The Oasis Reporters
September 14, 2019
Former Kano State governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau must be deluding himself into believing that all Nigerians, especially Christians have the short memory span of goldfish. Three minutes is long enough for it to forget anything.
Ibrahim Shekarau was Kano State governor for 8 years from 2003, when he defeated the incumbent, high performing Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, till 2011. Despite the high level of evil perpetrated under the Shekarau regime, as Christians, many of us forgave him. He has taken it as license to pee on the mass graves of Christians killed under his regime in a particular two day orgy of unbridled massacres, burning of Churches and homes of Christians in Kano. This is why he assumed the brazen audacity of infamy to issue his Press release (unless he says that the Press release issued in his name was not authorized by him) to berate Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike over an alleged Mosque Demolition in Port Harcourt.
The Press release started thus:
Wike’s Condemnable Bahaviour (behaviour).
All *rationale* (sic) and conscious citizens of this great country, Nigeria should join in condemning the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike for recklessly demolishing the Rainbow Town Central Mosque located at the Trans-Amadi Area of Port Harcourt, and for irresponsibly declaring Rivers State a “Christian State,” and claiming to owe no apology to anyone”
Ibrahim Shekarau, under your regime, was Kano State not Shari’a complaint ?
Did Christians and other right- thinking and peace loving citizens of this country condemn you ?
‘Muslims and other right-thinking and peace-loving citizens of this country should come together to condemn, in (the) strongest terms, this irresponsible, reckless, rabble-rousing Governor whose apparent aim is to ignite a religious conflagration, the kind of which has never been seen in recent times.”
Shekarau, Wike has said that no such Mosque was demolished. But I would be the last person to hold brief for him and therefore would say nothing about Rainbow Town, where I’ve not yet been to. At least nobody, not even one chicken was killed over the matter, based on what both Shekarau and Wike said.
Does Ibrahim Shekarau think we have forgotten how a rabble rousing group of Islamists, allegedly led by his own appointed Commissioner, one Mallam Rogo went on a demonstration then proceeded to meet him in Govt House and he, Shekarau made that infamous speech, “Muslims shall no longer keep quiet”, and the roused group of rioters marched to the Friday Mosque at Zoo Road/Zaria Road roundabout for prayers, followed by the most bestial, most morbid massacre of thousands of Christians in Kano city ?
For the benefit of those who may know nothing about the background to this event, here’s a little:
There has always been difficulties in Plateau State between those that may be largely termed Muslims who have settled in the State. Many of this group may be seen as herders. But there’s actually no such fine line of identity, and the indigenous population who are also largely perceived as Christians, and predominantly seen as farmers. Unfortunately, clashes have always occurred and the usual tit for-tat blame games and ethnic cum religious killings have occurred. This of course is tragic, and condemnable.
News of the killing of some Muslims ( not minding the fact that Christians were also killed) was received badly by the largely Muslim dominated city of Kano. The only way Kano Muslims felt like retaliating was by killing thousands of Christians (though no agreeable figure is accepted by all) in Kano. Killing Innocent Christians, many of whom have never been to Jos, nor know where Jos was in the map.
Many people felt that the incendiary speech of Mallam Shekarau was the spark the killers needed. Some say that if he had acted like a leader by dousing the tension, it would not have been as bad as it was. He failed Christians, failed liberal Muslims and failed Nigerians.
When the rioters left the Mosque at Zoo Road/ Zaria Road roundabout, several hundreds of then poured into Zoo Road, then Shagari Quarters where several Churches were existing. Like the Catholic Church on 21 Street, Calvary Life Assembly on 22 Street, Assemblies of God Church, Deeper Life Church, Redeemed Christian Church of God etc. In fact, it will be difficult for me to mention them all. They were all set ablaze. Not even one survived. Killings also commenced.
Behind Shagari Quarters was Medile Village and other settlements that straddled between Shagari Quarters and Sharada Industrial Estate. Those settlements were choice locations for factory workers to find modest accommodation so as not to be too far from the workplace.
Now, who were the inhabitants there ?
Majority of them were educated and skilled personnel that factories would employ anyway . And guess their composition .
Christians of course, who had education and skills!
Uncountable number of them were trapped and massacred with their families. Shekarau did not protect them.
“If a Muslim Governor were to come out openly and declare his state a “Muslim State” and proceed to demolish a church for any reason, all hell would have since broken loose in Nigeria, and sections of the Christian community would have since rushed to the “international community” and even the United Nations seeking protection against Muslims.
