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Published On: Fri, Apr 25th, 2014

Boko Haram, Nyako and Jonathan

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Nyako and JonathanBy Frisky Larr

The bombing of the busy Nyanya bus station by Boko Haram in Abuja on April 14 has thrown open many more questions than had already existed only as whispers. It has provided far lesser answers than had existed only as murmurs.First and foremost, questions on the absence of surveillance cameras have been countered with charges of theft and contracting malpractices – a permanent variable in the socio-political and commercial psyche at all levels of the country. To this, there has been no viable answer and the current dispensation is not intent on providing one.

An ex-post revelation is contending that men in military uniforms were sighted parking a vehicle that allegedly accounted for the weight of the devastating explosions. There has yet been no answer provided to this serious allegation. The photo that has been allegedly released by military sources claiming to show the body of a suicide bomber wearing a cabled vest that sparked the explosion.

It is obvious that the body of the alleged suicide bomber is relatively intact while the bodies of victims of the explosion some reasonable distance away, were reportedly torn apart. There is yet no line drawn between fact and fiction. This automatically draws the attention of every observer to more detailed and mind-boggling issues surrounding these endless Boko Haram atrocities. It is not lost on anyone that the terrorist group originated from political disgruntlement amongst northern political leaders. The short-changing of the rotational arrangement that would have seen the Presidency returned to the North in 2015 may have aggravated the situation as it did in 2010.

Numerous reports have surfaced, of the Nigerian military smoking out terrorist bases and wiping away scores of suspected fighters and their logistics, often quoting unbelievable figures. While this is often consoling to the weary souls who pray for a quick end to the senseless murders, they are often trailed treacherously, by cries of atrocities against innocent civilians, raised by leading members of the northern elite. This confusing picture sometimes, forces a neutral observer to wonder if the northern elite are not quite comfortable with the defeat of this terrorist Boko Haram sect.

Yet this apparent double-posturing and voices of betrayal do not in any way diminish the serious and valid questions raised recently by the Governor of Adamawa state Murtala Nyako. No matter his antecedents, he has called on fellow northern leaders to rise against a plot to decimate the population of the north through willful assassinations in the name of Boko Haram. Many, including myself, may consider this exaggerated, strange and confusing. Yet the reasons he provided are strong, compelling and persuasive.

Firstly, if the President believed that local political institutions were aiding and abetting the terrorists, why was the state of emergency not designed to also checkmate these institutions as the constitution demands? In this show of stupidity, writers such as the legendary Dele Momodu praised this presidential dumbness in the guise of promoting democracy and chastising a presidential predecessor who implemented the constitutional provision to its letters rather than criticizing the constitution itself. Another major failure of the media as a vanguard of public interest!

Looking at claims that men dressed in military uniform positioned a vehicle that was detonated to kill and maim innocent citizens in Abuja and the unbelievable image of a supposed suicide bomber, the suspicions raised by Governor Nyako, of the complicity of the Nigerian military are merely stating aloud what many politicians have been murmuring along several corridors in Abuja for several weeks and months now. Many months ago, I reported my private findings in my article “Is Boko Haram just a label? What game is playing out here?” Several months of private interaction with Northerners from Maiduguri and other Boko Haram stronghold states led me to just one conclusion: state complicity. I drew attention to massive distrust of the Police and the JTF in key northern states by members of the public whose hearts and mind must be won to defeat the terrorists in any meaningful military strategy. Instances were reported to me, in which ordinary citizens were visited at home and gunned down by Boko Haram fighters shortly after the citizens had reported the hideouts of these fighters to the authorities. This is something we all know down south as well. Whoever reports a robber’s or kidnapper’s den to the police often gets killed by the same people he reported before the police comes up to make a show of wielding Kalashnikovs and pump action guns.

What answer has anybody provided to the daylight rampaging menace of terrorists driving in a convoy of no less than 20 vehicles in a city that is under emergency rule without being challenged by the military if there is no collusion? Was this cooked up by Nyako? How can terrorists attack a school and go on a killing spree for 4 hours without soldiers coming anywhere near? Would it be the fault of Nyako if the Nigerian military is caught lying by claiming that it had freed most of the kidnapped schoolgirls and arrested most of the kidnappers? Does this not add to the lie that the Boko Haram leader Shekau has been killed only to see him surfacing in videos once again? Should we blame Nyako for the military’s loss of credibility and obvious confirmation of all the stereotypes that people have always had against it in the north?

Yet all the President does is to let its attack dogs loose on Nyako rather than launch moves to reform the military while the battle goes on! The responsible sense of promising to look into all these questions and truly acting in that spirit is not part of President Jonathan’s suite. We now have a military taking the game of lying (to demoralize its enemies) way too far much like the President’s Assistant on new media (a whole Pastor) Reno Omokri launching a smear campaign against an innocent man to score political points. Just what Presidency does Jonathan think he is running?

Frisky Larr via friskyLarr@aol.com

 

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