In a headline that at first suggested an unprecedented change in attitude by Sharia-ruled governments in Nigeria to the wanton and carefree destructions of Christian lives and property, the Jigawa State government reportedly undertook responsibility, and offered compensation, for Churches destroyed by Islamic youths. Around January 22, eight churches had been raised down by Islamic youths who were supposedly protesting police brutality (moslems) against a tractor driver (moslem) who lost his life for violating traffic rule! (http://dynamic.csw.org.uk/article.asp?t=press&id=959)
However, reading through the details, it is clear that the statement is probably nothing more than a political ruse, which might even be a design to distract and divide the ranks of Christians. In the first instance, despite the clear facts on ground, Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Aminu Abdullahi, explained that government needed first to set up a committee … to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the incidence. It is the same committee that would additionally ”ascertain the extent of damage, as well as evaluate the cost.” Unfortunately, the government forgot to include any representative of the Christian community on the committee!
It doesn’t take a prophet to predict the course of events in the several months to come. Efforts to pursue the matter and eventually obtain a cheque through the maze of government bureaucracy is guaranteed to keep CAN leaders not only distracted and possibly divided, but canned as well for a while! If the Jigawa government were serious, it could simply have followed in the footsteps of the Malaysian government, who as we reported in the last edition, simply paid compensation instantly, and directly, to the Churches destroyed by Moslem fanatics in that country last year, December 31!