From N’Allah’s and Farouk’s statements, it is reasonable to assume that there probably is no limit to what several members of the ruling power block in northern Nigeria are willing to do so that control of the federal government would remain in the hands of caliphate colonialists.
We have pointed out how some northern politicians reacted when it became clear that Dr. Goodluck Jonathan would complete his joint ticket with the late Yar’Adua and also contest the 2011 presidential election. Moreover, we have quoted the incendiary threat of Muhammadu Buhari in May 2012 concerning the possible dire consequences that would follow if what happened in 2011 should happen again in 2015. Buhari’s statement will not surprise anyone conversant with the history of Nigeria, specifically the readiness of prominent northern leaders to use violence to actualise their craving for political power. That statement vividly illustrates what conflict theorists such as Profs. Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe and Patrick Wilmot identified as an enduring trait of the northern establishment, namely, its tendency to uphold and defend its power with tenacity and ruthlessness. Buhari and his supporters claim that the phrase “what happened in 2011” refers to the rigging allegedly perpetrated by the PDP, not to the fact that he lost to Goodluck Jonathan. However, they are being economical with the truth, judging by Buhari’s antecedents, including his uncritical pro-northern stance on national issues and unwillingness to concede even for once that he lost any of presidential elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011 fairly. In my opinion, the assertion that dogs and baboons will be soaked in blood is a stark warning by Buhari himself that if he fails to win in 2015, the violence that would follow will surpass the one that occurred in 2011. It must be mentioned in passing that the ad baculum fallacy by Buhari ought to have been a red flag to Prof. Wole Soyinka and Dr. Dele Sobowale that Muhammadu Buhari is light years away from being a genuine “converted democrat.”
The moment Jonathan declared that he was going to contest the 2011 presidential elections, caliphate colonialists were filled with trepidation. Clearly, Jonathan had the constitutional right to compete, but what is constitutionally legitimate may not necessarily be politically expedient. If Jonathan had followed the zoning formula of his party, a northerner would have been PDP’s presidential candidate in 2011 to complete the eight years for the north, and by 2015, all things being equal, the presidency would have returned to the south and remained there till 2023 if the party wins the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections. But in human affairs all things are rarely equal, and politics is highly unpredictable. As a result, Jonathan decided to take his chances; but by contesting in 2011, he created problems for the PDP because a significant number of prominent northern members of the party who were keen to restore the hegemonist agenda of Sir Ahmadu Bello and were averse to the concept of power shift to the south-south interpreted his decision to contest as a betrayal of the north. These elements pulled together and eventually sabotaged Jonathan’s bid for a second term of office in 2015.
Now, we come to the issue of boko haram and the question of whether or not it is the militant arm or instrument of caliphate colonialism. In Power, Politics and Death, Olusegun Adeniyi, spokesperson of late President Yar’Adua, stated that boko haram was founded in 2002 by Muhammad Yusuf, an indigene of Jakusco in Yobe state. It appears that around 2005, Yusuf rose from a poor preacher to a wealthy cleric living sybaritically in Maiduguri where he was hailed as a champion of the downtrodden for his criticism of government and strident calls for full implementation of sharia law. Boko haram, the sect he founded, gradually metamorphosed into a deadly terrorist machine with links to Al-Qaeda and, later, pledged loyalty to the Islamic state in Syria and Iraq.
What is responsible for this transformation? Chinweizu suggests that the sect was adopted by some powerful caliphate colonialists who funded its operations. Now, are there good reasons for believing that boko haram was co-opted by members of the northern ruling class to promote caliphate interests, especially the islamisation of Nigeria? In other words, is there any evidence for thinking that boko haram is sponsored by caliphate colonialists who consider it as the unofficial enforcer of Ahmadu Bello’s theocratic vision for Nigeria? In my opinion, there is good circumstantial evidence to that effect, as we shall see presently. To begin with, the minimum aim of boko haram is to institute sharia in the core northern states, an aspiration probably shared by all devout muslims in the core north and put into effect for the first time by Ahmed Yerima, former governor of Zamfara state who is currently a senator. The sect’s maximum agenda is to turn Nigeria into a purist Islamic state.
According to a bulletin issued by boko haram in December 2011, “We want to re-emphasise that our main objective is the restoration of the sharia legal system in line with the teachings of the Holy Qur’an. We want the Nigerian constitution abrogated and democracy suspended and a full-fledged islamic state established. We want to emphasise that trouble started in this part of the world when the white man came, colonised our land, chased away the emirs and righteous leaders and then replaced the system with western legislative, judicial and executive procedures. They also changed our pattern of learning and upbringing to the detriment of moral teachings; that was exactly what prompted the establishment of our organisation.”
This statement captures the intent and motivation underlying adoption of sharia law and practice in the north. Again, in 2012, when it became apparent that the government of President Goodluck Jonathan might be willing to negotiate with boko haram, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) insisted that security must be provided for leaders of the sect before such a dialogue would take place. Why should the apex socio-cultural organisation in the north worry so much about the security of leaders of boko haram if its members rejected completely what the sect represents or if they really wanted government to deal decisively with the group? Would Lawal Kaita and Muhammadu Buhari have confidently made the inciting pronouncements quoted earlier if an organisation like boko haram was available as an enforcer? In this connection, there are some interesting facts about boko haram and Buhari that I want to highlight at this point.
First, when the previous administration decided to dialogue with the sect, its leaders nominated Buhari as their chief negotiator, although he turned them down. Would an Islamic sect like boko haram nominate someone who neither supports nor agrees with its theocratic worldview and mode of operation to represent it? Second, in an interview programme on Radio Liberty, Kaduna, before the 2015 presidential election, Buhari scathingly criticised Jonathan’s government for attacking boko haram insurgents and their strongholds in the north-east whereas it gave amnesty to militants in the Niger Delta.
By implication, Buhari wanted government to treat religious fanatics for whom modern education is an abomination and who engaged in wanton destruction of lives and property the same way it responded to militants involved in violent agitations for “resource control.” Sometime ago, Buhari suggested to muslims to vote for only good muslims during elections and completely ignored Nigerians who belong to other faiths or to no faith at all.
In 2012, there were several media reports indicating that prominent northerners might be behind boko haram. We have already noted Mustapha Jokolo’s claim that boko haram was created by members of the northern ruling elite. Chinweizu documents some of these reports. He mentions the arrest by the State Security Service (SSS) of Senator Ali Ndume over boko haram links, although he claimed that former Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, was aware of his dealings with the sect. The court has just cleared Senator Ndume. The emir of Suleja was questioned concerning alleged connections with boko haram, while the emir of Abaji and his two sons were arrested by the police over the escape of a boko haram suspect. All told, Jokolo was largely correct in claiming that northern politicians created boko haram; unfortunately they did not envisage the terrifying unintended consequences that would rear up as a result.
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s emergence as the sole presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2015 elections further strengthened the resolve of caliphate colonialists to make sure that power returned to the north at all cost that very year. They had a willing political tool, the Bola Tinubu wing of the Yoruba political establishment.
To be continued.