UNITED NATIONS, EUROPEAN UNION AND NIGERIA'S BOKO HARAM
The recent report is that the United Nations and European Union have jointly condemned the spate of bombings, shootings and killings going on in Nigeria in the recent time. The group behind the mayhem is the Boko Haram Islamic State Movement. This group is a radical Islamic sect that is campaigning for a separate Islamic state from the current one-Nigeria. They need a separate state where they are free to implement full sharia. They have repeatedly claimed responsibility for all the bombings and killings incidents. A few thousands of people have so far been killed and there is no end in sight of the bloodletting.
Let’s hear what United Nations and European Union have to say about the situation in Nigeria: "We condemn such acts, which are an affront to the rule of law and democratic principles. There is no place in society for these horrific acts of violence and there should be no impunity for the perpetrators," They further stressed that the perpetrators should be prosecuted. At the first glance these statements are very impressive. But if you look at it again you will not miss that pattern of deception and insincerity, the familiar: “Democracy, free, fair and credible elections”. For those who have been following events, those words are the cure-all prescription for Africans. But Southern Sudan has changed it all and exposed the extent of dishonesty and deception in that sugar-coated poisoned phrase. There is a better option, no, a good option; the redrawing of the social/political map of Nigeria. “The perpetrators should be prosecuted” so said the UN and EU, wonderful, and that will cure the impunity? Go check it out, such impunity has been going on since 1945 and no punitive measures have ever been applied and no one has been deterred, of course.
The Boko Haram people are deeply grieved and they are making demands and giving conditions on which they can end the violence. And for anyone who is serious at finding real lasting solution to the issue the group’s demands and conditions must be looked into and addressed in an honest and sincere manner. Their demands are genuine and legitimate. They want to leave the deceit called one-Nigeria. Mere head-on confrontation by the Nigerian armed forces would only waste more lives and resources. Such un-negotiated and uncivilized approach may only succeed in running the group underground and they will surface sometime after and they will be deadlier than they had ever been. When the Boko Haram group first appeared in 2009 Nigerian government killed the leader and other members and declared a false victory thumping their chest, believing they had succeeded in crushing the group.
But starting from 2010 till now the group has come back with greater force to press for their demands and this time it seems like nothing is stopping them, not even extra-judicial killings of their members by the Nigerian government. They have incorporated suicide bombing in the arsenals at their disposal. How does Nigeria’s government plan to stop suicide bombing in a people who are fighting for the preservation of their religious faith and way of life? Very difficult, maybe near impossible.
The temporary suppression that will result from running the Boko Haram group underground will only be like the one achieved with the freedom fighters of the Niger Delta. You cannot buy out on a permanent basis a people’s right and conscience with money and go partying, celebrating your prowess at trickery. Anyone reading this piece should go write it down very boldly and constantly refer to it: A group of freedom fighters with deadlier slant will arise soon in the Niger Delta and this time they will be backed with a clearly defined ideology and better coordinated executions of their actions and objectives. No one can stop them with any bribes because then they will know that they cannot sell their future for any temporary quick-fixes which are only meant for the few who dared to enter the creeks and demand for the freedom of their Fatherland.
The new breed of freedom fighters will use the acquired skills from the various trainings they are currently receiving to the advantage of their cause and the interest of their Fatherland. After all, the resources used for their training were stolen from them and now released to them piecemeal as a “favor” by those who should have been at the receiving end in the first place. This time the freedom fighters will know that they are fighting not just for the few individuals in the battlefield and their today but for their little brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, at home who are the true victims of the cheatings and denials.
They will fight and not be tricked and deceived into dropping their arms until the last strangers and oppressors have been run out of their Fatherland. They are going to prove to the smooth-talking dishonest political operators that the days of their chicanery are over. The dishonest political jobbers will no longer have it so easy because all the intellectuals of the Niger Delta origin have been sufficiently mobilized and have come to the full realization of what Adaka Boro, Ken Saro Wiwa, John Togo died for. They now know Henry Oka is the people’s hero. They now know that the longer they hold Henry Oka in South African prison is the closer it hastens the day of the demise of one-Nigeria. You cannot continue to deny the people’s hero freedom and expect a free and functional society. Jonathan’s one-Nigeria is making a terrible mistake when they think they will continue to act with impunity against the Christian peoples of the south by continuing to kill, bomb and maim them. The Southern Christian intellectuals now know that it is not a battle to be left to just the brave boys and girls who sacrifice their comfort and time to patrol the creeks and constantly remind the invaders and despoilers, the looters and the plunderers that the indigenous owners of the land have come of age and must take back their natural inheritance and control 100% their wealth and future.
