In 2007, I wrote an article entitled “Lessons from Margret Hill’s Abduction”. In that article, I warned that the then gradually growing trend of kidnapping expatriates under the guise of Niger Delta militancy was spiraling out of control. I also predicted that in no distant a time, that the kidnapping of fellow Nigerians will follow. My summation then was that kidnapping was not spurred on by some obscure need for the emancipation of the Niger Delta. It was quite simply a business venture. A few months later, my worst fears were confirmed. The striking thing though about the kidnappings was the fact that it was directly lifted from the Middle East, and transposed to the country. One of the basic examples of that nauseating act of borrowing whatever is the trend on other countries and stretching it ad nauseam here.
Today, we have another more dangerous trend: the bombings.
I am amazed at our penchant in this side of the globe for unrestricted imitativeness. Every singular trend that rocks any part of the world, we must import, domesticate, and indeed stretch to barely human limits. Kidnapping, flagrant bombings, vices commensurate with the Middle East, have become a part of our domestic life. Daily, my heart breaks because of this. Daily, I ask why we hate Nigeria so much that we must destroy her through all means possible. Pray, somebody tell me, is it that the economic situation in the country has so maliciously taken a hold of us to the extent that we must do everything possible to survive? Or is it that there is some form of innate evil deeply entrenched in us that makes us easy prey to practices that are not only unpatriotic, but wholly destructive of lives and properties? I wonder also if there is some godlike cartel that exploits the economic needs of many a Nigerian youth, and the religious fanaticism of some others, and thus use the youths as instruments of terror, destruction of lives and ultimately the destruction of the country? If such a cartel exists, then that cartel must be seen for what it is: a group hell-bent on making sure that Nigeria remains underdeveloped.
Now, to the issue of the now recurrent bomb explosions in the country. It is important to examine a very important question: who are the bombers?
Obviously, it has been widely reported that Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for most of the bombings. But as many an analytical mind would ask? Bombs are not like recharge cards that can be bought by the road side. As Prince Charles Dickson rightly pointed out: “Bombs are not sold off the shelves, who are those behind the high level of insecurity, the bombs game is not one played by just alamajiris or some uneducated insolent idiots.”
I echo Prince Dickson’s question; who are those supplying the bombers with the bombs? Where is the security that would help detect such movements of the bombs? Who supplies the bombers with the intelligence that helps them carry out these dastardly acts with such precision that they even escape being caught? A case in point is the bombing of the police headquarters at Borno. There is no way in this God’s world that that bombing would have been pulled off without the support of highly placed individuals within the security hierarchy of the country.
Too many questions I guess. Questions that invariably point to the presence of a high level conspiracy. Questions that clearly show that the bombings like the kidnappings are syndicated. If we agree that the bombings are syndicated, then we must also accept that there must be a syndicate boss(or bosses) who do not only finance the bombings, but also provide the perpetrators with the necessary intelligence.
I am hard put trying to figure out something. Lying on my bed with eyes on the ceiling every night, I have searched my mind severally. I have delved deep into all available information, analyzing , postulating, and re-postulating, trying to figure out what the perpetrators of the bombings stand to gain from this wanton destruction of human lives. At least with kidnapping, there is the financial gain that comes with the ransoms. But with the bombings, one can only come to one summation: destabilization of the country?
Are the bombings ways of proving that the government in power is incapable? Are they subtle means of inviting the military back? At best, a power play to expose the sterility of the government in power? Or are they results of religious fanaticism? If the bombings are spurred on by religious needs, then what are the perpetrators demands? An Islamic Nigeria? A northern Nigeria free of Christians? Many questions again.
When one takes into account the Jigawa NYSC camp bombing, another question arises; are the bombings another way of calling for the division of the country? Surely, the people who bombed the NYSC camp knew that the youth corpers at that camp cannot be indigenes. So what message did they just send across? Is this not reminiscent of the killings that followed the April elections? More foreboding; are all these not reminiscent of the 1966 killings? I shudder to think it.
Between 1960-1965, this country was embroiled in one of the most politically nerve racking moments of her middle aged life. All these culminated in the first and second coups of 1966.Then within the later part of 1966,an unprecedented level of tribal killings took place, culminating in the three year civil war. But Nigeria survived. Despite the scars and fractures, Nigeria survived. She survived, only to be dealt further brutal blows by many years of military rule and political experimentations. Yet she tottered on. That is how strong she is.
Unlike “Lessons from Margret Hills Abduction”, I will not end this article on a defeatist note. That is because the future of Nigeria that I see today, is not akin to the future that followed Margret Hill’s abduction. The future I see now is a brighter one. A future underlined by the determined drive of so many Nigerian youths hell-bent on moving Nigeria to equal levels with every other nation of the world. It is a future that shall arise out of the many interactions between informed Nigerian youths on twitter, Facebook and BBM. It is a future that already saw a Mo Hits deal with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D music. A future that already saw Tuface Idibia and D Banj winning BET awards as best African acts. It is a future that has already witnessed the coming together of some of the country’s finest budding poets under the aegis of “Nature’s Children”. It is a future reminiscent of America’s march to her present day status as world super power.
Boko Haram, MEND, bombings, kidnappings, political scheming and all, can only but last a moment. Battered though Nigeria might be by all your efforts; bent double through your blows at her solar plexus; burnt down to her bones though she might be; Nigeria shall arise from all these ashes, strong, virile, and a haven for all her children.