By Femi Fani-Kayode
June 21, 2014
”And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh and they shall be drunken with their own blood as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob”- Isaiah 49: 26.
Blessed be the name of the Most High God, the God whose I am and the God whom I serve. Blessed be His Holy name forever and blessed be His Holy Word.
This is essay is not for the easily excitable or the unduly emotional. It is a long and troubling essay but the subject matter is of such importance that I urge its readers to stay with it to the very end. Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride.
On June 11th 2014 the Governor of Borno state in north-eastern Nigeria, Mr. Kashim Shettima, warned that Boko Haram may soon extend it’s operations to the southern part of our country. Four days later, on June 15th, his prediction began to unfold when two disturbing incidents occurred.
Firstly came the planting of three bombs in the premises of Living Faith Church (Winners Chapel) in Owerri, the Imo state capital, by Boko Haram insurgents. This was done on a Sunday morning where and when approximately 10,000 faithful Christian worshippers were gathered to attend their weekly Church service.
Thankfully the militants were caught in the act, apprehended by the police and the bombs were diffused. Had this not been the case the number of casualties would have been horrific and unimaginable. Yet it didn’t stop there.
On that same day no less than 486 men of northern extraction and eight women were caught by the army sneaking into Abia state in a 33-bus convoy at 3.00 a.m. in the morning from the north. According to the police these individuals are suspected Boko Haram insurgents that were on their way to carry out a sinister mission and create havoc.
The fact that one of those that were caught in this group has since been described by the authorities as a ”notorious Boko Haram commander” who had been declared wanted in the past and for whom a ransom had already been offered casts even more suspicion on their mission and intentions.
The “notorious commander” has since been separated from the other suspects and has been detained not just by the police but by the military authorities in Abia state. A few days later the police confirmed that at least 86 of the detained suspects were definitely associated with Boko Haram whilst the rest remained under investigation.
This alarming news coupled with the startling revelation that was published in a British tabloid called the Daily Star on 8th June (and which was later reproduced in Nigeria’s Skytrend News on the 17th of June) that, according to British intelligence sources, no less than 50 British Islamists”mainly from south-east London” have joined the ranks of Boko Haram and are actually operating on Nigerian soil gives much cause for concern.
To make matters worse, according to police sources, on the morning of 20th June a Boko Haram suicide bomber was intercepted and arrested whilst trying to plant a bomb in a school in Owerri, Imo state in southern Nigeria. These are indeed trying and troubling times.
Given all these events can anyone still have any doubts about the seriousness of the situation or about just how desperate, deluded, hate-filled, sick and venomous these jihadists really are?
If so I would suggest that they pay a visit to my Facebook ‘’community’’ page (as opposed to my ‘’friends’’ page) where I shared a long and detailed 4,800 word write-up that was authored by Pastor Jonah Isa on behalf of a group known as the Middle Belt Dialogue and titled “The Chibok Girls”. Once there please read the insults and rage that the Haramites and their ilk have expressed on the thread.
I have left the posting there and have refused to remove the hateful comments about both me and the authors of the write-up simply because I think that it is an interesting case-study of how murderers behave when they are provided with the evidence of their hideous crimes. They scream, shout, threaten, insult and become dangerously violent in their language and tone.
Their reasons for getting themselves so worked up are two-fold: firstly because I ”dared” to share a revealing and factual write-up from the Middle Belt Dialogue and post it on both my Facebook ‘’friends’’ and ‘’community’’ page and secondly because the bitter truth has been exposed to the Nigerian public. The strange nature of these Haramites never ceases to amaze me.
They are filled with so much hatred and rage that it is self-evident that they are not only homicidal in nature but also in word, manner and deed. They are simply incapable of indulging in any form of intelligent, civilized, refined and intellectual debate or discussion about the deep and genuine concerns that some of us have about the safety of our Christian brothers and sisters in the north or the serious and weighty assertions and allegations that have been made in the document.
