Nigeria at 52 Independent Speech: The President vs Boko Haram

By IndepthAfrica
In Article
Oct 2nd, 2012

While the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, GCFR and the commander in chief of the Armed Forces, was giving his Independence Day address on NTA, the head of the terrorist leadership Mujahdeen Abubakar Shekau, Supreme Commander of the Jammatu Ahlis Sunnati

Ludawati Wahl Jihad aka Boko Haram was giving his own Independence Day address on YouTube.

The irony is so explicit. While one made vague promises of upliftment and development, the other promised more death and destruction. Meanwhile the war against the insurgents persists with the military smiling to the bank. A huge security vote; larger than education, healthcare and agriculture put together. New equipment and hardware: flak jacket factory, night vision goggles courtesy of the Americans, special training and establishment of special anti-terrorism units backed by brand new weaponry and surveillance gadgetry.

The Nigerian military never had it so good thus making us pacifists alarmed and perturbed. Considering the history of Nigeria is such a strong military desirable in the face of a weak democracy? Aren’t we equipping 1 monster to kill another? So what will happen when the job’s finally done and there is no more Boko Haram to wage war against?

Violence begets more violence. The cycle is difficult to break till something gives. Growth and development are sacrificed on the platter of a senseless war against insurgents. Many won’t agree but I still stand that this is a war that won’t be won by bullets and guns. Ask the Americans? 11yrs in Afghanistan and have the Talibans been crushed? The British fought in Burma for 30yrs against a determined insurgency.

The British fought 72yrs against the IRA. 3yrs into war against the Nigerian terrorists can anyone confidently say this war will be over within the next 5yrs? Thus let’s truly seek to end this. Since dialogue with the terrorist leadership is the only way to escape this but they are not accessible.

The military obviously won’t want this. The men chopping fictitious security vote that breeds more Insecurity won’t want this. But the facts remain that money meant for development of social infrastructure, education, jobs; etc. will fore ever be channelled to fight this war of attrition.

That is why no matter the promises and vision of the President I seriously doubt he will be able to fulfil his lofty dreams! And for those who believe so much in the mantra “Government should never negotiate with terrorists!” I wish to point out that the same people who drew up this script violate it when it’s convenient for them. The British negotiated with the IRA, Israel with Hizbollah and the West with Ghaddafi!

So if we are all ready for a 20yr war against Boko Haram and a military that grows stronger with every passing day while democratic institutions get weaker by the minute, then the option of dialogue should never be considered.
If the government to negotiate and sect refuse to adhere the Military are free to wipe them out but the war against them should not allow it to be endless to the detriment of others sectors of Nigeria’s economy

Emmanuel Nicholas

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