By Aanu Oluyide

A very common trend happening in the northern part of Nigeria is the labeling, threatening and castigation of people who they think or who they feel has done wrong or gone against the teachings of their dear religion “Islam”. Most of the times, the reasons for this are not only stupid and baseless, but what do you expect from a part of the country with the majority of its population uneducated and poor?. What do you expect of a part of the country where indoctrination is as important as the air human beings breathe?. Not much, right?

In the very recent one of these happenings, a Nigerian Actress Rahama Sadau uploaded beautiful photos of herself wearing a particular type of flowing long gown that left a portion of her back exposed. A very beautiful and colourful one to behold. The mistake she made, was just trying to be beautiful, be happy. The mistake she made was going to the studio and taking beautiful portraits of herself. Yes, that is a mistake.

Rahama was born and raised in Kaduna state, and she is a Kannywood actress. the mistake she made was not allowing herself to drown in the submerged waters created for women to drown in. The mistake of not being caged and confined into a house to be there forever without any extraordinary achievement, that was it.

The backlash came like a volcano, erupting angrily and forcefully. The vilification that followed went on for days, with Rahama initially not giving in, until death threats followed. Kannywood as an association joined in this, even allegedly boycotted her as a member. Northern Filmmakers also banned her. They referred to a backless dress as “X rated”. Rahama eventually made a video looking all worn out in Hijab and crying, apologizing in the Yoruba Language. She was bullied into surrendering.

Today news surfaced that Rahama was invited by the police over “indecent X rated dressing”?, meaning that she might face a Sharia court and be judged. A fully grown woman in a 21st century secular country was invited over for questioning over what she wore on her own body. It is imperative to ask whether her dressing is the cause of Poverty in Nigeria, how her dressing is the cause of the endless killings and kidnappings, terrorism in the north or how her dressing is the cause of the unending police brutality in Nigeria. How is Rahama Sadau’s dressing the cause of the scarcity and hike in the price of onions?. This is a typical case of majoring in the minor, and minoring in the major.

There’s a thing or two to pick out from this:
1. That Nigeria is an animal kingdom
2. That in this Kingdom, not all animals are equal.

Kaduna State Governor El Rufai recently gave his daughter’s hand in marriage to another Northern Political Elite’s Son (Ribadu), and the photos surfaced online. The dress was a lot revealing. This same thing happened when Atiku’s daughter married. These same people crucifying Rahama, could not touch these privileged kids, could not threaten them with death, as they’ll do to other people. The poor castigating the poor, masses stabbing each other. That’s the purpose of religion.

Elites are above the religious boxing, and as such, they stamp these laws, they uphold the laws by making use of masses against masses. There is the understanding that Shariah is not for them, it is for poor people to use against themselves. There’s an intentional and consistent effort to keep people poor, uneducated so that they can be controlled and dominated.

The northern elites are caught in all sort of atrocities including Paedophilia, theft, frauds, physical abuse, it has not been recorded that any one, at least one of them who has had his hands cut off according to Shariah as a result of theft. It is baffling to see that people still cheer them on, baffling to see that people never think, or have deep thoughts, try to connect these dots and imbalance about religion and how it used together, and apply it to wisdom. Consequentially, western Education hasn’t done much in the northern part of the country because both educated and uneducated Muslims in that part, think and act the same way.

The level of indoctrination and mind sweeping cuts across all strata of the society, including the educated. It is not shocking anymore to see people with degrees, masters, Phd’s support some of these barbaric and inhumane acts and laws. You will find Doctors amongst the people who bullied, and threatened Rahama with death.

There is a thing about religion that affects all as long as they “allow” it. It configures and sets up people’s psychological systems in the same way. Such that even if a person is Educated, he or she may also join in issuing death sentences, in stoning people to death, in accepting that women should be subdued. Afterall in the case of Mubarak Bala, Lawyers who studied human rights in higher institutions were amongst the loudest voices calling for his head.

A sane person might think that indoctrination is not such a big deal but taking a closer look at it and how it affects people’s minds, a deep psychological analysis will surface. Sociologically, after politics, the social institution that people are willing to die and lose their life for is Religion. People lose their lives daily everywhere in countries where Religion takes most of their lives than they do for politics. The psychology of religion is something worthy of serious study and research.

For women, the northern part of the country has the highest level of injustice against their gender. The word “Liberal”, does not and may never exist in their dictionary. Pedophilia is accepted as a form of marriage. Girls are married off by their parents without their consent. Women are subdued and indoctrinated to understand that they don’t matter or mean much in society.

Aisha Yesufu, one of the big bold faces of the End SARS protests has been bullied countless numbers of times but she is standing strong still. Recently, some people from that part of the country trended that she should remove their Hijab, Islam as a religion doesn’t allow them to protest as such she is trespassing.

One would wonder, what kind of religion silences people from voicing out when they’re been governed badly. People would find it difficult to be liberated if they keep seeing words, verses, and chapters in the supposed “holy books” that back up these unspeakable things.

However, the truth of this matter is that it will take individual people to come to the personal realization that religion is a tool meant to keep people buried under and below. The question that should follow next is, where will liberation then come from and what will bring liberation for us as a people?

(c) Aanu Oluyide 2020