Right from the outset, all they do is threaten, abuse, malign, misrepresent and insult and they do so with the most venomous and vicious words. In truth they are filled with poison and they are suffering from a deep, dark and malevolent disposition. What they need more than anything else is a good education about the sanctity of human life and the deep compassion and forgiving nature of the one true God.
They also need love, pity, deliverance and plenty of prayers. More or less every single assertion that the Middle Belt Dialogue has made in their write-up is credible and their scholarly work was a product of empirical research and in-depth analysis. I commend its authors and the group generally and I wish that more people had the courage to reveal these facts and compile them for historical and academic purposes.
I also recommend the document as essential reading for anyone that really wants to understand the nature of the religious and political crisis that we are facing in Nigeria today. I urge each and every one of such people to simply Google the document and consider the questions it raises about the role of the Governor of Borno state in the Chibok affair amongst many other things. This is especially so for those journalists at the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera and other international television and radio networks that tend to see and report this matter in such a blinkered and jaundiced manner.
More often than not they are so far off the mark in their understanding, analysis and reportage of these matters that one honestly wonders whether it is borne out of ignorance and as a consequence of the disinformation that they have been fed or whether it is conspiratorial and contrived. In this respect Miss Isha Sesay of the CNN takes the crown for the Queen of fudgers and fumblers.
The truth is that the veracity, accuracy and credibility of the serious and grave allegations and assertions that the Middle Belt Dialogue have made in their write-up can hardly be faulted. Yet, despite this, the murderous Haramites somehow feel that no-one has the right to expose these truths. They do not even believe that we have the right to complain about their collective atrocities or the demonic agenda that they have for Nigeria let alone resist it.
Worst still they have shown absolutely no empathy for their victims and they have expressed no remorse about the atrocities that they, their forefathers and their Haramite brothers and sisters have committed from time immemorial, and are still committing every day, against Christians and moderate Muslims in this country.
It is as if they have been programmed from birth and brainwashed into hating, attacking, insulting and butchering anyone that thinks differently from them that dares to speak the truth, that has the guts to challenge their awesome and brutal power and that is courageous enough to expose their jihadist agenda, their sheer wickedness and their endless atrocities.
As far as I am concerned their religious intolerance, their aversion to moderate Islam and their stated intention to wipe out Christianity is indicative of demonic possession. They are not only possessed but they are also ignorant and willing tools in the hands of Satan.
They are the emissaries and agents that the devil has used to torment Nigeria for the last 53 years and now is the time to confront them and stop them once and for all.
If we do not do so and if we continue to sit back silently and allow them to abduct our children, slaughter the innocents and impose their own understanding of their faith and will on the rest of us then we will all eventually be consumed.
Worst still our nation and people will continue to be visited with the harshest judgement from God simply because we have chosen to remain silent in the face of this great evil and injustice. The blood of those that have been slaughtered by the jihadists in sectarian and ethnic violence in Nigeria in the last 53 years speaks against us all on a daily basis and not just against those that spilled and shed that innocent blood.
Until those that are behind these barbarous killings and evil and that secretly fund, encourage and instigate it are made to face justice and answer for their crimes and until such barbaric killings, abductions and forced conversions and marriages are brought to an end, Nigeria and the Nigerian people will not know peace and they will continue to suffer God’s judgement.
The bottom line is simple and clear: the secularity of the Nigerian state must be preserved at all costs. Religion has no place in politics or matters of governance and the greatest crime on earth and before God is to use religion as a tool for political destabilization and violence. It is not only irresponsible but it is also extremely dangerous.
Worse still, those that start it never know where it may end or who may be affected or consumed by it. The duty to resist the devil and his agents, to speak truth to power and to expose all manner of evil is ours: the consequences of doing so are Gods. Love me or hate me, this is the bitter truth. May the Lord God of Hosts, the God of the Armies of Israel, the Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah and He that is more than able guide, lead and protect those of us that are prepared to speak it.
