IT is tiresome keeping track of the killings in the North East. It is almost impossible to have accurate figures of the death toll in four years of the war with terrorists. Neither the official reactions, nor the justifications adduced for the crisis, can bear out the attacks that have become daily, almost routine, with school children as major targets.
Perhaps more disturbing are some suggestions to end the killings. Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe, have recorded attacks at different times. Adamawa, Borno and Yobe appear to be the last, cherished strong holds of the attackers.
Reactions to the killings that started targeting students in October 2012, when more than 40 students of tertiary institutions in Mubi, Adamawa State, were slaughtered in goriest manners, have evoked similar reactions – only condemnations that do not solve the problem.
It is appalling that suggestions made in 2012 are being trumpeted after another 59 students were killed in Mubi. Other attacks have taken place since then.
The Senate, during the military’s defence of its 2014 budget, re-echoed a House of Representatives resolution that Army Headquarters should re-locate temporarily to Maiduguri for proper countering of the attacks. It is apparent the National Assembly is unaware of the assemblage of forces dealing with the challenges in the North East.
A combination of security agencies works in the North East. Is the National Assembly asking all defence and security forces involved in the North East, including the Department of State Services, DSS, police, National Intelligence Agency, Air Force to re-locate their headquarters to Maiduguri, even if temporarily?
Do we also move headquarters of the forces if insurgency arises in another part of Nigeria? How long does it take to make these movements? How much would they cost? How would re-location improve management of North East operations?
Boko Haram attacks have lasted this long, with deadlier consequences, because lives are unimportant to us. Few countries would watch thousands of people killed and discuss it with the compromising stance of the National Assembly and many top political officials whose only interest is political correctness for the next election.
Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State is representative of this group. He told journalists last month that Nigeria stood no chance against the group because Boko Haram was better equipped and had international financial backing. Should that be the reaction of a leader whose people have been under attack for almost four years? How did he know about the operations of the group? What is his role in stopping the killings?
Collaboration with governments of Cameroun, Chad, and Niger Republic, and measures to end the killings should be applied quickly. Lives are more important than politics.