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De Moment of Truth

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This piece is being repeated due to the recent plans by the federal government to establish  grazing colonies in different states of the country.

This piece is being repeated due to the recent plans by the federal government to establish  grazing colonies in different states of the country.

in the first part of this series, we examined the roles which herdsmen play in the Islamization of Nigeria. It was established that herdsmen perform two roles in Stages 1 and 2 in Islamization . In the first place, they act as pathfinders for Islamists since they establish links with foreign communities. Secondly, they act as guides and escorts to jihadists whenever there is an invasion.
From the first episode of this series, we discovered that after the establishment of a Muslim station by herdsmen, Fulanis usually migrate to the new town. But because of the low population of Nigerian Fulanis, they invite their kinsmen and Muslims from other North African countries to join them and boost their population. This group engages in petty trading, provision of manual labour, etc. Being wanderers, they neither rent accommodation nor own property. Their Mosque serves as their place of abode.
At this stage in Islamization, natives are usually oblivious of the secret intention of the Fulani community. This is so because the Muslim community minds its business by focusing on gradual development of the place without preaching to anyone to convert to Islam. While these activities are going on, they begin to seek for recognition by the government in power and the host community. This stage in Islamization is often a period of peaceful coexistence with their host communities.
So, how does Islam fare during the period of peaceful coexistence?  What are the external factors that aid the rapid growth of Islam in Nigeria? Put differently, are there advantages which Islam enjoys over other religions? If so, what are they?
In the case of Nigerian, it can be said that in addition to the attraction of polygamy, three main factors stand out as the secrets of the rapid spread of Islam.
The first is the creation of Fulani hegemony after Britain foisted them on Nigeria and all its concomitant advantages, for example, the use of constitutional authority to impose Islam on the rest of Nigeria as we shall discover shortly.
Fulanis do not hide the fact that by being in charge of virtually every aspect of government, they take undue advantage of others by using government apparatus in moving Nigeria to become an Islamic state. Available records show that the march to Islamization of Nigeria started during the Nigerian civil war as the nation savoured a period of honey moon between Muslim North, the Yorubas and the northern minority nationalities. The first step was in 1969 when a Nigerian delegation led by Alhaji Abubakar Gumi attended a meeting of Organization of Islamic Conference, OIC, in Morocco. Although that meeting in 1969 was in an observer status, but the picture came out clearer in 1986 when the military government of General Ibrahim Babangida unilaterally registered Nigeria as a full fledged member of OIC. Since then, Nigeria is recognized by the Arab world as an Islamic state.
The federal government is also known for harbouring the intention for the establishment of Muslim communities all over Nigeria, using the trashed Grazing Bill as a cover. The federal government under the influence of Miyetti Alah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, had wanted to obtain an Act of the National Assembly to make it a law to establish grazing reserves for use by herdsmen in every state. The grazing reserves  were conceived in the form of satellite towns with Mosques and Islamic Schools, etc. If the Bill had sailed through, then communities from the middle belt to the southern parts would have seen Emirates established within them.
The federal government, under the control of Fulanis, has also shown by its actions and inactions that it is concerned with protection of Fulanis in their quest to Islamize Nigeria. The litany of invasions, massacres and wanton destruction of property by armed herdsmen betray the federal government as having given tacit approval for violence induced by islamization. All over Nigeria, the problem is armed herdsmen attacks. From Agatu, Uzouwani, Southern Kaduna to all parts of the middle belt and southern Nigeria, it is one massacre or the other and government continues to tell us that the criminals are not Nigerians. For the sake of Islamization, more than 20,000 have been killed in Kaduna, according to Governor Mallam El Rufai. The jihad which took place on Christmas day 2016 left 808 dead and destroyed 1422 houses, 16 Churches, 19 shops and one primary school. In the case of Agatu, the death toll was 6,000 while Uzouwani was about 50 with several houses destroyed.
