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Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Ruby Diamond: Plateau (Which Way Nigeria?)




Which way Nigeria?

 

Yesterday, I was returning from the salon and needed to pick some things from my local supermarket when a neighbour said to me. "Aunty, no dey come house late again o! Dey comot for work early". I asked why. He told me about Sunday.

 

There are lots of hotels and clubs around me and apparently, one caters to the Christians and another to Muslims. The Muslims, he said wanted to enter the Christian club(whatever that means because I don't remember when night clubs became religious in nature); and the Christians refused. The Muslims left and returned in minutes with sticks, boots, guns and what have you. They three the first punch and Christians ran. They injured lots of people in the club and chased the fleeing ones. That brought them towards my house which isn't far from the clubs. There was more violence and security agencies moved in afterwards. 

 

Thankfully, no one died!

 

Rumours have it that there may be a reprisal attack.
After that information, I just ran home quick. I cuddled myself and started reading on violence in Plateau. I almost screamed. My adopted younger ones (I live with a family of five who didn't know me from Adam but took me in after serving in Jos south and I didn't leave) had to ask what it was that was bothering me. I just came out of depression and I knew better to stop reading if I didn't want to slip back in.
 
Very chilling was this account I read from https://www.hrw.org/news/2011/01/27/nigeria-new-wave-violence-leaves-200-dead.
 
I just can't help but wonder when we got to this level.
I remember Bridget who lived in Kano.
The bricklayer who was almost killed in Kaduna for not fasting.
The RCCG woman who was killed in Kubwa, Abuja after her morning cry.
I remember the friends I made on my way back to Jos from Mangu who told me about the "merciful killers" they met on their farm. They killed only the men and left women and children so they tagged them "merciful".
I remember the lecture I was given on the start of my NYSC year on areas to avoid.
I remember the blind, one legged and mentally affected soldiers I met and heard of while serving with NAF and I can't but wonder how we got here. 
 
Is it political, religious, social or what?
 
I remember that neighbour saying "If no be say dem vote Lalong as governor, dem for no fight for Plateau again." We are not even comfortable in the hands of Christians so far he isn't our "tribal man."
 
What exactly is the problem? 
 
Today, I just want to live in peace.
I want to shop in Terminus without looking over my shoulder in fear.
I want to tour again (as I once did) the 36 states in Nigeria and feel comfortable.
I'm tired of heavy military checkpoints even in streets.
I want to feel free in Gada biu, Bauchi Road, Faringada, Katakand not just RayfieldAbattoir, Namua.
I just want to live in peace.
 
What then is our problem? Who can answer the question? Political, tribal, social, moral or religious???
 
How did we get here?
 
To my best knowledge,
*GadaBiu, Faringada, Bauchi Road, Katako are 99% Muslim dominated areas. 
*Rayfield, Abattoir, Namua are 99% Christian dominated areas with Rayfield being the safest.
*Terminus is the Lagos of Plateau.



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11 comments:

  1. Funny, I was just thinking about religious-motivated killings some few days ago and how it seems we are intolerant of the next person that doesn't declare loyalty to our God, despite the glaring and numerous coinciding interests we may share.

    Term me whatever you may like, but I feel that these clashes are greased by religious (Muslim) leaders who do not stand and speak vehemently against those impressionable followers who twist the Qu'ran to justify their wanton killings. I have a number of (enlightened) Muslim friends and for the most part, they have been a desirable influence in my life. Islam as a religion, to a large extent, has been corrupted by some who use it a platform to serve their selfish purposes. It behooves those who understand its peaceful ways to ensure that they disabuse those who seem to have taken to violence under the guise of Islam. Else, Muslims risk being termed as extremist - as much of the world seems to be increasingly doing.

    Analyzing the provenance of the problem is....a problem on its own. One I think would be a laborious undertaking. Meanwhile, I was posted to Plateau for my service year, only lasted 3-weeks there. I'm certain you already know the safety and security systems in place, just ensure you adhere to them, avoid late night and controversial gatherings, keep your religion and religious views to a low-profile, probably create a whatsapp group with friends to intimate one another on security and safety issues within your environs ati be be lo. May your every moment always be in the shelter of God's protective cover.

