Friday, February 10, 2012

Nigeria: Religious Irrationality and the New Inspector-General of Police

Muhammed Dahiru Abubakar, the current Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) of Nigeria.

Nigeria: Religious Irrationality and the New Inspector-General of Police

~ By John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D

Mr. President, the Us vs. Them Religious Irrationality should not stop the Confirmation of the Inspector-General of Police.

This is a time when President Goodluck Jonathan is facing increased pressure from those at home and abroad to find immediate solutions to the rising religious violence which is dividing Nigeria apart.

Yet, some chapters of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) the main umbrella group that contains numerous Christian denominations in Nigeria will come out, publicly and in a petition form, objecting to the appointment of a veteran police officer who happens to have been born into to earth as a Northerner and as a Muslim.
His name is Muhammed Dahiru Abubakar, the current Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) of the nation.

One does not need to be a psychological expert or examiner to classify this type of institutional objection, talk or writing as clear signs of religious activism, or religious extremism.

This is a time when many good faith Nigerians including many Northern Muslims and Christians Southerners are heartbroken over the continued persecution and killings emerging from the hands of the violent Islamic sect—the Boko Haram.
For persons who call themselves Christians to attack a Christian President for appointing a Muslim individual as an acting Inspector-General of Police is absurd, and it is a sign of adding more to the formation of religious suicide and internal terrorism.

How can Christians with many of them still living in the North and elsewhere, justify their ill-advised comments in the face of continued religious violence, terrorist war, and religious intolerance against their own selves, and people by persons who will engage in suicide attacks just to kill persons like those from the Christian Association of Nigeria? How?

One would have expected that words and comments of peace building will be flowing from the heads and mouths of men and women, who depict themselves as forces for peace and instruments of harmony within our society.

Just like the Boko Haram faithful whom some Christians abhor, singling out a fellow human being; a man of peace work as well as a family man, and tagging him with insults, viewing him as an extension of terrorism, and indicting him by calling for his fall and removal from an upward position is self-defeating, at least religiously.
In a more godly and psychological way, what if in recent times Abubakar turns out to the type of police leader that successfully combat police corruption, enhanced officers’ responsibility to act with truth, openness and fairness, set the stage for cleanliness and tidiness in officers, see that workplace ethos improves, allow honest conduct to flourish, make disciplinary decisions openly without fear or favor, believes in time promptness, and usher in a disciplinary system in which conducts unbecoming of a police officer are banned.

Let’s continue; what if he ends up working positively in partnership with Human Rights organizations and other stakeholders, maintains operational readiness and inspection in all officers’ work, create professional standards and discipline, reinforce psychological fitness-for-duty in officers, maintain adequate supervision and discipline, reduce violence and crime, see to the social welfare of police families, and see to all of our security safety, maintain grievance procedures in police work, practice disciplinary code that punishes officers’ offences including disgraceful conduct, failure to obey orders, as well as diminish religious/tribal discriminatory. Then what would you say tell us?

Oh Christians where is the God in you? Are you not supposed to be thinking about behaviors far away from anger, vengeance, possessiveness, misery, and wickedness? Are you not supposed to represent positive beliefs and actions of plea? Are you are not supposed to teach good ideas and actions? Are you not supposed to ask God to have mercy for the past sinful behaviors of men and women? And ask those in need for change to seek God's mercy, inner peace, forgiveness and love. Are you not supposed to? Tell the whole world.

From the point of religious psychology, God calls for the need to forgive others, and to overcome one’s past, so whatever it is that the acting Inspector-General had done in the past, don’t we want to believe that humans can go above their short coming as they move forward in life?

While no one can accuse these fuming members of individual folly but the fact that some persons will represent a faith and call for more conflicts between Christians and Muslims, at least indirectly, informs any reasonable mind that there is something wrong with matters of faith, at least institutionally.

Psychologists are aware that actions like these; as the ones from the anti- Muhammed Abubakar group, show signs of institutional militancy and this is bad, especially when live in a time when we are trying to improve the religious, ethnic and security situations in the country.

So let all of us collectively pray for tolerance and harmony, in order to reduce the conflict-based relationships currently standing between the Muslims and Christians of Nigeria. And for any group whether Muslim or Christian group who wants to run up the current religious tensions, and enhance or fire up the problems of religious violence amid sectarian violence between Muslims, Christians and security forces; there could be a need for psychological cleansing and healing. Since these sorts of religious postures, experiences and utterances against a fellow human being are certainly ungodly.

As a point of psycho-religious cleansing those Christian factions that are for the removal of the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar; should for repentance sake, start lobbying the leadership of the National Assembly to confirm our fellow man and henceforth stop the condemnation of any citizen as no one of us is God, Jehovah or Allah.

John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., is a Forensic/Clinical Psychologist and the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Psychological Association (NPA), Abuja. 08126909839.

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