A NATION AT WAR WITH ITSELF - THE DAWN OF THE SECOND NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR
To say the least, the submissive and tepid reaction of the Nigerian President to the latest round of violence unleashed on the citizenry by Boko Haram was irksome and left a sour taste in the mouth.
This belated reaction of Goodluck Jonathan, coming several hours after many world leaders had condemned the attack, was most un-reassuring and spoke volumes about the hopelessness of the current state of insecurity in Nigeria. Confusion and disarray had been the official response to the growing calamity. Whether any nation has ever survived two civil wars is something that only time would tell.
The latest in the series of Boko Haram atrocities was wrought on the Nigerian people on Christmas Day. I write with a heavy heart. I write this as a memoriam to those who have lost their lives to the dastardly acts of this satanic group. I write this in sympathy with the numerous families who have lost dear ones and bread winners as a result of the deficiencies of the Nigerian state.
A state despoiled by its rulers and one that nurtured the birth and growth of terrorism. Nigeria is a nation in bondage. I write to express my horror and anger with the continued state of anarchy reigning in our land.
The signs are ominous and the message frightening. Nigeria is at war. The much dreaded Nigerian second civil war has commenced. A nation at war is a nation in turmoil; it is one reeling from one catastrophe to another. A nation at war is a nation that knows no peace, one in confusion.
Such is the sad tale of present day Nigeria. The second Nigerian civil war commenced on the day Boko Haram was formed. Nigeria has been in denial of the reality of this second civil war. However, the Nigerian people would benefit better from accepting the fact of our second odyssey with war.
In 2002, Maiduguri became the arrowhead of what the combustive process threatening to tore Nigeria apart. Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf started Boko Haram, an organization formed principally to main, destroy or conquer the Nigerian nation.
Mohammed Yusuf was an avowed enemy of democracy and Western education who promised that his war would continue for long “if the political and educational system in Nigeria was not changed”. His group sought to implement Islamic type of education and political order in Nigeria, akin to what was obtained in Afghanistan during the Taliban era.
The seed laid by Yusuf in Maiduguri about nine years ago has become a festering sore that has devoured many innocent souls and one that is promising to bring an end to the entity called Nigeria. Whilst the growing legion of unemployed youths has made the possibility of Arab spring type of social disorder a possibility in our dear country, Boko Haram has exposed the hypocrisy in the underbelly of our sociopolitical order.
The Biafra war was fought along a mostly conventional line with standing armed forces. However, the Boko Haram war has been completely non-conventional and barbaric, borrowing in the psychotic principles of war made popular by the brainwashed fanatics of the monolithic era of the Taliban in Afghanistan. By its very modus operandi, Boko Haram has thrown Nigeria into the league of nations reeling under the turbulence wreaked by frenzied religious psychotics. In this infamous roll call are countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and now Nigeria.
Though Boko Haram strategy has been unconventional, yet the stigmata of war abounds. Families are mourning and licking wounds, infrastructures are paralyzed, children made orphans and wives made widows. Generally, citizens are living under an atmosphere of fear and apprehension. The land is filled with destructions, agonies and sorrows. How did we get to this stage? What really went wrong?
Nigeria was a tumescent conflagration that was just waiting to get to boiling point. It is tempting to say that Boko Haram stemmed from entrenched sociopolitical inequalities and iniquities borne out of insincerity in the acts of governance. Nigeria has been besotted with incorrigible and ignominious leaders' right from independence. The focus of leadership has been despoliation and pillaging of the land. Our leaders neglected the basic ethics of governance and showed monumental disdain for the needs of the governed. The end result was the poverty and ignorance that pervaded the land.
In this festering mess, Usaz Yusuf found a comfortable bed. He exploited the existing mess to provide a false solace to a people disenchanted with the status quo. He clothed his sick ideology in the guise of a much-abused and exploited religion (Islam) to foment anguish on Nigeria. Yusuf needed Islam to convince ignorant and hungry Northerners. We are all living witnesses to the consequences of the staggering failure of the Nigerian state today.
O. Claudius Adeniyi