One of the nights, I chose to throw away my books and socialise with friends. What started as a social conversation ended up into a fiery debate on the nexus and impact between politics and religion in Africa . However, the recent incidents in Nigeria as shaped by Boko Haram occupied much of our debate. What came out clearly in this discussion was the fact that religion do has a positive and negative role to play in shaping contemporary politics as can be shown in the multiplicity of religious based conflicts in the Horn of Africa.
At some point way back, one writer noted that most of the conflicts in the 21st century will be over water, but it seems contemporary conflicts have since departed from being resource based conflict into religious based.
‘Religion is the opium of the people’, Karl Max was right. But, why then do people fight over religious belonging and identity? Why do people kill each other over religion, why do people fight over Gods? After all is it important that people have different Gods? My God and your God, My Allah and your Allah are they not the same?. To some, religious based conflicts are a simplistic version of the manifestations of resource based conflicts that are punctuated and sugar-coated with the veneer of imaginary religious based differences.
There is nothing Good coming from Nigeria, rather the luck in Goodluck is becoming a badluck.The growing insecurity and fear of an imminent Boko Haram attack is an albatross on the neck of the ruling elite. Unfortunately, the state seem to have few options and solutions in sight – in dealing with Boko Haram. The abduction of school girls in Chiboko and the seemingly evident inaction on the part of the Nigerian government is testament to this claim. Yet, there are growing signs of human insecurity.
The whole unfolding events in Nigeria are indeed a bad luck to the good luck.