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Sunday, 24 July 2016

No Longer At Ease.





And so just this afternoon I went hunting for a pack of razor blades from a mallam kiosk. I don't know if I'm the only one who's noticed but even little things like razor blades now have fakes. Tiger is very scarce these days and what most Mallams sell is Tigger. This poor counterfeit is a problem when you're using it for grooming. So on getting to my third mallam shed in the hope of finding Tiger, I noticed it had an unusual number of "mallams" hanging around but still I approached the shed, because my brows desperately need grooming. On getting close, one began to chant some prayers, I think, not in Hausa, but Arabic. Another followed suit and another. They were not on their prayer mats or performing ablution but scattered randomly, some seated, some standing. Immediately my heart began to race and I thought I was about to be lynched. I did a mental assessment of how I was dressed and eventhough it was "decent" in my opinion, I couldn't help but fear for my life. I hurriedly retreated and gave up on my blade search. Now I cannot say they were about to lynch me or do anything sinister for that, I don't know if they were praying innocently or just conversing, but these days people get killed like flies and it seems that with just a cry of Allahu Akbar everything is fine. 

You might wonder why I would fear for my life when I live in Lagos, yet had I not seen what I saw with my own eyes some weeks ago, like you, I would have thought the same too. This was about a week after Bridget was beheaded in Kano for refusing that ablution be done at her own shop's entrance. It was a Friday and jummat had just ended at the very popular Lekki phase 1 mosque. A young woman driving an SUV made to drive out of a narrow street where some men were praying. Bear in mind that this is a general street, used for general passage. A number of worshippers had blocked the road and her offence was that she honked for them to make way for her. Now please know that this road is a close, meaning it's entrance and exit are the same and she had no alternative passage. 

I saw with my own eyes how this woman was nearly brutally battered, you'd think things would be different in Lagos but apparently not. I watched, terror stricken as hundred of "worshippers" surrounded her car, some even climbing on top it, trying to break in and drag her out. Something about that scene was remiscent of Micheal Jackson's Thriller video. Had several LASTMA AND Police officers, not intervened and with arms too, we would have had another case of Bridget on our hands. Now even when the security officers were able to restore some order, some of the worshippers still took it upon themselves to deface her face, using stones to scratch the sides, banging against her windscreen and windows to break them, and I saw one viciously hit and break off her rear view mirror. 

My uber driver began to panic for he thought his end was near. I told him to keep calm and look away. I wanted to take pictures of this account because I knew words would not do this incident justice but I also feared for myself so I dared not, we were only few feet away from the riot. And you know, if this could happen in an upscale part of Lagos like Lekki phase 1, then Lagos is not as exempt from terror as we think it is. 

I wanted to do a post about it but to be honest, I was afraid. I wrote on it and a few other things but I didn't post it because this religion that they constantly say is one of peace, is one that invokes a deep sense of fear in the hearts of many. So many of us stay silent. It also doesn't help that we have a President who turns a blind eye to all that is going on. A President who sympathizes and consoles with victims in far away continents, in far away countries like Germany, yet when his own people are getting killed on a daily basis in his own country he stays mute. Bear in mind that the killer in that same Germany has been apprehended but over hear, na OYO we dey! Christians and being killed and nobody is saying anything, all we do is go on social media to rant. Fulani herdsmen and are killing people by the hundreds every week, a lot of these mass murders are not even reported in mainstream media, yet our President seems to have nothing to say, no promises, no sympathy, no empathy, no threats, no concern. Just apathy! 

Is it therefore any surprise that I went to a mallam shed and when they suddenly started to chant casually, I fled the scene? I realize that I may be in my home land yet I'm not longer at ease, very far from it. 


12 comments:

  1. Hmm its quite frightening really. Thank God she wasn't hurt, but what can we say? The apathy from the government is disheartening. Imagine offering Germany help to find the perpetrators. What progress have we made on our own soil? What fate even awaits the families of soldiers who have lost their lives fighting this menace? No one cares....