At this juncture permit me to share the words of my friend Mr. Dickson Igwe. On June 16th 2014 he wrote the following on my Facebook wall:
”There is a war on in the Middle East and Africa between the forces of jihad and more moderate forces. It is either you follow their pure Islamic ideology or you are an enemy to be eradicated. It is further complicated by war between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. The war has arrived in Nigeria. So either Christians wake up and understand what they are up against and fight to the death – or continue with the status quo and die like wild animals- there is no half way. Nigeria with a predominantly Christian south and a predominantly Islamic north is a frontline in the war between fundamentalist Islam, and Christianity and the forces of moderation. Across Africa, I see an invisible warfront somewhere between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa where the jihadists and their terror networks penetrate south and kill Christians at will. Do not be deluded. This is war. Christians living in Northern Nigeria are sitting ducks. They are fodder for terrorists. And the Jihadists will come south eventually. The best thing the Christian south can do is adopt the posture of the ancient crusader. This is a fight to the finish. There is no middle ground with these murderers. They are vermin’’.
Can anyone doubt the wisdom, foresight and veracity of these chilling and frightful words?
Equally chilling is the contribution from my sister Miss Toyin Fani-Kayode. She qouted Mr. Paul Adams, the BBC World Affairs correspondent who filed in his story from Iraq, and she posted those words on her Facebook page. Mr. Adams’ story was about the shocking and breathtaking military offensive of the dreaded ISIS Islamisms in Iraq and their massive military gains in the last few days and weeks. On June 11th, on BBC TV’s ”News At One”, he reported that:
”Mosul is overrun and taken over by Islamist militants – they control oil resources, mineral resources and borders. On Monday Mosul’s Governor urged residents to stand and hold firm: hours later he was gone. Militants now control government offices, police buildings and banks too. Half a million flee. One officer said: ‘we can’t beat them. We can’t. They are well trained in street fighting and we’re not. We need a whole army to drive them out of Mosul. They’re like ghosts: they appear, strike and disappear in seconds’’’.
This is a graphic and vivid report by Mr. Adams about the ugly events that are fast unfolding in Iraq. Having shared it with us in order to wet our appetites and to get our hearts beating at a fast pace, Miss Fani-Kayode concluded her contribution by adding her own short and instructive counsel. She wrote: ‘’Nigeria take note”.
Her point is taken. Given the efforts and gradual build-up of the fire-power and increasingly daring military incursions of Boko Haram in our country, her counsel is not only welcome but it is also timely and relevant.
Those that are shallow and naive enough to honestly believe that what is happening in Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, Somalia, Kenya and elsewhere today can never happen in Nigeria would do well to go and do their research on the history of Islamic fundamentalism throughout the world.
They need to learn a thing or two about the doctrine of the Salafists and the Wahabi philosophy, where it comes from and which countries drive and fund it. They should study the concept of global jihad and try to understand and appreciate the attraction that it has for millions of young Islamisms all over the world who feel that that is the only way to preserve their faith, way of life and philosophy and to defend the interests of their people.
They should also focus particularly on the history of Turkey which was once a purely Christian nation. She was ruled by the first Christian Roman Emperor called Constantine, she was indeed home to the first seven major churches after the resurrection of the Messiah and she remained Christian for over one thousand years.
This was up until the time that radical and political Islam was introduced into her shores and before the Islamisms of the Ottoman Empire defeated the Christians, took over the reigns of political power and literally wiped out Christianity. It didn’t stop there.
Hundreds of years later when General Kamal Atatürk took power in Turkey and established the first Muslim secular state he not only murdered one million Islamisms who opposed him and his understanding and application of Islam in order to pave the way for that state but he also massacred no less than one million Christian Armenians from Turkey’s neighbouring country and vassal state.
Question: what is the morale of the tale? Answer: never say that such things can never happen in Nigeria and do not accept the naive assertion that Christianity cannot be wiped out in our country. It happened in Turkey, it has more or less happened in Egypt and it came close to happening in Lebanon.
History often repeats itself in climes that refuse to learn from the historical experiences and lessons of others. Let us hope that we do not end up suffering from that particular affliction in Nigeria.
