The lives of Nigerians particularly in select states of northwest, north-central and northeast Nigeria has reached the point, which some Muslim scholars would describe as the stage of “La Haula Wa La Quwata illa Bi-llahi; There’s no power and no strength except with Allah”. The spate, on a daily basis, of killings, Kidnappings, rape and other violent activities in Zamfara, Kaduna, Niger, and Nasarawa states seem for now to be the worse threat to life in Nigeria. Even in war situations, the use of the word ‘massacre’ to describe the on-going brutality against humanity in those states would have been a gross under-statement. The killing of women and children in the current spate of armed violence against innocent Nigerians makes the whole tragedy incredible. Subhana-llah!
Wednesday, January 5, 2022 and Thursday, January 6, 2022 were two tragic days in northwest Nigeria when it was reported that at least 143 bodies were recovered and buried after brutal attacks on several communities in Anka and Bukuyyum local government areas of Zamfara State. Although the state government afterwards tried to refute the statistics of victims of the attack, one human life is sacred as a million others. Reports in the media indicate that migrating terrorists loyal to the terror kingpin, Bello Turji, who were displaced by fighter jets of the Nigerian Air Force from their enclaves in Fakai forest in Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara state, were moving southwards of the state when they unleashed the carnage on those communities.
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More than 10 Zamfara communities were said to have been attacked by the terrorists who moved on motorbikes from one community to another; killing, burning and maiming. Kurfa Danya, Kurfa Magaji Rafin Gero, Tungar Isa and Barayar Zaki are some of the communities in Bukkuyum and Anka local government areas that also came under attack. When houses were set ablaze in the attacked communities, women and children were not allowed to escape as the terrorists stood outside; waiting to ambush and kill anyone who attempted to scamper for safety. What a cruel form of violence! Remains of some of the victims were said to have either been decapitated or burnt beyond recognition. People who managed to escape the plots of the blood-thirsty terrorists are said to be taking shelter in some relatively safer communities. This recent attack has left many villages and settlements deserted; with a huge number of the survivals now taking refuge outside of Zamfara state.
In the same way that no one can claim to be safe or secured at home or on the road from the pervasive attacks being launched indiscriminately by armed bandits and terrorists, it may be difficult to also exonerate any person or group from the reasons that consequently plunged us into the terrible state of insecurity we find ourselves today as a nation. WE have reasons to believe that we are, metaphorically speaking, the architect of the country’s current predicaments. Allah speaks about this in Qur’an 30:41 “Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned, that (Allah) may give them a taste of their deeds in order that they may turn back (from evil)”.
Injustice was allowed to extensively permeate every aspect of our life. While it is possible for countries to survive on immorality, no nation in human history survives on injustice. The injustice by one Nigeria against several others in their tens of millions clearly accounts for the pervasive violence by few terrorists against a huge population of in their dozens of millions. Nigerians over the past three decades gradually lost their conscience to notoriously become famous with injustice in their dealings with fellow countrymen and women. The call by an armed terrorist for a dialogue with a legitimate state actor is the height of notoriety in a country bedeviled with insecurity.
In the years and days that virtues ruled the psyche of Nigerians, peace and tranquility was the norm. However, the injustices that characterize our national life in terms of job opportunities, unpaid workers’ wages and retirement benefits, limited access for ordinary citizens to health, education, water, shelter and basic needs of life became so huge that left little or no space for justice to endure. We, thus, lost our bearing when judges, lecturers, engineers, medical doctors, civil servants, journalists, military and para-military personnel, technicians, farmers, traders or entrepreneurs, politicians and political office holders, leaders, followers, drivers, carpenters, tailors, Imams, and pastors all abandoned the cause of justice, integrity, accountability, and the fear of God in our public as well as private life. We all are shareholders in the challenges we are currently passing through. We lost the peaceful and prosperous life we hitherto enjoyed because of the brazen way we ditched ethical values including respect for the rights and privileges of others. Allah affirms in Qur’an 13:11 that “… Verily, never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls). But when (once) Allah wills a people punishment, there can be no turning it back; nor will they find besides Him, any to protect”.
To get out of this horrible situation, we must as ‘shareholders’ forsake the path of injustice to become righteous servants of Allah. Let us engage much in al-Qunut to seek Allah’s intervention in the terrible situation we are in. Allah states in Qur’an 2: 186 “When my servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calls on Me; Let them also with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me: that they may walk in the right way”. May Allah answer our prayer for His intervention, amin.