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Boko Haram: What a madness?

By Kunle Oyatomi
In spite of several warnings from intelligence sources in the USA and Europe, we have allowed the forces of darkness to disturb the peace of this country again in the northern part.

Whether it was the government or the Islamic insurgents who struck first is irrelevant; what should bother any right thinking Nigerian is that in spite of foreknowledge of the anti-social activities of the Taliban and the Boko Haram group, security forces in the country could not monitor and contain their activities before they became a deadly threat to the civilized existence we are all trying to live.

The undeclared war in the north is totally avoidable. If the intelligence and security forces had not gone to sleep, if government had not given the impression that it was tolerant of this group of butchers who hide behind religion to unleash their brutishness and savagery on others, perhaps, even if this crisis had erupted at all, it would not have been as bloody as it has become.

As at the time of writing this report, the official figure of casualty is in excess of 300.

It appears to me that we are losing our capacity to learn anything from history- past and current. Otherwise we (or rather the security forces and government) should have learnt the bitter lesson that any potentially dangerous situation left to fester is bound to become malignant if not caucerous.

At least, if nothing else, the Niger Delta disaster should have taught us that simple fact of life. But it would appear that those in charge are rather slow to learn or they are incapable of handling the responsibilities of their office.

Long, long ago, we knew of the Islamic insurgents, even if they came in another name. Religious groups and prominent citizens had warn severally about the potentially threat to life and property these people pose to the society, yet those who should nip this danger in the bud went to sleep.

We cannot fathom whether or not this lapse was deliberate, but we can safely say that it was a culpable act of negligence. This negligent approach to issues in the country is fatally harmful to Nigeria.

But the horrible thing about our approach to resolving problems, especially since the military made irresponsible incursion into our political space, is that we first resort to brutish violence before we allow our thinking faculties to function.

Virtually all the crises that are exploding one after the other, with fatal consequencies in a number of cases, like Zaki-biam, Udi, Gbaramotu, Jos and now Borno, Yobe, Bauchi etc, are all avoidable if those in charge had the intellectual capacity and wisdom to manage these problems early enough.

The mayhem in the north is a national disgrace, and it is symptomatic of an endemic failure in our capacity to govern.
Increasingly, the value we place on human life in Nigeria is diminishing so rapidly that in the hundreds or even thousands we are “wasting” lives with a diabolical relish for blood-letting typical only of savages.

Armed robberies are raging across the country with a brutishness that even pre-historic man was incapable of. There are security lapses all over, and the country has become so vulnerable, it would appear that the state is losing control.

However, the most un-nerving part of this system failure is that those in charge appear not to grasp the magnitude of the potential calamity ahead. There is a level of delusion at the apex of governance which makes the authorities think that what is going on in the country is merely storm in a tea cup.

All people of goodwill should come out strong and drum it into the ears of those in authority that a storm is gathering which is far too dangerous to take for granted. The earlier we did something to clear the storm the better for this country otherwise, the potential wreckage after the storm may be far beyond our capacity to reconstruct.

We owe a collective responsibility to ourselves to save this country from the edge of the abyss. We need courage and a lot of will power to do what is right.

The selfish amongst us, the greedy and heartless in high and low places who pillage and misuses authority against the very life of this country should stop and think again. Time is not on our side, and for sure natural justice is on the fast track of taking effect.

If we do not rebuild this country with a new and positive approach, we will only end up destroying it with all the negativities that we are pilling up against it. Guns don’t build nations, they destroy!!

This is undoubtedly the greatest RE-BRANDING Challenge Nigeria has to grapple with. Certainly not the laughable stuff that is currently in place.


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