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Boko Haram: What is Comrade Shehu Sani up to?

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IF there is any good any Nigerian, irrespective of tribe, religion, colour or political persuasion could do for this country at this very moment is simply to support genuine efforts towards halting insurgency and other nefarious activities capable of threatening our continued existence as a nation.

Like other nations, Nigeria is not immune to insecurity. No country presently can deny the fact that it is not battling with one form of security challenge or the other. It is not peculiar to Nigeria.

The difference, however, is how an individual nation handles its own. Interestingly, while citizens of other nations play key roles in ensuring the protection of lives and property by voluntarily supplying security establishments with vital information for necessary actions, the reverse appears to be the case in our own society. Citizens of such nations have since realised that security is everyone’s responsibility and not that of government alone.

It appears some individuals are yet to accept the obvious fact that the dreaded Islamist group, Boko Haram, is not just an enemy of the government, but our common enemy as a people. We have every cause to be worried by the number of innocent Nigerians we have so far lost in different attacks orchestrated by the group. I sincerely do not expect anyone to be comfortable with the alarming state of insecurity in the country.

Recent revelations have shown that the Boko Haram group and its faceless adherents are enemies of both Muslim and Christian faithful.

It is, therefore, shocking when Kaduna based civil rights activist, Comrade Shehu Sani, blatantly faulted the Joint Military Task Force’s claim that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, may have died during a gun duel with the JTF. Comrade Sani, who in the said press conference in Kaduna challenged government to present the late Shekau’s corpse if at all government wants to be taken serious, picked holes in government’s avowed determination to tackle insecurity frontally.

His action is not just uncalled for, but rather an attempt to portray the Nigerian military and the Federal Government as liars. The question is, what is Comrade Sani out to achieve? Is it relevance or recognition? One cannot but admit that Comrade Sani has indeed betrayed the confidence many had reposed in him in the years gone.

Expectedly, the flurry of condemnations that have greeted Comrade Sani’s unpatriotic disposition is an indication that most Nigerians are happy with what the government is doing to stamp out terrorism in the country.While right thinking Nigerians have no problem with Comrade Sani’s resolve to be heard, especially for his new found political party which he claimed he would use to contest for the post of governor or senator, must he play dirty politics to the detriment of our security and innocent young civilian volunteers who are assisting the military in apprehending the volunteers.

Many are rather disappointed by his resolve to be a cog in our wheel of progress, especially in the fight against insurgency, a development that has cost Nigeria both human and material resources.

As part of deliberate effort to get to the root of our security challenges, the President Goodluck Jonathan government has indeed opened its doors to all Nigerians to contribute their quota. The government believes strongly in the fact that all Nigerians should be part of running the affairs of the country. A landmark move made a few months back was the setting up of a Peace and Reconciliatory Committee headed by the Special Duties Minister, Tanimu Turaki. The committee comprised of eminent Nigerians cut across the length and breadth of the country. You will recall that government had included Comrade Sani in the said committee, but shockingly, the Comrade rejected his nomination for reasons that were not made public. Expectedly, many Nigerians, including this writer faulted Comrade Sani’s action. Many had expected him to offer his sound thoughts as well as enrich the committee’s deliberations by supplying them useful information. Instead, he turned down the offer. It never came to be so as he chose to distance himself from the committee.

Having distanced himself from the committee for reasons only known to him, we had expected him to allow the committee handle its assignment without distraction. Comrade Sani’s present claims are rather in bad taste. His present standpoint presents him more as one who is so pleased with Boko Haram’s continued attacks on innocent Nigerians. This, no doubt, is in sharp contrast with what Comrade Sani professes. A human rights crusader cannot afford to watch any human being, no matter how lowly placed, to be treated like an animal or being killed unjustly.

In sane societies, where much premium is attached to human life, a life lost is seen as a fatal blow on humanity. We have every reason to be worried. This mindless bloodletting must be halted. This is simply not the Nigeria that our founding fathers fought for with all they had to put in place. It is high time we stopped playing politics with lives. It is not about the government of the day, it is about the innocent lives that are being sent to early graves in different parts of the country.

Since Comrade Sani had declined to be part of those selected to bring the Boko Haram carnage to an end, he should  not frustrate genuine efforts to end insurgency in Nigeria.

Mr.  OLA LOOKMAN , member Youths Against Disaster Initiative, wrote from Abuja.

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