Obed Minchakpu: Boko Haram bombings and the national question


 

 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

By Obed Minchakpu,

I stood by the Mortuary door motionless. I could not believe what I was seeing. Is this a dream? I asked myself. Right in front of me were dead bodies, corpses of fellow Nigerians who like every other person, set out in the morning seeking for means of survival; working hard to earn a little money to keep body and soul together. But here they are by evening, lying stone dead there in front of me.

I made effort to move into the morgue to take a count of the dead bodies, but they were so many that I lacked the courage to move in further. The corpses were all placed on the bear floor of the mortuary, with no space left for one to even step in to get the details I needed. For me to move in, I have to step on some of the dead bodies and this I did not have the courage to do.

I was now shaking like one posses by demons as the reality of what fleeting lives we all live dawned on me. God! Why this destruction of lives? I asked no one in particular. Behind me too, stood relations of some of the victims who rushed to the mortuary to identify their missing relations, but the scene in the mortuary is so challenging that not a single one of them could brave it to go in there to check for their missing relations.

I brought out my iPad, took some photos and moved to a side beside the mortuary and began to pray for the repose of the souls of the departed and for comfort for those who lost loved ones in the suicide attack in Jos. In the midst of all this, there were wailings and cries from women and men within the hospital that pierced my heart and soul.

So many questions kept turning in my brain. Are we going to survive this evil that has taken over Nigeria? What is the fate of our children in a country that is under siege from the forces of evil? Only the assurances of the word of God gave me peace of mind as I quietly walked away from the mortuary of the Plateau State Specialist Hospital, Jos, moments after twin bombs exploded and killed over two hundred persons in the city of Jos in central Nigeria.

And as I moved out of the hospital to meet my wife who was waiting for me by our car by the gate of the hospital, I could hear the assuring words of Jesus that in the midst of all these tribulations there is hope for a respite.

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18 KJV)”.

Earlier in the morning I had gone to Bauchi and and returned at about 2 pm and went straight to my office along Noad Avenue in Jos, a stone throw from the scene of the bombings. While in the office at about 3 pm, the bomb explosion occurred. The blast caused massive explosion so much that it reverberated across the city of Jos. I stepped out of my office to find a chaotic scene all over. People were running and trying to escape from the blast scene. I could see cars making frantic efforts to escape as drivers tried to escape through routes they believe were safe for escape.

I took my iPad and decide to get to the scene of the blast. That is what Journalism has done to some of us. While others fear dead and try to escape in the face of danger, journalists instead make efforts to get to these dangerous places, just to inform others about happenings around them.

As I was getting close to the scene of the blast, a second explosion occurred. God! I have never experienced such a thing in my life. There were debris and objects flying all over. I could hear cries of anguished all over. In order to contain the situation soldiers who had got to the place started shooting into the air. The whole scene was chaotic as both the injured and some lucky survivors scampered away from the place. Dead bodies and body parts were scattered all over.

Those who planned this bombings knew what they really wanted. Their aim was create massive and maximum destruction, and they actually achieved this aim as the second blast occurred about twenty minutes after the first. The strategy by the bombers was to attack and create room for more people and rescue workers to move in before another attack that will cause more havoc. This strategy worked for the bombers as the second explosion caused more deaths than the first.

When all seemed to have settled, I went round looking at the destruction and taking some photos, and as well as noting down details of what I saw. With all done, I left the place, trying to make phone contacts with people I know. But at that instance, I discovered that all communication service were shut down. I could see people running up and down trying to establish contacts through phone calls with relations that were missing. I made my way home and asked my wife to take the car so that we move out to the hospitals. It was this going the hospitals that made me realized that the carnage caused by the bombing was indeed massive.

Having captured the events that engulfed the city of Jos, I am now forced to ask the question, “For how long shall we as a people and nation continue to allow this go on? This is not the first time that innocent people are being bombed in jos. In the past two years churches have been bombed, and now the bombings have been extended to market places.

Jos is not the only city that has had to contend with Boko Haram bombings. Just on Sunday, Kano had a similar attack in the Sabon Gari area of the city. Other cities that have been bombed in the past include Kaduna, Zaria, Abuja, Maiduguri and so many other places. But the thing is that in all these bombings, Christians have been at the receiving end.

The bomb attack in Jos was targeted at an area that only Christians had shops. So, majority of those who died are no doubt, Christians. In the past two years too, only churches in the city of Jos were bombed. The COCIN Headquarters Church was bombed, the St. Finbar’s Catholic Church was bombed, and another Pentecostal church along Rukuba road was bombed.

That this is a clear war against Christians is that only areas being inhabited by Christians were bombed in the past. And these areas include: Gada Biyu, Angwan Rukuba, Tina Junction, Odus, and Tudun Wada. All these are Christian wards in the city of Jos. Yet, there has never been any bombs that have exploded in any Muslim area of Jos. The question then is, why is this so?

In Kaduna State, churches were also bombed in the cities of Kaduna and Zaria. Some of the churches bombed include: St. Rita’s Catholic Church, Malali; St. George’s Catholic Cathedral, Zaria, and ECWA Church, Wusasa, Zaria. So also, St. Andrew’s Protestant Church, Jaji Military Cantonment was bombed, and just as another Pentecostal church was bombed in the city of Kaduna. So, who’s is making claims that this is not a war against the Church and Christians in Nigeria?

In Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, a Catholic Church was bombed in Madala, a suburb of the city. And then the recent attack at Nyanya in which most of the victims are Christians going by the list of names victims in hospitals published by the Nigerian government.

Against the backdrop of these, it is clear that Muslims in Northern Nigeria desire to wipe out Christians in order to enable them establish an Islamic theocratic state, an agenda Boko Haram is pursuing vigorously and with the active support and collaboration of the Northern Nigerian Muslim political class and the feudal oligarchy.

With this sad development, the time has come for hard decisions to be made. There is no doubt that for minority Christians in Northern Nigeria to survive, this country has to cease to exist as a political entity. We can no longer bear to see our people being destroyed in the name of national unity. Whose interest is this unity serving in the first place?

So, we make bold to demand that Nigeria’s parliament and the Nigerian government must now, resolve amicably that the Nigerian state should cease to exist and each political component of the country should become autonomous and the people that will form any part of these new states should do so bearing in mind their common affinities and religious affiliations.

The Nigerian state should be collapsed into four independent states and this should be: south-west, South-east and South-south, Middle Belt, and the far North. And since the far north is where the problem is coming from, they should go ahead with their plan to have an Islamic state and leave others in peace.

This is the task before the Nigerian government and the National Assembly. This must be resolved now. Failure to adopt this option to peacefully address the wrongs being meted against minority Christians in Northern Nigeria and other ethnic nationalities that are residing in northern part of this country, would no doubt lead Nigeria into a fratricidal war in the no distant future.

Jesus during his earthly Ministry said: “And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear (Mark 4:9 KJV)”.

Let the Nigerian government hear that the end has come and each and [sic]every one of us wants to return to his tent.

“And when all Israel saw that the king would not hearken unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? and we have none inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to your tents, O Israel: and now, David, see to thine own house. So all Israel went to their tents (2 Chronicles 10:16 KJV).”

Obed Minchakpu  is a Writer, Author, Journalist, and a Media Consultant. He has contributed articles to Prism, Christianity Today, Charisma, and online news organizations.

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Shared with permission from Author

 



Categories: Africa, Christian persecution, islamists, Religion of Peace

Tags: , ,

Rev. 22:20 'Surely I am coming quickly, Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus!'

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