DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is not an assault or the North on Muslim but the truth about issues bothering the North as an entity and Nigeria as a nation through the hands of Islamists. It’s the TRUTH from my perspective.
I got a lifetime opportunity to interact directly with young northerners during my NYSC in Jigawa State, I served in JSS AbdulKadir, Hadejia and I was a friend of both male and female. Communication was a little bit of a challenge at first because mine was a situation of “Ba Hausa”
and theirs was “Ba Turenshi”
(a natural barrier) but somehow, we got along because there were a few students that understood a little bit of English and I was forced to pick up a little bit of Hausa as well, and with a lot of drawings, gesticulation and sign language, we were able to communicate effectively without violence. Contrary to believes and assumption because of the communication barrier, we are too quick to conclude that an average Hausa/Fulani child is an illiterate, what we don’t understand is that they also think we are illiterates because the education we deem important is not the one they prioritize, and since we don’t have the type of education they have, we also appear to be illiterates to them on the average.
“The depth of the mind of an average child in the north strengthens but the dearth in value that exists within creates an almost perfect imbalance.”—Oct 2010 (Culled from the keynote address at Nigeria Independence Celebration in Hadejia titled ”Call To Service” by Abidemi Oderinlo, Oct. 1st2010)
An average northern child is educated (Islamic Education) so they can’t be regarded as illiterates because western education is not the definition of literacy. Religious indoctrination takes the biggest part of their early life through a system that implants Islam into the root, culture and tradition that defines the building block of an average Hausa/Fulani child.
Most times, the content of the information imparted in this young minds through religious education are not the complete true tenets of Islam and this is done intentionally for the purpose of establishing Islam as a supreme religion over other religions and belief system, all in a bid to maintain Northerners as the deserving owners of the Nigerian state with a religious army to back it. THIS IS NOT AN ASSUMPTION
Have you’ve ever heard of this statement credited to the Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello 11 days after the declaration of Independence in 1960, all as a result of the intended design of the Nigerian state by the crown.
“The new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather Othman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the north as willing tools and the south as a conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future.” – Parrot Newspaper October 12, 1960.
Believe me, this is not a ruse! This dogma is taught directly and indirectly, indoctrinated into the genealogy and subconscious of every young Hausa/Fulani through the religious, cultural and traditional institutions that forms the basic building block of the northern child in pursuit of maintaining this vision of Nigeria as a property of the North. If you think I am wrong, here is a revised standard version of the Sardauna’s proclamation by General Muhammadu Buhari said in 2001.
”I will continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to the sharia movement that is sweeping all over Nigeria. God-willing, we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of the sharia in the country. Muslims should vote at the next Presidential election only for someone who will defend their faith” – 2001. (Culled from the essay titled ”Buhari-Bakare-Idiagbon In Retrospect” by Akin Osuntokun, April 11 2014).
This is perhaps something peculiar to Islamist but I will stick to the Nigerian context for this essay. Religion has been perfected as a tool for this unholy crusade, a strong religious bias is thus crafted through an adulterated Islamic Education System that builds these children from a very young age and ultimately creates a people with almost zero tolerance for other belief system, and a high tendency for violent resistance or confrontation with little or no provocation. A normal public primary or secondary school in northern Nigeria is operated like a Muslim missionary school on public funds, not because all Northerners are Muslims, but because Islam is prioritize over every other thing in a Nigeria that is supposed to be a secular state.
I will share my personal experiences to highlight the facts and establish the truth of my argument. While serving in Hadejia, I was daring but with a fresh approach, my fun style teaching uses diagrams and real life examples in bridging the language gap, and created less notes for the children, so they liked me and felt comfortable with me and even asked questions about other subjects and shared ideas. A particular thirteen years old boy “Ameen”, one of my favourite Computer Studies students approached me once and gave me this revealing advice. He was straight to the point.
“Uncle I want you to learn Hausa language and become a practicing Muslim because Islam is the ultimate religion and Hausa is the language of power here in Nigeria”.
I wasn’t surprised, but I still had to ask him where he got his ideology from, and he laughed and told me…
” We (Hausa’s/Fulani’s–the North) own Nigeria and the Holy Quran place us (Muslims) above all others… Uncle, learn Hausa language ‘mana’ and I will introduce you to my daddy, I like you uncle walahi”.
