Solving Nigeria’s Security Challenges
Published on January 28, 2013 by pmnews · No Comments
BY BEN NANAGHAN
Late last year, I resolved never to write on the twin topics of Boko Haram and General Olusegun Obasanjo because whatever you wrote would not stop the duo from doing what they know how to do best-setting the polity aflame via inciting harangues that could egg the military to topple any government in power.
Since President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan won the April 2011 election former President Olusegun Obasanjo has variously and severally called for a Nigerian Arab Spring and an outright revolution all in an attempt to bring the President Jonathan administration to a cataclysmic and an abrupt end. And in December 2012 the former president who believes he possesses all the solutions to Nigeria’s problems in his kitty advised against another civil war in Nigeria.
But today we hear that President Jonathan has reached out to his political godfather and granted all his requests including conceding the Peoples Democratic Party, Board of Trustees Chairmanship to Gen. Obasanjo’s candidate. Other concessions could be the usual ever ready long list for federal appointments.
And so, since the war between father and son is over Nigeria will experience some respite from the General Obasanjo Sector as the carrot-and-stick exponent has been appeased with enough carrots to last a life time.
But by far the more intractable of the two evils is the boko haram scourge. If President Goodluck Jonathan believes that he can appease the northern mafia by giving all federal government appointments to them, then he should return to the drawing board. This is because boko haram is a northern political machinery to harass, torment, frustrate and make the President voluntarily relinquish power or be forced out of power.
Those who vowed to make Nigeria ungovernable did not express themselves via secret wikileak documents. They proclaimed their threat through press conferences in the fullest glare of the whole world. And these same frustrated and defeated politicians have transformed a rag tag, bow and arrow, cutlass wielding boko haram outfit to one of the most sophisticated, most equipped and most daring Islamic fundamentalist groups in Africa. It is incredible to realize that boko haram even attacks soldiers in their own barracks.
I feel very pained and melancholic when people insinuate the pedestrian argument that boko haram is as a result of infrastructural decay in the North, youth pauperization and lack of education for the youth. If there is infrastructural decay in the North, is the state of infrastructure better in the south? If there is youth unemployment in the north, have they been to Lagos where the area boys syndrome is the order of the day? Or have these exponents of infrastructural decay been to the creeks of the Niger Delta where there are no infrastructure and even no schools at all?
Even if there is infrastructural decay in the north, why is it that the Christians in Kaduna, Taraba, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa and even Yobe are not killing and maiming humans of their kind? The truth is that those northerners who lost the April 2011 primaries and elections are all Moslems and they found it most convenient to reach out to their Islamic constituency to convince jihadist-oriented Islamic fundamentalists to unleash mayhem to avenge their electoral defeat and make Nigeria ungovernable for President Goodluck Jonathan.
And the North has displayed an overwhelming consipitorial silence of approval for boko haram and its atrocities to make Nigeria ungovernable. This is because the North according to a former Northern President is “born to rule”
The North is so inured to power and rulership that they are like fish out of water when out of power. Since 1957 when Nigeria had her self-government, the north has ruled Nigeria for years while the south has governed for only 15 years including President Jonathan three years. When the North felt that their grip on power was becoming too scandalous, they approached General Olusegun Obasanjo to rule Nigeria for them but on behalf of the south. General Obasanjo accepted and ruled four years for the North and ruled the remaining four years for the south. Obasanjo planned for a 3rd term but the north vehemently opposed this move as they felt the tough general did not play according to their rules in his 2nd term.
It is therefore illogical to reason that infrastructural decay, lack of developmental efforts and pauperization gave birth to the scourge of boko haram.
Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar in his recent contribution to the chaotic situation in the North concluded that it will take over 15 years to overcome the economic and social devastation the North has been through. The former Head of State was not a billionaire when he became head of State on 8 June 1998 but today just one year in government made all the difference in his bourgeois status. The former accidental Head of State has no locus standi to be a judge in his own case. History will be the best judge. Today General Abubakar represents Nigeria in various international fora as the best that can represent this country. Nigerians should weep for this country because there is no former Nigerian leader who is qualified to represent this country at any international fora either for election or conference matters. However, the late General Murtala Mohammed would be an exception here.
By far the most acceptable and most candid of opinions from the north has been from the Senate President, Senator David Mark who posits that poverty should not be an excuse for killing and maiming fellow humans and making Nigeria ungovernable, after all poverty is not restricted to the North alone as it is unfortunately pervasive all over the country. Senator Mark is appalled by the tacit acceptance of these bestial Islamic fundamentalists by the Northern elite.
The northern elite who reorganized and equipped boko haram have all kept sealed lips over the atrocities being perpetrated by the horrendous miscreants. From the most senior government officials of Northern Origin to the messenger at the Presidency and throughout the entire civil service no one has come out openly to challenge boko haram as senator David Mark, the Sultan of Sokoto, His Royal Eminence Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad III and Mrs Sarah Jibril have done.
The Sultan of Sokoto has become so obsessed in finding solutions to this security challenge created by Adamu Ciroma and his cohorts that I fear he may have lost so much sleep. The highly intelligent and fearless ruler has appealed to all in the north and even in the south to rally round the president to find solutions to this odious menace. In those glorious days of yore the Sultan’s word was law and no one flouted it. But today these heartless militants even went that far to attempt to kill the Emir of Kano and his two sons after eliminating three of his guards. In the days of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the late former Sultan of Sokoto and former premier of Northern region, nobody dared challenge the Sultan’s authority. This total disregard for royalty is a phenomenon that is now widespread in Nigeria. You now hear of armed youths sacking the king’s palace. This happened in Delta State last year when irate youths stormed a king’s palace in Sapele Local Government Area.
Rather than abating, the insecurity introduced by the frustrated politicians is widening in scope and organization as a new Islamic group known as JAMBS (Jama’atu Ansarul Muslinminafi Biladis-Sudan) on Saturday, 19 January, 2013 attacked a two-bus load convoy of Nigerian soldiers on their way to Mali, killing two soldiers with an IED device. This boko haram break away group is led by someone whose name I do not want to make popular.
The Northern elite must appeal to their creatures to cease fire and make Nigeria a better place for all Nigerians whether it is northern Nigeria or southern Nigeria. After all the “Malum Pomum” theory states that one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.
Enough is enough!
•Nanaghan wrote from Lagos. E-mail: [email protected]