AN orgy of violence in Kaduna, on the wee hours of Wednesday, October 12, 2016 between the Shitte Islamic sect and some youths where 12 lives were hacked to death is again a stark example of how Nigerians kill each other in the name of religion. The violence, according to the Nigerian Tribune was triggered by the insistence of the sect to observe an Islamic calendar on the day which the Kaduna State government saw as a security threat to the fragile peace in the state. This was not resolved until some youths and Shiite Islamic sect clashed. The fracas was reported to have claimed 12 lives!
This sad development is worrisome indeed. Both the religious groups and the youth who died in the mindless killings are Nigerians. This is a blatant disregard to the sanctity of lives which the Nigerian constitution upholds. Why are human lives no longer valued in Nigeria? There is nothing in Islamic tenet that condones such a gruesome taking of lives. The gory scene also portrays what religion becomes when it is used to achieve certain ulterior motives.
The critical examination of this issue shows that some religious leaders may be behind this incident, using unsuspecting innocent youths to achieve their selfish agenda. Such religious leaders often feed some innocent youths with wrong Islamic tenets to fuel religious conflicts. History shows that a nation that watches how religion is being used silently to promote anarchy sits on the keg of gun powder. This is where the Islamic religious leaders have a lot to do. One of their roles is to strengthen the religious institution to be a life wire for national progress.
The objective analysis of the religious crisis also indicates a love lost between the Shiite Islamic sect and the Kaduna State government prior to the October 12 incidence. The Kaduna government, under Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has not been able to listen to the grievances of the sect before the bloody attack. What are the grouses of the sect against the state government/Federal Government? In what ways have their feelings been assuaged? If there had been an harmonious relationship between the state and the Shiite, the observance of the religious day should have been approved and properly organised.
While one calls upon Islamic leaders of thought to look into this rift with the aim of resolving it, there is an urgent need to quickly examine the Islamic teachings some sects are being taught. Who are the propagators of the teachings? Historical record shows that belief promotes either peace or incites people to be fanatical. Religious leaders should be assisted to entrench the right Islamic doctrine in their adherents.
A close study of the event shows that the political colouration given to this scenario in some quarters requires of careful analysis. Kaduna State government should separate facts from fiction. Today, our country is bearing the brunt of Boko Haram insurgency because when the sect emerged in its teething stage, our political leaders gave it a political colouration until it becomes an hydra-headed monster. It means the grievances of any religious sect of this nature should be handled with care and urgency.
Religion, in other climes, is being used to strengthen national progress. Why is this not possible in northern Nigeria? Islamic religious leaders should, therefore, collaborate with Nigerian political leaders to use the Islamic religion as a veritable tool to foster national unity. This orgy of religious violence in northern Nigeria must be nipped in the bud.
- Reverend (Dr)