Boko Haram’s brazen actions
I have opined in the past that Boko Haram is not operating alone. In one week, they succeeded in kidnapping over 200 students from a government girls college in Chibuk and detonating Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) at a busy park in Abuja suburb of Nyanja.
Sometime back, the President admitted that there were members of Boko Hara in his cabinet.
At that time, there was some form of ambivalence to the extent that unbelief was mixed with apparent anger over the helplessness of Mr. President. In the state of Borno, where there is a State of emergency, including two other states in the North East Senatorial zone, the Islamic set seem to be having a field day, unchecked by security operatives. I am of course, not unaware of previous claims of sabotage.
Boko Haram members are clearly operating with audacity. Pastor Enoch Adeboye stated in his Open Heavens devotional, 'The confidence a man exudes depend on the power backing him up.' Boko Haram is confident because they are backed up by powerful people, many of who believe they are untouchable. The sophisticated weaponry in their arsenal cost a tremendous amount of money. In one of their last operations, they used over fifteen (15) Toyota Hilux vans. A poor Mallam on the street can barely afford three meals a day, not to talk of buying a truck that costs over one million Naira. The other day, I saw a scantily dressed Fulani herdsman with an AK-47 riffle on his shoulders. Boko Haram is not alone.
The faceless supporters and sympathizers of Boko Haram must be fished out and dealt with immediately. The adage is that a stitch in time saves nine. Apparently, we don't have to go into deep waters to fetch them as they are known. The question becomes where do we get the needed will power to prosecute them. It is beyond argument that Boko Haram is political creation and the supporters are mostly northern elites. The sect may have gone haywire and not fully controllable, but its genesis can only be denied by a fool.
When a northern Muslim politician states unequivocally that he will make the country ungovernable, we don't have to read between the line because his treasonable statements unquestionably self-incriminating. We do not need to wait for additional comments concerning bleeding 'dogs and baboons' nor do we need to wait till 2015. Those in the South may not be as angered as they will be if the killings were happening here. However, we should not have a false sense of security.
Never underestimate an enemy that has declared war on you. We must act now and cut off the head of the serpent and all its relatives. There can be no negotiating with an enemy that has no conscience and no reasonable complaint except to kill with no restraint. The only solution is an outright war and to crush the head of the serpent because that is the only solution.
A slap on the face of the President was when he offered Boko Haram amnesty and they rejected it. In my piece last year title 'Boko Haram Offer & Rejection of Amnesty, I stated as follows: 'It actually makes sense that Boko Haram rejected the amnesty offer based on their antecedents. They claim they have done nothing wrong and as such, there is nothing to forgive them for, which to them is what agreeing to amnesty will signify. In other words, they did nothing wrong by killing and maiming countless numbers of people with, machetes, bullets and bombs, In their warped conception, the victims in the Kano luxurious bus parks, UN bombing, churches and police stations were justifiably 'eliminated'. In that same article, I asked 'What about the brazen and dastardly attack on police stations and military/Joint Task Force (JTF) checkpoints by Boko Haram members?'
A woman who is attacked by a rapist does not agree to additional act of sodomy in preparation for the impending death. Her only option is to kill that enemy because the enemy wants to kill her and her entire family. Yes there are human rights concerns, but the situation has clearly gone out of hand. Nigerians be warned. We must collectively eliminate Boko Haram. It is everyone's problem.
Only a foolish neighbor says that the burning house next door dos not concern him, forgetting that there is an adjourning wall and that the fire can easily pass through the roof or asbestos and engulf even his own residence.
Just like I have written before concerning the Fulani herdsmen being easy recruits for Boko Haram, there are many other poor northerners in the southern parts of Nigeria, whether they be your gateman (me guard), shoemaker, bureau de change Alhaji, watch salesman, abattoir operator or simply a daily laborer that just want to carve out a living.
We are inextricably linked together as Nigerians and have a common destiny. The brazen actions of Boko Haram cannot be overlooked or handled with kid gloves. Now is the time to stop them. As we say in the centenary celebration 'I am Nigeria. Nigeria is me!'
*Akpodiete is an ordained reverend, author, Computer Scientist, Educator, Consultant, lawyer, Political Analyst & Social commentator. He has a Doctorate degree in Jurisprudence from the US. He has lectured Law, Ethics and Security & Intelligence Studies at the University level here in Nigeria and US. He also writes for a state daily newspaper & national monthly journal. He currently divides his time between Nigeria and USA where he runs an international capacity building firm. Contact him on 08138391661 or [email protected],