by Farouk Martins Aresa
Boko Haram leaders are not lost in the vast land, in the evil forest, in desert or under the stone of Borno State as most people are led to believe or think. They are hiding in the open amongst the rich and powerful in the comfort of the homes of their sponsors. Just as Americans found out, the caves of Afghanistan gave up nothing, a palace near the Military base in Pakistan did.
Talikawa say these guerrillas live within them without recognizing some, mothers informed the authorities if they suspect their sons, while some have always been planted in the Police and Army as future coup plotters. Fathers followed the trail of their daughters’ abductors with leads of slippers, headscarves, rappers and other belongings the girls left behind until they reached the gate of evil forest. Soldiers cannot crash in hot pursuit into the gate of evil forest?
Go back a few years, what did the Government do with all the Military and Police intelligence given by heads of the Military: Azazi and Ihejirija or past British and American intelligence? We know who or what ails us in Nigeria but they are too powerful and hot to touch. If the President can come out and declare that his Government has been infiltrated, he should be able to dig them out and punish them accordingly. Before world attention and the girls were many victims.
When the leader of Boko Haram was killed during the time of Yar’Adua, the Army got so much intelligence in term of money found around him and his supporters in high places. Even before that, highly placed politicians and traditional rulers were asking that the same terrorists that usually metamorphose into more virulent and ruthless killers of others that bite and spite their own, be handed over to them. In other words, release them to us, they will never kill again.
Nobody suggests how easily and smoothly operation could have been implemented but we had enough time to deal with them before calling foreigners to help us. First and foremost, it shows we are helpless and cannot take care of our problems at home. We will also be forced to submit sensitive secretes to those eager to hire people to spy in their interest, if we have secrets not already known. The advantage is that foreigners may expose Boko untouchable sponsors.
However, whenever MEND, OPC and MASSOB are compared with Boko Haram according to the encouragement and nurturing given to them at home. People naively wonder why anyone would even make such comparison. This is another form of denial in itself. It is also taking credit away from leaders that have worked hard to tame or curb their own militia before they start causing havoc as Frankenstein they cannot control. Any of them can be Boko Haram and worse.
In Anambra, enough credit has never been given to Governor Peter Obi when he just took over. It was chaos. He was tested by the Union of road and transport owners and MASSOB. At one point, one of the bodies had the audacity to tell the Governor to leave local taxes to them and concentrate on Federal taxes. Most people except the victims of that time have forgotten how Gov. Obi faced them squarely and overcame the monsters amongst them. They backed down.
In Oyo State there were Tokyo and Adedibu. Gov. Ladoja ran Tokyo underground while the old man that did not know when to quit when ovation was still loud met his Nemesis, from his so called friend. OBJ lured him to Abuja back and forth in an ailing body while Dora Akunyili stood up to his face in a showdown in Ibadan. Every dog has its own day except Boko Haram for now.
We must not take anything away from IBB and Abacha that decapitated Maitatsine before they mutated into Boko Haram. During the time of Buhari and Idiagbon with operation WAI, no dog dared bark at a hungry lion without been used for super. (Courtesy of Ebenezer Obey). Though, we see their “discipline” as too harsh and un-African, they saved us from the unthinkable.
This is certainly not an endorsement of totalitarians rule to deal with terrorists. But Africans have the same brain and capacity to deal with problems at home as others in their own home. This writer has called for technical assistance and cooperation to work with world leaders to deal with terrorist as needed. Since we have to make sure that when they escape from the grips of those they fear, they do not turn Niger, Sudan, Somali or Nigeria into their home base.
Hilary Clinton made the best comment that Nigeria must be ready and able to lead. This lady is not patronizing and knows what she is talking about. There are so many sensitive intelligence that have been given in the past about terrorists secretly and openly for which we fail to take heed. When foreign governments warn their citizen openly that they must stay away from certain areas, we must not wait until they are justified before we act.
Therefore, we must be very careful and suspicious of the intelligence we take from foreigners. As far as the terrorists are concerned, they see foreign involvement differently. They are happy for the international notoriety they are gaining. In case of their leaders from whose mansions they conduct their operations, they see an opening for compromise. Go back to their old tricks of asking for amnesty and release of brutal killers in prison into their hands.
Is it not ironic that Adamu Ciroma that predicted everything that is happening now and more; is courted into Aso Rock for peace meeting? This is the same reason we have Aliyu Gusau as a Defense Minister. These are men that should be locked up for life. If Jonathan cannot tell Aliyu to his face, the Armed Forces Joint Chiefs sure gave him hints. He had the nerve to call meetings asking all of them to be present. Fire burns, Chief Arsonist calling the firefighters to a meeting!
Well, maybe he wants to surrender his team of arsonists to the Joint Chiefs. This is the problem. The Joint Chiefs know Aliyu for who he is and Aliyu knows the Joint Chiefs knows him well. May be the foreigners can break the connection since it is so obvious, yet too delicate to crack.
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