Opinion

Tope Adesipo: Before Boko Haram Consumes Us All

With the suicide bombing of the Emir Mosque in Kano on Friday,and other violent, ferocious and murderous conduct of Boko Haram in the past, The attacks from Boko Haram has become the greatest test and challenge for the Nigerian state since 1914 .it is now a big inferno that is threatening to consume all of us at least since the 30th month old civil war that ended in 1970. not just because of so many people so far killed but also with more than half of the people killed coming in 2014, and tragically, close to a million persons have been displaced, with some crossing over to neighboring Countries to find refuge

Boko Haram was a group organizing to claim its right of worship but somehow with the killing of its Leader Muhammed Yusuf in 2009, it moved from targeting government formations and using okada to operate to an organization that attacked police station and prisons to free its arrested members, to bombing churches and mosques , kidnapping as the example of the over 200 missing Chibok girls, to the current full scale war for conquest of territories and hoisting flag in full imitation of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Events have also proved those who say it is a Jihad against Christians absolutely wrong with killings of Muslims in their place of worships, killing of Christians in their place of worship. It is difficult to understand what objective the group is out to achieve. Is their plan to wipe us all out? If they seek to Govern a Sharia state who will they eventually rule over when they kill all of us?

The taking over of Mubi in Adamawa and the change of the town’s name to ‘Madinatul Islam’ with a full declaration of Sharia law, followed immediately with the beheading of 2 Muslim clerics and Imams for preaching against Boko Haram and the cutting off of the hands of 10 persons for various act of stealing and pilfering properties of fleeing residents also suggest this is a war against Muslims and Christians alike. The well armed invasion backed by rolling armoured tanks explains the ferocious Phenomenon it has become. Boko Haram has become a Frankenstein monster that the Goodluck Jonathan Government is incapable of ending.

Barely weeks after Abuja came out with a statement that it had arrived at a ceasefire with the same group it claimed to have decimated, the same Shekau came out in another video to counter the claim. If anything this demonstrates the desperation of Jonathan-led regime to claim even false accolade as part of its spin doctors charade to win the sympathy of the masses for its 2015 re-election bid.

With the larger population of the people in the North without jobs, uneducated and living in destitution all this factors provide a ready made recruitment channel for Boko Haram. Nothing significant has been done to change the Socio economic situation in the North in the last 5years.

The Governor of Borno recently stated that Boko haram are better armed and better equiped than our troops. Of course this is true. One cannot ignore the fact that the question of corruption and mismanagement of state funds by both past and current regimes and as well as the top echelon of the military made up of Generals (both retired and serving) is to be blamed for the poor state of both hard and soft warfare equipments in the Nigeria’s military. Added to the above is the complete loss of morale among the rank and file of the soldiers a consequence of worsening living conditions not any different from that of the rest of the masses. The soldiers do not enjoy adequate insurance. Soldiers are made to pay for their boots and uniforms. Their dead colleagues are treated with disdain ,and their surviving families practically have nothing to fall back on the death of their bread winner in the course of military assignment.

But Instead of attempting to reverse these trends and combat the question of corruption in the military, the Generals have chosen to make scapegoats out of the victims of their corrupt practices. They put 12 soldiers on trial in a mutiny show and sentenced them to death.. What is labelled as mutiny is a legitimate protest by soldiers to express their anger at sighting the bodies of their colleagues who were ambushed and killed by Boko Haram. They had warned against the possibility of an ambush, but were coerced to adhere to the command dictates of their GOC Major General Ahmadu Mohammed. If the military was democratic, the General would have admitted his error and showed remorse at the fact that his order against the best advice of the rank and file was responsible for the death of these officers.?But he didn’t in a usual characteristics of a Nigerian General manner.

It is clear that the Jonathan ? Government has lost this war or at best the regime is profiting from the insurgency. Some are of the opinion that Jonathan has written off the North East since it is not important to him electoraly. The body Language of the incompetent president lay credence to this proposition.

the best option over the years would have been to engage the idea being propounded in a peaceful manner but we have allowed the monster to degenerate to a level where peaceful engagement seems no longer realistic and achievable
What is therefore needed is for the people to be united and build mass defense committees in Towns and communities because expecting Jonathan’s corrupt Government to defend the Rank and file of the Masses will amount to a big investment of illusions as such the rapid building of non-sectarian, democratic and independent mass organizations that can unite the masses around a programme to fight to defend their communities is a must now before it consumes all of us. Such Mass defense committees will be involved in gathering of intelligence, devoid of politicians sponsoring? and well armed.

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Article written by Tope Adesipo  and Tope tweets via @tope414

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