Arewa in urgent need of a saviour
Sir: Arewa is Hausa word that literally means North. Arewa was an autonomous division within Nigeria, distinctly different from the southern part of the country, with independent customs, foreign relations and security structures.
With all aforementioned structures, Arewa suffered a lot trauma of terrorism from one hand to another, such as the notorious Aware, Maitatsine, Boko Haram, kidnappers, banditry and political thuggery among others. But the unanswered question that is beaded in our mind is: Where the problem lies? The current mess bedevilling the region is the action of Boko Haram at North Eastern Nigeria, kidnappers at North West and bandits at North central.
Since 2008, the group of Islamic extremists under the leadership of Muhammad Yusuf, who are claiming to be part of the Salafi ideology, retreated themselves from the actual teaching of school and established another sect with the name “Ahlus-sunnah lidda’awati wal Jihad” which can be translated as “A Sunnis calling for (Jihad) Holy war.” Later, BBC reporter gave them a suitable name which shapes their movement: “Boko Haram.” The new name means “western education is prohibited.”
As we all know, Boko Haram is the only formative and identical group but the remaining bandits and kidnappers are unknown, since that phone call is the only means of communication with them! After the emergence of Boko Haram, Northeast became the land of sorrow, mourning and grief. All the breaking news from there were terroristic and tragic.
On Sunday, November 2020, the Boko Haram terrorist slaughtered about 110 farmers in Zabarmari village nearer to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State as reported by Al-Jazeera, just because they refused to pay the consented tax return of their farming land to the terrorists. The following day bandits invaded Sabuwa Local Government of Katsina State, killed seven people ruthlessly including a nursing mother and abducted 30 villagers. Who can secure Arewa? Is it the President that doesn’t listen to our voices until the garnished and censored story but not the reality; or the corrupted governors that rigged elections to assume political office or the crooked legislatures that rivet our thoughts with constituency projects? Or is it the kings that fear dethronement and demeaning? Or the security service chiefs that received their bread and butter from Arewa but left it at mercy of bandits and Boko Haram? The parents that produced so many kids whose responsibilities they cannot shoulder, preferring to blame government for incompetence? Or the unpatriotic citizens that always spew ill wish to their country?
In Arewa, we lost the shoulder to lean on; the voice to deafness amid screaming, the leaders to stand and speak with our voice!
Ali Tijjani Hassan. Alitijjanihhassan@gmail.com