The Nigerian government wrongful boasts that it has “downgraded ” Boko Haram to a level where they are no longer a threat to Nigeria. Tukur Buratai, head of Nigeria’s army , pays a lot by way of public relations to have his name described by the nation’s for-sale media as a “gallant hero “. I think the general and I both know that he is the most inadequate person for that job. His men die daily. Worse, civilian casualties increase everyday. Those in IDP camps live in horrendous destitution.
There are reasons that the putative insurgency cannot end now. For instance, Katsina state governor, Aminu Masari has said that ” we have given amnesty to bandits and cattle russlers”.A euphemism for saying that he has paid killers. But for how long? This is a clear indication that Nigeria’s security arrangement has collapsed very badly.
Before we give some obvious reasons why these killers thrive, why Nigerians temble and can’t travel without being kidnapped or killed, let us take a look at a UN report on Boko Haram that gives the lie to Mr Buratai’s claims.
The United Nations Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon,In an address to a conference on Boko Haram and the problems of the North East said, among other things, that,
“Rising insecurity in recent months has pushed over 130,000 newly displaced people on a long trudge. Arriving en masse to displaced camps, they are looking upon us for aid and protection. Despite challenges, we cannot let them down.
“Against a backdrop of increased and violent attacks against civilians and humanitarian actors, more than ever, we must unite and combine efforts to secure progress and achievements.
‘’We must continue building on years of relentless solidarity from first and foremost, Nigerians, government actors, civil society and local communities who have themselves suffered loss and from the international humanitarian community.”
For those able to keep figures shrouded in secrecy, the UN ,for instance, put the number of civilian deaths at 27,000 since the problem began in 2009. Some say that those numbers are over -abbreviated. That, it is much more higher. And one isn’t even talking of the millions of internally displaced persons whose lives are altered forever.
Only last weekend multiple attacks on Nganzai left more than 50 innocent civilians dead. 27 more will die in Katsina and women abducted. Reacting to this, Mr Kallon said
“This is a stark reminder that the conflict is still actively raging in the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, and the subsequent humanitarian crisis is far from over.
‘’We also grieve for the loss of fellow aid workers in the North-East, in Kaduna State, in other states, and in the very place where we are gathered today (yesterday).
‘’Their memories live on vividly in our hearts and minds and their dedication in service of humanity should continue to be an inspiration to us all.”
There are reasons why Boko Haram and allied killers won’t end now. Why the government keeps lying and why life for millions of Nigeria will be without peace. We shall only name three but before that, here is a flurry of spirit-extirpating tweets from Femi Fani-Kayode which basically says everything:
“Like Boko Haram you want sharia spread in every state of the Federation.
Like Boko Haram you want Muslims to vote for only Muslims.
Like Boko Haram you believe that an attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the north.
You opposed the proscription of Boko Haram in 2013.(1/2)
You gave them more money than any oher President to Boko Haram in ransoms.
You freed more Boko Haram members than any other President.
You were their friend and mentor and they appointed you as their Chief Negotiator in 2013. (2/3)
You allowed them to take more Nig. territory than at any other time since 2013.
You have placed an embargo on media reportage of their most terrible atrocities and victories.
You left Leah Sharibu with them, abandoned her and left her for dead because she is a Christian. (3/4)
Finally they are killing our soldiers and you are keeping it quiet and burying them secretly in mass graves. Is this because most of those that you deploy to the frontline and that have been killed are from the south and Middle Belt and you do not want Nigerians to hear…(4/5)
..their names,know their faith or know where they come from?Please tell us where you buried the gallant 1000 troops that Boko Hatam murdered and that the Wall Street Journal claims that you have hidden from us.They deserve to be honored and they deserve a befitting burial. (5/6)
Finally please tell us why you do these things? What have the Nigerian people done to offend you?
Why do you love Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen so much? Why do you enjoy it when Nigerian blood flows and when the Nigerian people weep, mourn wear black and shed tears?”
Now three reasons:
Factor A) Boko Haram looks like a self- created monster. And this is more like a Frankenstein -type. The one that destroys even the creator because it is programed to do so. The fiends now appear relish the notoriety and fortune that come with the job. And it appears that when they were first recruited, they were not given the proper terms of reference. Here is a hypothetical example. “Disarm and go home when Jonathan has been defeated. We won’t be needing you again.”. That would have been clearer. But,again, understand that this is just an example.
Because neither the recruiter nor the recruited understood why they were in business,thus bad blood was created.
Those who wise up, who no longer want to be Mr Buhari’s and Buratai’s political and financial guinea pigs are pulled aside and incorporated into the army and police.
Facto B) The Government makes money from Boko Haram and allied killers.
Because Mr Buhari’s government spends money like a drunken sailor, no budgets,for instance, each time there is peace, the ministry of Defence becomes broke. What then happens? Attacks will occur, people will die to justify the need for more money to “fight insecurity “. Gullible international organisations often fall for this too.
The civil servants in the ministry of defence who will “approve” the money for the GOCs first put aside their share. There are understandings in these matters.
And an officer who wants to be professional? Do the right thing? Well, he/she gets an early retirement.Or worse.
Factor C and finally, for now) .Insecurity is one of the few reasons Buhari is still in power .
Here is what I mean: The entire arrangement was that Jonathan was weak hence bombs,Chibok, etc everywhere. Even after worsening the problem 4 years later, Mr Buhari must still appear to “fight insecurity”. After a few attacks like last weekend’s in Borno and Katsina, those crying will worry less about the economy or whether Mr Buhari won the election. They just want to stay alive.
Incidentally, last year, an insecure president Buhari handed Donald Trump (without the approval of Nigeria’s National Assembly) $490 Billion to buy Tuscano jets to “fight insecurity “. The negotiator took the money and told Mr Buhari to go home and “stop the kiling of Christians”. No fighter planes and no refunds. Why was Mr Buhari not bothered? If Mr Buhari was committed to ending terror as he lied at Chatham House in January of 2015, he could. The mess can be undone in a week. But where is the will?
This government can’t end insecurity because everything looks like committing thy cure to the hands of the same physician that wounded thee. Apologies, Shakespeare.