Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Nigeria: Jos violence: religious, or political?

Article by Marc Aupiais

The Vatican has clearly shown contempt for claims that the recent cold massacre of reportedly hundreds of often helpless villagers in a majority Christian town, around Jos, was religious based.

According to the BBC, those who are Christian are more likely to be able to trace their ancestory in the area, and thus more likely to be able to gain scholarships or government jobs. The BBC question whether the Nigerian government really desires to protect Christians, citing a low police presence in the village, and blockades allegedly not aimed at where the attacks reportedly came from.

The violence in the Jos area, the no-man's land between the Muslim North, and Majority Christian South in Nigeria is usually between Christian and Muslim majority ethnic groups, the Christians linked with the south, the Muslims with the north.

According to AFP 12 states in Nigeria's north enforce sharia law.

The Vatican's claims that religion is not the cause of violence, could simply be PR against the secularist influences which offend the church grievously. It could be inter-religious outreach to Muslims, or a belief that real religion does not promote violence.

But truthfully, while religion is a factor, I agree that it is the laws and politics, and lack of justice of a divided often internally endangered country which are the cause of violence, whatever the accidental facts.

Nigeria still is only under an acting president. Violence happened before the recent problems.

The real problem is a sort of impunity which leads to scapegoating and community vigilante behaviour. The real problem is a lack of justice, and adequate security, in one of Africa's oil and military notables.

Fear, and vengeance on both sides, in communities where land is sacred for political reasons, is a more realistic cause, as is rouge monstrosities of persons, who enjoy causing chaos and seek power. This is why the mobs, are often called gangs. The wars of Jos are often about turf, turf which has gained great value, as two cultures, two legal systems, two worlds clash: in Jos, Nigeria.

No comments:

Post a Comment

No spam, junk, hate-speech, or anti-religion stuff, thank you. Also no libel, or defamation of character. Keep it clean, keep it honest. No trolling. Keep to the point. We look forward to your comments!