With Boko Haram terrorising and sacking towns and villages in the North, some Islamic countries, like Sudan and Chad, are aiding them because of oil in Chad basin, and the Nigerian army is struggling with out of date arms, after years of producing millionaire generals. It would appear that the hand writing is on the wall for those who can read signs of the time.
Nigeria has entered a very difficult phase in its history, without having forged an encompassing national identity and segregated along religious and ethnic fault lines, which are threatening to tear it apart.
Without a leader who is skilled in nation building, and prepared to allow reason, justice and the rule of law to inform his decision and able to defend the interest of all, Nigeria may not survive in its present form.
The Nigerian peace makers must now recognise the necessity to prepare for war because of the type of enemy it must overcome to survive.
Good men must now, prepare for war, in order to survive and preserve and secure the peace. If there is ever a time for a people to prepare for war, it is now for Nigerians, against an enemy who has disdain for all that civil societies hold dear. The enemies are religious intolerance and extremism, ethnic prejudice and toxic nationalism, institutionalised corruption, greed, impunity and abuse of power and due process.
Many Nigerians cannot continue to behave like Nero, while Rome burnt. Boko Haram is gaining Nigerian territories, killing innocent children, women and young and old men, sacking villages and schools and putting Nigerian soldiers on the run and armed Fulani herdsmen are carrying out ethnic cleansing of villages in Middle Belt and the Christian dominant South Kaduna while, the politicians continue to pursue politics of self interest, defecting from one party to another in search of position.
We seem oblivious of the fact that religious motives to enforce morality, as Muslim extremists seek to do with Jihad and Sharia and ethnic supremacy are always the wrong reasons to seek power. Once the power is gained, it is invariably used to oppress opponents and those who choose to be different.
This is why the continued introduction of religion into Nigerian politics and increasing ethnic polarisation of politics are very dangerous and herald a bad omen for the future of Nigeria. If Nigerians do not set aside religious and ethnic differences and prejudices and elect a leader who has the courage to confront, sectarianism, corruption, lawlessness and impunity and restore accountability and rule of law, Nigeria will unravel and end up like Iraq.
Sadly, I do not see Jonathan doing it. He has had six years and has not shown any evidence that he is minded to confront corruption, and impunity the way they should be confronted. He has sort to align with the Christian Right, thereby giving oxygen to sectarian politics in the country.
Instead of tasking prospective candidates about their policies, hope and dreams for Nigeria, opinion shapers are evoking old prejudices rooted in religion and ethnicity to discredit those they do not like, thereby further polarising the country along sectarian lines.
Yes, it is important to examine the past utterances of candidates and raise issues about their religion as I and some people have done, but it would be unfair and counterproductive not to put it in context and give the candidates opportunity to explain what they think about the issues raised.
I am concerned that Buhari may have a religious agenda, but he is said to be an honest man. Yet, he did nothing, while his party fixed the cost of presidential candidate form at N27 million to separate the boys from the men. His use of decree 2 and 4 during his spell as head of state is still fresh in the memories of his victims and those who witnessed it.
*this was first published in the Daily Times newspaper dated Friday, December 26, 2014