So, in his dream, we came together, said our prayers, and wished our brave brothers/soldiers, the Defenders of the Muslims, good luck. ‘Kill the Christians, every single one of them; the Catholics, the Anglicans, those White Garment people in the South, kill them all!’ Then trays were passed around and we gave our bullets and bombs, and strapped them up, provided petrol to power their cars and bikes, and bade them goodbye. In his dreams, ‘Boko Haram’ was substituted with ‘Coalition of Nigerian Muslims’. That’s the only thing I believe could have earned me the tag of ‘Boko Haram apologist’.
Then my friend had to go on and justify (and recommend even more) reprisals. This isn’t for me; I’m not writing to vindicate myself, or to indict him. But then I’d like to ask; how sensible is it for a man to fight his neighbour by setting his own home on fire and murdering his own family in cold blood? Who loses – him, or the neighbour? If Boko Haram is truly a ‘Northern Agenda’ like most claim; something formed to seize power from the South, would it be working so hard to destroy the Northern Elders’ ‘fan base’; their own people? Would these ‘Northern Elders be crippling their own economy? Would they be driving away potential investors? People scream ‘the North’ like it’s a big, bad mafia and everyone is initiated. What they seem to not realize, however, is that there are over two hundred tribes in the North – the society is in no way homogenous.
It would also be extremely wrong to assume that every Northerner is a Muslim. True, most of our leaders have been from the North. But were they the only ones who helped us get to this point? While we avoid people who are not from our geo-political zones, those in power are united in stealing. They don’t discriminate against each other when they want to steal. Muslims alone don’t steal while Christians condemn them, or vice-versa. The looting is done by both parties! I wrote about Boko Haram earlier, mainly from an Islamic point of view.
From MY Nigerian point of view, however, I refuse to turn a blind eye to questions begging for answers. Why is it that whenever a suspect is apprehended, he either magically escapes or winds up dead? Why is it that a high profile member of this same organization was apprehended in a government house? Why is it that we heard about arms being intercepted, but never got to hear about any further investigation? Consider Boko Haram at inception; a group of amateur shooters who rode on motorcycles and targeted police men.
Now, consider present day Boko Haram; bombings carried out with sophistication and military precision. What happened, and which is more likely; they suddenly became smart, or the ‘idea’ was hijacked? If extra-judicial killings are covered up with ‘JTF engaged suspected Boko Haram members in a fierce gun battle’, why can’t other heinous murders be covered up in the name of Boko Haram too? You may ask ‘why are they not attacking mosques?’ kindly recall how they started. That, more than anything, proves that something is amiss. The plan? Attack Christians, and sooner or later, they will ‘fight back’. With people like him justifying reprisals, it really isn’t rocket science, is it? Then when we’re all up in arms against each other, we’ll split. For those who are so quick to cite the Sudanese example, I hope you know that those in the South still kill each other over cows and grazing and fish ponds! Yes, there have been crises in the past, many that seemed rather unnecessary (violence mostly always is), but how often do the rich and powerful die or lose their children in these riots? How often do these things happen in areas where the rich live? A poor man is more likely to lash out at the slightest provocation. A poor man is angry and frustrated, and wants an avenue to vent his anger. The best way to establish control over people is to keep them poor.
Money is not the root of all evil; the lack of it is what pushes men to evil. A poor man is hungry, a hungry man is angry. That anger would be a lot more productive if it was channeled properly – towards the ones who keep us in bondage, and not towards other tribes. I refuse to believe anyone would kill their people to%20make a point. It doesn’t work that way. It’s not logical. The oil is in the south; the militants could hold us to ransom because they were sitting on our ‘lifeline’. The best place for them to strike was their home. This might just be the perfect excuse for each region to occupy their resources. With a Biaffran state set to be declared soon (by November, actually), aren’t we gradually moving towards that point? Would breaking up put and end to kidnapping, or armed robbery, or poverty? Misplaced priorities are the order of the day.
Did you know that Nigerians are the most educated group of people in the%20US? Imagine a sane country where the real problems of orientation, poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment were solved, and imagine these Nigerians applying their knowledge right here at home. Our doctors are fleeing! Everyone wants to leave, and that’s one of the symptoms of a failed state. Opposition parties in Nigeria are a joke; they play regional politics. They try hopelessly to clap with one hand when the PDP is making music with bombs and SMGs. Misplaced priorities; we’re governed by a band of bumbling baboons, and instead of caging them, we let them run free.
Misplaced priorities; we engage in blame trading instead of uniting against the common enemy.
Nigeria, I hail.