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Theoretically placing the Boko Haram terrorism
A major challenge concerning the Boko Haram menace is the refusal of the sect leadership to come out publicly to state their grievance against the nation. So, how do we place the Boko Haram terrorism? We can only begin to theorise. First, their rumoured intention to ‘forcefully’ Islamise Nigeria is a mirage. At this age, religion can only be spread by peaceful teaching and systematic persuasion. Religious faiths are freely adopted and freely practiced. The world has gone far beyond the dark ages and nobody can unwind backward the hand of clock from this computer age. If their intention was to ‘Islamise Nigeria’, why did they start with killing their fellow Muslims? Their aim is not to Islamise Nigeria, it is only a mere pretence. Nigerians should face this fact and stop suspecting every Muslim.
The name ‘Boko Haram’ suggests a rejection of Western education or westernisation or modernisation. This can be interpreted to mean that they aim to stop western education or reverse the trend of westernisation or modernisation. This is also an impossible task. A visit to the Middle-East, from where Islam originated, and Saudi Arabia, the world headquarters of the Islamic faith, would display the wonders of western education and the glory of modernisation. With a spectacle of beautiful buildings and a network of well tarred roads, fresh fruits and vegetables, presentable poultry and an array of well packaged food stuff, standard medical health facilities with state of the earth equipments, wonder vehicles and latest electronic gadgets, among so many others, you will be surprised that the Middle-East is supposed to be vastly a desert land, but now turned around by western education, by modernisation and by God. Therefore, Nigerians should reject the theory that the Boko Haram sect’s aim is to reject western education and reverse the trend of westernisation or modernisation. It is also a mere pretence.
The coming up of the Boko Haram terrorism ‘coincided’ with the ascendancy of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Many may have looked at this occurrence as a mere coincidence. It is not. In actual fact, the Boko Haram terrorism is deliberately targeted at the presidency of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. It is the handiwork of a small clique of Nigerians, who are bent on achieving three main objectives. First, to make Nigeria ungovernable for President Jonathan, make him look incapable, and create the groundwork for justifying an impeachment or a military coup. The failure of the Nigerian armed, security and intelligence forces to overpower Boko Haram and the President’s reluctance to take drastic actions against the leadership of the security forces for this failure, are a gradual movement towards achieving that aim.
Second, to cow Nigerians into falling for the doctrine that: ‘if you can not beat them, you better join them’. Rumour has it that a campaign that is spreading in the North now is that the only way to be ‘protected’ from the Boko Haram killing is by becoming a Boko Haram member. This explains why the Boko Haram attacks had been indiscriminate in the first instance. Some idle talks at a newspaper stand show people contemplating sending messages to their family members in Yobe, Borno, Kano and Kaduna states to advise their brothers to join the Boko Haram sect as a way of ensuring that their families are shielded from Boko Haram attacks. This may explain why in spite of the superior fire power of the nation’s security forces, the evil sect is yet to be rid of members and able bodied foot soldiers.
Thirdly, they aim to deter President Jonathan from vying for the Presidency of Nigeria in the year 2015. The evil cabal behind the Boko Haram terrorism appreciates the power of incumbency and they know that in Nigeria and Africa of today, unlike Europe and the Americas, it is almost impossible to defeat an incumbent president from getting a second term under a free and fair elections system. Their strategy is therefore to use the instrumentality of social disorder and national insecurity to manipulate the political atmosphere and dictate all political negotiations and alignments in a way that will not favour the coming up of Jonathan as President in 2015.
But who are their sponsors and collaborators? The Boko Haram sect, as few as they are, have been battling the nation’s armed, security and intelligence forces yet, there are no reliable signals that the government is closer to liquidating them. What are the likely secrets behind the Boko Haram survival and endurance up till date? The answers can be theorised. For the Boko Haram terrorists to have endured this far, they must have been enjoying the benefits of the following: first, it is likely that they have the sponsorship and collaboration of people who have adequate knowledge and experience in strategic planning with special bias for military insurgency and counter-insurgency. To set up a private suicide army of any size, what goes into recruitment, indoctrination and training will be more than two years, and to successfully shield the movement from being detected and exposed for that long, takes the expertise of people well versed in military intelligence and counter-intelligence activities.
Following this logic, it is clear that the sponsors and collaborators of Boko Haram are a crop of serving and retired senior military officers, of very high ranks.
Secondly, the Boko Haram sect is most likely to have the sponsorship and collaboration of people who are very rich. People who have the financial muscle to fund a full fledge civil war against the government. As posited above, to set up a private suicide army, at least two years would be needed for recruitment, indoctrination, training and camping. This requires a lot of money. The stockpiling of arms and ammunition, the acquisition of buildings for operational bases, factories for bomb making, and sites for training and camping also requires a lot of money. People who are stunningly rich as to afford funding for this type of armed insurrection can only be found in the crop of former military heads of states, and or retired military generals who had been privileged to serve as federal ministers, armed forces chiefs and ambassadors.
Thirdly, the Boko Haram terrorists are likely to enjoy the sponsorship and collaboration of people who are ‘hard’ by training, orientation, experience and life style, apart from being well connected in military circles. The armed insurgency and counter-insurgency enterprise require people who are resolute, brutal, secretive and suicidal.
These attributes can only be found in the domain of the military, either serving or retired. Civilians don’t have these types of attributes. The most cowardly soldier is stronger that the most courageous civilian. Some prophets of doom based in Europe or America are reported to have devilishly predicted that Nigeria may not last beyond 2015. The Boko Haram menace is gradually moving Nigeria towards that precipice. Will President Jonathan take urgent actions to avert that prophesy? God help Nigeria.
written by Raphael Nweze, July 16, 2012