None of these new breed of freedom fighters will ever again mortgage their destiny to bribery with paltry sums that only last for immediate relief but cannot stretch to cover their tomorrow and that of their children. The original source of this bribe money came from the people’s plundered backyard and their mothers’ devastated farmstead, made desolate by foreigners and strangers who took the indigenous peoples for fools.
In the end what we are saying is that Boko Haram, Niger Delta Volunteer Force, NDVF, Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Middle Belt Federation, MBF, etc are all freedom fighters who want to free themselves and their peoples from the one-Nigeria bondage. All these people are fighting for who they are, what they believe in; their soul, that which defines them, their way of life. How does anyone think that they can stop such force by pretending that the people will outgrow the reason for their being?
The peoples of the present one-Nigeria do not belong together and must be separated rather than let them remain in perpetual mutual destruction of one another arising from mutual distrust. If the European Union thought that it is now honest enough and has earned a true moral right to be involved in this Nigerian matter then let them first merge the entire European countries into one country and call it One Nation of Europe. Does that sound ridiculous? But that is really how to, in the present circumstance, show a genuine interest in these Nigerian/African issues: By showing practical example then we in Nigeria and the rest of Africa can follow the lead. But if this recommendation sounds farfetched , then we need to restate here that Igbo people have nothing in common with Hausa, Fulani or Yoruba neither do these people have anything in common with Igbo and the only sincere and honest thing to do is to separate them into their original ethnic nations before the advent of the European colonization.
If we remember very well; this Boko Haram issue is supposed to be the internal affairs of a sovereign country and one begins to wonder why UN and EU are showing such interest in a Black African peoples’ internal matters? Think of it, about 44 years ago, worse killings were taking place against the Igbo/Biafra people within the same Nigeria and it stretched for four to five years. By the time it subsided, a total of 3.1 million people had been murdered in what is considered as the worst kind of ethnic/cultural genocide ever on the African continent. Then, while it lasted, it was regarded by U Thant’s United Nations, Organization of African Unity (now called African Union) and the rest of the world community as the internal affairs of a sovereign state.
Today 44 years after UN and EU are jointly condemning the on-going mayhem where a few thousands of people are getting murdered in the same Nigeria. That is a good thing but we need to remind them and the rest of the world that more than three million people were murdered in Biafra by the same Nigeria and Nigerians and no one is reopening the case. The victims of the atrocities will be interested in knowing when a statutory limit of prosecution in this sort of mass-murder case came into effect or is it just because it is Igbo/Biafra people who were involved?
For those who have been conversant with the activities and interests of these world organizations in the affairs of the peoples of the South of Sahara it is expected that the expressed concern would most likely not go beyond the mere statement of condemnation which in the first place is as good as not saying anything. For those who have watched closely, the pattern has been consistent, the United Nations’ as well as those of Europeans’ policies towards Black African countries have always been those of ad hoc and quick-fixes never that of genuine interest and the will to find effective and lasting solutions to the problems of the peoples of the South of Sahara.
Going by past events, any expressions by these bodies have never gone beyond skin-deep but so superficial that they actually become a travesty of human intelligence. But this time probably, as over the years a lot of water has passed beneath the bridge, they may actually begin to show more than mere ‘stop the killings’ interest in Black Africa. Maybe they will actually help to stop the killings by getting involved honestly and sincerely. Their next move will prove it.
The proof will begin to show when they begin to acknowledge the very apparent distinctions that exist among the various ethnic peoples of Nigeria and the rest of Black Africa. That will lead them to persuade the political leaders of Nigeria and other places in Africa that what they need is the restructuring of the social/political map of the entire place. Just for emphasis, can’t we see that whatever it is that makes it unreasonable for France and Britain to become one and the same country is also required to keep the Igbo from continuing in the same country with the Yoruba, Hausa and Fulani?
Written by Osita Ebiem.