The Nigerian Military Is Still Struggling In The War On Terror Because Of The Lack Of A Sense Of National Unity In The Nigerian People
Whether it is 150 or as many as 2,000 people who were killed in the town of Baga and within its surrounding areas, it matters not; one reality stands clear--these are our brothers and sisters.
This latest attack by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, like all other attacks, is heartbreaking to all good faith Nigerians, and this is not the time to start blaming the military.
In fact, even if our military were armed with the newest and the best war equipment from the world's superpowers, America especially, and even if the personal quality of Nigerian soldiers and intelligence informants were to become remarkably improved, the insurgents would continue getting more emboldened because of the open disunity among Nigerians.
The Boko Haram violence and terrorist attacks are increasingdue to the people's silence, our deep sectarian tension, chronic ethnic divide and the ruthless politicization around the Boko Haram extremism.
Now that Boko Haram is using our children as suicide bombers, where is the loud voice and collective protest in the Muslim North and the Christian South areas of the nation?
Insecurity has become so pervasive in Nigeria, in the North especially, because of possible
cooperation between internally angry political persons/groups, politically toxic persons and internal security traitors, and this hasstrengthened the ability of Boko Haram to know where to focus their terrorist attacks.
The world does not see a demonstration of military support by Nigerian citizens in the form of mass marchers and protestors. What the world does seeare politicians acting seemingly indifferent and complaining about the military, a form of collective dissonance, and, as such, collective crisis and internal disunity will continue to wrap around the military, no matter their best leadership efforts.
We saw how Americans became united and unified in the months following 9/11, and recently we saw in France the massive gathering in response to the Charlie Hebdo attack with the anti-terrorism rally in Paris. We need the same for our military now.
Our military needs to see an atmosphere of unity and a sense of community by Muslim northerners and Christian southerners.This would also serve to remind the Boko Haram insurgents that underneath our tribal, religious and class divisions, the nation is in support of our men and women in uniform, dead or alive. We must make it clear that Nigerians will not allow our differences to define us when it comes to our stand against the vicious acts of Boko Haram whose sole aim is to create a repugnant, poisonous and divisive environment in Nigeria to the benefit of all those who want to see our nation in perpetual crisis, something they see as reactively beneficial for them.
As the election get closer, no matter its outcome, the Nigerian military is for all of us and we must always rush to their side as they fight to secure the nation, no matter how long it takes to bring full freedom to the entire North, since a free North is a win for the South and ultimately a safer life for all of us in our movements and for our properties across the nation.
We should remember the war our military is fighting now is the wrong war, happening in the wrong place, and at the wrong time.Instead, they should be preparing for and waging war against our real enemies, not against our vulnerable youths and children who are being mentally and physically misused by the Islamist militant group whosesole purpose is to bleed Nigeria to the point of national bankruptcy and disunity.
Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi is a Forensic, Clinical and National Psychologist and a former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Psychological Association. [email protected]