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Boko Haram is everyone’s responsibility

THE senseless massacre of innocent students at the Federal Government College, Yobe, on monday February 24, 2014, has again brought to fore, the hopelessness of our defense capabilities.

It is now time for everybody, to get involved; we must remove ethnic, political and religious sentiments.

According to the words of Bishop David Oyedepo, ” what you do not want, you do not watch “. Do we really want an end to the Boko Haram senselessness?

A country deserves the kind of treatment it gets, whether from its leaders, criminals or even foreigners. A country that is apathetic to common goals and interest, will not make progress.

The choice is ours.The Lagos State government realised that it had to take responsibility of security for its citizens and earmarked huge resources – in term of personnel, cash, resources – into making the dream come true. Today, Lagos is, arguably, the safest state in Nigeria.

The governors of the troubled Boko Haram states, should not sit and watch, waiting for miracles to happen, they must take action; what you want is what you get.

If there is no peace in those regions, we might as well say good bye to  peaceful elections. Opposition politicians must begin to take note of this and join the federal authorities in finding lasting solution to insurgency challenges.

The states harbouring these Boko Haram insurgents are – we must note here – mostly in the opposition and PDP rebel governors enclaves: Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Kano. If we are to stretch the argument further, we assume that they are not giving the federal authorities enough co-operation and support; that is why the situation is not abating.

The only thing that is constant in life is change. The changing patterns of crimes all over the world calls for new approaches in containment. It is my humble submission that Boko Haram and other insurgents threatening the peaceful existence of our country, Nigeria, can be contained if the right strategies are implemented.

We must start by first thinking out the problem confronting us before we take action. It is an established fact that behind great breakthroughs are great ideas.

The battle with the Boko Haram can only succeed if we put all our intelligence capabilities to work. Every intelligence unit in the combined armed forces and beyond must begin to put their training to practice. Questions must be asked and answers provided;

Is the Boko Haram battle bigger than our combined armed forces capabilities? If so, why? Are the men better trained, than our personnel? Do they have superior fighting equipment? Where do these equipment come from? Are the perpetrators of these destructions Nigerians? Because it is only a bastard child who will destroy his home and that of his ancestors.

If they are not Nigerians, which country(ies) did they emanate from?

We notice that in Mali the Islamist militants were mostly foreigners. If they are foreigners, why did our brothers in the Northern part of Nigeria accommodate them?

The Governor of Borno State claimed that the insurgents are better motivated than our soldiers. If this is true, what kind of motivation is given to them that cannot be extended to our own soldiers to ginger them to action?

Are there conspiracies by people who are not happy with the Jonathan presidency? If no, why are the people not coming up with information to aid our security personnel?

What is the relationship between our security personnel and the locals in the troubled territories? Who are the extremists/religious leaders feeding these insurgents with hate ideologies? Why have they not been rounded up and dealt with decisively? That is what they do in China and North Korea.

Are the citizens of these war zones happy with the situation at hand? If no, what efforts have been made by them to discourage such attacks? What co-operation have they given to the military men on ground?

Are the soldiers that we have sent to the Boko Haram states familiar with the terrain, locality and culture? Because, you can never win a battle, if you do not have a proper understanding of the terrain.

Ancestral sources

What is the state of the youths, in those areas? Have they all been identified to their ancestral sources? What form of co-operation are they giving to the insurgents? How ready is our military for such challenges? Do we have indigenes from these areas in our armed forces? What is their contribution towards check mating the insurgents?

What efforts have the states authorities made to put in place effective policing through local vigilantes, neighbourhood watches and provision of equipment and funds for the security personnel?

What is the level of co-operation between the governors of these states and the federal authorities?

In the North, the emirs and other traditional rulers are very much revered. To what extent have we gone to bring the traditional authorities into the picture? The traditional institution is very vital to the whole project through the control and proper indoctrination of their wards.

The North also have Islamic leaders with radical follower ship; have they been identified and brought into the picture?

What measures have citizens of the affected areas taken to protect themselves? Are they depending on the Federal Government alone? Government can never succeed without their co-operation.

Do the North want their lands to be destroyed, like we have in Afghanistan? What effort has the North, as one body, made to put an end to this satanic intrusion? Have they forgotten that a people without any economic contribution is weightless amongst her peers? Is the North ready for the role of a fully dependent society?

If the answer is no, why have they not come out, as one, to protest all of these Boko Haram killings? Or, are they afraid?

Wole Soyinka quoted in his book, The Man Died: ” The man dies in him, who keep silent in the face of tyranny “.

The time for everyone to act is now.

Mr. Sunny Ikhioya, a commentator on national issues, wrote from Lagos.


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