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Published On: Fri, Oct 3rd, 2014

Why PDP must come clean on Boko Haram

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pdp logoBy Peter Claver Opara

In a country where the citizenry do not ask hard questions, one can commit blue murder and walk away with it. In some cases, he can be garlanded for bravery and lionized for heroism as we have become accustomed to seeing in Nigeria. But a land where citizens do not ask questions or raise posers and expect convincing answers is dead, as heaps of riddles and jigsaw puzzles pile on each other for space. Such a country is bound to tolerate anything and live with any given situation no matter how demeaning. Perhaps, it is the reason why Nigerians are so adaptive, so tolerant and can manage the paradox of being the third poorest nation on earth while being the happiest people on earth.

Let us recall that as soon as Jonathan won the 2011 election and Boko Haram, either through inaction or tacit support of Nigerian officialdom, became more bolder and daring, the reigning song from Jonathan and PDP camp was that Boko Haram came into being because Jonathan, a Southerner won election and that some people vowed to make Nigeria ungovernable for Jonathan. It sounded so sweet to the ears of the rabid supporters of Jonathan and the PDP as it went viral. This was irrespective of the fact that Boko Haram predated the 2011 election and that it became so intertwined to a bloody war with the state after its leader was killed by Jonathan’s predecessor, who had a firm resolve to wipe out the sect. it did not even matter to Jonathan and PDP supporters that there had been fiercer radical groups in the North even under Northern rule like the Maitatsine and that the objectives of such groups are founded on radical employment of religion to sow dread and blood on others. But to them, it was all targeted at the PDP and this prevailed for a long time.

It was so pervasive that when the late National Security Adviser, General Patrick Azazi, who was a kinsman to Jonathan, released a security report that directly indicted PDP and its obnoxious politics for the prevalence of the Boko Haram crisis, no one listened. Hear Azazi in an address he presented at the South South Economic Summit in Asaba Delta State: “In discussing the relationship between national security and development, let me say that one cannot do without the other,” the NSA said.”The issue of violence did not increase in Nigeria until when there was a declaration by the current president that he was going to contest. PDP got it wrong from the beginning. The party started by saying Mr. A can rule, and Mr. B cannot rule, according to PDP conventions, rules and regulations and not according to the constitution. That created the climate for what is happening or manifesting itself in country. Is it possible that somebody was thinking that only Mr. A could win, and if he did not win, he could cause a problem in the society.”

It was as damning as it was and dealt a rude blow to the calculations of the PDP and the Jonathan government on Boko Haram. Because it was not pleasant to their ears, the report was played down and instead, Azazi was quickly removed and was to die soon after in a mysterious helicopter crash in his native Bayelsa State. Again, let us recall that a PDP senator, Ali Ndume, was arrested in connection with support for Boko Haram when a senior member of the group, Ali Sandar Umar Konduga, revealed him as one of the sponsors of the sect. While Ndume admitted that he had telephone contact with the group, he swore in an affidavit at an Abuja High Court that Vice President, NamadiSambo, was aware of his dealings with Boko Haram. The issue was watered down because it did not add some rose to the PDP’s calculations on the Boko Haram issue.

PDP knew all these things and glossed over them. A nation was to watch helplessly as Boko Haram grew in reach and stature and overgrew its limited provincial domain to launch bizarre and daring attacks on choice targets all over the North. The Federal Capital was not spared as even the Police headquarters and the United Nations office in Abuja were successfully attacked in this era of madness. Curiously too, the state cowered away and waxed limp as Boko Haram increased the intensity of its attack. The government flailed and the nation remained at the mercy of Boko Haram, PDP and the Jonathan government were busy composing songs of those that wanted to use Boko Haram to run them out of power. They blamed the opposition and the North for their failure to make any reasonable dent as the group grew more powerful and audacious and these formed the official reactions they made on the relentless raid of Boko Haram on defenseless citizens. Tolls mounted and casualties swelled but they remained satisfied with the feat they recorded passing the blame on their opponents.

Peter Claver Oparah via peterclaver2000@yahoo.com

 

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