“Tinubu, Dogara and the Prison and Poison of Religious Politics”
The two most disadvantaged groups in Nigeria’s representational politics are northern Christians and Southern Muslims. In Nigeria’s internal geopolitics, these two groups are structurally invisible, politically subjugated, and told to be content with their political and symbolic marginality”.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a Muslim from Osun/Lagos states, and Yakubu Dogara, a northern Christian from Bauchi State, embody this phenomenon eloquently. “Good” Northern Christians are thought to be those who subordinate their Religious Identity. In some meetings in the North some Christians don’t mention Jesus while praying just to please their Muslim friends. One thing with the Muslims in the North of Nigeria is that you can’t believe them hook line and sinker.
Nigerians do not understand the Northern Muslims. This group do not want to lose out. A Muslim from the South picking a Christian from the North as Vice President they believe they will lose out politically. Because they don’t even trust the Yoruba Muslim. They are the only true muslims, descendants of uthman Danfodio. Therefore it is either they are the President or they must deputise for whoever is President period. They convince you and everyone else that they have the numbers to make that happen.
The century long Propaganda by the colonial Masters and the Muslim Northeners who control the media in the North made the world to believe Christians in the North are insignificant, maybe 95% muslims to 5% Christians. The Nigerians in the South and middle belt have believed this. Many Southerners never believed there were indigenous Christians from Borno State until the Chibok girls Kidnapped were 90% Christians, indigenous to Chibok in Borno State.
Population statistics in the North of Nigeria.
1) North East:
Adamawa state is 60 percent Christian. Taraba State is 70 percent Christian (The muslims here fear the Christianswho do not take any disrespectly lying down). Gombe State is 40 percent Christian (It could be more). Borno State is 30 Percent Christian. Bauchi State is 20 Percent Christian. Yobe state is 20 percent Christian (it could be more).
Benue is 95% percent Christian. Plateau State is 90 percent Christian. Nasarawa state: The two largest ethnic groups are: Eggon the largest ethnic group is 80 percent Christian, Mada is 90 percent Christian, is 65 percent Christian. Nassarawa has alot of animists even in LGAs near Abuja the FCT. Kogi state is 60 percent Christian: Igala is 70 percent Christian, Okun is almost 100 percent Christians while in Ibira Land Christians are 30 percent. Kwara: Christians are 40 percent(it could be more). Niger: 40 percent Christian (High number of animists in Niger especially among the Dukawa People in Rijau LGA of Niger State).
Kano: 10 percent Christian (It could be more with a very high population of igbos who have been part of the driving force of commerce there for decades). Katsina is 20 percent Christian (Christians could be up to 40% in Katsina, many indigenous Hausas in Katsina call Maguzawa are Christians). Sokoto is 5 percent Christian. Zamfara is 20 percent Christian. Kebbi state is 30 percent Christian (High number of animists & Idol Worshippers ecist in Kebbi especially among the Zuru and Dukawa people in Shanga LGA and around Yauri). Kaduna state is 55 percent Christian (this population has been systematically thinned out under the watchful eyes of El-rufai).
Many villages in the Northern parts of Nigeria are predominantly Christian or animists (why do you think there have been incessant attack in the north west the past 8 years?). Yes the big cities are overrun with muslims but the hinterland harbours a remnant of christianity. Many big Mosques are empty in the villages, nobody prays inside. Usually only the village head and his family are Muslims under the payroll of Government but the others are christian or animists. When you ask some of the villagers they say the Muslims came from Government house through their traditional ruler and built the mosque believing one day all the villagers will convert to Islam and worship in the mosque. That is why they built the mosque and you a stranger will think the entire village are Muslims.
The Middlebelt is not less than 50m People. If Kaduna alone can have about 3 million Christians by 2006 census according to LGAs, the entire northern Nigeria should have not less than 60m Christians.
WHY IS THE NORTHERN CHRISTAIN SILENT?
1) Wrong Training:
A Northern Christian boy is trained to be quiet, while a Northern Muslim boy is trained to speak out from Quranic school. With the whip the Mallam makes the silent one talk,be bold and tough . Many northern Christians are made to believe there is honour and dignity in keeping quiet while injustice glares you in the face.
Many Northern Christians ask you to keep a low profile and be silent , don’t put your family in danger.
You have to respect Government even in injustice. Northern Christians believe Government can not be spoken against even when they are wrong. The Bible says Pray for Government.
4) Many Northern Christians are selfish:
They are self centered and if they can provide for their families, everybody else should go to hell.
5) Inferiority Complex:
Northern Christians, for centuries have been marginalised and persecuted by Northern Muslims therefore inferiority complex has set in. Many feel they can not aspire for anything in life without the help of a Muslim.
6) Northern Christian Elders and politicians have not helped matters:
The youth look up to them for direction but never get a clear directive.
7) Northern Christians have a Slave Mentality:
Many see the Northern Muslim as a superior specie since he strolls about with confidence even in a foreign land.
Christians as a whole in Nigeria appear to be unnecessarily afraid and weak. Prayers and actions must go hand in hand. They must step forward, speak their minds and stand for their rights or die second class citizens in their own nation. They must have one voice or perish. The church leadership has failed but has one last chance to be bold.
By Professor Farooq Kperogi, Dated Saturday, March 05, 2022.