When Kano State outlawed carrying passengers by motorcyclists, followers of Shiite were the only ones who flouted the law with impunity. They would simply wear dark dresses hoist a flag on the motorcycle, to indicate they are Shiites, and roam around freely. The police never dared caution them.
Should the nation allow such impunity to go unchecked while it was the same lukewarm attitude and “live and let live” posture that fertilised Boko Haram terrorism? At infancy, Boko Haram never carried arms, but government’s nonchalance in the name of “religious freedom” or political favours became the pollen of their radicalisation and armament.
…no serious leader will watch such impunity go unchecked. I urge President Muhammadu Buhari, under whose watch as Commander-in-Chief such repressions are carried out, to devise peaceful ways of checking the excesses all religious groups, sects, denominations or movements in Nigeria.
Yes, the Shiites do not bear firearms, but some of their practices, especially during their annual carnival, and those of other Muslim groups, have persistently inconvenienced the public.
But the Shiites have co-travellers in making nonaligned Muslims and non-Muslims alike bear their doctrinal burden. The followers of Qadirriya would bring commercial activities and vehicular movements in Kano to a standstill as they danced their ways to a mausoleum during Maukibi fiesta. The Izala movement would block the road and disturb neighbours with powerful loudspeakers in the name of Wa’azi, Musabaqa or Tahajjud sessions in the wee hours of the night. The Tijjaniyya adherents would block a major road, assault innocent ears with mega loudspeakers as they mark Maulud or when they form Da’ira for Hadarat Juma’ah. Boko Haram members are the worst as they kill the Sunni in their mosques, the Shiite in their procession and Christians in their churches – all in the name of religion.
But if blocking the road was the crime of the Shiites, the politicians – moreso a crowd-puller president – are also guilty of this charge. During campaigns, politicians block roads while moving with large motorcade, with thugs bearing arms (maiming and killing people) and police giving them cover. Let this also stop. Politician, heal thyself.
But no serious leader will watch such impunity go unchecked. I urge President Muhammadu Buhari, under whose watch as Commander-in-Chief such repressions are carried out, to devise peaceful ways of checking the excesses all religious groups, sects, denominations or movements in Nigeria.
A bloody crackdown that will lead to the death of 100 defenceless people is not the solution.