Beyond Nyanya and Sambisa Forest

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NYANYA, a small suburban settlement close to Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, was a quiet and peaceful area from where many daily travelled to Abuja for their numerous pursuits. With relatively cheaper rents than Abuja, it houses thousands, if not millions, of residents who shuttle to the capital for businesses and work daily.

When you are travelling from Benue through Nassarawa State, the Nyanya Area Park and the Flyover bring that feeling of relaxation and safety of being in the FCT as you journey. For the settlers in Nyanya, they just hop into their vehicles worrying only secretly about traffic en-route the city and their businesses. But all that changed before Easter when Boko Haram under the direct instruction of their leader Shekau, as we read later, detonated a truckload of bombs that killed hundreds of persons at the Nyanya Area Park. Nyanya will not be the same for a while to come.

Sambisa Forest is located towards the east mountains of Borno State where whether known or unknown to the governments and security agents, Boko Haram, from recent reports, maintain well-fortified tents. There the usual forest activities took place.

But today about 187 innocent young school girls are being held hostage there. They were among the 230 abducted by the Boko Haram about one week before Easter. Unlike in Nyanya, this abduction signified a change in style and tactics of the terrorists we call Boko Haram.

It is the beginning of a new kind of strategy by the enemy to tell all who want to listen, learn and act, that this is not a political war, it is not just a war against GEJ and his administration as many wanted it to be at the beginning. It is a well-coordinated war by the enemies of the unity of Nigeria, and they are fighting the Nigerian flag.

Their abduction and violation of innocent girls confirm that they are far from being Muslims, and that in fact they are bestial and an unfortunate product from that highly respected religion in this blessed nation. They are determined to shed the blood of any Nigerian, from leaders to school children, and from the employed to the unemployed. They hate Nigeria and they hate our unity in diversity, although we are yet to sound and act like people who are under such a wicked siege.

They announce through their media that they hate Western education, but that is a blatant lie. They use guns and instruments of mass murder, all invented by the White man and exported to them using the system invented and designed by educated White men. They use the media to disseminate their works of evil. But the print and electronic media were invented also by educated White educated persons. Even their clothings are from the same source. They can only fool those who want to be fooled.

They may have fooled some indigenes and some of the leaders, but not Nigerians. The indigenes of Borno State and Chibok, ought to be wiser now with this abduction, such that in the end they, the Boko Harams, are the fools as time will unfold. We will continue to postpone the end of Boko Haram until we act together.

The confusion over conflicting figures of the number of girls abducted and those released, between the Army, the Borno State Government and the Principal of the Government Girls secondary School, Chibok, Maiduguri, Borno State, show how things go wrong in this fight against Boko Haram.

While the Army would like to claim victory for every achievement considering their mandate, the Borno State Government appears determined to prove that the FG, which includes the Army, is not doing enough, and this conflicting position does not and will not augur well for the traumatized and victimized people of Borno State.

Governor Shettima should accept that some Nigerians and they are many, think that he stands to benefit in 2015, if elections are not held in his State, based on constitutional provision that there must be someone to hand over to before an incumbent can relinquish his position.

The onus of proving these people wrong lies on him, and he will likely not discharge that onus creditably if he continues with his stance against the FG. Same applies to GEJ, and his advisers, who the opposition will want to paint in every demonic colour.

It is hard for politicians to rise above politics to help the people, but if they must deal with this unusual situation decisively, they must do something unusual, by rising above politics to tackle Boko Haram and rescue Nigeria from the hands of terrorism. We will continue to postpone the end of Boko Haram until we act together, irrespective of who we are.

Beyond the experiences from Nyanya and the Sambisa Forest, the FG, including her security agencies, the state governments and all her forces of propaganda, the opposition party, the APC, and the media, must speak with one voice, and act together to stamp out Boko Haram and their likes, out of this country.We all need Nigeria to be what we aspire to be, and Nigeria needs us all now in order to be that blessed, peaceful and loving country of our dream.

We must learn from these to rise above this situation now. Our CCTVs in public parks and places should begin to work, and that calls for electric power. We need electricity. Those who deny us electric power are helping our enemies by disenabling our plans to protect ourselves. Of what use are the CCTVs in public places if they are not powered to work?

Security must be provided now to protect all educational institutions, schools, NYSC camps and places where our future generations live and stay together for anything, in the North East and all zones of Nigeria.

BY CLEMENT UDEGBE, a legal practitioner, wrote from  Lagos.

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