Is APC sponsoring Boko Haram? By Bayo Olupohunda
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it’’ –Joseph Goebbels
These are dangerous times to be a Nigerian. Not that this country has ever known any form of peace. Since independence, our socio-political life has been characterised by one violent crisis or the other. Millions of lives have been lost to ethno-religious violence. Add this to the bloodshed that defined the entire period of military governance, then the gory picture of our violent past becomes complete. However, the recent horror of insecurity and terrorism has added another dimension to our violent history. What is happening today in our country is unprecedented. Under the present administration, widespread insecurity leading to wanton destruction of lives and property is threatening the very existence of the country.
The Boko Haram insurgency in the Northern part of Nigeria; unprovoked killings by Fulani herdsmen; deepening poverty, corruption, ethnic-religious crises and unchecked banditry in other parts of Nigeria have cemented our country’s place in the global hall of infamy. Living in this country today is worse than the Hobbesian state of nature where “life is nasty, cruel, short and brutish”. But of greater concern to me is the response of the Jonathan Presidency to many of the ills that assail us as a nation. Apart from running a lacklustre government, this administration’s response to the insecurity that has claimed the lives of thousands of our countrymen and women including children is worrisome and condemnable. It falls short of what is expected of a government whose primary obligation is to guarantee the safety of citizens in all parts of the country. But the reverse is the case as Nigerians are now used to the incompetence of their government at all levels. Buck passing, blame game and deliberate propaganda have been used to cover up its incompetence and create confusion in the polity. This failure of leadership in the face of unending crises that threaten the lives of Nigerians is unparalleled.
The penchant by this government to run away from its responsibility while blaming everybody but itself paints the picture of an incompetent leadership. In recent times, the Jonathan administration and its spokespersons have been pointing accusing fingers at the opposition instead of deploying pragmatic methods at ending the Boko Haram insurgency. They have blamed the insecurity in the country at the doorsteps of the opposition. Without any shred of evidence whatsoever, this government has accused the opposition of sponsoring Boko Haram. It was shocking when I listen to the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, as he made wild and unsubstantiated allegations about how the All Progressives Congress is the brain behind the Boko Haram terror campaign.
While not holding brief for the opposition, I believe this deliberate propaganda by the ruling party is a ploy to hoodwink Nigerians. It is a decoy to divert our attention from the inability of the government to put an end to the insecurity in the country. The PDP propaganda machine has thrown caution to the wind in its bid to politicise the security situation. The party must think Nigerians are dumb not to see through this dirty propaganda. What do Metuh and the PDP take Nigerians for? Do they think Nigerians are so hare-brained not see through the lies being told to cover its ineptitude to stem the dangerous tide of terrorism? It is indeed sad. Instead of the government to own up to its failure in the face of the killings, it resorts to paint the opposition as masterminding terrorism. Was it not in this country that the President once said he knew those behind Boko Haram? Did he not say that those sponsoring terrorism were in his government? How come he has not named names? What is the President afraid of? If the opposition is truly sponsoring terrorism as has been alleged, why not investigate their level of involvement?
Why did Metuh not reveal to Nigerians those in the opposition who have had contact with the terror group? Why did he not give us the specifics? Is it just enough to make allegations without substantiating them? All over the world, tracking terrorists’ network is not rocket science. What responsible governments do is to block their sources of funding and destroy their cells. During the 2011 terror attack on the World Trade Centre in the United States of America, the Republican Party did not blame the Democratic Party for sponsoring terrorism. Neither was the decade long war on terror politicised. This blame game will not stop Boko Haram terror campaign. The sooner this government knows this the better. Making unproven allegations to score cheap political gains is the hallmark of rogue governments.
The question we should ask Metuh and his co-travellers is that if the opposition is sponsoring terrorism, who then is behind the recent killings by Fulani herdsmen? Is the opposition also behind the killings in Benue, Plateau, and other parts of Nigeria? Is the opposition also stopping this government from fighting corruption? Is the opposition behind the deepening poverty in the land? Party apparatchik like Metuh should not be allowed to play on our intelligence to cover up this government’s inability to rein the Boko Haram’s terror campaign. The ruling party should be told in clear terms that Nigerians cannot be fooled. Nigerians will not and cannot fall for this Nazi era propaganda. Resorting to religion or politicising national issues to demonise the opposition is cheap blackmail. Nigerians are too intelligent for such diversionary tactics. It was the same ruling party that alleged that Jonathan was being criticised because of his ethnic background. Recently, Metuh also accused the opposition of plans to balkanise the country and violently take over power.
If anything, Metuh’s outburst has reinforced the fear that terrorism in Nigeria is politically motivated—a view held by the President and his cabinet. The Jonathan Presidency paranoia with every criticism makes the ruling party lie so brazenly without any regard for the people it governs. It is worse enough that this government has disappointed Nigerians. It must be stated that deploying Nazi era propaganda to demonise the opposition in the face of its own incompetence is diversionary, unpatriotic and condemnable.
-Follow me on twitter: @bayolupohunda
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org