The recent soaring statistics of the collateral damage being inflicted on Nigeria as well as lives and property of Nigerians by the Boko Haram Islamic fundamentalist sect, again, are pretty too significant for all lovers of freedom and human race to ignore in these austere times in the nation’s history.
Equally distasteful is the latest daring challenge by the leadership of the seemingly unrepentant terrorist group to “devour” the Nigerian President in matter of three months. It is embarrassing, foolhardy and inconceivable for an apparently faceless and destructive group to haphazardly dare the authority cum power of maximum force at the disposal of The Presidency of a sovereign state as Nigeria in this manner.
Hitherto, besides the wanton, unprovoked destruction of hundreds of houses, government offices and institutions worth hundreds of millions of Naira besides hundreds of innocent people maimed for life, Human Rights Watch, in a report on the sect’s dastardly activities earlier in 2012, conservatively estimated the number of human casualties of the Boko Haram phenomenon between 2009 and 2012 at 935 deaths across the Nigerian Federation.
Sadly, the number of casualties resulting from the continual, vicious attacks on Nigerians and foreigners in their midst by the insurrectionist organisation continues to increase by the day since the Human Rights Watch figure was released in January. In other words, since January 2012, if the number of casualties involved in series of bombings in Kano, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Jos, Niger, Bauchi, Abuja and recent one in Kaduna on Easter Day, where mainly tens of motorcycle (Achaba in local parlance) riders were sent to early graves, and pockets of other locations where the Boko Haram terrorists have wreaked havoc, causality figures of the dead must be in thousands as of now.
Scores of Nigerians have condemned the idea of the Nigerian Presidency’s giving audience to the group and its “physical representatives” with a view to discussing, dissecting and considering the propriety or otherwise of Boko Haram’s demands. Even with such selfish demands include outright rejection of Western education and all its promising benefits as well as institutionalising Islamic legal system all over the country, the leadership of this destructive group copiously, has taken the nation’s constituted authority’s tolerance and diplomacy for granted with its recent much-publicised but reckless vituperations via YouTube on the Internet.
In the preamble of the message, the Boko Haram leadership had vowed that it “must destroy Christians and Christianity” in Nigeria, especially those killing Muslims in Nigeria. The group purportedly added it would kill all Muslims aiding the arrest and harassment of its members across the country.
However, more shocking to many is the latest specific, daring threat to the President and Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria’s Armed Forces. The Islamist sect, led by certain Abubakar Shekau in a 14-minute video, titled: “Message to Goodluck Jonathan”, has threatened to bring down the Federal Government led by President Goodluck Jonathan, within three months. What a bold intent to commit a treasonable felony against the state.
Incidentally, the terrorist group’s leader was said to have made the careless statements in direct response to Mr. President’s comments while in South Korea weeks back. While in the country, President Jonathan was reported to have remarked that the Boko Haram phenomenon would be under control by the middle of this year, precisely June 2012.
But replying to Mr. President’s pronouncement on ending his group’s continuous mutiny, Shekau said: “You, Jonathan, cannot stop us; instead, we will devour you in the three months like you are boasting.” He was reportedly flanked by four masked men holding rifles as he spoke. He ostensibly continued with the ranting in Arabic and the Hausa languages: “We are proud soldiers of Allah; we will never give up as we fight the infidels. We will emerge as winners … we will finish you and end your government…. If death is your worldly gain, for us, it is eternal victory to die working for Allah. Our joy is to die in Jihad for Allah against infidels like you….”
In view of the state of affairs in the country now, it is pertinent to ask relevant questions as these: Who are these “infidels” Shekau was referring to in the video? Who are the financiers and sympathisers of these group’s dastardly activities, for them to have the effrontery to continue to dare the Government in a secular and highly pluralistic society as ours? Can the Government now see reason why it was earlier advised by some Nigerians never to dialogue with such a rebellious organisation relentlessly scheming to get at it? Will the Government hearken to the Senate on the application of maximum force to dislodge these terrorists from their strongholds and cut the logistical supply channels of their alleged malevolent sponsors?
Toeing the line of the Senate’s latest resolution that Nigeria has had enough of Boko Haram’s unsettling and destructive activities in the country since 2009, the Government urgently needs to shore up its security intelligence apparatus in an attempt to crush this comparatively new evil confronting the nation. The perceptible failure of Nigeria’s security intelligence over time appears to be the bane of marked, much expected improvement in the security situation in the country. In dealing with any form of uprising in a nation state, proactive security intelligence apparatus is too critical, as it is typically regarded as the hallmark of effective and efficient operations.
In view of the existing realities regarding the daring threat of the Islamic fundamentalist sect, the continued suggestions by certain individuals and groups to the Federal Government of Nigeria to re-visit the option of dialogue with the mysterious Boko Haram, with a viewing to appeasing, reaching a compromise, or granting their members “amnesty” should be jettisoned. How does one dialogue with the Devil? Or is it not unimaginable expecting The White House, in Washington, D.C., United States, to have initiated a dialogue with the leadership or representatives of Al-Qaeda terrorist group before the US Navy Seals resolutely, caught Osama Bin Laden and his sizeable harem off guard even in far-away Abbotabad, in Pakistan, in May, 2011?
This current Administration only needs to demonstrate leadership by not allowing Boko Haram, a small group of dissidents causing many Nigerians sleepless nights while destroying innocent lives and property, to get away with their wicked and anti-people deeds as it should obtain in a sane clime.
Safe for the leadership of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, led by Alhaji Yerima Shettima, Nigerians, particularly Northern leaders in whose region this group has been perpetrating endless atrocities with impunity must rise in condemnation of the sect’s devastating mayhem. Their timely response in respect of Boko Haram’s misadventures becomes much more important now, because the nation’s President and Commander-in-Chief is directly involved. Thus, hiding behind a finger in unitedly dealing with this common enemy of humanity will do no one any good.