When the APC emerged from a coalition of legacy parties and with the verve with which it launched, PDP and the Jonathan presidency found a pawn for the Boko Haram malady. Instead of marshalling full force to stop the insurgent’s threat, it was more interested in labeling APC as a Boko Haram party fighting a Christian party (PDP) and a Christian government. Even as APC challenged Jonathan to move in and arrest its members found culpable in the Boko Haram brouhaha, the government simply grew numb and waited for the next attack to blame the APC.
Let us recall that it was the involvement of former Borno Governor, Modu Sheriff in the APC that gave PDP its major prop to tag APC as Boko Haram and it seemed to work as it lasted. The quintessential weather cock, Femi Fani Kayode, running desperately from justice for his corrupt deeds while serving as Minister of Aviation, found it so comforting to soften the ears of the mandarins in PDP and purchase for him an acquittal from the clutches of justice, as is traditional with PDP. It worked for him. As soon as the APC was formed, Modu Sheriff started waxing uncomfortable about power sharing in the party and immediately followed this up with the declaration of intent to join PDP.
A shocked nation was to observe that it took this declaration of intent for the Jonathan government to open a closed Maiduguri airport, which use was even denied pilgrims from the state, for the sole use of Sheriff. If this was not shocking enough, a distraught and aghast nation was to see their president, who had sounded so sanctimonious about his opponents use of Boko Haram to unseat him, include Sheriff in his entourage to Chad. When the outcry against this immoral politics went out, the presidency was to offer a most tepid and infantile defence to the effect that Sheriff crashed the president’s meeting with the Chadian president because he was in Chad when Jonathan came visiting! What baloney!
But were Nigerians fooled? I doubt it gauging from their reactions of Jonathan’s suggestive embrace with a man that should be a social reject and an outlaw. This however merely served as a precursor to the bombshell from an Australian priest and a federal government negotiator with both the Niger Delta militants and Boko Haram. He was to make a public revelation that both Sheriff and the former Chief of Army Staff who is now a chieftain of PDP, Ihejirika were behind sponsorship of Boko Haram. This was not what PDP wanted to hear at that time and his report was hushed.
These are the untidy puzzles the Jonathan government and the PDP are battling to fix. With each passing day, these naturally fall in place and reveal what is emerging as a frightful scenario that PDP and the Jonathan government know more than they are telling Nigerians on the Boko Haram issue. We need full disclosure here. What more, from the very blues, we are suddenly hearing of the possibility of the release of the Chibok girls.
We are suddenly being treated to happy scenarios of the Boko Haram insurgents suddenly balking and throwing up their arms in surrender, even without a fight. We remember that our soldiers were bolting with the speed of a Ferrari at the mention of Boko Haram just some few weeks ago. Many even fled to Cameroun and Boko Haram, which emerged as a club-wielding band of ragamuffins suddenly became a dreaded sect with such arms and ammunitions that our military reported being under-equipped in contrast with Boko Haram. The suddenness with which BokoHaram turned pawpaw is too swift and mechanical to be credible. We need to find out how the rouging of Boko Haram and the swiftness of their surrender fits into PDP’s cold blooded calculations.
We are suddenly being treated to definite timelines by both Jonathan and the PDP as to the foreclosure of the Boko Haram menace. As laudable and heartwarming as these are, we wonder why the coincidence between these sudden gushes of relief the nation has been denied for years with the looming presidential contest for PDP in 2015. We wonder how this will help arrange the puzzle and give Nigerians a clearer picture of what really happened.Who sponsored Boko Haram and for what purpose, who did what and what really happened is the game plan?
How come the Jonathan government has suddenly discovered the Chibok girls to the extent of making campaign promises of their release? Don’t tell me how incredulous it is for PDP to fund and bolster such groups for political and power retention advantages. It even happened here some light years ago with the late Abacha who was busy detonating bombs, killing his opponents and causing insurrection and turning round to blame his victims for such acts.If we decide to ignore all the relevant reports about Boko Haram which almost all indicted the PDP one way or the other, we will not ignore the fact that as of a sudden, the PDP is now marshalling the defeat of Boko Haram and the release of the Chibok girls as winning electoral strategies.
I firmly believe this tallies with the opposition’s position that PDP has been sustaining and fuelling Boko Haram for political gains. I believe time has come for the Jonathan regime and the PDP to take up the opposition’s challenge for an international inquest into Boko Haram. This will clear the air on the emerging deadly political game that serves as the culmination of the Boko Haram politics. Before PDP takes up this challenge, they must tell the nation what they know about Boko Haram and clear the mountain heaps of indictments trailing it on the Boko Haram debacle.
Peter Claver Opara via twitter:@petercopara