Rudolf Okonkwo's Column

They want a world where there is no freedom of thought or freedom of expression. The North wants a world where people who do not share their religion live in fear of them. They have said this in more ways than one.
Monday, November 25, 2002

Rudolf Okonkwo


"The worst thing about him was his genius for thinking himself slighted, belittled, under attack. It became almost impossible to mention anything to him, no matter how reasonable, on matter how gently put."
-- Salman Rushdie in (Satanic Verses)

f you are a Southerner reading this, I want you to know that your politics do not make sense. You and your Jesus Christ! You and your Amadioha. You and your Sango. You and all the gods of your land.

If you are a Northern Muslim reading this, I want you to stop. Now!

I want you to stop because I am going to abuse you and abuse your Prophet Mohammed. Unless you have a way of burning down the Internet, I will make sure that this article will get into your bedroom. Don't even entertain the thought that I am going to apologize when you go crazy and start burning and killing. I won't make myself available to the State Security Service.

Senseless, you all are - all you Africans who kill each other in the name of foreign gods, foreign prophets and foreign religions.

You think you were outraged by the shame displayed by Nigeria last week, I was mad. I have drawn a line in the sand and it is an all out war on our stupidity. This has obviously reached its climax. We have to change something about us. We have to make a drastic move else we perish. We gave them an inch and they took a yard! We gave a yard and they took a mile! If we do not put a stop now, next, they will take us.

The We refers to the Senseless Southerners!

The North is a different world. It has consistently pointed out where it wants to go. It has shown in words, thoughts, and actions the dreams it cherishes. We, the unimaginative and undiscerning Southerners have ignored all the signals the North is giving us. It appears that we prefer the illusions in our head about where the North is heading, even when the reality is standing bare in our face.

The North wants a Mohammedan world where they will stone women to death for adultery. They want a world where thieves have their hands cut off. They want a world where women will not show their bodies in public. They want a world where there will be no churches. The North wants a world where the Imam is the head of government. They want a world where the Koran is the constitution. The North wants a world where there are no Christians. They want a world where there is no freedom of thought or freedom of expression. The North wants a world where people who do not share their religion live in fear of them. They have said this in more ways than one.

Let us not continue to be senseless, let the North have their world.

The North, long ago, had their own Sovereign National Conference. In it, the North decided on what it wants. Over the years, the Muslims have been implementing their resolutions. They have successfully put Sharia in place. Last weekend, they succeeded in putting in place the idea that anything they consider appalling to their sensibility should not take place in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the politically correct South is still waiting for God to come down from heaven and organize a Sovereign National Conference where they will articulate their viewpoint. When it eventually happens, the South will be negotiating from a point of weakness. The compromise will be lopsided. The North could say, ok. we give up this new Sharia but you have to give up the idea of devolving power through resource control.

The South must stop this ritual of getting angry the first two weeks after every mayhem and start doing something about its senseless inclinations. There are basically only two choices left for the South - to excuse itself from Nigeria or to exert itself in Nigeria. The days of living inconsequentially are all but gone.

One thing the South can do is to stop running for the Presidency and start forcing the reformation of the country. The central goal of any reformation is to accept that the North has gotten exactly what it wants and consequently the South should present its own demands firmly and be ready to pull out if the North cannot accept the South's conditions.

The South can begin by recalling all their elected representatives in Abuja, all their ministers and government officials. Back in the South, these elected officials will consult with their people and prepare a document excising themselves from Nigeria. They must present to the North, in clear terms, that our value systems are incompatible. That we have accepted their rights to hold tight to their values. To ensure that we minimize the conflict as a result of these incompatibilities, we have decided to let them have their own world where they will practice the kind of religion they want.

If the Southern politicians are too selfish and too greedy to lead, the masses should. We in the South must stop thinking that we can get what we want by doing nothing different from what we have been doing before. It is the peak of senselessness. We need to take this stand not just for our unborn generation but for the souls of suffering Christians trapped in the North. But if we have no guts to fight for what we want, we should quit grumbling. The world does not owe its pity to those who are not ready to do anything to alter their situation.

To the rest of the world, such people are Senseless, as Senseless as they come.