The sole voice of protest way back in 1986 when President Ibrahim Babangida pushed for Nigeria’s membership of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) was General Domkat Bali. The weight of Gen. Bali’s protest was not felt for almost 15 years because all that while Nigeria was predominantly governed by rulers who profess Islam (only the three-month Ernest Shonekan tenure in 1993 was a very short hiatus from this continuous Muslim-Generals rule).
The OIC Protocol mandates that the head of government of any OIC member country must be a Muslim who should promote Islamic interests above everything else, especially vis-à-vis “decadent” Western mores and values and it does not matter if the end result is overall economic stagnation of that country.
This protocol effectively kicked-in in 1999 when Olusegun Obasanjo, a Christian, was sworn in as the president of Nigeria; certain ones suddenly “remembered” that Nigeria, an OIC member nation, had “gone astray” and neglected Islamic values for “too long” and thus the “Sharia Fire” was ignited in 12 states of the North with the overall attendant consequence of widespread economic meltdown at the local levels and apathy to investments in these locales by Christian non-natives who are, quite frankly, good economic movers.
Soon state governments began chopping off the arms of their citizens and sentencing economically-distressed single moms to die by stoning for some ill-defined “fornication” whereas the enforcers of these crude codices busy themselves getting young and nubile pre-teen girls and other expensive foreign “brides” just to “cushion their souls.”
Recall that it was in the first tenure of Olusegun Obasanjo, sometime in 2002, that Boko Haram formally announced its presence although it was inaugurated at the same time as the “Sharia Fire” in 1999 by “seed money” donated by Osama bin Laden, the terror supremo and financier.
When Goodluck Jonathan picked up from the short tenure of Umaru Musa Yar’adua, Boko Haram transformed into a killing and kidnapping machine, and the Chibok incidence finally broke Jonathan’s resolve and he was swept away from office thus ensuring the keeping of the mandate of the protocol. Today, Nigeria is wretched because those who are supposed to make decisions to influence economic growth are not interested in building a free enterprise economy.
––Sunday Adole Jonah, Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State.