening!

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde said...

@Suleiman Ibrahim.

Thank you for your comment. If the Sultan has given the N2m from his pocket that was great. I only expected that he would pull the contribution of other Emirs and sources to arrive at something bigger.

Let me put it on the record that this is the most active Sultan we ever had in the past 100 years. He is up and doing on many issues. I am a witness to that. I have even commended him on some and defended him in the past on many. He has played a big role as I mentioned even on the Fulani quit notice saga of last month.

However, as a leader, I just felt he should have taken his effort to its logical conclusion: guide us, or even suggest to us, what to do - to tell the Fulani families to leave or not to leave - when he realized that government was bent on carrying out the military operation in spite of his intervention. To refuse picking my calls or calling us back as he promised wasn't characteristic of a charismatic Fulani leader. Certainly, Sultan Muhammadu Bello wouldnt have done so. He would have relocated to the camps at Rim Diyan or Dogo to live with his people until the end of the operation. Imagine if our present sultan had demonstrated this level of commitment than vanishing into thin air, never to be heard on the matter again. This kind of commitment - and its display - is what we need from our leaders. It will go a long way to protect the weak among us.

In this particular case, I found him faulty and as a social critic I thiought I shouldn't exempt him from my very sharp tongue, in as much as I didn't spare the NSA and the Emirs of Zazzau and Kano from my fangs.

This criticism coming from me shouldn't discourage the Sultan. There is that possibility that he may feel betrayed by my comment but he should be modern enough to know that constructive criticism is an attribute of modern civilization. And from the comments above, he and other leaders in the North should know that a lot is still left undone before public opinion swings to their side. In today's world, we must all know that public opinion matters in leadership as much as, if not more than, any other yardstick.

Thank you.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde said...

I have published a number of comments that aired a different opinion from the majority above. In the first place, objecting views are few on this article - and most of them chraracteristically abusive from southern part of the country and characteristic of it's contributors on any public.

It is a policy of this blog that it doesnt publish any abusive comment or word especially if directed at someone other than my person. In line with this policy, there are some antiestablishment comments from northerners that I didnt publish because I felt they are a bit below the belt on our leaders.

segzy said...

Articles and comments like this are more divisive than anything else. If we must live together in peace in this country, we don't need biased-minded people like Dr Tilde. I was discriminated against because of my religion when I attended Sardauna Memorial College, Kaduna from 1975 -1980. General cleaning was done on sundays and everyone irrespective of his religion was made to recite an islamic prayer during morning assemblies. Christians were not allowed to worship outside the school on sundays and they could not become school prefects until 1979 when things began to take shape.Yet, I bear no grudge against any muslim for all that was done to me as a growing boy in search of the proverbial golden fleece....I believe that the period belonged to the dark ages (of lack of knowledge and understanding). Today, my best friend is a muslim.
We are all humans and God (or Allah) does not need us to fight in His name. He is able to do what He wants without us (humans. Since we cannot create life we have no right to take the life of any other person that has been given him/her.

Dr Tilde need to get out of his narrow closet and preach love and the sanctity of human life.THe fact that he is a muslim today was not his choice....he was born into it. The most important thing in life is not what one professes with his lips but how much value you have added to the life God 9Allah) has given you and your fellow human being.

Anonymous said...

It is not true that you have not been partial with your publications of opinions. You are definitely a sectional commentator. Your views are unfortunately biased against other areas of the country. The fact remains that it is your ilk that continue to encourage religious intolerance and ethnic cleansing. Is Jos the only trouble spot in Nigeria, because the indigines have decided to fight back? what about the non moslems that have been slaughtered all over the north in the name of instituting a moslem state in Nigeria? How many mosques have been attacked during friday service? compare that with many christians that are killed every sunday by moslems. Please be more balanced with your writings dont becloud your reasoning with ethnic and religious bias, you might infect others with it.

Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde said...

The problem I continue to encounter with opposing comments, like the two directly above, on matters of religion or the North is that ey are always, perhaps deliberately, off the mark. And if they are from southerners, they are many times abusive. Yet their authtors expect that they ought to be published.

