By Kalu Nwokoro Idika
No human religion, whether organized or otherwise condemns self-defense. Testaments of encouraged self-defense abound in the Bible, and I’m sure it’s like that in the holy book of every other organised religions practised by mankind. In the holy scriptures when the people of God were confronted by their enemies who swore to exterminate them from the surface of the earth, they fought back with everything in them; knowing that the future God promised their fathers depended on their survival. They took their destinies in their own hands, and did not rely solely on divinity to fight their battles while they waited. If that had been the case, they would have been completely wiped off the face of the earth, because their adversaries were too many, each breathing fire and blood. But today, Christians read of their victories and testimonies. Why? The answer is not too far. They stood and fought. They took their destinies in their own hands. Why are Nigerian Christians not walking in the steps of their religious progenitors? Why are they lukewarm? These are difficult questions most Nigerian Christians cannot give satisfactory answers to.
I will not be wrong if I should say that the brand of Christianity in Nigeria has created more cowards than champions. It has created wimps and tactless adherents who cannot even muster the smallest courage to defend what the Holy Book teaches. Christians in Nigeria have been hunted, battered and killed like hogs without Christian leaders acting decisively to stop this ugly trend. The prophets of God who were supposed to stand and protect the flock of Christ against devourers have gone on self imposed exile. It has pathetically become a scenario where the flock are left to wander in the open without care. Were there no Biblical prophets who challenged and corrected erring rulers? Did the prophets of old not bother with social, economic and political issues of their times, especially when these issues concerned the poor and the down trodden? Didn’t Elijah, Isaiah, Elisha, Joel, Ezekiel, just to mention a few, condemn the evils they witnessed in their societies? Why are the Christian prophets of today’s Nigeria afraid to condemn the evils prevalent in their society? Are they truly concerned with only the dividends of the exploitative religion they practise?
I want every Christian who will read this article to take time and think deep. I did not put down this argument in order to ferment trouble or to pit Christians against their Muslim neighbors. Far from it. This piece is nothing but a comprehensive attempt to spurn Christians into a responsive action that will preserve their existence in Nigeria. The otherwise of my advice will possibly cement the complete extinction of Christians from the geographical space called Nigeria.
Christians from South East and South South of Nigeria must know that the Bible do not in any way condemn self-defense. There is no portion of the Bible that condemns Christians going to war with their enemies. There are several Biblical accounts that narrated how the children of Israel fought and defeated their enemies in wars. They did not have to wait for God to send his legions of fighters to come down and slay their enemies. They stood doggedly, fought like lions, and defeated the enemies of God. In the Bible, the children of God preferred to fight and die in the battle field against their enemies, than to abscond like men of little faith. But such charismatic trapping is far fetched within the circle of Nigerian Christians.
Since the creation of Nigeria, Nigerian Christians have continued to be victims of Islamic extremism. It has been a gory tale of how Christians in the Middle Belt, Southern Kaduna, South East and South South are persecuted in the hands of few Islamic demagogues who claim to be owners of the country. Beginning from Southern Kaduna to Middle Belt down to South East and South South, Christians are being murdered on the streets and in their homes. If the killers are not coming within the circle of the marauding herders, it will be from unapologetic sharia fundamentalists.
In Abuja, the wife of a RCCG pastor was beheaded for preaching about Christ on the street. The same was the fate of another woman who was mobbed in Kaduna by some Islamic fundamentalists who accused her of blasphemy. The story is not also different in Southern Kaduna where many Christian communities are facing annihilation and forceful expulsion from their ancestral homes. The Middle Belt of Nigeria has become a serious theatre of war and slaughter slab. Starting from Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa down to Plateau state, the narrative has been the same. So many indigenous people have deserted their communities for the fear of the unknown.
The South East and South South of Nigeria are not left out. Killings are also going on in Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Delta, Anambra, Imo and Rivers state. Miyetti Allah and their foot soldiers are terrorising, murdering and encroaching into farm lands. Whenever we revolt against such an undesirable destruction, one political omnipotent from Abuja will order soldiers and police to march down to that community and deal with individuals who are attempting to obstruct these killers and land grabbers in their mission. All these senseless wastage of human lives are going on when there are security agencies who are being paid to maintain law and order. Hence, I was not surprised when a former general, TY Danjuma, accused the army of colluding with these terror bandits in their carnage.
The lopsided structure of Nigeria and its security formation is a larger testament to the fact that nobody is safe in Nigeria. The Fulani tribe are in charge of the police, army, DSS, civil defense, customs, Navy and Immigration. It is all about the government of the Fulani, by Fulani and for the Fulani. Other extraction of the country can go to hell. In a situation like this, do we fold our arms and watch while these infinitesimal supremacists overrun us? The answer is absolutely no! Let’s avoid deceiving ourselves. Christians will be continually butchered by these fundamentalists and no one will be held accountable. They know we can only cry, complain and thereafter, it will be a forgotten story. We have made ourselves to look so weak and helpless. Instead of us to fight back whenever we are wounded, we choose to shed tears like hopeless children in our closest.
In order not be taken unawares, Christians in the South East and South South must form a militia group. It is rather clear to us that the police and other security agencies can not protect us from these ruthless murderers. There is nothing wrong in this call. A Christian militia group should be a child of necessity now. It will amount to compound stupidity by allowing our own killers to watch over us. We can’t continue to live in fear. This is the time for action, or we will live to regret our lousiness in no distant time. Even Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, constituted a Christian militia group that killed and repelled bandits who wanted to obliterate his adherents because of their religious inclination.
Therefore, Christians in South East and South South must rise beyond primordial sentiment and do the needful. The Bible is not against self defense. Enough of these pocketful of complaints. It’s either we stand to fight and live, or we chicken out like cowards and forfeit our ancestral homes to the invaders. The creation of Christian militia group should be an idea every Christian in the Eastern region should embrace with joy. In the North, there is Boko Haram and Fulani terror movement fighting and protecting Islam. Their leaders have never complained about their activities.
Conclusively, as the Fulani government of Nigeria is making conscious effort to Islamize others, Christians from South East and South South must not go home to gawk. From cattle colonies to RUGA and down to other subtle mechanisms which they have employed to champion the spread of Islam, we must defiantly resist them. And our only resisting force should come from the formation of a Christian militia group. The present security situation and fate of Christians in Nigeria has officially baptised the creation of this militia group. The group, no doubt, will be there to fight and ensure the security of Christians in South East and South South.
Kalu Nwokoro Idika is a political analyst and freelance journalist. He can be reached via e-mail: [email protected]