Monday, January 18, 2010

Fresh Islamic Mayhem: Bauchi On The Boil Again

No fewer than eight people, including two soldiers and four children, were killed while a number of houses were burnt in the latest fracas by yet another fringe Islamic group as the year 2009 rolled away. Centred around Bauchi, site of the bloody Boko Haram uprising only a few months earlier, the new rampage involved an Islamic sect called Kala-Kato who were said to be demanding the release of their leader arrested by the authorities. At least 30 members of Kalakato also lost their lives to Nigeria’s military might. The four innocent children burnt to death had sought refuge in a house, which was burnt down by minors, supervised by adult members of Kalakato. According to the Nigeria Red Cross, “no fewer than 1000” forsook their homes and sought refuge at the Industrial area.
Government’s response to the latest in the incessant, predictable mayhems in Northern Nigeria is again meaningless and disappointing – as usual. According to a report in the Nigerian Tribune, the “Bauchi State Government is to set-up an inter-religious committee, consisting of all religious stakeholders with the aim of promoting religious harmony among the people of the state.” As if to say the one-sided madness was due to some religious disharmony between “all religious stakeholders” – meaning Christians and Moslems!
Reporting further, the Nigerian Tribune newspaper explained that, “according to the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media Affairs, .. the objective of the inter-religious committee” [when eventually set up], would be “to give warning signals of any perceived religious crises with a view to nipping it before it erupted.” [Sigh! Yawn!] How more could a government admit the failure of its security units than this kind of statement? Or the fact that it considers the development apparently only a minor incident to be addressed by mere media-directed rhetoric, when it is the assistant to the governor - on media issues - that was directed to make a statement!

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