Some good news emanated from the northern part of Nigeria on Friday concerning the quest to tame the insecurity monster threatening the nation.
The news was that Fulani Christians, under the auspices of the Fulani Christians Association of Nigeria (FULCAN), have denounced the role of their tribesmen in the nation's security challenges even as they proffered lasting solutions to the issues. Sahara Reporters published the report.
The organization also said it desires to correct the wrong impression that the Fulani is a tribe associated with atrocious crimes and criminality.
Its chairman, Rev. Buba Aliyu, stated these on Friday. He urged Fulani people in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Niger Republic, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Gambia, and others, to work to shake off the negative stereotype which has resulted from the atrocious crimes of their fellow tribesmen.
Rev. Buba Aliyu
The position of the FULCAN on the issue is as commendable as it is instructive. It leaves salient lessons for the rest of Nigeria to learn.
Let us consider some of the lessons here.
1. Every man is born with an innate capacity for good and evil in equal measure
I am an incurable believer in the existence of good in every man. I irrevocably believe that every man, irrespective of his race or ethnicity, has the same innate capacity to be good as he has to be evil.
Whether a man turns out good or bad depends on which part of him he yields to and nurtures more. There is residual good in every man, even in the vilest of us.
2. Education reforms the human mind
Rev. Aliyu said in part:
"My greatest concern is that our Fulani people left education behind saying that they want to herd, forgetting that today, the world has got to a point where you do not even see bushes any longer because of population."
He, therefore, called on his tribesmen to educate their children. The clergyman recognizes the power of education to reform the human mind.
Education enlightens the human mind. It makes one see life from the angle of the common good of all. One can then embrace the philosophy that makes for peaceful coexistence and engenders progress in human society.
3. Genuine spirituality transforms the human mind
Again, Rev. Aliyu said:
"We, the Fulanis that have accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour, want people to understand that the Fulani man you see if educated properly will contribute a lot to the development of the society.
"That is why we as Fulani Christians are calling on the Fulani race to step out of what they are into and educate their children on how to know God, and God will also know them. By this, nobody will submit himself to go and be perpetrating evil. Any religion that says you should carry arms and go and kill your fellow brother does not know God. That is because this life you are taking belongs to God."
Genuine spirituality has the power to transform any man. That is not necessarily about the observance of religious rituals, routines, and dos and don'ts, but about having a genuine spiritual encounter with God.
Evidence abounds of how such an encounter has transformed the vilest of men into the meekest human specimen.
A human so transformed recognizes the sacredness and sanctity of human life. He would not take the life of another man for any reason whatsoever.
4. Every action begets consequences
The FULCAN said it aims to create a new perception in the minds of Nigerians about the Fulani now and in the next generation.
That is a laudable and noble objective to pursue. However, the criminal activities of Fulani herders indeed initiated that perception. Everyone must realize and live with the consciousness that every action begets consequences now and in the future.
5. Acknowledging the truth and denouncing wrongdoing frees the conscience
Rev. Aliyu said:
"We don't advise or support that you go to kill people and force them out of their land so you can use for herding."
The FULCAN has shown us an example in this regard. Unlike the majority of the Fulani elite, which absorbs the herders of blame in the security crisis and makes all manner of excuses for them, the FULCAN acknowledged the crimes of the herders and openly dissociated itself from them. By so doing, the body has freed its conscience.
These are lessons worth learning and applying to our lives for good.
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