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  2. The truth be told is that Islam is a religion that promotes terrorism . People who are scared night not want to accept it, but it's the truth. That's why I like Donald Trump. Do you remember that during the case of Isioma Daniels, a sitting deputy governor in this country actually openely places a fatwa on her head. That young girl has been banished to england for the rest of her life. What was her offense ? For daring to write in her column that Muhamammed wouldn't have had anything against holding Miss World in Nigeria during the Ramadan. All hell broke loose. The Miss world team and the contestants had to be smuggled out of nigeria amidst tight security . This Day offices in abuja and kaduna were burnt down . Then the usual suspects , Christians and Igbos dropped in body bags . What about the protest against the war in Iraq? As global protest trailed US invasion of Iraq in 2003 or so , 300 people were killed in Nigeria during protests. As at that time , the war in Iraq had only killed 23 people . 300 people were slaughtered in protest of a war that has only killed 23 people . Recently, Sahara reports leaked information showing that fanatical Muslims are arming up to start attacking Christians. It wasn't long before we saw attacks against churches and the eventual murder of the preacher in abuja . Did you recall the sultans current statement charging Muslims to defend themselves against those who try to stop them from practicing their religion? These are inciting statements from established authorities. Despite the fact that 98% of all terror attacks on earth are done in the name of Islam , so called moderate Muslims also subtly support violence and not the peace they claim . Look at what a sympathetic gesture like taking in refugees have turned Europe into, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark are all feeling the heat and more will happen. God will help us.

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  3. Thelma this was a really good write-up.
    I grew up in Kaduna (which is still my home), had a lot of Muslim friends, knew a lot of alhajis in the neighbourhood who'll open their doors to Christians during religious crisis.

    I'm aware that there are verses in the Qur'an that make it hard to believe that Islam is a peaceful religion but I've seen some Muslim clerics argue passionately, pointing out that those verses were taken out of context.

    My point is, the whole religion shouldn't be made to take the brunt of what just a small percentage (extremist) is doing. (Which I know isn't what you did, I'm just stating a point).

    Remember the reformation, dark ages and Spanish inquisition where Christians killed millions. How about extremist Christian militant groups Lord's resistance army etc. That doesn't make Christianity a violent religion now does it.

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    Replies
    1. Nope. Cant remember the Christian militant groups. Never heard of it. And thats the point exactly!

      Peace

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    2. @ Punintended

      Well said!

      @ Kon

      Yes, there were times in history some Christian groups killed unbelievers under the cover of religion.

      Delete
    3. *In Jay-Z's voice* Google's your friend bruh

      Delete
  4. The Fulani gateman we have has 6 or more guys around him. They cook, eat, sleep and some of them even transact some petty businesses within the compound. Despite their obvious humility and ready-to-help attitude, I am far from being at ease. I warn my kids not to relate with them at all. The landlord lives in the building but he is not complaining, therefore, there is little I could do.

    I wonder why it is in this religion we have this kind of aggressiveness and negative display of energy; still they claim their religion is one of peace.

    -F

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  5. Mehn.. I aint even gon lie. Im scared of Hausa peeps and Im scared of muslims. These people will stab a nigga like Im suya meat. I try very hard not to discriminate but I cant be close friends with any of them. The stories Iv read, the things Iv heard...never. I cant trust them. A muslim will kill his brother because he has a different belief.

    Christians are getting violent too, but its nothing close to the evil being done in the name of Allah. Christians do some evil things but they dont go about executing people because of Jesus.

    When Im around muslims Im extra careful. My gate men are Muslims, during Ramadan I respected myself, I dint call them to open gate, I can open it myself, I get 2 hands. Shiii..

    Peace.

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    1. I was in Niger State sometime back and my fulani Muslim friend volunteered to chaperon me all thru. Literally went over backwards for me that day. What's the point of my comment? I don't knw either..

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    2. I was in Niger State sometime back and my fulani Muslim friend volunteered to chaperon me all thru. Literally went over backwards for me that day. What's the point of my comment? I don't knw either..

      Delete

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