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Gaddafi’s recipe for peace in Nigeria

If you take away the Aljazeera expose of the genocide at Kuru Karama where hundreds of children and women were brutally killed and dumped in…

If you take away the Aljazeera expose of the genocide at Kuru Karama where hundreds of children and women were brutally killed and dumped in wells, it was like the world was completely askance and unmoved by the hack mentality that was inhumanly visited on a people whose only offence was that they were Muslims. No one bothered about it and the few who gave it passing comments did so with no feeling of compassion for the brutalised, the maimed and the murdered. I am not justifying the reprisal attacks but I know for a fact that those who deliberately tried to abet and encourage injustice will always have multiple of other injustices to contend with. Now that everyone in this hypocritical world is moved to tears over the magnitude and the extent of brutality in the revenge attacks, it is like the whole world has woken up to the reality that the scale the whole thing is assuming has the potentials to ignite bestiality of monumental proportion.

While several world leaders have called for restraint with others spewing utter garbage that would inflame passion without a hint of a roadmap to everlasting peace, reports reaching me as I write this piece have it that the Pastoralists have extended the attacks to other Berom villages killing  scores of innocent people. Even though the authorities in Jos have a share of the blame for their complicity at the onset, any attack that leads to killing of innocent people remains what it is; unhelpful to the cause of peace, unjustifiable and condemnable.

Out of all the suggestions advanced by all manner of people, the one put up by the Libyan leader Moamar Gaddafi caught my fancy not because it came out from a controversial leader but because it was, out of the pack, the most radical and dangerous. Radical because it is as impracticable and ill advised as it is touchy and scary. The composition of this country today is so volatile, dangerous and inimical to peace. The ethnic and religious sentiments are so ingrained and a part of us that every one finds more solace when he runs into his sentimental ethnic cocoon from which he comes out only when it is time to kill somebody he sees as problematic to his life of godlessness. Since no one has as much as a framework for peace in Jos in particular and the nation in general; since no part of the country is insulated from visiting deaths on others; since no one has any solution to it; since governments at all levels are more at sea as to how to nip it in the bud once and for all, I must stress that though the Gaddafi recipe for peace which he propounded when he spoke to African student leaders some of whom are from Nigeria in Tripoli is bound not to sit well with most people, it is all the same something to ponder about even if the only lesson we are likely to learn from it is that our options for peace are actually not much.

Look at it this way: if we refuse to see the need to remain as one indissoluble country through irresponsible, animalistic and donkey age behaviours, then we must be ready to face consequences that are unmistakably and tellingly more destructive and ominous for everyone of us. I see the Gaddafi recipe in the positive than in the negative. It will at least wake us up to the inescapable longing for peace because it is either we all work towards it or we all perish in the smouldering fire that is sure going to be ignited.

How can you tell the Christian minorities in parts of Kebbi, Zamfara, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe and Borno to chew the idea of having two countries out of Nigeria – one for Christians and the other for Muslims? Where will that put them? Here or there? It is also unthinkable for the South Westerners who have proportionate Muslim/Christian believers to grapple with this proposition. But then who has any other idea of how we can move on in peace and love for one another? Those who, out of hand waved Gaddafi’s recipe away are guilty of bankruptcy of ideas. We have tottered endlessly from one campaign of elimination to the other, yet nothing tangible was done to put a stop to it. Rather than the leaders to rise above petty tribalism and work assiduously for peace, they are surprisingly the ones fanning it. It is time we thread the path of peace or we would be left with such options as proffered by the likes of Gaddafi who may be genuinely worried about our slide to anarchy but who are nonetheless ignorant of who and how we are.

BK Ahmed wrote from 114 Kashim Ibrahim Road, Maiduguri and can be reached at [email protected]


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