The action of Governor Wike is a pointer to his being induced by other than rationale brain waves, as no leader in his right senses would contemplate stoking these embers of discord in a country so religiously, ethnically and regionally charged as Nigeria.
We must repeat that were a Muslim Governor to be reckless to utter even half of what Governor Wike uttered, the fragile peace holding in this country would have since been jeopardized because of the intolerant nature of a section of the citizenry. Yet here we are, with the added tragedy of a cohort Christian clergy lining up to bless and endorse Governor Wike’s action.
Nigeria belongs to all, and no state in Nigeria could claim to be mono religious. It only takes a responsible leadership to carry everybody along.”
In that portion of Shekarau’s alleged statement, nothing could have been more self indicting, because no other governor in Nigeria’s recent history outside the Boko Haram overrun North East has had such a huge number of Christians in their domain, killed while the governor sat idly by.
“ When I held sway as governor of Kano State between 2003 and 2011, we encouraged and guided the people to lead their lives according to the tenets of Islamic Law (Shari’ah). But we neither became power-drunk to demolish Churches nor disregarded the provisions of section 10 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to declare Kano an Islamic State. Our fair dealings with every section of the community earned us commendation, even from Kano State Chapter and National Body of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), at different occasions. These Christian leaders are still alive today to attest to my claim.”
Such a deceptive and sly speech ! Shekarau has forgotten that there’s still video evidence, well documented about the arson under his charge as governor. Such that propelled then President Obasanjo to come to Kano and issue his stern warning.
“It may interest Wike to learn that Mr. Tala Ilo from Bayelsa State and Mr. Chris Chibuzor Azuka from Anambra State, (both, born-again Christians) were special advisers in my administration.”
Shekarau appointed two Christians as special advisers. But that does not remove the fact that over a thousand Christians were massacred under his regime, especially after his incendiary speech, and he abysmally failed to do what former Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso would have done a proactive leader to save Christian lives by funding military patrol that would deter the murderous hoodlums, and for that, he was conspired against and voted out after just one term. That brought in Shekarau, on the back of Islamists, who used him to achieve their nefarious acts.
“Wike’s claim that Rivers is a Christian State is pathological. It suggests that not only are the people of Rivers State 100% Christians, but Muslims and adherents of other religions from other parts of Nigeria cannot make Rivers State their home. It also insinuates that Rivers State operates a government, a constitution of its own, different from the Nigerian Nation. It means Rivers State does not recognize or protect the interests of people like Alabo Mujahid Dokubo Asari, Alhaji Isa Boaima, Alhaji Sani Okiri, Alhaji Ahmed Sani Pe, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Pepple, Alhaji Sulaiman Akani, Alhaji Ibrahim Orlu, Alhaji Musa Brown, Chief Hassan Douglas and Alhaji Mustapha Wakama who are all Muslims and productive citizens of Rivers State.
This is not the first time this Governor would show his reckless side in utterances and actions. It could be recalled that last year, he threatened his own Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) hierarchy that they either hold the party’s convention in Port Harcourt or, as he vowed, risk his destroying the party. Rather than risk the wrath of this single, reckless and irresponsible individual, the party’s leaders sheepishly acquiesced and danced to his whims by going to Rivers for their convention.
These actions and utterances of the Rivers Governor manifest the highest forms of irresponsibility by a so-called elected official in this polity. It is an attempt to truncate this nation’s democracy. It is a serious security threat. We therefore call on the Government at the Centre and all security agencies to call Governor Wike to order, and to hold him responsible for any breach of the peace that his actions and utterances could cause in this country.
In the end, I call on the Muslim community in Rivers State and Muslims throughout Nigeria to remain calm and law-abiding. Let us not copy Wike’s despicable attitude and unruly behaviour. Unlike him, other Christians are fair-headed and peace loving. Let us not lose our sense of decency, as two wrongs do not make a right. We shall however encourage Rivers State Muslim Community to be firm and focused; to pursue their constitutional right in the court of law as they did and won their cases in the past. This time, they will demand the rebuilding of Trans-Amadi Mosque and the payment of compensation. They will also demand Governor Nyesom Wike to unreservedly apologize to Nigerians.
Ibrahim Shekarau, CON, Sardaunan Kano
Senator, Federal Republic of Nigeria
(Kano Central Senatorial Zone)
August 29, 2019.”
Did Shekarau pay any compensation for the properties of Christians destroyed during the two day orgy of violence in Kano under his watch ?
What about the lives lost under him ?
Shekarau thinks that people have forgotten, simply because those that lived through that trauma under his watch chose to keep quiet while he was campaigning for the presidency.