By Isaac Usman Mshelia
The northeast region of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a zone primarily known for been convenient trading and business environments and greatly overwhelmed by peace was, at a time, marred by a dreaded insurgency that resulted in public unrest, chaos, disunity, selfishness & mass disorder.
The region, it was learnt, has been one of the safest areas except for some identified local grudge between indigenes and settlers/farmers -herders; also a business route that connects Nigeria to neighbouring states of Cameroon, Niger & Chad through the lake chad basin, an area that generated huge revenue for the Nigerian government and stood focus toward strengthening bilateral relations.
The emergence of the Boko Haram Insurgence in the first half of the 21st century has regrettably wiped the peace from the northeast and gave it a new phase, been center of war and disputes.
On emergence, the Boko Haram appeared as a notorious extremist group, advocating for reform in the practice of Islam and condemning some basic ideologies of western education. However, the sect group which earlier emerged in Maiduguri, Borno state was proscribed both by the Nigerian government and the international communities due to continuing illicit acts been carried by it members. It been obvious that since the proscription, Boko Haram insurgence had continue to gain ascendency.
Most worrisome about the Boko Haram insurgence is the destruction of innocent lives and properties. It was regretting that a report by the National Emergency Management Agency captured a lost of over 500,000 lives and properties worth billions of funds from the inception of the insurgents group to now. It is also regretting that over 2 million Nigerians 80% of which are descendants of the northeast became Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) which equally placed Nigeria on the global map of countries with highest figures of IDPs coming 3r to Syria and Afghanistan respectively.
No doubt, the six states thus, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe have suffered severely more in hands of the insurgence though Borno state suffered the most.
It was on records that the insurgents group at a time seized legitimate control of some remote areas from the government authorities and extend their dominance with a view to influence residence of local areas to embrace their ideologies via coercive means. In Borno state for instance, Bama, Damboa, Goza, Mongunu, Kalabalge, Konduga, Askira, amongst other LGAs were forcibly taken from the hands of legitimate authority. Killing people, mass displacement, resource destruction and other kind cruelty have been the business. Safety become no more. Even, at a point, all bridges linking to the metropolitan center were ravaged by the war! No peace no calm. Only war.
It was for a divine grace that fortunately counterinsurgency forces been setup by the Nigerian government embraced to stood day-in-day-out to restore peace in the northeast. The response of the various counterinsurgency forces ensures the returns of many displaced ones to their ancestral homes and the rehabilitation of some communities most affected.
Arguably, there is no much locations been control by the insurgents anymore, people have been resettle and since gone about there normal business.
Today, the northeast development commission is a reality, employment opportunities have been provided and most importantly, humanitarian agencies are working round the clock to support the victims of the insurgents. This, by extension, May be deduced as peace has been restored in the region and it is hope that war times are now over and peace shall continue to reign.
Isaac is a three hundred level student of the department of mass communication university of Maiduguri.