Opinion: Now That APC Has Asked For Evidence

Now that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for evidence that it is involved in the persistent terrorist activities in the North-Eastern flank of the country, and knowing that the PDP will take a while to come up with any evidence, it may be necessary to help the largest party in Africa with three solid evidence: Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States, all run by the APC!

As to the insurgency that is flowing through Benue, Plateau, and Taraba States, the APC may need to be reminded of one of its governors, a recent convert, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, who promised to distribute Kola-nuts to his Fulani brothers to join the APC. Was it actually Kola-nuts that were distributed or AK-47 riffles? And what else may he have distributed to destabilize the land, knowing that he is a billionaire with a big ego that frequently needs to be massaged with military achievements.

Meantime, Nyako made some interesting remarks in faraway United States of America that bear repeating here for those who have not read them: “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 (hereby attached) 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 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.

“Let me request this gathering to note that the arms, ammunition and explosives being used by 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 Custom 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(s) 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 alleged 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 ammunition and are poorly fed and quartered in spite 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 a political end against Northern Nigeria. Boko Haram is therefore being viewed as a tool by some evil-minded conspirators to kill key Traditional and political leaders of Northern Nigeria and to cause the disintegration of Nigeria. The people in the North have also begun to suspect that the Objective of all this is to create enough mayhem for an excuse to deny them their democratic right of Vote by cancelling the forthcoming General Elections in the region and also reduce the Voting power of the people there now and in the future through mass killings of its populace especially its youths.”

It may be necessary to respond to two important issues the Governor raised here. Which group has the capacity to move arms around the country with the number of check-points dotting the nooks and crannies of the country? Simple answer: those who have the capacity to move around the forests, even at night with their cattle can act as couriers for the firearms. These sets of people are Fulani by default. They are also the recipients of Kola-nuts.

His Excellency declared that there was simply no person(s) in the North-Eastern zone rich enough to foot the financial and logistic bills on Boko Haram activities. That cannot be true because he knows at least two from his home State, without even counting himself! Also, the governor knows that combined efforts by two determined money bags can achieve the required “financial and logistic bills of Boko Haram activities.”

The All Progressives Congress (APC) propaganda machine, garrulous as ever, has taken on its PDP opposite number, while at the same time pleading innocence in the matter of being involved with terrorists. ”We have absolutely no hand in this insurgency, and we dare anyone with contrary information to publish such today. It is trite that he who alleges must prove,” the APC said, but it neglected to mention that its States are flash points of Boko Haram terrorist activities.

APC restated its earlier recommendations on how best to tackle the insurgency: develop a discernible counter-terrorism strategy that will clearly identify the multiple means for preventing, responding and defeating terrorist groups, including the alignment of political, military, social and economic instruments and objectives; improve intelligence gathering; de-radicalize the affected areas; and invest in research that will give more insight into the different aspects of Boko Haram, including its ideology, leadership structure, profile of members, internal organization, sources of funding and weapons and links to diaspora.

It added: ”Others are the need to widen the scope of our response to include the sub-regional bloc ECOWAS and the continental body African Union, especially since Boko Haram has assumed a regional dimension; the need for a Marshall Plan of sorts for the North-east, not the paltry two billion Naira which the FG provided as recovery fund to the six North-east states, at least four of which are worse-hit by the insurgency; an end to inter-agency rivalries that have weakened the fight against the terrorists, and the need to lift the morale of our gallant men and women in uniform who are battling the insurgency, instead of the huge funds allocated for the purpose of upgrading their equipment being guzzled by thieves.”

With these beautiful suggestions, one wonders why the APC has not been able to get the governments it controls in the North-East to pool and pull the resources to solve this sore point of a nation. Worst case scenario, it can reach some kind of arrangement with the federal government and both parties can beat their chests for solving this menace. The credit for this may come in handy for the contending forces in 2015.
Written By Abba Adakole .. He can be reached through mail [email protected]


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