OPINION: Aftermath of the Crossover Night Attack in Ilorin and Myopism of the Christian Association of Nigeria Leadership in Kwara State. By Abdulmumeen Abdulrazaq
Apart from corruption and ethnicity, another major conundrum confronting Nigeria is religious intolerance as well as religious fanaticism and extremism. The report by PUNCH NEWSPAPER about the unfortunate incident in Ilorin has attested to the fact that there's nothing like investigative journalism in Nigeria. From the eyewitness account, it was crystal clear that the attack wasn't premeditated or carried out against the christian faithfuls as alleged by Prof. Timothy Opoola. The Christ Apostolic Church and the Quareeb muslim group have a cordial and harmonious relationship. There are times when these two religious group do help each other to control traffic probably because they do hold their service(s) directly opposite each other.
What actually transpired on the night of the attack was that some hoodlums and miscreants who were prevented from holding their annual end of the year carnival due to security reasons were infuriated because of rejection of the carnival and later went haywire. Their first point of call was the Quareeb muslim gathering where a young lady was stripped naked in the presence of his mother and was about to be raped when she miraculously escaped to the nearby church. And fortunately for her, the security men around the church rescued her from the thugs and she was subsequently taken to the church as sanctuary.
This infuriated the miscreants and later went wild and violent. The security men on ground called for reinforcements from the police and when the policemen arrived, the hoodlums confronted them and four of their Hilux van were damaged and a police officer equally sustained a gunshot wound. The attackers later proceeded to the muslim gathering where they robbed and harassed worshippers.
Now from the narrative above, how could a sagacious individual have accused the kwara muslims of sponsoring attack against their christian counterparts? The Holy Quran and the Bible admonish us to love our neighbours like ourself and this was exactly what the security men guarding the church just did. I'm not a religious bigot and I hold no grudge against CAN leadership in the state, but the combustible and inflammatory utterance of their chairman is capable of causing disaffection among the people of both religions which could later transmogrifies, metamorphoses and snowballs into full-fledged flusteration, discomodation and discombobulation. The Holy Bible admonishes us to do thorough investigation and at the end hold the truth firmly but it seems the CAN leadership in the state have forgotten this verse. From those paraded yesterday in connection with the attack, there were muslims and christian among the attackers.
I really commend the efforts of both the governor of the state and the commissioner of police. They've show their sagacity in resolving this impasse. Kwara state is a state of harmony, hence civil disturbances or religious crisis will not be tolerated in the state. Both muslims and their christian counterparts in the state are peace-loving people. The state chairman of CAN should retract his statement in the Punch Newspaper this morning and avoid such L'espirit de L'escalier blunder in future. God bless Kwara State!