This article, for example, is addressing the silence of Northern leaders among politicians, academics, businessmen, Emirs, etc on matters relating to indfractions of Muslim constitutional rights as exemplified by the demands by federal security outfits literally preventing Muslims from worshipping in their place of worship based on threats from people that are known.. I regard this a serious infraction because it is unprecedented and turning into a tradition. Has any Christian congregation ever prevented from worship at its place of worship as a result of direct threats from a community that is known and the government backing such threats? Whose interest does this serve?

Even among the opposing commentators, I have not heard anyone supporting the threats. What they do is the usual "shout him down" with ready made empty cliches and lies that have become well known. In the tradition of the Nigerian press, this has to be done because the writer has committed two sins: he is a northerner; he is a Muslim. Anybody can say anything, but not him. This attitude is so much entrenched over the years that it has become very uncommon to hear a Muslim public commentator speaking for the Muslim community. Once he does so, he is labelled sectional, biased, etc. Who cates? Certainly not me. I will continue to speak regardless of who is the victim. I believe it is good for the nation.

None of the opposing views so far has touched on the main subject of the article: the silence of Muslim leadership.

Ahmed Modibbo said...

"....Sultan, the supreme commander of the Fulani in Nigeria...."

Interesting. I actually use to think the Sultan was a religious rather than tribal leader. Are you saying the Danfodio Jihad was all about Fulani not Islam.

I also think you are naive to believe that when a former soldier and employee of the government tells you to ignore orders of a constituted authority, he actually means that.

Anonymous said...

Ahmod Al-Fikry Azaitawiyy....Dr. is a good work may d creator u are working for rewards u abundantly....amin! sincerely speaking am unconfortable wit all dat are going on in d nation, crisis here and there, muslims nor christians, i don't care because human being is human being wit dsame life and feeling...i don't see any reason why the issue of religion wil be leading us to chaos nor anarchy, and if any was found responsible for that u believe he/she understands notting of the religion......there are signs and proves to guide everyone, and whatever anybody chooses wil be presented to him/her when getting to the creator. am totally fed up to d extence that i smetime weep remembring unconcerned lives wasted for notting, when wil dis be put to rest? Dr. and 4 d issue of muslim leaders, do u believe muslims have leaders? those who are seen as leaders knew notting about dis religion, they are muslims in names and not in any other way....and dats the world muslims problem now i.e not having leaders or having leaders who are less concerned wit a low commitment after been low in the rank of competence, kindly give a look at the crisis over sea, why are we human being so storborn to have neglected good deeds after we've knew that one day we wil be leaving the earth.....LEADERS?.....nobody, but the creator, who had perfected his religion, and wil very soon send his judgement......let them continue, where are our fore leaders in dis nation? the mighty ones as they prove to be, no where to be found! either death or killed, everybody wil be judged in d day when there wil be no other judge than the creator....jazakumullahu khaeera!

S T Abdulkareem said...

I don't think we know what, nor where the problem lies just yet. Boko Haram, Muslim leaders and northern leaders, northern politicians and most of our Emirs, as far as I can fathom are all members of the same entity as long as the issue at stake is the welfare of Nigerians. Didn't this crop of Nigerians use our cultural and religious differences to gain selfish desires. I pity we Nigerians for allowing ourselves to be instigated against each other for whatever reasons till date. We are still subjects to the evil crop of Nigerians. We should be fighting them and unless we turn our anger and anguish onto them there would never be peace.

Yasir Ramadan Gwale Abuuthman said...

May Allah Reward You Indeed for this great job, You've spoken the minds of millions of Muslims in Nigeria, Sir you are the Voice of the voiceless.

Anonymous said...

Ahmad Dukku Nice piece. We are all living witnesses of how CAN president is going extra-mile 2 defend his ppl at a lghts event. D muslims leaders r simply cowards n complacent. We need 2 rise up n challenge dem. They are at there various positns becouse of mases nt there immediate families. If they cant come out n identify wit dere ppl and defend dem when dey need dem most let dem bow out. We're sure 2 find there suitable replacement.

ibraheem ahmed said...

Dr Tilde May Allah bless you. I think is high time we the muslims especially the youths stand up to defend ourselves and not to wait for all these useless leaders to come to our rescue as they will never do.