BOKO HARAM: IGNORANCE, FANATICISM AND LEADERSHIP FAILURE
Without mincing words, I am using this opportunity to commiserate with the families which lost loved ones in Boko Haram attacks. I wish those injured speedy recovery from the 'absurd' (according to the White House) and 'senseless' bomb blasts by the Islamist group. It was the bloodiest Christmas ever experienced by Nigerians since 1960.
Albert Einstein, the German-born physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, has this to say on the life of individuals. He said. 'The life of the individual only has meaning insofar as it ails in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful, life is sacred, that is to say, it is the supreme value to which all other values are subordinate'. The idea of human society is generous, encouraging you to see yourself as living among other people, and to identify yourself as one of those people, with common purpose and problems.
Great evil is achieved by abnormal few. Terrorists embrace actions that will contribute to human suffering, never give chance or opportunity to develop an egalitarian society, individual freedom, particularly freedom of thought and expression. They harm another people due to lack of intelligent choices, behaviours and actions. They always pick what seems most comfortable and not what is realistic. Their behaviour undermines the civilities of ordinary life. They always resort to violence, which is anti-thesis of democracy. Violence is a creed of uncivilized and weak people with mental and spiritual bankruptcy. Violence is brutish. It is anti-social, anti-national and also anti-international. Undoubtedly, violence is a sin against humanity.
Faith and violence are opposite. Faith, according to my little Oxford Dictionary is ' trust, belief especially in religion' but this sect or cult belief is 'not resting on logical proof or material evidence'. This group are set of fideists with the belief that reason cannot achieve certain kinds of truth, which must instead be accepted only by faith. They are a set of people which Mencius, the Chinese Confucian-philosopher says '…act without clear understanding, to form the habit without investigation, to follow a path all one's life without knowing where it really leads-such is the behaviour of the multitude'.
Meanwhile, being very ignorant and naive of their religion's ethics, they believe real change can only come about through coercion or violence and not through education, dialogue and a change of heart. They don't even know that the purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one, from the words of Horace Mann. This set of people does not realise that all life is interrelated in one way or the other. In a century when people are working hard to change the world to a better place to live, they are turning themselves to masters of destruction. Boko Haram cult has killed more than five hundred people and injured many with their bloody bomb blasts in 2011.
Boko Haram has been operating and killing innocent people since 2009 and the weak central government has not found a solution to protect citizens. The country's police and security system have failed woefully. Despite huge investments in terms of votes and wages for our representatives, and duplicated cabinet / executive officials, who are draining the economy with their wages and allowances, they have not come out with good ideas and strategies to save the lives and property of citizens. Armed robbery strikes today, kidnappings tomorrow, and bomb blast near the police headquarters next tomorrow.
Everybody lives in fear in a sovereign entity. Are we not living in a state of nature where human life becomes 'solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short' according to Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679). Religion is a concept of life, love and friendship. The goal of any religious evolution is the oneness of man and man, and of man and God. Organisations with a religious background are actors and partners in relief, reconstruction and development programmes and projects Boko Haram members, to me, are not real or devout Muslims.
One of the ideals of Muslim life is the attainment of peace on all fronts. But, these people are heartless, hired terrorists sponsored by disgruntled leaders to derail the foundation of democratic process in Nigeria. They are being paid for political interests. They lied to the world with fake requests of 'turning Nigeria into Muslim state' and the 'western education is sinful' stuff. Where would they be without western education? They have been brainwashed with the notion of Jihad (which means struggle). It is just a mission impossible for a secular nation like Nigeria to yield to these absurd requests. out fear, threat or prejudice.
Human beings are the best creation on the earth as we have made progress in many areas of science, technology, sports, arts, cultures, and so on. If the people are not safe, nothing can be achieved. The country's vision to be among the league of the first twenty industrialised economies of the world by the year 2020 will be just a dream with insecurity of life. Nigerians will not tolerate a society with one set of safety standards for those with money and a set of inferior standards for those without.The government of a country has a responsibility to ensure the well-being and security of all citizens.
Akande writes from Barcelona, Spain