By Adekoya Boladale
Boko Haram, a small group of young men who were just members of a community pressure group, never attended defense academy in Sandhurst or Zaria have suddenly metamorphosied into our Achilles heels. How on earth did we get here? What changed? What happened? What did we do? What did we not do?
Understanding the advent of terrorism in Nigeria is understanding Nigeria itself, beneath the pretence of happiness and joy lies a country soaked in disunity, mistrust and hatred for one another. The South have never trusted the North, Muslims have never loved Christians. Just a group of individuals without any social, cultural and economic connection forced to live together and the fact that we made it this far together is nothing short of miracle.
While I share the widely acknowledged opinion that the Nigeria President, Goodluck Jonathan is weak and clueless on ways to tackle or atleast minimize the activities of the insurgents, I totally believe that the tales made by opposition politicians on the President’s direct link to sponsoring this Frankenstein is fallacious, callous, hateful and mere cheap political propaganda. I understand that the opposition as the name sound is to checkmate government activities and excesses with the motive of exposing and discrediting them to winning political sympathy and love of the electorate, however, it is totally inhuman to divert such skill on issues such as human lives not to talk of lives and properties of country men and women.
Till date the leading opposition group is yet to give recommendations to ending the activities of the sect but have in some ways directed its Governors in the three prone states (Borno, Yobe, Adamawa) to play the hostility card against government activities through making unguarded statements and pointing accusing fingers to the central government on issues directly within their constituency with a view of heating up the polity.
Many have advocated for a level-10 full scale combat in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. This is logical and achievable but not in a country such as Nigeria ruled by a Southern president. Ordering air and land bombardment with high class sophisticated equipment on these three Northern states will only flame up the already mounting regional division within the country. Northern leaders will not take this gesture lightly as they will demand to know why same decision was not meant out to the militant in the Niger Delta. Postures to this was the call by the Northern leaders for the suspension of the State of Emergency rule in the region and clamour for the soldiers to leave the streets while they continue to push for amnesty, the same treatment the Southern militants got. In other words, the Northern leaders see the terrorist activities as a means to liberate the region from poverty and corner its own share of the national cake through amnesty and not really focused on ending terrorism.
Unfortunately President Jonathan with his yes-men are not helping the situation. If there is one area President Jonathan has failed, it is his nonchalant, `i dont give a damn’ attitude towards the pains and grief of affected Nigerians. His continuous political campaigns across the country when his house is supposedly on fire creates an image of a heartless, ruthless and wicked individual who is less concerned about the safety and security of Nigerians. This singular act is unforgivable and should never be over looked.
The activities of Boko Haram shown in operation, strategy, weaponry and implementation over the years have shown clearly that the group is under the guidance of a superior power beyond the shores of Nigeria. Al-Qaeda, the most deadly terrorist organization in the world has been linked to directly sponsoring the activities of Boko Haram. A report by wikileakexposed the connection between these two groups and reported a link to United States. Al-Qaeda before the September 11 attack was regarded as a US asset organization, infact Osama Bin Laden was said to have lived in Sudan for a very long time. But how do Sudan, Osama, US fit into the equation of Boko Haram?
Like the colonial era, the main cause of colonization is for economy power. United States is engulfed in fiscal deficit with high rising debt to China but Africa and especially Nigeria has more than enough wealth and majorly untapped resources with immense riches in the hands of the rulers that lack knowledge of how to spend it. This what United States needs. The mission is simple; create a terror force that will force the government to its knees, ignite the tension in the country with cruel activities against humanity. Like the Arab spring prototype, render the government inactive, thereby creating room for civil unrest and mass protests. This will continue till the election period which result will favour the government and against what is believed to be the will of the people. Then after months of uprising the United States comes in to negotiate a new democratic election, one that will enable them put a puppet in place.
Curbing Boko Haram is not going to be a tea party; the insurgency in Nigeria has been a source of profit to lots of individuals and elements within and outside the Nigeria public service. The governors of the affected states have tapped into the rave by becoming relatively inactive. While budgets are periodically been passed and funds released those funds have not translated to physical projects, in layman terms; corruption is encouraged. Before the advent of Boko Haram security occupies a lesser priority on the budget list but within the last three years the security budget has risen up to 25% of total budget allocation. This means more money to the potbelly security chiefs and more attention to the armed forces; now tell me who will pass over that? Insurgency has also created an ample market for arms dealers within and outside Nigeria, with increase in demand for Armored Personnel Carriers (APC), RPGs, Anti-aircraft missiles not to talk of tonnes of AK47 rifles. Will these warlords suddenly let go of this new found sector?
Who then do we turn to for help? The Nigeria military is compromised. Our men in camouflage have simply joined the beast with reports of military men arrested offering training and support to Boko haram. Should we turn to the west again, where aids and assistances are never given out freely on a platter of gold? Nigeria is in turmoil and those who can save it are Nigerians and African countries. While the government must work out frame work to minimize poverty and unemployment especially in the North, the African Union (AU) must as a matter of urgency move both economic and military power to help Nigeria. China and other countries of the world benefitting from this government should offer unconditioned assistance.
President Jonathan at this perilous time requires the trust and support of the people; unfortunately he is not a man that merits such. The president is far from the people he leads. You can’t support corrupt officials, cook up defence for crooks, grant pardon to convicted godfathers, lie to the people and expect public opinion to rally round you. The first element of public office is trust and when you lose that then there is really nothing to lead for.
AdekoyaBoladale via email@example.com