How To Properly Support Boko Haram
My thoughts are with every Nigerian, and in fact, every human being that has suffered loss of loved ones, loss of property, and untold bodily harm on account of the rampaging terrorists who act in a manner akin to a bull let loose in a china shop. The grief which they experience can only be imagined. Breadwinners and shining lights of innumerable families have been cut short in no less a gruesome manner than the crude barbarity that has come to be the footprints of the Boko Haram merchants of sorrow, tears, and blood; apologies to Fela Anikulapo Kuti.
The last attack in Kano, which claimed the lives of Nigerians, is condemnable. The perpetrators are bloodhounds that deserve to be tracked, apprehended, and made to face the full weight of the law.
To be clear, the whole talk about amnesty is worrisome to every discerning mind. I did not support amnesty for the Niger Delta militants; I do not support amnesty for DSP Alamieyesegha; and I will not support amnesty for Boko Haram and their co-travelers. A country that is serious about deterrence does not go about dishing out pardons and amnesty, or clemency, if you like; particularly where there’s no new information that the culprits were wrongly, arbitrarily, and illegally convicted; and where corruption, mediocrity, and impunity, are the major problems of the land militating against the growth and development of the people.
As this piece is intended to be as succinct as can be, the focus of the next few sentences would be on those things we do as a people and government to further the perpetuation of Boko Haram brand of terrorism, nay the entrenchment of unchecked criminality, in the geopolitical space that is Nigeria.
As a people, to be sure that Boko Haram wins the war against civilized conduct, and that Nigeria, as a corporate entity, is hurriedly brought to an end; we must refrain from condemning the dastardly acts of violence that the terrorists are serving us. We must see nothing wrong with the mindless and extra-judicial slaughter of ordinary Nigerians by extremists. Rather, we must excuse the actions of the terrorists, blaming them on poverty and injustice. We must then, proceed to clamour for amnesty for them. By so doing, we would have served to embolden the continuance of such heinous crimes against humanity.
Similarly, we must absolve the government of any complicity in the conspicuous failure to ensure the safety and security of the citizenry. We must blame the violence on those who pledged to make the country ungovernable for the present government, not hesitating to call for the division of Nigeria, arguing that the country has no reason being together in the first place. We must allow our shortsighted disposition to life and unashamed bigotry, which is reflected in the tendency to blame anyone who has ethnoreligious divergence from us for the many ills that befall us as a people.
In order that the message is unmistakably clear that “we” are different from “them”, we must call for misguided reprisal attacks after every violence against those whom we restrict our brotherhood to, rather than putting pressure on the security agencies to get the very perpetrators of the crime. We must be suspect of everyone who professes a different religion from us and whose cultural practices are at variance with ours.
Also, we must feign ignorance to the devises of those who would do everything to see the division of Nigeria along tribal and religious lines. We should not do a critical appraisal of those who could possibly be behind the veil of Boko Haram, and who are the ones that stand to reap immediate, but pedestrian, benefits should Nigeria come to an end.
As a government and security agencies, we must continue to create an air of invincibility and invisibility around Boko Haram. We must label them ghosts, if not evil spirits. We must continue to bungle the prosecution of terrorist suspects in our custody and even allow the escape of some. We must insist that terrorism is a global phenomenon and that perhaps it was the turn of Nigeria to experience its fair share of terrorism. We must not be seen to be committed to ending the carnage in the North, as long as it continues to make politicians from a particular part of the country, look very bad. We must vow endlessly to bring perpetrators of criminality to book, but do very little to achieve that. We must deploy the JTF across the North with their AK47s and Armoured Personnel Carriers, to create a semblance of security, while bombs continue to go off. We must ensure intermittent, but consistent jail breaks, so that more criminals in custody would rejoin their partners in crime to further the bloodshed of the hapless Nigerian.
We must not hesitate to jet out of the country, whether Boko Haram just attacked and killed scores of Nigerians, or not. We must honour every flimsy excuse of a foreign trip not batting an eyelid for the wailing that resonates across the land. We must allow our perceived incompetence and inaction to spur Nigerians to take up arms against people of other ethnic groups and religions, thereby ensuring the further polarization of the country.
We must do nothing about the influx of arms and mercenaries into our country. We must not track and cut off the source of funding of the terrorists, and we must purport to be deeply saddened about the turn of events since we assumed office. Yet, we must be very friendly to separatist agitators from our divide of the country.
Dear friends, fellow Nigerians, I’m not an authority on tearing a country apart, but it seems to me, that towing the above lines, either as a government or as a people, would not only be unalloyed and unmasked support for Boko Haram, but would definitely hasten the end of Nigeria.
May God save Nigeria from those who want to see it end.
I’m on Twitter as @efewanogho.