By Farouk Martins Aresa
This is the best time for National Conference to decide this once and for all. How to pay your terrorists or youths from internal resources must not come from others. If we go on encouraging violence, poverty, suffering and smiling in exchange for individual cash, instead of community and basic infrastructure, other Boko Haram wannabe will rise and engulf the whole Country on fire. Violent bullies in camouflage quietly use them for blind mandate and insatiable power grab.
Talikawa and the world are crying out for Borno, where is the fatwa and outrage from leaders? Parents cannot sleep or eat well. If our children can be taken with impunity from anywhere, nothing prevents a repeat or any terrorist organization from going over and above that, in show of power as usual. In retrospect, was dealing with Maitatsine, Zaki Biam, Odi and Kano justified?
The reason OPC and MASSOB have not escalated their atrocities to national or international level is the internal restraint and curses rained on them at home when they go too far. Though, they have sponsors at home for dire causes, their gratuity is not as big as demanded by MEND and Boko Haram. We must not wait until OPC and MASSOB turn into international terrorists.
Let us face the fact that our public enemies started as rascals at each home, metastasize into regional, national and international terrorists. While growing up, one of our friends always won Try Your Luck. He would go home with milk, sardines and toys but it was not clear whether our parents suspected he was stealing. The rest of us were not even allowed to play because it was a gimmick. The game owners would display expensive items not included in the folded tickets.
Fight broke out once, when this writer and his friends confronted them: hid folded ticket with the name of one of the most expensive toys displayed between his fingers and won. He got two punishments. One for going near Try Your Luck game and the other for the fight that broke out. In those days, our mothers were wicked. You are better off to keep quiet; fathers were worse. The sight of Koboko sold openly was enough, if ordinary cane would not cure your rascality.
How many Boko Haram, OPC, MEND and MASSOB have been created because of disappearance of canes and Koboko? Please, it is not an attempt to diminish the role of poverty, suffering and smiling. If you have no fear of your parents, you cannot have the fear of GOD. There used to be a time when your name has some dignity and soiling it might even deprive you of future bride. It is a vicious circle; those creating poverty in the mist of plenty had no fear of a strict neighbor.
Needless to say, our childhood friend graduated into armed robber and got so big, everyone was afraid of him in the neighbor until he was shot dead by police on info while on a mission. There was a big relief in the community. We need to retrace our steps and think deeply about how we raised terrorists. Children look up to the leaders and what makes them shine. How many of our rich politicians can point to a business that made them rich or was it try Your Luck?
Kids that are not cared for at home look forward to how they can make fast money inside or outside the country. When you tell parents that their children has lost their bearing dealing in drugs, arms, in terrorist camps and white collar crime: Na your money he steal, abi na your biz?
Greed has created different species of Africans from the Africans we know. Some years ago, a truck loaded with explosives was set to hit a building in Abuja. It suddenly stopped and there was no one in it. On further inspection, a stone was found on the accelerator pedal to run into the building without a live or dead body inside. Now, that is the African criminal we know. Until then we have never met a Nigerian willing to die, without enjoying the money given to him.
Not even forty virgins in heaven would trick a Nigerian out of this world. Some people are now speculating that these terrorists are not Nigerians, they are from Mali, Niger, Cameroon etc. Others are claiming they are not Africans; they are from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen etc. We must stop fooling ourselves; Africans have taken to behaviors unthinkable of some 10 years ago. Since we start mutilating one another for gold, diamond and oil, religious sacrifice was easier.
How low can we go? When militia started kidnapping children and old folks to meet their cause, only those naïve folks thought it would stop there. Some governors rose up to the task and put homegrown enemies in check. Well, some people claimed there was no difference between the terrorists and the governors. At least we got a temporary relief. It has been pointed out that because the relief is unsustainable, it would not last. You cannot go on paying them forever.
There are children, farmers whose livelihood has been destroyed by oil spills, roads and other infrastructures that need to be built to sustain basic lives. The more we spend on terrorists the less we have for others that play by the rules. The fact is we have been so deprived; little face-lift in conspicuous areas of any states at any cost and public relations would draw praises.
Another case in point was the strongman of Ibadan, Adedibu. This was a political thug that metastasized into local terrorist asking governors for their security vote allocations in order to keep peace. He finally met his end when he allied with and got the support of Obasanjo. Most Yoruba knew he met his downfall. At his age, while getting OBJ support, police chiefs ordered him to Abuja. He refused because he was too frail. OBJ and friends advised him to obey.
Akunyili, a no nonsense lady had confronted him like nobody ever did. Adedibu had struggled to Abuja a couple of times and got a stern warning from OBJ Police and Magistrate young enough to be his children. But he boosted nothing happened. The wear and tear on an 80-year-old man lucky that he did not die at 40, got him good. He died soon after with no trace to his supporters or greed. His family abandoned, OBJ praised him as Eruobodo. Boko Haram is next.
Article written by Farouk Martins Aresa
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