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  2. 'E go soon beta' na wetin make igbo man still dey kano. The Northerners don't like other people and never will. Leave their land and go elsewhere, people will come and psychologise the topic but the only way to avoid it is not to be there. The people are something else, if you like live among them for a 100 years, once the shit hits the fan they will come for you.
    Kratos.

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  3. I say its because of
    1) Poor education system
    2) Poverty
    And it aint gon change for a looong time.

    Peace

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  4. Call me a prophet of doom if you like but I believe Nigeria is in her final days. I only pray we chose the path of peace and not fight like two bitter people engaged in divorce.

    I am yet to find that one thing that can be claimed as uniting us (please don't mention football) and I see no sign of an attempt to unite the people.
    The fruits we are reaping today came from trees planted years back; it is sad that the current government is playing the ostrich with these threatening situations and the docile people of the South are keeping quiet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please is this my Wale? Wale of TTB?

      Delete
    2. Oil and the fear of the unknown if we do split is what's uniting us. Powerful forces I must say...lol

      Delete
  5. Egbon Wale is back???? Adonbilivit! Welcome sir, #WhileYouWereAway chrisyinks has been holding the fort adequately, but we always want more so please don't leave us again. Lol.

    To the Post:

    Sad times, terrible disease of our dear Nation that has lingered for over 6 decades. To say I have understood this disease in my short years on earth will be a blatant lie. We're grasping at straws to preserve this fragile unity, and the last straw is Religion. Since this is now being destroyed we logically have no more straws to hold on to. Love, Tolerance and Trust are few of the many fruits of Religion but in Nigeria (and the World today), those fruits have gone sour. If you're not practicing a *pedophilic religion baptized with extremism* (Islam), then you must be a *whorish infidel* (Christianity), and so draw your daggers.

    When hope in Religion is lost in a predominantly religious environment, then ALL HOPE IS LOST. Goodnews is, I'm not losing hope...NEVER. I'll keep praying, I'll keep hoping, no matter the hatred towards me or towards my Muslim brethren. That's all I have left; HOPE.

    GOD BLESS NIGERIA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And here I thought that Uyi, Steele, Memphis, I and others were holding the fort...Egbon Wale, ekaabo.Chrisyinks

      Delete
  6. Also include our weak judicial system. No one is punished for any crime. Why won't others go on a murder spree? The country is pulling apart at the seams, but we pretend not to notice. What we do not realise is there will be nowhere for us to run to. We will easily overrun our neighbours. For this reason, they will not offer refuge.

    What is my Plan B? Where will I run to when it falls apart? A lot of those Syrians seeking refuge in Europe were professionals back in their country. Nigeria is like the Wild West. All sorts of groups holding others hostage. A few days ago, young men blocked Abuja - Lokoja highway. Just because they could. Let's not even discuss our security agencies.

    I live in Lagos. But I don't move far from my hood. I don't fool myself and think that Fulanis are liked in this country. Road trips are not on the cards. I am always aware of my surroundings because I am responsible for my own security.

    Plateau is a very dangerous place right now. If it isn't imperative to be there, leave. When the hunt starts, mercy will not be shown.

    If we had the infrastructure (railways, ferries) and the laws to encourage business and punish infractions, we won't be hunting each other like animals in the Serengeti.

    Mallama

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love grows when you preach it. Hate grows when the people dont stop it.

    Security issues has always been a major problem in Nigeria (Boko haram just amplified it). Before BH,how many Nigerians live or build homes without burglary proofs or security guards?

    When i read and hear stories on former Plateau state once likened to london,i wonder why our past leaders (most esp the military era) cld allow religious unrest mar such a beautiful state.
    From the vibes (body language) i'm getting,as long as money isnt discovered in someone's farm,the killings and unrest is gonna go on unabated.
    (the conspiracy theorist in me thinks all this killings is to put the fear of death in Nigerians come 2019. Since they cld do it with the fuel and dollars,nothing is beyond anything..)

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a lovely piece of writing.
    These are perilous times. Brother turning against brother. People hating on each other. What can we do? In our little corners we can only be the change we want to see. We can show much love, give away plenty smiles and hope for the best.

    I really love the way you write, Thelma!

    PreciousCore.com

    ReplyDelete

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