For the eternal optimists who still claim that we do not have a religious problem in our country and who, like the proverbial ostrich, have buried their heads in the sand permit me to end this essay with an insightful and relevant contribution from Mr. Opeyemi Agbaje. On June 11, 2014 he wrote the following:
‘’What do Nigeria, Kenya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Central African Republic, Mali, Pakistan, India, Russia, China, Bahrain, Syria, Iraq, Tunisia, Morocco, Indonesia, Myanmar, Lebanon, the Philippines, Malaysia, Turkestan, Chechnya, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and many more countries all have in common? The answer is that they are all fighting against Jihadists that are determined to overthrow their secular constitutions and replace it with a fundamentalist Islamic Caliphate in either the whole or part of their countries!’’
What Mr. Agbaje has said is an incontrovertible fact. We are in the middle of an epic and major international conflict whose outcome will have monumental consequences for us all. Yet this is no ordinary conflict. It is far more frightful than that. We are fighting a war against a relentless and vicious group of people that are waging a global jihad. It is a war of the mind, heart, body, spirit and soul.
It is a war that seeks to wipe out Christianity and every other major faith, to destroy the secular state, to shatter and discredit moderate Islam, to change our way of life forever, to drive us back into the 6th century, to turn our women into chattel and to turn our children into sex slaves.
It is a war that has resulted in much carnage and chaos yet it is one that we cannot afford to shy away from or to lose. The forces that we are up against and that threaten our very existence are worse than fascism and communism all rolled into one. They are a cancer that is eating us up from within.
To act as if they present no danger to our nation and the welfare of our people and to suggest that ‘’all is well’’ and that they do not exist is the biggest mistake that any sensible and self-respecting Nigerian could possibly make.
Not only do they exist but they have also managed to infiltrate our government, our political parties and every sphere of our military, intelligence, security and civil institutions.
They are literally everywhere and it is the duty of every true patriot, whether he or she be Christian or Muslim, to expose them, resist them, shame them and bring them to justice.
Permit me to end this contribution with a few words about the tenacious nature of the Christian faith. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of the Living God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Resurrected Lord, the Risen King, He that is high and lifted up and He that came down to earth as God incarnate in the flesh said “I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”.
Those that seek to wipe out Christianity need to ponder on these words and meditate on them. Those that seek to diminish the status of our faith by cheating; killing, persecuting, maiming and shaming Christians need a lesson in church history. The fact of the matter is that the Christian church was built on the blood of the martyrs and the persecution of the saints. The more Christians you kill, persecute, torment and shame the more the church grows and the more our faith spreads. It is a deep mystery and a spiritual principle that is inexplicable to the unknowing and unfathomable to the uninitiated.
The Word of the Lord says “have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty”. It goes on to say “no weapon fashioned against thee shall prosper and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgement thou shalt condemn”. It concludes the verse by saying “this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord”. The lesson is simple and clear: no matter how many of us you kill, persecute or seek to intimidate, the followers of the Nazarene cannot be defeated and nothing can overwhelm or deter us. In every circumstance and situation, no matter how bad, we shall always prevail.
This is because we serve a mighty God. It is because just over 2000 years ago our Lord and Master paid the price, took the pain, gave up His life, shed His precious blood, went down to hell, rose again and conquered death. He is the guarantor of our victory. He is the source of our confidence and strength. He is ”our shield, our glory and the lifter of our heads”.
I conclude this essay with a call to every true believer and to those that are in covenant with the Lord to pray for the Christians of northern Nigeria. The hardship, suffering and persecution that the majority of them have endured over the years and indeed are still enduring at the hands of the extremists, the Haramites and the jihadists needs to be seen to be believed. Yet they have endured it with immense dignity, restraint, self-respect and in stoic silence.
I also implore the Christian faithful to say a word of prayer for this writer and humble servant of truth as well. God knows that I need it: as a matter of fact we all do.
May the name of the Lord be glorified in our quest for justice, freedom and security for our people and may His Church go from strength to strength. God bless Nigeria.