IN DEFENSE OF BOKO HARAM
Just this last Sunday, the 26th of June 2011 it was reported that the Boko Haram Islamic State Movement, BHISM in three separate bomb and indiscriminate shootings attacks on beer gardens in the city of Maiduguri of Borno State in Nigeria killed 25 and wounded 30 people. This is coming within a week of the suicide bomb attack of Nigeria police headquarters by the same separatist group. BHISM is just one amongst several other separatist movements in today’s Nigeria. BHISM is fighting for a separate independent and sovereign state whose legal system shall be based on the Islamic sharia. This is their fundamental human right as members of our common humanity. That is their way of life and they are entitled to it.
The other groups that represent the other ethnic groups in Nigeria also claim to be fighting to preserve their own unique ethnic culture/religious values in separate and independent sovereign states. Presently, Nigeria as the terminally ill orphan is being denied and abandoned by all the various parts that had connived and colluded to murder the parents of the child. But the most honorable thing to do by all concerned is to come together around a table and give the doomed child its befitting final rites. Do we hear someone saying that it will take some men and women with guts to do that? Not necessarily, guts is only a small part, we believe that it does not really take anything more than sincerity, honesty and a will to do the right thing. Incidentally, in a society that is fundamentally faulty those three qualities that should be taken for granted are really the big issues. Nevertheless, they may not be completely lacking. Let’s cross our fingers and pray fervently that that is the case.
There may never be a better time than now to convene a conference by the Nigerian state to decide what each ethnic group wants out of the final disintegration of the union. The BHISM group representing the North of Nigeria has made clear their demands and it is fair that the other parts should be given the opportunity to state their own last wishes from the sinking ship. BHISM wants sharia within its own enclave and the Southeast/South/South is free to state their own demand. They can choose to be governed by Church canon or whatever they feel comfortable with. The Southwest and the Middle Belt can also ask to be administered by whatever tenets that seems right by them. This is the era of Self-Determination and it is fair and square.
Among the things that characterize the human dignity is living for something, living a life with a purpose; having something that one lives for or is prepared to give his or her life in exchange. It is when a people can begin to exhibit such attribute that they can actually claim to have evolved beyond the first level of the base animal. Education plays a very significant role in helping us human move steps upwards along this evolutionary ladder. And yet we hear most of the commentators on the recent incidents happening in Nigeria continue to emphasis the stupid statement that Boko Haram translates from Hausa into English as western education is sin as if that means that education is sin. It only states that a certain kind of education is to be accepted with some pinch of salt which is different from saying that the acquisition of all kinds of education is wrong. Education is only worth its value when it can elevate one’s consciousness into living a life that is based on principles or beliefs instead of on the base instinctual materialistic level. Base animals spend their days and, nights for those that hunt at nights, chasing after food and basic necessities rather than on ideologies. They live just for the moment and when they happen to chance on some kind of windfall or abundance then they grab and grab and accumulate not because they have need for these things but because they can grab and do not know the difference.
By the acts of the BHISM they have continued to demonstrate that they are better educated and more highly evolved than most of their critics who merely live for what they need to satisfy their primary material needs. The rest of the ethnic groups in Nigeria as represented by Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, Middle Belt Federation, MBF, etc may continue to remain chicken in heart and pretentious as to not knowing what they need but here we must give credit to those who are bold and prepared to go for what they want, the Boko Haram group. These other groups may in self-delusion consider their approach as civilized while in actual fact they are indeed very primitive because they base their approach on fear and dishonesty. Fear is a characteristic of primitiveness and has always been retrogressive and a reason for why societies do not progress. Boldness, sincerity and honesty have always advanced societies and never the other way around.
Boko Haram Islamic State Movement, BHISM is bold and has the courage enough to go for what they consider good for themselves and their people. We must get the picture right, what one group may consider good for them may not necessarily feel good for the other people, but what does that matter. Each group should be able to define what is good for them and their people and be bold enough to go for it. So far, all the moves of the BHISM are commendable because the world has always belonged to those who are bold, sincere, honest and proactive and never to the sissies and the ‘politically correct’ ones. The chickens in heart only issue threats in such flowery languages that lull children and weak minds to sleep. They use some self-serving ‘politically correct’ languages and never effect any positive change whatsoever.
When any group has a genuine interest of their people at heart they will give a fight to preserve and advance those interests. As it is right now, all the Igbo, Yoruba and all other separatist ethnic and self-determination groups in Nigeria are nothing more than threat mongers. In self-delusion they issue warnings after warnings that are completely worthless and very aggravating to all observers because these watchers know that nothing ever gets done through the mere calling of bluffs. This is particularly pathetic since these groups are supposed to be the vanguards of their various ethnic people. But in the meanwhile they are morally bankrupt and are yet to consider their peoples’ cultures/religions and way of life worth fighting for not to talk of dying for. And the truth is that the so-called non-violent agitation is not what makes your method a better or more civilized, it is what one is fighting for that justifies their means. Down through the ages nothing that is meaningful has ever been achieved by any people by mere pronouncements that are not backed by enforceable sanctions. On the other hand, for all those who accomplish much, they just implement the details of their blueprints rather than make pronouncements after pronouncements that do not have the hearts of the announcers anywhere near their utterances. You become jokes when you continually make statements that you have no intention of backing up with actions.
All the activities of BHISM have remained consistent with the tenets of the sharia system. The 12 Northern Nigeria Sharia States have already adopted a set of legal system that they consider right and conducive for their people and why should anyone else complain about it. Among the implications of adopting the sharia legal system is that there should be strict implementation of the rules within the enclave where the laws apply. If therefore Borno State, Bauchi State and other 10 states have adopted sharia why would anybody frown at the moves of the members of Boko Haram Islamic State Movement trying to enforce the strict adherence to sharia within the Sharia States? Such frowning only amounts to nothing more than insincerity and hypocrisy on the side of the detractors. All those who find sharia too harsh should relocate. This is simple enough. Other people from other areas should go back to their own places and implement whatever they are comfortable with. Maybe in so doing they will be finally forced to sit down and honestly rethink the stupidity of one-Nigeria.
Written by Osita Ebiem.