By Aminu Hamajoda
The rising ethnic and communal tensions in Africa especially in Central Africa, Congo, South Sudan and Nigeria should be stopped, analyzed and resolved immediately before the middle of this year, 2018. Leaders in Africa must gather without resort to UNO or any non-African institution to appraise the current conflicts in Africa without fear or favour. We must address at the African level, conflicts that result from ecological factors, political marginalization, economic stagnation and infrastructural deficiencies. As Paul Kigame asked, why do we wait for the West to summon our leaders, current and past, to European capitals before they sit to address African problems? In conflicts with religious colorations it is certain that fundamentally Islam, Christianity and African traditions abhor unfounded hatred. The Quran(5:8) clearly ordered “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. The Bible (John 4:20) said “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his associate, he is a liar; for he who does not love his associate whom he has seen cannot love God”.
If both dominant scriptures fundamentally abhor unfounded hatred, regardless of the verses demonisers may quote, then where are the sources? The sources I dare to say are Takfiri Islam and Evangelical churches in Africa, both of them currently manipulated by zio-western intelligence. While a short paper like this cannot go into details of the recent origins of Takfiri Islam embodied by Al-Qaida, ISIS, Boko Haram, etc and Evangelical (pentacostal) churches role in fragile situations in Central Africa, the middle Belt of Nigeria, and South Sudan etc, both approach public affairs from a divisive and mischievous prisms. For instance one can only shudder at the activities and speeches of takfirists while they are destroying historical relics or when they kill anyone who does not believe in their twisted ideology of zero tolerance for non-Muslims and ‘hypocrites’. By the same token, greatly ignored, is the modern African Christian, especially the hypernationalist elites, who propagate genocidal autochthony and the myth of ‘Islamisation agenda’, recently epitomized by the utterances of Steve Banon and Donald Trump. In Africa it is supported and implemented by Christian indigenes who are taught the vicious ideology of autochthony created, not for identity construct, but to definitively eliminate the so-called ‘others’ by genocide and other forms of atrocities. Recent happenings in South Sudan, the Congo, the Central Afrique and Nigeria testify to this.
Many governments today are wary of the social media forums because the discourses are appalling, unintellectual and hateful. TV anchors sound like trolls rather than objective journalists, and unbalanced and fake news are commonly engineered for nefarious purposes. The agenda setting function of news is so warped that people focus on feeding their bias and base emotions from the various sources they choose on the internet. In general, Africans are now worse than pre-colonial period when they had at least traditional values and knowledge to rely on. Most of the persistent conflicts on the continent today stem from identity politics and ethnic confrontations, however the current nature of both challenges are a far departure from what it was in precolonial Africa.
Ethnic consciousness has been part of Africa and cannot be denied. In fact, instead of diminishing, it is increasing with political developments in Africa as the recent elections in Kenya depressingly displayed. But it appears that while ethnicity in precolonial Africa was evolutionary in the sense of intercultural minglings, inter-marriages and linguistic expansions, the current ethnic consciousness in Africa is garrison-like, highly defensive and even genocidal. An example is the current fear that Islam and Hausa culture will override the multifarious ethnic groups in the middle belt of Nigeria. Here lies the danger, which consociational strategies like state-creation and political representation may not solve. Additional strategies like history teaching and communication and entertainment strategies must be revived. In the 70s and 80s, theatre and broadcast comedies were used to laugh at the so-called ‘genetic characteristics and foibles’ of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria. All these strategies are now lost so much so that the Fulani and the Tiv youth may not even know the banters that the two groups used to share. We have lost even the faculties to stand aside and laugh at ourselves.
Hamajoda is a public commentator. Email: email@example.com