His spoken English was presumably the best among all of my students, and he seems to be far more refined that the others. A peep at his file was revealing. He had attended a proper Islamic school, and he had private education with a regular academic curriculum along with it. I also found out that his father was a cleric, a chieftain, an elder in Hadejia but this school of taught he openly dished was not in the accredited curriculum at either primary or secondary school level. I asked other students and they all had the same opinion, even the principal felt the same. There is only one place they could have gotten this orientation, I will allow you to be the judge of that.
If a child with normal basic education affluence and privileges had been instilled with the idea of ethnic superiority and religious supremacy at age 13, imagine what those children lost in the normal roofless Almajeri System are being thought and fed every day?
Extreme! Religious! Values!
After the 2011 presidential election result was released in April, Ameen’s words took form and manifested. Led by youths and young adults, these wonderful children unleashed terror; they chased us out of Jigawa. The Almajeris took to the streets, burning churches and other Southern/Western looking establishments while the ones in formal schools organized more coordinated attacks. Youth corpers were flogged out of their quarters, macheted and stabbed by the students they were teaching in junior and senior secondary school, southerners were killed and non-Hausa Muslims were flogged and burnt because they were still regarded as infidels. Surprisingly, the zonal president of my fellowship a Norther Christian was spared in the attack with strict warnings that he should return to Gombe his state and become a Muslim or risk his life. All of these obviously confirmed what little Ameen told me, Northern Ownership and Religious Supremacy. The good part is that this violence and senseless killings was not incited by BH or Buahri, it was inflamed by the nature and culture of Northern Nigeria as defined by Alfas, Imams, Teachers, Leaders, Elites (Religious and Traditional) and Builders of their society.
“The problem is not the “Almajiris” schools but rather the content of the Islamic education these children are being fed in all formal and informal basic Islamic Education Institution across northern Nigeria. Building Almajiri schools is good but it will not change the content but rather present a better platform for defective Islamic Education that will keep the north volatile and Nigeria on her knees for as long Nigeria exists if this paradigm is not shifted in the right direction.”
Most adults, youths and children in the northern Nigeria grow up impoverished, lacking any expedient skill or further education because they’ve been locked and stunted within the northern “status quo” of subsistence farming and strong religious predisposition. This deficiency makes them vulnerable to false religious scholars, and their already crooked foundation gives way to religious emotional attachment and the traditional believe of Hausa/Fulani supremacy in the Nigerian State. They fall for the lies of the extremists that ride the waves of religion, bringing with them a heavy bowl of food, and weapon for the ultimate domination, perhaps with promises of virgins in the life after if they are lucky enough to die during the course of the unholy crusades labeled “Jihad”.
I also ran into postmaster from Nguru, Yobe State, in Jigawa, and he shared the tales of what he was thought about Christianity as a child through the normal Islamic schools. In his words “I was taught as a child that Christian gatherings are sexual orgies and he believed it because they were words of my Mallam. However, I stumbled on the truth during a holiday trip to Kano with my friend immediately after secondary school when I attended a church service with him out of curiousity, I was looking forward to experiencing the scenes, waited for the sexual orgies to start but none happened, I attended a few more, maybe I would get lucky to see the profanity but I never did. I’m still attending church till today.” The truth as liberated him.
At the Tony Elumelu sixth Advisory Board meeting that was held on the 28th
of February, 2014 here in Lagos, a young northerner, an awardee of the 2013 Tony Elumelu Foundation prize who was claimed to have been approached by Shekau himself when he wanted to regroup book haram was invited to on stage to speak about an initiative he’s championing to counter the BH insurgence and he confirmed the decay in the Basic Education System of core northern Nigeria. He confessed that he was taught as a child through the Islamic institutions that Christianity and Western Education was profanity, a system that brings people to learn how to dishonour God and consummate sexual immoralities and orgies and that he grew up believing it was true because these lies were established through the vehicles of religion, and that was all he was brought up to embrace until he came across the truth through education and interaction. All he does not his try to educate the north with the truth and he’s fully supported by the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
If these stories are true for Jigawa, Yobe and Zamfara, then they are probably true for the rest of Northern Nigeria but I will not assume. One thing I am sure of is that we must highjack and CHANGE the Educational System of Northern Nigeria if we want peace in the future.
I am Abidemi Babaolowo Oderinlo
iRead What iNeed, iWrite What iLike, iAct What iWrite
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