Friday, June 04, 2004

BBC - Nigerian State Bans Muslim March

Now here is a truly newsworthy development - could it be that President Obasanjo has discovered a backbone after all?

The Nigerian authorities have banned a procession by Muslims in the northern city of Kano, after appeals from Christian leaders.

The police outlawed Saturday's march by the Qadiriyya Sufi sect. It has been held annually for 59 years.

Dozens of Christians were killed in communal clashes last month in Kano.

The Christian Association of Nigeria said it had received information that the march would be hijacked by "agents of mass killing and destruction".

Religious tensions have been high in Nigeria since the massacre of hundreds of Muslims in the central Plateau State in May.

"The police have no choice but to ban the procession. This is to avoid hoodlums from hijacking it and causing more mayhem," Kano State police spokesman Mohammed Baba said.

"Many people are still displaced, and many wounds are yet to heal," he said.
What is important to note here is that this event was to have taken place in Kano, the heartland of the pro-Sharia movement that has given rise to so much mayhem over the last 5 years. Why is Obasanjo being so bold all of a sudden, when he's had so little to say in the past in the face of far more severe Islamist provocation?