If you ask me to summarise in a single “word” the reason for Nigeria’s sinking in the river of chaos and pandemonium as demonstrated in the prophetic framework of our previous discussion, then I will instantly say “Injustice”. Usman Bn Fodio (RH) said, an ungodly nation can be sustained and promoted with justice, while a religious nation cannot be sustained and promoted with injustice. Because, in sustaining a nation with peace, tranquillity and progress, attaining justice as a result of spiritual restraint is better than religion with physical actions of going to the Masjid (popularly known as mosque) and Church without spiritual restraints.
Our Lord has reminded us that, He will never change our living condition unjustly until we change it within ourselves.” …Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves…” (Qur’an13:11). This is very applicable to our situation in our darling Nigeria; we had been living in tranquillity, contentment, peace, law and order when we had relatively sincere and just leaders in the past decades.
Justice is generally divided into two: these are retributive justice -includes equality of fair hearing and equality before the law, and distributive justice- includes equal distribution of wealth to the leaders and the led. All these forms of justice are absent in our darling Nigeria. Consequently therefore, injustice brings all kinds of social vices to society including what I entitled as “artificial abject poverty”, “artificial unemployment”, “irreligious religious conflicts” and ignorance. Believe me; any society that mischievously and unjustly creates artificial poverty and unemployment will hardly avoid chaos and pandemonium.
The most recent Human Development Report launched by the UNDP in November 2011, placed Nigeria in the 142nd position out of 169 least prosperous countries in the world. In addition to that, the country was listed 15 among 42 countries belonging to the “least human development” category. The report categorised countries into groups of Very High Human Development, High Human Development, Medium Human Development, and Low Human Development with Nigeria painfully falling into the last category.
It is indeed painful and disastrous that the so-called Giant of Africa is no longer progressing; the giant is diminishing on a daily basis. Nigeria being the second largest economy in Africa has a per capital income of a mere US$1,224 compared to the largest economy, South Africa, with national income per head of about US$9,812. Nigeria was equally placed shamefully behind Kenya and Cameroun in terms of income per head. It is also behind Ghana, Benin Republic, Cameroon and Uganda on life expectancy.
History and experience give witness to the fact that poverty and unemployment as a result of injustice, brings all kinds of evil to society. This is why Ali Bn Abi Daalib (RA) used to lament whenever he addresses his lieutenants and followers, expressing his desire to eliminate poverty: “If poverty were a living being, I would have had it executed”. He is also been reported to have said, emphasizing the evil consequences of poverty: “It is almost as if poverty will become disbelief”. This serious anathema is brought about as a result of injustice.
As we know that, Nigeria is a nation which has been blessed with abundant natural resources, in addition to abundant human and capital resources, that have the potentials to elevate, integrate, advance and catapult Nigeria and Nigerians from a struggling economy to the position of an industrialised and developed nation in the world. Currently, our country can still boast of proven oil reserves estimated at about 36 billion barrels, while natural gas reserves estimated to be over 100 trillion cubic feet. Recently, National Bureau of Statistics confirmed that, over 67% of Nigeria’s population, which is around 112million people are living terribly below poverty level, but in this context is it artificial poverty.
This destructive anathema is brought about as a result of injustice. The Minister of Youth and Social development of Nigeria recently said, twenty million Nigerian youths are unemployed and they are a security threat. He said the unemployment figure estimated at 41.6%, is almost about the highest in the world presently.
Unfortunately, government is doing nothing sincerely and genuinely to reduce this anathema. While discussing about wanton corruption of government, Dr Salman Al’audah opined that, “It is foolish for governments to ignore these negative developments of injustice, poverty and unemployment. It is self-destructive for regimes to persist in the old ways. At worst, it could lead to civil war.”
At the same time, technological advancement in information and telecommunication technology (ICT) has brought about fundamental changes to society, in which people are being linked together, share their views and voice out their opinions. For example, facebook has over 811 million subscribers; most of them are educated and unemployed energetic young people. If that number were the population of a country, it would be the third-largest country of the world, after China and India. This population chats, posts and comments and shares views about injustice being perpetrated by government in power.
Our Lords says: And when We decide to destroy a nation, We first send a definite order (to obey Allah and be righteous) to those among them who are given the good things (i.e leadership and wealth) of this life. Then, they transgress (by injustice and immorality) therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against them. Then We destroy them with complete destruction (Q17:16)
The upside-down punishment explained in this quotation is very similar to our darling Nigeria. Crimes committed by those in the corridors of power are more deadly and destructive than the ones committed by the led, though both are detestable. Because the one committed by leaders invites wrath and curse of our Lord.
Finally, it is the duty of those who are in contact with leaders to remind them about their injustice in order to save our sinking Nigeria from drowning ultimately. If they admonish them, Lord knows and they will definitely be rewarded, otherwise they will perish together in the river of chaos. May our Lord save our sinking Nigeria from drowning.
Mr. Pantami (email@example.com, an Islamic cleric, is a lecturer at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, and PhD Candidate (Computing & IT) in the United Kingdom