The peace in Nigeria is very fragile and in as much as we want to say that God holds everything in his hands, the fate of this nation tends to rest on the existence of some certain individuals.
That said, here are 5 people who we must pray do not die at this time in the nation’s history, not that they are above death, but because of so much that is attached to their being alive.
It must be noted that the chaos feared would only come if the circumstances surrounding their deaths are controversial.
5. Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky
This embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has been in detention for quite a while and there is so much pressure on the government and security agents to release him. Recall that there was a massacre in Zaria and that led to his apprehension, but if you think the massacre in Zaria is something to reckon with, then think of what might happen if this cleric ends up dying in detention.
Already threats are beginning to emerge regarding his health. Members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria have issued a warning to the Nigerian Army that tragedy will occur if their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky goes blind in prison.
As we speak there is an ongoing riot by the IMN member otherwise known as Shiites, there are fears that several casualties have been recorded.
4. Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai
It might come to you as a surprise however many do not really know how much this army chief means to this nation, but if for any reason he falls in battle, it is as almost the entire Nigerian army that has been defeated.
A tragedy such as this which we do not pray for can lead to great disorder, in the sense that the Nigerian army will stop at nothing to see that the region and the perpetrators of the act, will be ousted from the annals of history.
Remember the sad story of Odi and picture something worse. It would be bloody!
3. Nnamdi Kanu
Embattled director of Radio Biafra and Leader of the pro-Biafra group Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
His is a very dicey case which the Nigerian government has handled with great care because they understand the volatile nature of the matter at hand.
The quest for Biafra has been on for quite sometime, many have been killed and others injured in the heat of the struggle. With many court cases adjourned, many believe that justice might not be served.
There are fears that the pro-Biafra leader who refused to eat whatever was served him in prison, might not be alive now, following an army invasion of his house at his home town.
Kanu’s parents have asked the Nigerian government to return the separatist leader’s corpse, in that no one has seen the IPOB leader after the army offensive.
If by any error, Kanu is killed without getting what many will term a fair hearing, then one can be sure that the agitation for Biafra will be fueled in manifolds that will cause great catastrophe across the country.
2. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
Prominent ex-president of Nigeria, who is popularly known for his gesture at the last presidential election which saw the then opposition party take over.
Goodluck Jonathan is seen as the embodiment of peace and has been in the fore as regards trying to keep the peace not only in Nigeria but also around Africa.
He has led the Africa Union team to observe elections in various countries and to enlighten leaders on how to loose gracefully.
Jonathan is seen one whose intervention will help still the storm raging within the South-south region where aggrieved militants threaten to cripple the Nigerian economy.
A controversial event leading to Jonathan’s death will stir serious turbulence especially from the South-south and South-eastern region. As the people who for too long have claimed they have been cheated, would show their grievances in violent attacks that will shake this nation to its very foundation.
1. President Muhammadu Buhari
The list would definitely not be complete if this name does now come up. When you are the leader of the most populous black nation in Africa, then there is a lot that rests on your shoulders.
In the case of a controversial situation leading to his death, Nigeria might end up in ruins, because President Buhari stands for a lot. He is the beacon of a hope promised by the All Progressives congress (APC), he is the face of the fight against corruption, he is also from the north and if due process does not lead to his leaving the seat, a lot of chaos might spring up, especially within the northern region of Nigeria.
There have been many cries regarding the safety of the president, both from security experts and even down to clerics. There were fears regarding his health, however, the health issues tend to have been properly dealt with.
Nigerians can only prayer that this leader leaves out all that he has promised. In some quarters, he is already heralded as a leader who history will definitely not forget.
As a people we must continue to pray for the fragile peace of this nation, so many things are threatening to steal the peace away.
It takes one wrong move, one extrajudicial killing and the feared implosion will be set into motion.
There is great strength in numbers, we have the numbers, but our cultural differences and religion tends to be our greatest problem. We must find a way to tolerate and respect each other, there is great room for peaceful co-existence.