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Boko Haram: It’s not about Jonathan

THERE is no doubt that Nigeria is in the grip of its worst crisis ever. That is after the pogrom of the Nigerian civil war.  What happened in Kano on Friday, January 20, 2012 when nearly 200 Nigerians were murdered in a spate of suicide bombings targeted against offices of security agencies  is clearly unacceptable and fully underscored the worsening security situation in the country.

The deadly bombings claimed by Boko Haram, an Islamic Sect, which has declared war against the Nigerian State is indicative that Nigeria is at war with itself. A part of the whole has declared war against the rest of the federation and we can no longer continue to beg the issue.

The danger of this war is that it is not conventional. It is a guerilla warfare which is the most difficult to deal with out of all forms of warfare. We’ve seen example of the clear and present danger of guerilla warfare and suicide bombings in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Now nearly every part of the country has become unsafe due to the activity of the Boko Haram sect which on the surface is angling for the enthronement of Islamic Sharia law in the country.

This perspective is all too convenient for those behind the noxious agenda and may have largely been responsible for the way most Nigerians see the issue as something that the Federal Government could use its might to root out in just days. Because of this belief, a lot of people continue to blame President Goodluck Jonathan and the country’s security apparatus for not doing enough to rein in the operatives of Boko Haram.

Yes, the President as the commander in Chief of the Armed Forces has the responsibility to ensure the security of lives and property throughout the Federation. But the situation which we confront is not that simplistic.  The current war is not against a conventional army.

It is one against a group with tentacles deeply rooted in the murky politics of the Nigerian State and enjoying support of  individuals with heinous agenda against the Nigerian State and of course Mr. President and his administration. I tend to support those who hold that the religious content of the current war is less than one percent while the political and ethnic content is more than 99 percent.It is therefore time for all Nigerians to know that what is going is not about the competence of President Jonathan but a war of attrition against the Nigerian State.

Those behind the well funded agenda want to create a state of permanent crisis and give all the impression that Mr. President is not up to the job.  The clearest indication that this is a well funded war of attrition against the country includes the increasing sophistication of the perpetrators of the dastardly act and their ability to penetrate any fortress.

They did it at the Police Headquarters in Abuja, the UN building in Abuja and the Police headquarters and other security posts in Kano.  The death toll continues to mount to the chagrin of most Nigerians and the befuddlement of the International community.

And the  fact that the field soldiers  are well connected is not just about the funds with which they procure the vehicles and bombs for their devilish acts,  but the relative ease with which they get defense counsels for their comrades who get caught.

And of course the relative ease with which they got out Kabiru Sokoto, an alleged kingpin of the Christmas day bombing against the Catholic Church in Madala. Kabiru Sokoto simply disappeared into thin air in the very presence of the Police detailed to prevent such a disappearance.

What seems clear is that there is a hidden political agenda behind the onslaught of Boko Haram and the target is the person and administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Those behind this deadly political game want to undermine President Jonathan and his administration and ultimately stampede him out of office in such a way that a new order would emerge that would suit their own whims and caprices.  At this time of National emergency, the deadly silence of influential politicians and leaders of thought from a section of the country is worrisome.

We should not allow those behind this evil agenda to continue to paint the picture of a religious war or increasingly put Mr. President on the spot. If we do, we are simply helping them to achieve their ignoble agenda.    Security agents are not  magicians, they act on information and intelligence provided by members of the public. All of us including Mr.  President, obas, emirs, the media, Nigerians in general,  leaders and influential citizens are in this together and we must fight this monster together before it consumes us all.

This is not about President  Jonathan.  It is about the survival of our country and the need not to allow some few individuals hold us captive and foist their evil agenda on us. Now is the time for all Nigerians to come together and join forces with the federal government to root out the festering evil.

ALFRED OLUTAYO, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Lagos.

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