African Outlook Online

Letters to the editor

Boko Haram Bombings:‏ Nigerians need to unite in the fight against religious extremism

Boko Haram Bombings:Nigerians need to unite in the fight against religious extremism

 

From: Tunji Leye, wrote in from Europe

Bombings: May the souls of the departed through the mercy of God Rest In Peace. I have observed with keen interest the songs of war being sung and the drums of battle being beaten as reactions to the incessant killings by some unscrupulous elements.

 

This is indeed is a desperate time for us as Nigerians. May the Lord help us.

 

In our anger some are flying the battle crest of inter religious war; let me humbly beg to disagree. This is not a Muslim/Christian war but rather a fight against a common enemy. Christianity does not support violence in any way and I have been assured that Islam also abhors taking of innocent lives under any guise or excuse. Inter religious war is not what we need now as a people.

 

Those drumming up the war will be the first to disappear alongside their children from the battle front.


I am bold to say that although a Christian, I have friends, relatives, colleagues, acquaintances who are exceptional Muslims, peace-loving, kind-hearted and objective. And whom I am proud to relate with and publicly acknowledge. May I therefore urge caution and restraint in our individual and collective anger towards the current state of the nation.

 

Let us direct our condemnation towards the inefficiencies of our security outfits, to our leaders who have woefully failed us and the ill-informed perpetrators. Let us objectively ask ourselves what we can do to halt this catastrophic madness. How best can we unite in total condemnation of this monstrous and cowardly act.

 

Politicians claiming to be community, sectional or tribal leaders should now demonstrate their popularity by talking to their "people" to listen to the voice of reason.

 

In a decent country the last bombings would have seen resignations but not our dear country even in the face of overwhelming facts of gross negligence and dereliction of our duties. The government claims to know those behind the bombings and their sponsors, yet no arrests of these sacred people, no decisive prosecution to date. Rather our leaders go about smiling and "felicitating with victims of the blast".

 

Our "fashion conscious", money making National assembly boasts of one of the largest gathering of retired military, police and security operatives, yet nothing proactive in terms of legislation or actions have been done to demonstrate or justify their erstwhile military positions.

 

Wars of this kind – guerrilla in nature are fought and won on the basis of intelligence gathering and not on physical or violent actions only. Modern communication equipment and human intelligence gathering are needed to checkmate this escalating madness.

 

However, the fundamental cause of this is corruption. Money meant for training of security officials disappear down the drain, money meant for routine military exercises remain unaccounted for, monies meant for purchase of modern communication gadgets end up in ghost accounts.

 

My appeal to my fellow Nigerians is to be cautious and exercise restraints in our reaction to these incessant killings. Let us unite irrespective of our religious, political or ideological differences in playing our part to fight this menace. We need to hold our leaders accountable and ensure improvement in the security situation in the country. That is the only thing we can do to honor the memory of the victims of all bombings in the country.