COLUMN | Ramadan and the audacity of cowards The Informant247

COLUMN | Ramadan and the audacity of cowards

Abdulqadir M. Habeeb, Kaduna

Around the world, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar – Ramadan – is a holy month. For the adherents of the Islamic faith, Ramadan is the month in which the Quran Al-Majeed was revealed. It is a month in which the mercy of Allah descends and good deeds are rewarded in multiple folds, and acts of disobedience are punishable in like manner.

Usually, anyone who professes the Islamic faith strives towards a better and reformed behaviour during this period as the Shaytan (devil) as we know it is ‘tied’ and off circulation. During this month, usually, the rate of terroristic activities drops off a notch due to the belief that it is expedient to reinforce good deeds, hence there used to be a respite from the terrorists, albeit misguided.

The dastardly and daring attack on our humanity via sabotage and attack on our rail line between Abuja and Kaduna on the 28th of March 2022, even though not surprising, is overwhelmingly heartbreaking, baffling, and unforgivable. A jarring stab aimed at our collective hearts. The attack is one too many and should have been mitigated. The trend of metamorphosing threats in the northwest either as part of the Boko Haram expansionism agenda or otherwise pointed out that sinister motives were in the offing. Hence this catastrophe was long coming. It has been tested and run in experimental smaller measures on two different occasions. It should never have been allowed to happen.

This is the type of brazenness that turns law-abiding citizens into self-preserving monsters. That it happened, is a kind of event that drastically makes one loses hope in our ability to self-regulate, protect and rule. What remains of our nationhood when the first and utmost responsibility of the state is flailing, when hitherto ragtag ‘milli-terrorists’ are dealing our armed forces dastardly blows and setbacks despite improved hardware? How do we explain the reason we can’t evolve our tactics to combat this wave of new challenges? How is a once respectable army turning into a Mickey Mouse one that can’t adopt and adapt to the exigencies of the time? How are we not ashamed that as blessed as we are human, with material and intellectual resources, we are still laying prostrate at the altar of malnourished scoundrels? How does it feel that we are pouring libations on tin gods made of primitive neandertal only fit for the jungle?

How are people in positions of responsibility in our security architecture able to sleep, and proudly answer their supposed titles when masses under their watch are being plucked, herded, dehumanized, and debased by ‘do no good’ dregs of the society. How do we claim religiosity as a people when we are not afraid of not living up to our responsibilities and that we would have to answer before God about the stewardship of our niches? The joke is taken too far whence a snail sits atop the table of horned animals bragging about its prowess and reeling out demands, in a nation where there’s supposed law and order. Travesty! Interrogating the complex matrix of collaborations between bandits, terrorists, vigilantes and traditional leaders is a smoky gun and tricky web worthy of attention. It is a formula that has the potential to unravel the sticky conundrum.

Re-living the experience of the rail attack and the ensuing 48 hours is harrowing. Citizens were killed, maimed, displaced and hordes hospitalized. I’m an eternal optimist in the Nigeria project, but this occurrence shook the foundation of everything I hold dear about us as a nation. The victims killed, shot at, injured, or in captivity could be any of us, they are our sisters, brothers, aunts, and uncles, we are them and they are us, and an injury to one is an injury to all.

I won’t conclude my rant without bringing to the fore the organizational camaraderie, solidarity, and unity of purpose exhibited by the youths in the aftermath of the attacks. Groups kicked into action coordinating blood donation for the injured victims, while others raised awareness for the collation of the names of missing victims while the passenger manifest was being awaited. Kind-hearted Nigerians in droves visited the hospitals to give emotional and moral support. While others donate blood among other necessities. Indeed, what links us all together is far above whatever seeks to divide us. Our spirit of Ubuntu always shines forth.

We continue to in solemn voices call on our political leaders, traditional leaders, and armed forces to do more to secure the release of our brothers and sisters still in captivity because this is already a joke taken too far, a handshake extended far beyond the shoulders. There is no more hiding place for inept and inefficient leadership, for everything has been laid bare, let he that has ears heed. Nigeria Shall prevail in these trying times and hopefully, we shall smile again.

Posterity shall vindicate the just’

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Abdulqadir M. Habeeb, a columnist with The Informant247, is a strategist and IT Professional. He writes from Kaduna, Nigeria. He can be reached via 08160088421


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