The first suicide bombing in Nigeria took place at the car park of the Nigeria Police headquarters, Abuja on Thursday the 16th of June 2011, this event has added another bad consternation to the decrepit image of Nigeria. Nigeria has now been added to the list of growing nations with suicidal religious groups. Boko Haram, a religious group, which has coined its name from Hausa and Arabic languages; Boko meaning Animist and Haram an Arabic word for Sin, if put together means 'Animist-Sin'. Boko Haram believes that western education is animist, therefore, it is sin. This group was formed by Ustaz Mohammed Yussuf in 2002 in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Ustaz Mohammed Yussuf was killed in 2009 after his arrest, during a fierce battle with the Police leaving hundred of its members dead. Boko Haram group has a clear mission to change Nigeria to an Islamic nation and, get rid of western education and culture.
Boko Haram has now joined the league of suicide bombers, going in the direction of the Al-Qaeda and Taliban, who are bent on killing everyone not embracing Islam and would not stop their Jihad until the world is changed to Islam. Boko Haram has already declared being affiliated to the Taliban and have the same agenda of changing the world to Islamic rules and massacring non believers. Boko Haram believes that western education is an abomination and seek to impose Islamic rule in Nigeria. The group has promised not to stop their Jihadist incursion until this is achieved. This they believe is the injunction from God to every Muslim and will ensure they have a place in the kingdom of God.
The group Boko Haram started their onslaught through planting of bombs at strategic locations and killing Policemen, their operations is mostly in the Northern states of Nigeria, their northern impingement has led to the death of several innocent Nigerians and the biggest attribute to the group is the October 1st 2010; Nigeria's Independence Day bombing leading to several deaths, however the group responsible for this attack is still sketchy. Several bomb blasts have followed this in different parts of northern Nigeria, claiming many lives. This sad development has now gravitated to suicide bombing, which is reported to be the first of its kind in Nigeria.
Nigeria is a non-sectarian society, with multi-religion, multi-cultural and traditional values. Nigerians clearly co-habit together without any problems, however recent events have proven that not to be applicable any more. Nigerians value their lives and their family live. The late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a legend of Afro-music, said in one of his songs, that Nigerians would rather take any form of insult, than risk their lives through dangerous fights or protests, they would suffer and smile. An average Nigerian despite being poor, still believes when there is life, there is hope. Nigerians do not have history of laying down their lives for any course, however the emergence of religious sects like the Boko Haram, Maitatsine, Darul Islam among others have now introduce a new inconceivable dimension to the once tolerant and conforming society.
I personally have respect for Islam, the level of dedication of Muslims to follow the dictates and tenets of Islam, the dedication to observe their prayers 5 times a day and the willingness to share with the the less-privileged. I have lived and interacted with Muslims all my live and can confidently say that Muslims are lovely and peaceful people to live with, on the contrary, I find it very appalling to see the dimension the religion is going now and the level of irresponsible and lack of character by this terrorist groups, who class themselves as Jihadist - fighting for God, it surprises me that most of this jihadist, also kill their fellow Muslims through their suicidal practices.
This goes to show how insane and inhuman the Islamic tenets has been turned into by this groups. One of the greatest problem befalling Islam and its followers is misinformation. Muslims only learn to recite the Quran, but do not understand or barely have the ability to interpret what they have recited. It takes a Imam or the head to explain what the Quran has said, this is so because Quran is only acceptable in its Arabic form, so Nigerian Muslims are expected to learn the Quranic Arabic, so as to be able to recite the Quran, doing this, it is believed that the Quran would not be adulterated or the original meaning dissipated. The adverse effect of this is that most Muslim relies on their heads to interpret the Quran to them. Any of the heads with evil-intentions can easily brainwash innocent young Muslims to commit their lives in exchange for a place in Al-Jannah (Paradise). Despite all these killings, an average Muslims still believes that Islam is a religion of peace as stated in the Quran, not one Muslim believe otherwise. However, how do we juxtapose the irony of the daily massacre from a religion with such a peaceful proposition. It might go to mean that this fights for God is hypocrisy or politically motivated and the Jihadist simply wants to make a statement. Until we decipher the true reason for this dastardly acts, the world may not begin to get a solution for the menace.
It is clear that the infiltration of Iraq and Afghanistan by US Army and the security forces of other western nations to get the Taliban and other groups down have only worked to reduce the activities of the groups, but have not eradicated them. After many years in those places, the security forces still continue to count death to their men on a daily basis, it clearly shows this military invasion may not stop this Jihadist and terrorists. How do you stopped a person who is ready to stop himself? How do you threaten to kill someone that has already killed himself. The more force is used on the suicide bombers, the more relevant and important they become and get strengthened to instigate more harms, after all they are already brainwashed to die to become a Martyr.
Nigeria Government needs to be very diplomatic in handling this situation before it completely escalate to unbearable level. This is a big challenge to our security forces to do their job and nip this in the bud. We do not have time to wait and let more suicide bombers be recruited. Nigeria Police needs to know the importance of their jobs now and stop their indifference, they need to stop taking bribes and concentrate on their jobs. Our Police needs to develop their intelligence to disarm these terrorists and help us live in better safety. Suicide bombing is not in our culture, Nigerians prefer to live than die, this is what we want and this is who we are.