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Published On: Mon, Mar 24th, 2014

Those who sponsor Boko Haram

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Gov.-Murtala-NyakoTuesday Column by Murtala H. Nyako

The initial assumption was that Boko Haram was religiously motivated. Nobody now associates the group with any religion; their targets have largely been within the Muslim communities. What, therefore, are the motivating factors of the so-called Boko Haram? We must answer this question correctly to enable us determine what type of war we are fighting. The Boko Haram itself has not helped matters since it has never come out by its actions to define what type of war it is fighting; it has bombed facilities of the United Nations and those of all and sundry; it has destroyed churches and mosques and targeted and killed a large number of Muslims and Christians irrespective of the ethnicity of their victims. It is therefore most unfortunate that in spite of professional advice to the Presidency including two Memos submitted by my humble self, it does not seem to know what it is facing and the type of war it should be fighting; is it a war against terrorists, insurgents or as people are coming to believe a nurtured war against the people in Northern Nigeria? In short, is the massive killing of people and destruction of property and the environment state-sponsored?

Let’s face it! Neither the Federal Government, nor the Nigerian military has ever linked those few persons paraded as Boko Haram suspects with any of their strategic commanders or sponsors! The locations of Boko Haram camps such as those at Sambisa Game Reserve which are said to be well established and stocked are known by all traditional defence and security units in the North-east, but we hear about them from the authority only on a selective basis! We now notice a new trend; the random destruction of life and property in the style of Boko Haram in the North-east and the illegal carting away of herdsmen’s cattle now take place in all the states of Northern Nigeria and is being adjudged by the public as deliberately aimed at bringing conflict amongst the ethnic groups and between Muslims and Christians of the region.

The arms, ammunition and explosives being used by the so-called Boko Haram are not manufactured in Nigeria. Somebody must have brought them from abroad to the scenes of attacks. With military check-points mounted everywhere in far greater numbers than we had during our civil war and with only the President, the Vice President and their key staff and Governors of the states, on one hand, and the Nigerian military, on the other, who pass these points unchecked, we could safely assume that it is one of the two groups who conveys these weapons up country from the port(s) after Customs and security clearance. The security situation we are, therefore, facing in Northern Nigeria today could be sponsored, financed and supported by evil minded and over-ambitious leaders of Government and the society for political gains. There is simply no person in the North-eastern zone rich enough to foot the financial and logistic bills on Boko Haram activities. Somebody outside the zone must have bought these arms, ammunitions and explosives somewhere which is easily traceable, paid the freight charges to Nigeria, cleared them at the ports, conveyed them up-country through numerous check-points and put them in safe-houses in the states ready to be used by the appointed killers. Also, somebody must have deliberately substantially increased illegal drug traffic in the North. Today a youth in the village might not see drug against his headache, but there would be all sorts of illegal and dangerous drugs available for him to purchase! Who are the barons behind all this?

But most importantly, who are the strategic commanders of these illicit and murderous operations against innocent citizenry including women and children? It is now clear to all and sundry that there is an unhindered coordination between the activities of Boko Haram cells and some strategic commanders sitting in some high offices in our national defence system. How else could there be such timely actions regarding the immediate withdrawal of the military near vital positions such as schools and colleges with the immediate arrival of Boko Haram squad of murderers. Not only are these withdrawals of the Military and the attacks of Boko Haram timely, it is noticed that such attacks would last for hours without counter response by the Military even if they are located at a hearing distance. We have had cases where a fleet of Air Force aircraft was being burnt by Boko Haram near a unit of the Military, yet the latter did not respond. We have had a case when a retired General and a civil-war hero was being shot to death by allegedly Boko Haram attackers in front of soldiers detailed to protect the area, yet there was no response from them. There are numerous other revelations which time would not allow me to narrate. I should however add that virtually all the regular Military units in the area are poorly equipped; they have arms without ammunitions and are poorly fed and quartered inspite of the trillions of Naira said to be spent on them by Abuja. In contrast members of the Abuja-nurtured Task Force being deployed in the areas are better equipped and cared for perhaps to guarantee that they rain enough havoc on the communities whose domains they are deployed.

Clearly these Strategic commanders are waging a war of Terror (‘making’ a statement to influence an outcome) as well as adopting Insurgency tactics of using terror to achieve

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