Opinion

Tope Adesipo: Boko Haram, The Futility Of Military Solutions

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In the face of overwhelming ineffectiveness of Nigeria’s Government in protecting the ordinary Nigerians against the murderous attacks of Boko Haram Nigerians continue to live in fear.

It was four months after the PDP government headed by President Jonathan, extended a state of emergency in the three North-East States of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe then most ravaged by the ferocious, murderous and violent armed campaigns by Boko insurgents,that the Chibok school girls were abducted. It is now more than a year the affected states have been under state of emergency which first declared on May 15, 2013. And almost 120days since the over 200 school girls have been abducted, there is no concrete clue of how these girls can be rescued.

After securing and extension to the state of emergency the government still seems to be drifting while, up till the period of writing this, the Boko Haram insurgency has not relented from its murderous, violent campaigns.

In fact there are increasing reports of Boko Haram establishing local control in parts of the North-East, systematically attacking and attempting to drive out opponents while the military is often conspicuous by its absence. An international report published in early June said that in the last 10 months 250,000 have had “to flee their homes” in the North-East and becoming part of the 3.3 million people who, according to the National Commission for Refugees, have fled Boko Haram’s attacks since the conflict began in 2009.

The reactionary and religious credo of Boko Haram started far much earlier than when it came to public prominence in 2009.Boko haram over the years, gained mass followership ?due to the deprivation of mass majority of the people in the midst of stupendous natural and human resources..

Nigerians live in conditions of unbelievable poverty and oppression this is why the fundamental preaching of sect like Boko Haram is always met with sympathies from the extreme downtrodden section of the masses who are easily susceptible to the beleive of having a blissful haven as against the current world dominated by Satan.

Around 2009 when the sect campaign came into limelight their modus operandi was based on the courageous preaching of their leader Muhammed Yusuf and occassional attacks on the ruling elite and the police and military. But the false militaristic strategy of suppressing the insurgent of Late President Yar’Adua and his Armed forces, culminated into the summary execution of Yusuf and some others in a characteristic ruling elite fashion of attacking the messenger as against the message that action has now boomeranged into the big inferno we have now that is currently threatening to consume not only this government but the entire Nigerian state..

There are those who belong to the school of thought that believes the real reason why the armed forces haven’t succeeded in the fight against ?the insurgent is because the army is corrupt more than at any point in history, well, while I completely agree that the military is corruption riddled I do not think it is more corrupt than in the days of Abacha or Babangida for instance I think what we must understand is in all human history,every effort to forcibly suppress a political/religious idea/movement has always ended in futility; more often than none, the idea/movement being forcibly suppressed always emerged much more stronger in the wake of forcible/militaristic suppression.

In fact, the contemporary war against terrorism internationally and the upsurge of Boko Haram phenomenon graphically confirm the truism of this proposition..I listen to Geroge bush at a conference in Lagos as he answers question on how the world is now a better place without Sadam husein I shook my head because I know that the “War against terrorism” waged by the US and it’s allies in the wake of Sept 11 attack on the World trade centre as led to a domination of the world’s political space with terrorist organisation than we had pre 9/11. The Globe is now dominated by various terrorist organisation’s more than ever before really.

Back home in Nigeria, the fact is Boko haram developed into the present menacing and ferocious phenomenon due to the killing of Yusuf in 2009?.already, the War on Boko Haram has cost humanity billions of Dollars and the Government is set to borrow a whooping 1billion dollars to continue to fight the insurgent..

Meanwhile this hasn’t stop the insurgent from continuing their senseless killings as a matter of fact they are gradually moving else where.former president Obasanjo, stated months ago, that “if the government has tried stick stick and stick isn’t working what is wrong with trying something along with the stick” few days after the chibok girls were abducted, Boko haram released a video stating their demands uptil now there hasn’t been any coherent positon from the government on the stands of the militant instead the government has continue to fight a war it can not win and continue to shift the blame to the opposition while the killings by the insurgent continue aggressively.

President Goodluck Jonathan, his advisers and apologist must understand as a matter of urgency that primarily it is a fundamental political error to seek to suppress a political or religious ideas/movement by force of arms as opposed to fundamentally and democratically engaging the idea being propounded by every political/religious movement or sect while simultaneously removing the economic and social conditions that allow them to flourish.

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Tope Adesipo writes from Lagos immediate past SUG president federal university of Agric Abeokuta and coordinator Youth shift Network.? Tweet @tope414

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