Whereas the federal government has so far  exhibited total failure to either prevent herdsmen invasions or apprehend them after the crimes, it has on the other hand displayed its capacity to nip in the bud every plan of natives for reprisal attacks and a few instances will suffice. A vivid example is the tragic incident which occurred somewhere in Minna, the Niger State capital in the wee hours of Friday, 5th August 2016. A joint military team of soldiers from 31 Artillery Brigade and men of Nigeria Air Force from the Quick Response Group in Niger state had gone to Kpaidma village in Bosso LGA to impound arms and ammunition alleged to have been stock piled by the community in readiness to combat armed herdsmen who frequently attack the people. As the military team arrived in search of illegal arms and ammunition, the villagers attacked the team, mistaking them for herdsmen.
Unfortunately, by the time the clash was over, according to Sunday Vanguard of 7th August 2016 which quoted Military authorities, 10 military men and 8 villagers were killed while 57 villagers were arrested and detained.
In the case of ENUGU 76, two house wives of Awgu village in Enugu were abducted from their farms by people suspected to be herdsmen. In a reaction to the development, the villagers assembled to organize a search party to rescue the missing women.
While they were still deliberating the matter at their village square, security operatives dressed in army uniforms raided the meeting and arrested 76 of them. The unidentifiable soldiers took the 76 villagers to Afara federal prisons in Umuahia from where they were later charged for arson at an Umuahia Magistrate court. While the military authorities denied knowing the men in army uniforms, the villagers regained their freedom only after fulfilling stringent bail conditions.
The spread of Islam enjoys huge state fundings by the Arab world. Unlike Christianity which does not receive funds from nation states, Islam is generously financed by Muslim governments, individuals and organizations. For example, a Saudi Prince, Alwaleed Bin Talal pledged $32bn for the promotion of Islam and Sharia in America. The Prince is a constant financier of Saudi Arabia's brand of Islam. A report has it that the Prince “has pledged millions to radical Muslim Brotherhood front groups that have a secret plan to Islamize America and spread Sharia law throughout the West. These pro-jihad groups can now count on a massive and virtually endless infusion of cash to their war chests". It is this type of funds that create and fund insurgents like Boko Haram, Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, Maitasine, etc. These Muslim extremists groups in turn finance their agenda like installation of governments all over the globe. An example is the $500m which Al-Qaeda allegedly gave to Boko Haram in 2015 to prosecute its agenda for installation of a Muslim president, for according to them, islamization of Nigeria is critical in the quest to Islamize West Africa.
Therefore the attraction of wealth is also one of the secrets of Islamization and this can be seen from the rising number of wealthy Islamic Clerics, Scholars and Sheikhs who have no visible means of livelihood. These people receive huge funds annually to finance the spread. This makes it possible for them to finance the recruitment of mercenaries who they use as jihadists and the resulting insurgencies and violence. The Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Buratai recently confirmed this position when he told Nigerians that most Boko Haram fighters are foreigners. The use of mercenaries as jihadists explains why the Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammed Sa'ad  Abubakar  has always said that Fulani herdsmen were not responsible for the spate of massacres in Nigeria, adding that more Muslims have been killed in insurgencies than non Muslims. Therefore, the availability of generous funds to hire mercenaries accounts for the existence of Maitasine, Boko Haram, Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN and other Islamic extremist groups.
In addition to huge budgets provided by Muslim governments and individuals, these governments also synergize under the Islamic Development Bank Group, IDBG, which main objectives include “fostering economic development and social progress of member countries and Muslim communities". It is because Nigeria is a member of OIC that IDBG approved a number of projects for Nigeria.  These projects include the Bilingual Education Programme in nine states, National Food Security Program in Gombe, Anambra and Yobe states. The bank is also funding the Illesha Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Osun state. It is for this reason that IDBG opened an office in Abuja and its officials were hosted by President Buhari on Monday, August 2016. With these kinds of supports towards economic and social developments, will it be possible for such governments to oppose being liberal to Islamism?
From our discussions, it is very evident that in addition to huge budgets provided by the Arab world, the federal government has shown in several ways that it is an agent of Islamization as it consistently provides conducive environment for the spread of Islam. This includes legislations and shielding jihadists from prosecution.

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