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By: Dr. Olushola Olukolade  
 Published  August 26th, 2012

Barka Da Sallah to all our Moslem brothers and sisters. I also say Salaam alekum: 'peace be unto you. Either you are a Moslem or a Christian, we are all Nigerians, not by choice but by God's design. Did God ask any of us before we were born by our Nigerian parents? Did God ask any of us if we would like to be a Nigerian? No, we are all Nigerian not by our choice, but the choice of the creator of heaven and earth and all that is in them. However, the case of our religion is largely by our choice. You do not even have to belong to any religion to be a Nigerian. Do you?

As we all got older, we made choices, one of which is to serve God as we like, in the way we have chosen. For example, we have Christians and muslims in my town in Ondo State, and Christians were and are always in the majority in the town, yet we always lived together peaceably irrespective of our religious affiliation or convictions. We learn to respect each other and discuss our commonest and never our differences. Till this day even as grown ups we still hold each other in high respect and work together to improve the town. Our children live their lives and follow our footsteps in whatever community we find ourselves. We celebrate with each other and mourn our losses together till tomorrow.

I began my public service from a high position to make and influence decisions with other Nigerians, representing Nigeria with others Moslem or non-moslem alike,Religion was never an issue to separates us, even at such high level, everyone respected the other for what they worship. We often asked muslems to pray for us every friday, and did the same from us every Sunday.

We all accept that TERRORISM is alien to this country. I never thought that a Nigerian could blow himself up for a religious reason until we saw Boko Haram. At first their hapless targets were Christians ,and non-muslims. But it has now changed so much, that I am now of the opinion that although they aimed at christians earlier, other more sinister and fierce death merchants have taken over Borko Haram to the shame and I hope embarrassment of their supporters in the North.

It is therefore encouraging to hear the Moslem Leaders today finally speaking out during this El Kir Biri condemning Boko Haram activities and calling it un Islam. Iam now convinced that there is a diference between the muslim in the North and the ones in the south, especially around the South West indigenous arears. The difference lies in the message preached in the Mosques to the youth in these areas. The preachers in the mosques in the north must change their messages to focus on love and care and respect for their fellow Nigerians. Love and care are the beacons of Christiany and it must be respected by the muslims in the north. The messages at all fora must change in order to change the people, especially the youth.

The moslem leaders should do more than condemning these young Moslems that had been mislead by some who claimed to be more Islamic than the silent majority of Moslems in Nigeria. Let your children learn from your homes, and in your mosques the virtues of tolerance, and respect for others' rights to life.This must target young people.
It is a pity that the political class in their quest to rule Nigerians against our will, have chosen to deceive these young Moslems. Since they can not rig elections or take Government by force, now they use terrorism as a repraisal.
The political class had western education, suppressed all these young men and women, and denied them education. Now using them to kill because they claim the same western education that made them is bad. The irony is that the children of these politicians attend the best of western education they claim to despise and now equip other poor children they denied the education to terrorise innocent citizens. This is why the Moslem Leaders must seek every opportunity to reach out to all these moslem youth and tell them who their real enemy is. Let them know the truth about who is their real enemies, those who run their economy without caring to provide any empowerment for them are their real enemies. Those who fund and support them are their enemies. If the founding fathers of this country were this selfish, this political class today will never had become what they are. It is time to know the truth, tell the truth and let the truth set us free.

The victims of terrorism are first the boys that are deceived to fight the perceived enemies and the perceived enemies (innocent Nigerians) who are massacred in churches, mosques and other public places. We learnt in the news that Boko Haram went to BBC to announce seize fire some days ago. I hope this shall be pursued to a logical end. Let us seek their spokes person and talk to ensure that Boko Haram can lay down their arms permanently. It is time to talk to them. Let them know that we believe they deserve a better life than they have now. Tell them the truth, their greatest undoing are the Nothern leaders. Splitting Nigeria will only put them into perpetual bondage. We must all join hands to deliver the boys and girls from the hand of their Political leaders. The stolen wealth from our common wealth must be used to develop the community and improve the lives of these children. The Moslem leaders should expose these thieves now. Expose their lies. Their share of the common wealth is stolen not in Lagos, Not in Port Harcourt, Enugu or any southern capitals or leaders but by their leaders there in the north.

Let us use this Sallah to change the messages in the north to the youth and people , let us expose the thieves and let us save Nigeria.

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