Sunday, January 1, 2012

Boko Haram: Beyond the presidential tears at Madalla

Finally the president is talking.  That is a very good way to start the New Year and I am happy President Goodluck Jonathan has finally realized that the ship of state is enormously threatened by the activities of the hoodlums called Boko Haram.  Continued presidential naivety and apathy would sink the entity called Nigeria.
President Jonathan
I was one of those embittered when the president decided to cancel Nigeria’s 51st Independence Anniversary celebration at the Eagle’s Square, Abuja last year because of the fear of Boko Haram.  That is not certainly how a Commander in Chief of a national armed forces ought to act.  The position of a military general is not for the lily-livered or chicken-hearted.  It is one that demands enormous courage, strength of character and audacity.
Crucial among his assignment as head of state and commander in chief is the protection of Nigeria’s territorial integrity from both external and internal centrifugal forces.  Boko Haram seeks to tear Nigeria apart.  It seeks to exacerbate the country’s poor economic situation and to rubbish the more the name of Nigeria in the comity of nations.  No president worth his sort would sit and watch a group damage his people’s psyche the way Boko Haram has done in the last few years.   
Clearing corpse from bomb site in Madalla
I commend Jonathan for visiting Madalla himself to meet with families of the victims of Boko Haram’s barbaric Christmas Day bombing. I learnt the president shed tears on seeing the agonizing faces of grieving family members of the victims.  Many of these families just don’t think there is anything to be happy about now even as others around them echo the traditional ‘Happy New Year’ greetings.
What is there to be happy for the 13-year old Nancy who lost her parents and three siblings in the Xmas bombing?  She is the only surviving member of her family and she survived only because she pleaded with her parents to allow her stay back at home and dress her hair for a later outing.
It is painful, really painful that some people who themselves are happy to see 2012, have through their wicked act stopped over 40 fellow Nigerians from seeing the New Year with only seven days to it.  50 other victims of their cruel act saw the new year with dismembered legs and hands with little or no chances of ever making use of those parts of their bodies again.
The only new year present President Jonathan can give to these grieving families and many like them in parts of Borno, Plateau, Bauchi, Niger, Yobe, Gombe states and Abuja, is to live true to his promise to fish out the Boko Haram elements and make them face the full wrath of the law. 
President Jonathan, you recent statement sounds reassuring - “This did not affect just the Catholic Church, but it affected all Nigerians irrespective of religious divide because terrorism attack anywhere is terrorism attack on the whole nation. These are evil men being propelled by evil thoughts and evil desires to create confusion in decent societies… As the President and Commander in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria I will take actions that this will come to an end very soon”.
Mr President, this is the time to consult with your security chiefs and give clear instructions.  I want to believe that like you stated ‘there will be no sacred cows’.  To do otherwise would be to risk turning Nigeria to a medieval settlement where ‘an eye for an eye’ is the order.   The Boko Haram terrorism is taking us back to ages the world long left.  Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism; and like a former US president would say, ‘we do not create terrorism by fighting the terrorists. We invite terrorism by ignoring them’.

‘we do not create terrorism by fighting the terrorists. We invite terrorism by ignoring them’.
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